Museum Archive software

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    • #133109
      Joe German

      Does anyone have experience using the free Museum Archive software? Would you recommend it for a small museum? Our historical society & museum has accumulated about 4,000 objects and batches of documents over 30 years and currently maintains an inventory list on Excel. The software seems very basic and might be a good fit for a small museum without a lot of resources. Any comments would be appreciated.

    • #133118
      Mary Ames Booker

      We use Past Perfect Museum Software and think it’s terrific. That said, I have heard many good things about the free Museum Archive software. You do need to purchase the book that goes along with it. In North Carolina I know the Wayne County Museum in Goldsboro uses it if you want to call them.

    • #133117
      Ronald Heroux

      I use Museum Archive for our historical society’s museum collection. It is most adequate for our needs, especially since it is free. We don’t have the budget for the very pricey Past Perfect software. Even if you buy the Museum Archive companion book to get the premium edition it’s still under $30 and covers everything I need. The author is on top of his software and very receptive to ideas.

    • #133116
      Michael Nagy

      Though I know it is out of range for some I’ve never heard PP called “very pricey”, especially compared to every other commercial or proprietary museum CMS and library catalog system on the market. PP is actually “budget” for what you get. Support is super fast and helpful.

    • #133115

      We’re looking into purchasing PP for our collection management, but only have Mac computers. Does anyone have any experience with running it on a Mac with the Apple Boot Camp or Parallels?

    • #133114
      Ben Shaw

      Hi Joe,

      I can understand how one would not want to pay for a system that you might not use. If your society has been working fine with Excel, then you could probably very easily customize a Microsoft Access database to do most of what you are looking for.

      Software packages are great, and the support that you get with them saves a lot of time and headache. But if your institution is not ready to pay for a supported system, I would suggest playing around with Access.


    • #133113

      Does anyone else run museum collections software on an Apple computer? Any recommendations?

    • #133112

      Hi Susan

      eHive could be an option for you (

      eHive was designed for small to medium sized museums, galleries, heritage organizations, universities, councils and also private collectors. The cataloguing screens in eHive are tailored to seven areas: Art, Photography and Multimedia, Archives, History, Natural Science, Archaeology, and Library. We manage the system while you get on with cataloguing and sharing information about your collection.

      How is eHive different?

      No purchase cost – Costings are based on the amount of storage with a free entry level making eHive an affordable means of publishing your collections online.
      No IT infrastructure required – upgrades and backups are done automatically by us so it’s fine if you don’t have the technical support available.
      Broadband internet required – you only need a computer (MAC or PC) with broadband to access your database – from anywhere.
      Instant online access – you have the option of publishing your collection to the world or keeping it private.
      Customised website – we have developed the necessary tools to create a customised website that includes your collection content AND the option to share your collection data with national repositories (e.g. CultureGrid – UK or Trove – Australia, DigitalNZ – NZ)

      Opening an entry level eHive account is quick and easy. This entry levels allows you to catalogue approximately 200 images (depending on size of image) for free of charge and gives you an instant profile/publishing option if you wish.

      Support is via an online Help tab and a user forum.

      Below are a selection of eHive accounts using the system in different ways.

      Sites with larger volumes of records and images include:
      Fairfield Halls – concert venue archives which were then fed into their website
      Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame – a general museum with social history, photography and art collections
      Owaka Museum – a local history museum

      An example of an eHive community (which has a branded front-end using the eHive Toolkit) with a number of participating eHive accounts who have joined the ‘rugby’ community allowing their objects to be shared under the common interest of rugby memorabilia.

      Another example of an eHive community is Kiwi Chicks: New Zealand Girl History which has 6 contributing sites – their joint collections can be viewed at

      User feedback

      Kaaren Mitcalfe, Owaka Museum, NZ
      “We have had such an array of opportunities from being on-line, such as images used in films, images used in books and on Te Ara (The Encylopedia of New Zealand website).”

      John Spring, Head of Marketing & Development of Fairfield Halls, UK
      “E-hive provided us with a cost effective mechanism to both digitise and catalogue our images, as well as giving us the portal to share them with the world. Our project has been extremely successful.”

      Michael Leonard, Project Leader, Visual Studies Workshop, USA
      “Using eHive, simply put it’s been a wonderful experience. All the (eHive/Vernon) staff we have worked with have been very accommodating and thorough. Creating this kind of record is a new experience for all of us here and so naturally has a learning curve to it. We have always been well supported even as “free level” customers.”

      If you would like more info please visit our website or you can contact me via email: If you are interested in a webinar on this product let me know.


    • #133111

      Thanks Maria!  We’ll consider looking into it!

    • #133110
      Tom Bennett

      Susan:  I know this is more than a little late, but perhaps it will help someone along the way.  I use PastPerfect 4 on both Windows and Mac, and interestingly, the Mac mini runs it just fine through Bootcamp using Windows XP, and runs it very fast.  It’s nice not having to switch machines, just boot into one or the other.



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