Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

MA Museum Professions


Communication and the Arts


Juergen Heinrichs


Museum collections, Management systems


Collections management software companies claim their product can be used for any type of collection or museum. While this is true to some extent, in actuality, they are better suited for some types of collections and do not cover the others as well. Particular collections management databases have aspects that are better suited for certain types of collections and an individual museum's needs. Each system's particular combination of features and characteristics may make it a better fit for some museums' needs and not for others. Recommendations for collections databases are constantly sought after on the American Association of Museum's Registrar's Committee Listserv. The systems to be reviewed in this study are: PastPerfect, TMS, EmbARK. Argus, Re:discovery, Vernon CMS, and KE-EMu. With all of these choices available selecting the "right" system for a museum can be an overwhelming task. What the "right" system is, however, will be different for every institution. What may be a near perfect fit for one institution could result in disaster and frustration for another.