Collections Management Systems

Reviews and comments on CMS

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Bob Schmitt 4 years, 2 months ago.

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July 3, 2014 at 2:23 pm #1464

Bob Schmitt
Member

Hi all-

There are nearly 40 collections management systems (software) available to museums and collections.

Although I am relatively new to museum processes and CMS, I’ve been promoting the Greenstone Digital Library software for car archives for almost 3 years, as a volunteer interested in car history.

Collections management systems should truly help “manage” a collection – this is the difference between this category of software and the digital library software or “content management systems”.  An intro to CMS is at http://CarLibrary.org/CMS.htm and a matrix of systems is at  http://CarLibrary.org/CMS-Table.htm

Does your collection/museum use a CMS?  Please shared your experiences and recommendations!

My observations show MANY collections have not moved beyond Excel (or similar) to track their cars and library material.

I heard much about PastPerfect prior to and at the NAAM conference,  so I contacted them and found one of their VPs is an enthusiastic “car guy”.   I downloaded their demo and customized it for car-type data – with help from the PastPerfect tech support.

My experiences are summarized at http://CarLibrary.org/PastPerfect.htm – with two videos!  This software is extremely popular, used world-wide and is probably the lowest cost of all the proprietary CMSs.   Although I don’t have daily collections management responsibilities, I think any collection still using paper files or Excel will benefit greatly from trying PastPerfect.

I’d be glad to personally help any collection with this software – or any other you may choose.

Cheers!

Bob

August 2, 2014 at 3:08 pm #1470

Bob Schmitt
Member

Hi all –

I’ve continued making a demo wit the PastPerfect software using material for the Frazer Nash marque.  I’ve updated my experiences at http://CarLibrary.org/PastPerfect.htm – with two videos!

I also met with two private collections to show the demo.  As a result of questions about recording costs and using the “Contacts” function, I learned PastPerfect records the original cost and insurance valuation very well.  To update repair and restoration costs, I imported some of my invoices into the “Archive” category, with their separate billed amount.  The software can make a nice summary report from its standard set of reports.

For Contacts, I imported a small list of club members on a recent US tour.  This function is very complete and can send letters or emails directly from the program to any subset of the contacts.  It will track dues, pledge etc.

I saw a newer function to make QR codes.  This works well and I have sample on the webpage referenced above.  In the same “location” tab, I recorded a map location for two cars.  Not sure yet what this can be used for, but it shows these locations on a google map.  Slick!

March 14, 2015 at 6:34 pm #1612

Bob Schmitt
Member

Hi all –

I was in New Zealand February 24 – March 7 (not long enough!) to do some touring in my restored car and also to check the use of CMS in three transport museums. For a few months, I’ve had great help from the support and management staff of PastPerfect and now had three fairly decent demos to show anyone interested. One is for my car marque, Frazer Nash. The other two are for car museums I planned to visit, the Southward Car Museum and the WOW/Classic Car Museum. I used personal photos from prior visits to make these demos, relying heavily on embedded metadata in the photos to make Excel files for direct import into PastPerfect. BTW, I think this is a efficient technique for any CMS.

The demo at the Southward museum went well. Their youngest manager is very aware of what the museum needs and I think he will soon adopt a CMS, possibly PastPerfect. I also went to the annual open house – hundreds of vintage cars, thousands of visitors in the museum, workshop vendor businesses, etc. Hayden started the open house 4 years ago and it’s been a great success.

We ferried back to the South Island and visited the Classic Car museum and the NZ Classic Motorcycle museum. Their new directors had been in their positions for 2 days and 2 months, so sitting down with me and a PC was not a high priority! I a little time with both and left PastPerfect demo disks and info with all.

The motorcycle museum is world-class, with professionally designed displays and a renovated building a short walk from the Nelson CBD. My video walk through: https://youtu.be/w5XG8Qz73_4

These three museums all had a modest presence of the STQRY system, which uses QR codes to expand display information for smart phone users. This system was started by an American living in Wellington.

Check FrazerNash-USA.com for a link to a full travel report, forecast for completion by March 18. We’ll have a longer trip next January to the international vintage car rally in Dunedin.

Cheers!

Bob Schmitt

April 25, 2016 at 6:43 pm #2035

Bob Schmitt
Member

Hi all –

I’ve just finished a major revision of the CarLibrary.org website; the new pages (how to topics) are listed and linked in the Table of Contents.

I intended the topics to progress from basic inventory techniques to using a Collections Management System. Feedback is much appreciated!

Bob Schmitt

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