What Is a Museum Art Collection Management System, Key Thing To Consider, And How They Work?

When you are creating your first purchase Museum Art Collection Management System or making a new decision, it is important to gather information to make a safe and informed decision.

Every day we call organizations looking for systems to manage their art collections. We talk to institutions of all sizes with all kinds of catalog items – family properties, universities, hospitals, hotels, airports, artist groups and more. We looked at trending frequently asked questions asked here at museum Archives so we decided to share this along with some of our answers.

We hope they will help you find a collection management platform. Museums and archives manage information about their collections, facilitate communication between departments, and make collections available to the public with the help of collection management software.

Here is a brief outline of the collection management system that was showcased at the museum.

This reference guide is intended to assist the museum in developing a collection management policy, key documents that support the museum’s mission and goals. This guide explains what a collection management policy is, why it is important, and what considerations are needed when developing a policy. It reflects national standards and meets the requirements of the alliance’s core audit and accreditation programs.

What is Museum Art Collection Management Policy

A collection management policy is a set of policies that address various aspects of collection management. These guidelines define the scope of museum collections and the maintenance and provision of collections to the public.

The collection management guidelines also describe the role of the person in charge of managing the museum collection. Institutions with living collections may use different terms for policies and processes governing the management of their plants or animals. A museum that does not have a collection but instead occupies and uses other people’s objects must have guidelines in collecting objects.

Why is it important?

  • This collection extends the mission of the museum while serving the public. Because the collections are trusted and available to the public, the public expects the museum to adhere to the highest legal, ethical and professional standards.
  • To demonstrate this standard, museums establish guidelines for supporting their missions and operations, as well as guidelines for decision making.
  • Policies provide opportunities for regulatory agencies, staff and the public to become familiar with standards and help museums fulfill their responsibilities as collection manager.

Art collection management Policy Objectives

This Art Collection Management Policy aims to document policies that guide the development, presentation and maintenance of Museum art collections in accordance with the Museum’s mission and museum professional standards. Detailed procedures for implementing this policy can be found on the museum’s internal website.

Through this collection management policy, the museum ensures that:

  • Collections are reported through an annual inventory and documented in the collection management database.
    The collection is protected, cared for and preserved.
  • The collection, depreciation and borrowing of works in the collection are carried out in accordance with the mandate of the museum, in accordance with applicable laws and with due observance of the highest ethical standards.
  • Disposal of a work from the collection by sale, barter or otherwise is solely for the progress of a museum contract, and the proceeds from the sale of the work.
  • Access to collections in galleries and classrooms as well as access to information about collections is permitted and appropriately regulated. and
  • Putting together activities promoting the common good and not individual financial gain.

Collection management consists of three overlapping departments: The registrar plans and manages logistics for artwork entering and leaving the museum; Collection maintenance specialists are responsible for monitoring the movement and safe handling of artwork in the museum. The collection documentation staff maintains extensive object files and maintains the museum’s central collection management system.

But how how this collection management policy works:

Collection management systems

Art Collection Management Systems (CMS) are software programs that can be used to archive and catalog objects in a collection. Inside libraries, archives and museums. While each content management program is unique, several features are considered standard:

Cataloging: This function as a field for object identification such as permanent identification, number, name of the object, creator or artist name, description of object, dimensions, components and materials of object, origin, condition, exhibition and object picture, storage history, current location.

Acquisition: This feature contains the fields related to the donor and website purchase history, eg. Date of acquisition, name of donor or seller and contact information, assigned access number, purchase price, arrival status rating, and seller or donor restrictions if applicable.

Deactivation: This feature relates to removing items from the collection and includes information such as the deactivation date, the disposal method used, and the reason for deletion.

Loans: This feature is used to track incoming and outgoing credit information, including lender name and contact information, special requirements, delivery instructions, related insurance policies, and credit history.

Status and Conservation Report: This feature includes site assessment and inspector name and inspection date. This section also contains a Conservation Report that outlines the conservation and restoration procedures carried out at the site.

Security: This feature allows database administrators to restrict access to the database by only giving certain people access to view and / or edit object records.

Copyright: The copyright function allows institutions to impose appropriate intellectual property restrictions on objects to prevent illegal distribution or reproduction of those objects.

Multimedia: With multimedia functions, digital materials such as images, videos and audio content assigned to an object can be attached to a motif recording. This feature usually allows the entry of related metadata.

The art collection management software includes the following easy-to-use databases:

  • Items: Catalog and inventory of all your collections
  • Creator: Track creator jobs and creator roles
  • Collections: Group your inventory into collections
  • Location: Enter information about the location
  • Document: Link a document to an object
  • Contacts: Keeps track of all your business contacts (object source, business contact, supplier #)
  • Employees: Manage catalog information
  • Costs: Record all cost

How collection management software can help?

When we are busy, so many important aspects of our day can be overlooked. We may be overwhelmed by the amount of work and don’t know how to prioritize. Luckily, lots of great tools have been developed to help us work more efficiently.

In the world of museums and curators, art collection management is a special area that requires special love and attention. Regardless of whether the museum has a 200,000 or 200,000 collection, using software to manage the art collection can be useful.

What are the Advantages of collection management software?

  • Tracking status: Is the loan granted or displayed
  • Better visibility: Some web-based solutions even offer optional mini-sites that allow users to view parts of your collection online
  • Stay supported: Log preservation details and pay attention to what is still needed
  • Generate reports: Perform status assessments, export inventory, download exhibition collection lists, etc.
  • Organize storage: Manage what and where is stored
  • Selling online: For artists, some solutions are integrated with e-commerce systems such as Shopify
  • Mobile friendly: Most online solutions are available on desktops, tablets and most phones

Who uses museum art collection system software?

  • Artists
  • Galleries
  • Museums
  • Collectors
  • Conservators
  • Curators

Now let us see the museum art collection management policy, before that let us see what is a museum?

This museum is a repository of artifacts from art, culture, science and history. These objects are deliberately presented to convey a cohesive and thoughtful narrative. The museum is offered in different designs depending on the collections and exhibits. Although the collections can vary widely, the main functions of the museum remain the same:

  • Collects and maintains items appropriate to the museum’s collection mission
  • Create exhibits that support a common theme and display objects with descriptions of their relationship to each other and to the theme.
  • Continue to develop educational programs, services and displays that use objects from the museum’s collection to inform, stimulate thinking and encourage dialogue.

What software does the museum use to manage its collections?

Many of the companies known for developing museum collection management systems (CMS) were founded in the late 1970s and 1980s, and these systems became commonplace among museums in the 1990s.

Of course, a lot has changed in the last decade or so, and choosing the right collection management system for each museum is important as it affects the visitor’s entire digital collection and digital work.

All CMS have the following features: credit acquisition and tracking, cataloging, digital display, digital asset management and digital exhibition creation. In addition, it provides seamless intellectual control and facilitates physical control for research and storage. The current requirement for a stable CMS is cloud-based, providers are provided with hosted digital content, and museum staff can customize the organization and appearance of collections.

Now let us see three key things to consider when choosing a museum art collection management System.

Comparison of management software for museum collections

Choosing or changing the museum collection management system can be stressful and time consuming. Therefore, it is important to put in the time and effort to choose the best system for your museum. The implementation of the CMS is a commitment both in terms of management of the museum collection and in terms of staff time.

Appropriate attention should be paid to the CMS testing and verification process.

  • Test system functions and workflow options.
  • Ask questions about the company. You can be your potential partner and this is an interview.
  • Ask museum colleagues for information to share your research and raise your awareness of the potential advantages and disadvantages of a collection management system.
  • What’s the exit strategy
  • How much does it cost and how often does it change
  • The CMS must meet current and expected museum requirements
  • Put together a strong team
  • Check the team of your choice
  • Identify your deal switch
  • Investigate what is available
  • Filter your choice

The more carefully you and other employees can choose a collection management system that will work really well for museums now and over time, the less likely you will all have to control future CMS migrations.

Comparison categories include:
  • Architectural system
  • Available profiles
  • User interface
  • Security
  • Supported
  • Development
  • Pricing
  • Content management

Some Best Museum collection, database, and archive software:

DIGITAL B3K: Choose your premier source for complete photography, studio lighting and legacy solutions in Canada. B3K offers rental, maintenance, repair, training, advice, installation, inspiration and excellent equipment with one of the most experienced teams in the industry.

LUCIDEA: With Argus, Lucidea offers an unmatched application for managing museum collections of all sizes and budgets with innovative features that are specifically based on best practices learned from working with clients over 25 years.

The web-based Argus offers complete collection management and takes you further – with community curation / co-management, a dynamic online presence and full multimedia.

Vernon: The Vernon CMS is an excellent information gathering system. It has impressive flexibility to adapt to your evolving needs. It focuses on cultural organization and offers the most reliable and robust software with excellent support for customer service.

The system receives updates via regular logins from users and experts from around the world who make up the global CMS community. It is one of the most popular CMS solutions which is reliably supported according to international standards.

Argus: It is the best practical CMS solution for those responsible for managing art collections. This is an excellent web-based system for galleries, museums and art collectors. This helps improve curator functions, improve online access to information, and enhance their interpersonal and virtual user experiences.

With Argus you get the most comprehensive and most competitive CMS solution. It is flexible so it can adapt and grow as your needs grow and change over the years. It also helps provide easy access to exhibits and objects by organizing detailed information in an organized manner.

TMS collection:

TMS Collections is one of the best collection management software on the market. Works according to the needs of museums, libraries and art galleries large and small.

In addition, there are many web-based features that can be used to manage every aspect of managing your art and book collection. In addition, it offers continuous connection and integration with web publishing, digital asset management and protection.

The TMS Collections software offers a variety of powerful features and performance enhancements that make you part of a very large global community of users and experts.


This Collection management software helps museums, art galleries, and other companies with large art or antiques collections to monitor and maintain this collection. It is important for a museum or art gallery to keep a record of every work in the collection that includes its location and other relevant information, such as: how it was obtained or how it was obtained or restored.

Collection management software allows these institutions to digitize records, making it very easy to look up information about specific objects and update that information if necessary. Collection management software can be used by curators, archivists, researchers, and administrators to perform day-to-day tasks that help maintain an entire institution’s collections.