Follow this link to read the article “CollectionSpace: A Story of Open-Source Software Development and User-Centered Design,” written by Project Manager Megan Forbes and published in the Feb/Mar 2012 issue of the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science.
CollectionSpace is an open-source, web-based collections management system for museums. It is being developed by and for the museum community, recognizing the commonalities in collection management and facilitating museum information processes, workflows, tasks and needs. A partnership among the Museum of the Moving Image, University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Cambridge, the project is dedicated to user-centered design and has taken shape through workshops that identified five essential themes, starting with the idea that the software should be a museum’s core information resource, serving all aspects of collection management. The software developed must be user friendly, support comprehensive data through resource linking, serve the outside community as well as museum professionals and encourage broad use by avoiding information silos. Though funding and participation challenges are normal for such an ambitious project, CollectionSpace is expected to change the way museums manage their collection information while promoting community ownership and development of the software product.