Collection Management Tools Survey (Responses)
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What Collection Management System do you currently use?
How long have you been using it?
Do you like it?
Are you looking to change to another system?
If yes, what other system or systems are you looking to change to and why?
Is your institution integrating your CMS with other collection management, preservation, or access systems?
If yes, what other systems?What issues did you experience when setting up or changing to your current CMS?Do you link to digital objects or outside websites that are not hosted by the CMS?Is your CMS able to handle different objects types, i.e. audio-visual, photograph, artifact, document?Is there anything you wished you had known when picking your current system?
12/5/2016 13:03:20KnowVation4 or more yearsNoYesCONTENTdm, industry standard, offers preservation layer, works well with larger systems to aid in discovery (like DP.LA, Calisphere, etc.).NoWill be changing this year. I expect many issues having to do with moving from a CMS that links only access (JPEG) and thumbnail images with metadata, but not archival (TIFF) images, to one that links archival files with access files and metadata. Also inconsistently-named files. Basically, cleaning up a lot of problems I am aware of that seem enormous.YesYesCurrent system? The librarians should have stood up to dept. heads who chose a completely inappropriate software. But that is easy for me to say, I wasn't there at at the time. When picking CONTENTdm to switch to next year, I am somewhat relieved my choices are limited by cash and lack of IT support - clears away a lot of Open Source options that would otherwise be tempting, and would be much harder to make a decision. Preservation is paramount to me, which made CONTENTdm an easy choice.
12/5/2016 13:03:49Past Perfect2-4 yearsSort OfYesArchivesSpace, since it is designed specifically for archives and special collections.NoSome collections had more than one accession number, but I couldn't link them together in one record.NoYesI wish I had known how decentralized the system is. It is very difficult to get a full look at a collection because the different components are housed in different catalogs (i.e. the collection and subseries descriptions are not available to view with the item level descriptions very easily). It has become very frustrating.
12/5/2016 13:07:18PastPerfect2-4 yearsYesNoNoYesYesNo
12/5/2016 13:08:53
ArchivesSpace and Omeka (display purposes)
0-1 yearYesNoYesWe "migrated" from Archivists' Toolkit to ArchivesSpace a few months ago. We utilize Omeka for digital exhibition/display purposes.Some issues with IT department - translating archival needs to IT professionals. YesYes
12/5/2016 13:16:502-4 yearsYesNoNoFor some reason, ArchivesSpace did not work well with our internal servers, etc. so we have just contracted with Library Host to host our instance of ArchivesSpace. So, we have the same CMS, but it is being administered by a vendor, rather than in-house.NoNoNo system is perfect. I look at ArchivesSpace as a corollary to a library catalog. We still need databases to deliver the actual content for library resources, and I will use other methods to deliver actual content for archival resources.
12/5/2016 13:19:29
Re:Discovery Proficio: Archives Module
4 or more yearsYesNoNoNone. The program is intuitive and the tech support from the company is amazing. NoYesNo, I did extensive research before purchase
12/5/2016 13:22:46re:discovery 0-1 yearYesNoNohad a lot of trouble getting it installed on my local server.NoYes
12/5/2016 13:23:36Pastperfect 2-4 yearsSort OfYesUndecided. Hierarchical description is difficult NoNoneNoYesCheck what code / software underwrites the database
12/5/2016 13:27:59
Rediscovery Proficio Elements
0-1 yearYesNoNoNo major issues; tech and customer support were very thorough and included a training on the software. YesYes
12/5/2016 13:44:56Past Perfect4 or more yearsYesNoNoYesYes
12/5/2016 13:49:13PastPerfect4 or more yearsYesNoNoThe archives made a data map and paid PastPerfect to have it migratedNoYes
12/5/2016 13:52:18ArchivesSpace2-4 yearsNoNoIf I were looking, I would want one which could handle artifacts, audio-visual, etc.NoNoNoPrice of annual membership, as well as annual cost of other assistance. Its limitations in dealing with records other than paper.
12/5/2016 14:19:37PastPerfect 52-4 yearsSort OfNoNoComplicated steps for certain functions, such as the adding/controlling content to the online database add-on; a rather crowded interface.NoYesI wasn't involved with choosing this system. My org already had a version and determined to update. In retrospect, I wish I had pushed harder for us to explore other options rather than going the "easier" route.
12/5/2016 14:36:58Archivists' Toolkit2-4 yearsYesYesWe're not sure yet, but AT is no longer supported so we know we'll have to move on in the near future. Some possibilities are Archivespace and FileMakerPro.NoI answered no, but if the archives move to FMP then we'll integrate with special collections, which uses FMP.There was a lot of data massaging. I had to import most collections one by one. It took a long time.YesYesHow quickly Archivespace was going to come out after we adopted AT.
12/5/2016 14:44:31Archon4 or more yearsYesNoYesPreservica, LibGuidesWe worked with a group of colleges to do an update to the Archon code to make it more stable.YesYesWe had intended to use ASpace for our project, but as a small institution with no real IT support for library systems, we struggled with the limitations of the software. We use a hosting site for Archon and have found that it meets our needs very well. At some point, we might migrate to ASpace, but not in the foreseeable future.
12/5/2016 15:06:09
Aeon- for tracking and retrieval; ArchivesSpace- for content; In-house built hydra-fedora for digital objects. Sorry but this survey is vague. What do you want your CMS to do? Then ask what institutes do for that specific function(s)...
2-4 yearsYesNoYesArchivist toolkit was migrated to ArchivesSpace. And plans are in the works to ArchivesSpace and Aeon to link. Our DAMS system provides management and access.Migration metadata fields evolve requiring a lot of clean-upYesYesLook to systems supported by the archival community (so avoid Archivist Toolkit, Past Perfect, etc) and if a *lone ranger* then llok into out of the box services or options with support.
12/5/2016 16:04:42Eloquent Archives2-4 yearsYesNoNoMigrating from a system with little granularity.YesYesNo.
12/5/2016 16:13:30
4 systems: ArchivesSpace, Library ILS, local location-container-circulation management system, digital preservation repository
4 or more yearsSort OfYesAny one of the above; get rid of silos; each fails to provide some functionality the other hasNoArchivesSpace EAD importer leaves parts of EAD behindYesYesNo one system does everything. No system will talk to another without serious allocation of resources.
12/5/2016 21:40:54Past Perfect4 or more yearsNoYesArchiveSpaceYesCloud File Storagenot applicableYesYesHow bad the user interface is.
12/6/2016 7:26:25Archivists' Toolkit4 or more yearsYesYesArchivesSpace. Seems to be the most accepted collection management system for academic archives.YesWithe either Preservica or Archivematica depending on which way we go.Data cleanup from previous system. Always takes a long time.NoYesHadn't expected it to have such a short life. Had hoped it would be adopted and continued.
12/6/2016 7:44:59
SKCA Star Knowledge for Archives
2-4 yearsYesI'm sort of. The cost is a factor for our library.NoThis question is probably best answered by our Systems personnel. I was not the person responsible for this part. YesYesProbably the cost up front. Yes, we were aware of the cost regarding the system but the maintenance /upkeep for upgrades, etc.
12/6/2016 7:46:03none
12/6/2016 8:12:500-1 yearSort OfNoYespreservicalittle help from software support, local instance ran unreliably- had to move to hosted solutionNoYes
12/6/2016 8:30:22AtoM0-1 yearYesNoNoAtoM is a Canadian CMS, so DACS support is an "add on" and not every feature is available in a DACS template. Also, the organization that manages AtoM is not always completely transparent about where it is in development of fixes and features. It took a personal training session with a company representative to learn that problem I was encountering was a known "bug" that has been known for a long time, but not fixed.NoYesAtoM is a very robust system that integrates digital object hosting and preservation fairly smoothly. If only it were a little easier for American users! That said, having tried Archivist Toolkit, I am a very satisfied user of AtoM.
12/6/2016 8:34:30Archon4 or more yearsYesYesArchon is no longer supported. We will most likely transition to ArchivesSpace once its Public User Interface has been updated.NoNo major issues - we were essentially starting from scratch.YesYes
12/6/2016 9:06:35Archon4 or more yearsSort OfYesArchivesSpace, because everybody is, though we have put it off for years to wait for further development and resolving of a number of issues. We have been charter members since the beginning, but have not implemented. At this point, we are starting to have to consider moving out of Archon because it is not very stable and may not be readable for long as the code is out of date. As an archives within a museum, I am also looking into doing archival description in our museum CMS, or a new one if we change (depending on if there is an archives module and how good it is).NoI was not at the IMA when Archon was implemented.NoYesNA
12/6/2016 9:35:33ArchivesSpace0-1 yearYesNoNoStill in process, ask me again next year.NoYesNo, I have a lot of experience with CMS and feel like I made the right choice for my repository.
12/6/2016 10:57:03Archivists Toolkit4 or more yearsYesYesArchivesSpace; Archivists Toolkit is no longer supportedYesCurrently, MS Access (building plans0IT support for migration to MySqlYesNoNot especially - Given the uniqueness of special collections and archives, I doubt that any CMS will be a perfect fit. I anticipate some tweaking, round abouts, etc. when we are ready to migrate to ArchivesSpace.
12/6/2016 11:10:41PastPerfect2-4 yearsSort OfNoNoNoYesThe system was selected as an institutional solution. It is less effective for archival materials than objects - those are the majority of the holdings but less of what I work with. I will be able to build reporting formats but then will need to go back and adapt entry to populate the reports.
12/6/2016 11:22:46Archon2-4 yearsYesYesDon't know yet--not sure what will be better, just that we'll eventually need to abandon a CMS that is not under current development and supportNohard to find which PHP documents controlled which aspect of the system, so hard to customize; very large and dispersed code setYesNono, I think I went into it eyes open, knowing it was a stopgap for now
12/6/2016 11:43:39HP Records Manager4 or more yearsSort OfNoNoIt is a robust software with lots of features. We used another archives' classification framework, and over the years, it has caused us some frustration that we did not develop the classifications on our own. Maintenance of the software is done by a single person on staff. NoYesThe software was chosen for the archives before I was hired. I would not have chosen a system that was this complex. It was built for the Department of Defense, which handles millions of records, not for a small- to mid-size organization. It also does not have the option to link publicly to the web in any way, meaning researchers cannot access records, finding aids, images, etc.
12/6/2016 11:49:04ArchivesSpace0-1 yearSort OfThere is no maybe. I am finding AS challenging to learn, but I think I would be having problems with any system, as our archives have never been arranged and described in the traditional archival way. So I have a two-fold challenge and am not sure that AS with its challenges is a good way to use my time. However, what would I change to? Big question mark.NoSee my answer above.NoYesI wish I had been savvy enough to know that a system as new as AS is going to be pretty buggy, which requires frequent updating to keep up with fixes. I gave up trying to do that myself, as it's open source software and needs more IT support than I can give or than I have the local resources for. Therefore, I have chosen to have my instance hosted by LibraryHost, which is reasonable and fairly responsive, but not like having in-house IT. If you have good in-house IT, it's a good system, if you don't and are not very computer savvy, you should have it hosted by someone.
12/6/2016 12:00:16PastPerfect4 or more yearsYesNoNoIn importing from Minaret, at least one field was truncated.NoYesWe just wish we could know the future; as a small institution, it's important to us to use a system that is widely used by our peers and easy to transfer data from as technology evolves. So we'd hesitate to change to any product unless we were fairly certain it would be an industry standard for some years to come.
12/6/2016 12:24:09ArchivesSpace2-4 yearsSort OfNoNoMigrating a large number of collection and accession-level collections from an LIS; dealing with the public user interface, which we had to customize a fair amount. YesNoNo, but to clarify my answer to the last question: AS doesn't "handle" objects so much as provide metadata and a URI. So it can "handle" anything you can put on the web, in that sense.
12/6/2016 12:42:36Archivist's Toolkit4 or more yearsSort OfYesArchives Space, Archivist Toolkit is no longer supported and our library consortium is moving to Archives Space.YesBePress Digital CommonsYesYes
12/6/2016 14:37:25Archivists Toolkit4 or more yearsYesNo(Note: Plan to eventually change to Archives Space.NoYesYes
12/6/2016 14:51:47Omeka0-1 yearYesNoNoYesYes
12/7/2016 11:05:41
We use a custom built system using Filemaker Pro. We designed it ourselves to suit our collection, with provisions for sharing with other archives.
2-4 yearsYesNoYesWe aren't in any hurry, but sometime in the future we will want to share with on-line consortiaWe started with a personnel database, whose simplicity lulled us into thinking the CMS would be just as easy. The biggest issues are around searching and making reports.NoYes
12/8/2016 8:28:17PastPerfect 4 or more yearsYesNoNoWas not here when it was set up.NoYesPastPerfect is great for items cataloged individually. It gets better and better for archives/other collections, but it is not ideal for archives.
12/8/2016 12:31:58ArchivesSpace2-4 yearsYesNoNoRequired some technical assistance from a systems administrator.NoNoYes, how to link to digital objects. Taking a training class has fixed that need.
12/8/2016 12:39:25FileMaker Pro4 or more yearsYesNoNoNoYes
12/9/2016 1:28:16Past Perfect4 or more yearsYesNoYesArchiveSpaceNoYes
12/11/2016 15:59:27Archivists Tookit4 or more yearsYesYesArchivesSpace; no continuing support for ATYespreservation, accessit was our first CMS so we had to deal with everything, including inputting legacy data; developing documentation, figuring out locations, etc.NoYes
12/12/2016 9:08:16
PastPerfect (collection management system, rest of answers pertain to this software only); CONTENTdm (digital asset management)
4 or more yearsYesNoYesNot sure if this is what you mean, but we've been using the PastPerfect-Online add-on to create access to our digital content; we're currently in the process of migrating from PastPerfect-Online to the more robust CONTENTdm for this purpose, but plan to continue using PastPerfect for collection management.Don't know - was not here when it happenedNoYes
12/14/2016 11:33:45
no formal system; our public access is through a website with finding aids, and we have various internal management tools
4 or more yearsNoYes
ArchivesSpace, Preservica, Archivematica
12/15/2016 15:20:00CuadraSTAR's SKCA0-1 yearYesNoNo
So far, none. The company's staff have been extremely helpful, and they have very detailed manuals and help options. The major change will be getting used to the complex search options after having used a simple Google search bar. Another step which will take some time is deciding how some of the more flexible fields will be used, and others who have implemented an AMS have advised to take this step very seriously.
I doubt this would have changed the system we now have, but I wish we had looked closer at which fields were repeatable. Extent field is not currently repeatable, which causes issues for being able to get reports on both physical and born digital holdings (the free text field is not easily used for this).

Gaining user feedback was extremely beneficial in the selection process, and was not something we had done in an earlier search.
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