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Museum collection management

What are the criteria for choosing a museum collections management system?

By Lucie Bélanger, Senior Archivist and Product Manager at Coginov

Choosing a museum collections management system can be complex and depends on the specific needs of each institution. Here are some key criteria to consider when selecting a museum collections management system:

  1. Functionalities: The system must offer the functionalities required to effectively manage museum collections, such as object management, location management, loan management, exhibition management, copyright management, image management, report management, etc. It is important to carefully evaluate the functionalities offered by the system and ensure that they meet the institution’s specific needs. It is important to carefully evaluate the functionalities offered by the system and to ensure that they meet the specific needs of the institution. 
  2. Adaptability: The system must be adaptable and customizable to meet the specific needs of the institution, its collections, and workflows. It should allow the configuration of custom fields, data models, workflows, and reports, so that it can be adapted to the institution’s structure and needs.
  3. Integration: The system must be able to integrate easily with other systems and tools used in the institution, such as financial management systems, member management systems, exhibition management systems, etc. A seamless integration with other systems used in the institution is essential. Seamless integration with other systems used in the institution can improve workflow efficiency and overall collection management.
  4. User-friendliness: The system’s user interface must be friendly and easy to use for users of different skill levels. A user-friendly system can facilitate user adoption, reduce data entry errors and improve the institution’s overall productivity.
  5. Security: Data security is an essential criterion in the management of museum collections, particularly with regard to data confidentiality, integrity and availability. The system must offer robust security functionalities, such as user authentication, role-based access authorizations, data backup, copyright management, etc.
  6. Technical support and updates: The system supplier must offer solid technical support, including training, assistance and regular software updates. It is important to ensure that the supplier is reliable and can provide technical support when needed. 
  7. Cost: The cost of the system, including licensing costs, implementation costs, maintenance costs and support costs, must be taken into account when selecting a museum collections management system. It’s important to evaluate both short- and long-term costs, as well as the system’s cost-effectiveness.

    It’s also a good idea to consult references from other museums already using the system you’re considering, and to ask for demonstrations and tests to assess the system’s user-friendliness and performance. Don’t hesitate to ask us for references!

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COGINOV is recognized as a world leader in semantic technologies and information management. We are a Canadian software company offering our customers innovative solutions for managing structured and unstructured information. Our head office is based in Montreal.

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