The Collection Management System Collection

Crowd-sourcing a list of digital repository options.

Here is the spreadsheet!

Hey hey. It seems like every couple of months, I get asked for advice on picking a Collection Management System (or maybe referred to as a digital repository, or something else) for use in an archive, special collection library, museum, or another small “GLAMorous” institution. The acronym is CMS, which is not to be confused with Content Management System (which is for your blog). This can be for collection management, digital asset management, collection description, digital preservation, public access and request support, or combinations of all of the above. And these things have to fit into an existing workflow/system, or maybe replace an old system and require a data migration component. And on top of that, there are so many options out there! This can be overwhelming!

What factors do you use in making a decision? I tried to put together some crucial components to consider, while keeping it as simple as possible (if 19 columns can be considered simple). I also want to be able to answer questions with a strong yes/no, to avoid getting bogged down in “well, kinda…” For example, I had a “Price” category and a “Handles complex media?” category but I took them away because it was too subjective of an issue to be able to give an easy answer. A lot of these are still going to be “well, kinda” and in that case, we should make a generalization. (Ah, this is where the “simple” part comes in!)

In the end, though, it is really going to depend on the unique needs of your institution, so the answer is always going to be “well, kinda?” But I hope this spreadsheet can be used as a starting point for those preparing to make a decision, or those who need to jog their memory with “Can this thing do that?”

And of course, like many of my previous endeavors, this spreadsheet is OPEN and CONTRIBUTIONS ARE WELCOME! Help me make this resource better. I need help with adding software, adding consideration columns (lets not go too wild here though), and (MOST OF ALL!) filling in yes/no answers for each row.

Here is the spreadsheet!

Editing is open right now, but I will change it to comment-only when it is more robust.

Here is a guide to the columns:

Basic information

Administration considerations

Interface considerations

Technical considerations

Social considerations

Thank you! Please help and contribute!

See Also

Thanks to Selena Chau for initiating this idea in my mind, and for her helpful research as an AAPB NDSR.