Collections management systems

Browse resources to help select a collections management system that best suits the needs of your organization. Identify software selection criteria most relevant to your museum's business requirements.

Title Source
Collections Management in Canadian Museums: 2016 Results

In order to gain a better understanding of the current realities in collections management across Canada, the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) carried out a survey in 2016. In particular, we wanted to understand the automated collections management (CMS) environment, issues related to contribution to Artefacts Canada, and what standards were in use in documenting Canadian collections. This report provides information on the results that will help CHIN determine the need for various resources on collections management.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Collections management software: vendor profiles

This document provides vendor profiles for a number of collections management systems used in museums. These profiles have been provided by the software vendors, and it is recommended that museums follow up directly with the vendors to determine which software will meet their needs. Each profile also contains an evaluation of a limited set of functions that is based on feedback received from museum professionals.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Collections management system criteria checklist – 2019

Select the right system using this CHIN resource. The free tool lists over 800 criteria. It also contains an abridged checklist that you can use as a starting point if your heritage institution has simpler needs. This version of the checklist, revised in 2019, includes newer features common to many current systems.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Digital Asset Management and Museums - An Introduction

The number and variety of digital assets that are created and managed by museums is increasing every day. The purpose of Digital Asset Management (DAM) is to apply best practices to the creation, cataloguing and storage of assets so that they can be easily located, used and reused when needed. This resource introduces the concept of DAM and how it may benefit your museum's activities.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Guidelines for choosing a collections management system

CHIN offers these guidelines to assist heritage institutions with a step-by-step process for selecting a collections management system. The resource also includes institutional and vendor questionnaires, as well as links to other helpful resources.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Guidelines for developing a request for proposal (RFP) for a collections management system

This document provides guidance on developing an RFP for purchasing a collections management system. It was developed based on a number of RFPs and with recommendations from the museum community.

Canadian Heritage Information Network

Contact information for this web page

This resource was published by the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN). For comments or questions regarding this content, please contact CHIN directly. To find other online resources for museum professionals, visit the CHIN homepage or the Museology and conservation topic page on

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