LYRASIS to Establish an Organizational Home for CollectionSpace Museum Collections Management Software

Atlanta, GA – January 24, 2014 – LYRASIS is pleased to announce that it has received funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to bring CollectionSpace, an open source, web-based collections management system (CMS), to museums and other collecting organizations.

The CollectionSpace application enables the effective cataloging and management of object-based collections using accepted standards. It also serves as a gateway to the physical and digital assets across the institution, providing a stable, yet flexible core of collections information from which interpretive materials and experiences may be efficiently developed, from printed catalogs to mobile gallery guides. The extensible architecture of CollectionSpace allows it to be connected with other open-source applications already used for online exhibition creation and digital asset management. Already in use in several communities of practice, CollectionSpace is configurable to meet the specific needs of different types of museums. Because it is designed to work as a hosted, cloud-based service, as well as in a standalone implementation, the software can serve the needs of organizations large and small.

With support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, CollectionSpace was developed by a network of North American and European partner organizations led by Museum of the Moving Image (MMI) in New York, which originated the project, and the University of California, Berkeley. The Statens Museum for Kunst (National Gallery of Art Denmark) in Copenhagen and Walker Art Center in Minneapolis have been involved in CollectionSpace planning, design, development, and governance since 2008. In addition to MMI and UC Berkeley, the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies (CARET) at the University of Cambridge and the Fluid Project at OCAD University in Toronto developed the application’s underlying software architecture. The Institute of Museum and Library Services, through a National Leadership grant, made possible the development and testing of software configurations that serve specific collection types, including art, natural history and native digital media.

CollectionSpace has been implemented by a diverse array of US, UK, and European museums and municipalities, including art museums, historical societies, herbaria, and botanical gardens. Collections represented range from the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley with over two million objects in its collection to the Litchfield Historical Society in Connecticut with 18,000 objects in its care.

LYRASIS will provide two programs in support of CollectionSpace. First, LYRASIS will establish the organizational home and seek to increase visibility, adoption of and support for the software. LYRASIS will leverage its experience supporting other open source applications and work with the transitional leadership committee to: Establish a community-based governance model; focus resources on fostering adoption, use and continued community development of the software; continue stewardship and development of the software and related documentation; and create a sustainable community of users and developers.

Second, LYRASIS will develop services for enhanced CollectionSpace adoption and implementation, including hosting, support, training, data migration, metadata and more. “We cannot be more pleased that LYRASIS will become the umbrella organization under which CollectionSpace can continue to evolve and thrive, both as a product and as a community,” stated Carl Goodman, Executive Director of the Museum of the Moving Image. “The Museum community needs new ways and better tools to catalog, manage, and provide access to its collections that better positions Museums to provide valuable content to their communities.”

“We are pleased to be selected for this prestigious honor and look forward to working with the CollectionSpace project partners and the larger museum community in providing online access to critical collections,” stated Kate Nevins, Executive Director of LYRASIS. “This partnership uses our experience in technology, organizational home management and program leadership to enhance the creation, access and management of physical objects and digital content for cultural heritage organizations and their end users. This is another way in which we are committed to providing open source software solutions that are both cost-effective and efficient.”

For more information about CollectionSpace, please visit or contact

LYRASIS partners with member libraries and cultural heritage organizations to create, access and manage information with an emphasis on digital content, while building and sustaining collaboration, enhancing operations and technology, and increasing buying power. For more information, please

About Museum of the Moving Image
Museum of the Moving Image advances the public understanding and appreciation of the art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and digital media. It does so by collecting, preserving and providing access to moving-image related artifacts, screening significant films and other moving-image works, presenting exhibitions of artifacts, artworks, and interactive experiences, and offering educational and interpretive programs to students, teachers and the general public.

About the University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley has a rich array of museums and special collections in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences. UCB’s Research Information Technology (RIT) department has spearheaded the development of CollectionSpace in close partnership with campus museums across disciplines. CollectionSpace has been deployed at Berkeley to serve as a digital hub for university research, teaching, and public service.