CollectiveAccess - Evaluation

About this evaluation

This evaluation was performed on February 9, 2018 with a representative from Whirl-i-Gig. It was evaluated by 19 members of the museum community and reflects their personal opinion. These evaluations were based on a set list of tasks in a limited period of time. It is always recommended that you request a demonstration of any product in which you may be interested based on your specific requirements.

Evaluator ratings

The following table shows the ratings given to this software by members of the museum community. To understand what these ratings mean, please refer to our Scoring System & Evaluation Guide.

Each rating given is scored out of a maximum of five points. The larger the Standard Deviation number, the wider the range of scores for that task.

Task Average Standard Deviation

Online data entry

4.3

0.5

Publish a record to the web

3.7

0.9

Set user permissions and groups

4.2

0.7

View audit trails or change log

4.2

0.7

Import data

3.7

0.8

Export data

3.9

0.8

Create a local terminology list

3.6

0.7

Upload or attach images and files

4.1

0.6

Catalogue an object

4.1

0.6

Batch modify a set of records

4.1

0.7

Multilingual capabilities

3.7

0.9

Customize a catalogue entry page

3.4

1.1

Create a template record

3.7

0.8

Generate and/or build a report

3.3

0.9

Perform basic search

3.9

0.6

Perform advanced search

3.9

0.6

Browse records

3.7

0.8

Create an exhibit

3.2

0.9

Enter condition report information

3.2

0.8

Evaluator comments

The following comments have been provided by our evaluators after they rated the performance of each task. These are selected comments drawn from the “Additional Comments” section of the evaluation form.

  • Highly configurable – can be customized to do almost anything.
  • Wow, I was so impressed by this system. So powerful and customizable, but with an easy to understand and elegant UI.
  • I liked this product a lot. I would have liked to know a little more about the differences in records for objects, archives, etc.
  • Set up to manage museum, archive and library;
  • Extremely flexible database that is limited only by user and administrator’s imagination and how the client wants to manage their collections.
  • Developing and implementing database would take time, expertise and an understanding of the client’s own needs. Product profile states various learning and training via Wiki, open forum and chat groups. I would question whether this is sufficient for setting up a CMS unless the institution had a software developer onboard. CollectiveAccess does offer custom implementation and ‘project collaboration’ for a fee.
  • The software is very user friendly for doing the data entry, but the implementation, maintenance, migration, or upgrading must be done by a savvy person who will need to do a lot of reading on the software website and wiki, but support from the company is available with fees.
  • Functions not covered or explained, plug-ins? How is donor/source information stored? Is Pawtucket free? Does it autocorrect? How does it handle deaccessioning records? Where can you input the status of a record? Can you include scanned documents to media? How do you input loans in/loans out?
  • I was excited by how customizable CollectiveAccess is but I questioned how it handled non-artwork artifacts such as in mixed collections (tools, textiles, ceramics, furniture etc.) I went to the demo on the website but it did not cover this. Based on this I am not sure how it performs for mixed collections. The import and mapping is too complicated for the average user and administrator. Though CollectiveAccess gives you lots of options, there is a lot of work that has to be done by the administrator to set it up. CollectiveAccess is a great CMS for archives, libraries and artwork collections and, though there is a lot of preparation by the administrator beforehand, it is easy to train cataloguers on where to find basic information.
  • This open source software application is very interesting and impressive. It seems easy to use.
  • Highly customizable, per presenter.
  • It is a bit concerning that it is not as easy to use on a Windows system, since many small museums are not going to be able to afford a Mac system.
  • This seems like a good system for archival and fine art collections. Doesn’t seem as friendly towards historical artifact and scientific collections. I can see how a museum could make it work or customize the database, but it would be nice to see artifacts added as a catalogue module.
  • Great database in general, seems so customizable, which is great for large institutions. I liked the public interface features.
  • Very intuitive and customizable, appears easy to use and adapt to collections. Availability via an online server seems an asset, as it allows it to be widely available, though with the downside that sites with limited or no internet access would have trouble using it.
  • The database seems robust while also being user friendly. Open-source and web based are definite pluses. The level of detail for some of the functions is impressive, but there are also some areas that are lacking, particularly in the form and report development. It would be nice if they provided form templates for deed of gifts or temporary deposit receipts rather than expecting the client to develop those and upload them.
  • As the database is open source I’m unsure of how the staff at Whirl-i-gig factor into the use of the database? Do they provide storage? Support?
  • I liked the flexibility and interface of the CMS overall.
  • Impressive system; curious about the privacy/access by external users (that would be my biggest drawback).
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