TMS Collections and eMuseum by Gallery Systems - Profile


This profile was completed by the software vendor at CHIN’s request and does not reflect the views or opinions of CHIN. It is presented for information only and does not indicate approval or accreditation by CHIN. Inclusion of specific products does not mean that CHIN recommends the software, but that members of the community expressed interest in learning about these products.

This information was accurate as of July 2020. For more information or to request updated information, please contact the vendor directly.

Product name

TMS Collections and eMuseum

Vendor name

Gallery Systems

Vendor overview

Website URL

Head office

5 Hanover Square, Suite 1900
New York, New York 10004
Year founded: 1981
Telephone number: (646) 733-2239
Contact person: Paul Thyssen

Canadian/North American office

5 Hanover Square, Suite 1900
New York, New York 10004
Year founded: 1981
Telephone number: (646) 733-2239
Contact person: Paul Thyssen

Product overview

Product description

TMS Collections

Gallery Systems’ core product, TMS Collections, is web-based and provides a sophisticated and intuitive relational database application designed specifically for collections, content, media, exhibition, and loan management. Developed in partnership with museum professionals, TMS Collections is a robust and highly configurable collection management system that can organize and manage all collection types without compromise. TMS Collections is built upon an open-architecture database, running on Microsoft SQL Server, and Gallery Systems provides a fully-documented Data Schema and Data Dictionary as part of the software package. This ensures that interoperability with other enterprise systems is achieved with minimal effort. TMS Collections is comprised of 11 interrelated modules, with supporting functionality for entering and tracking all collections data and management activities. TMS Collections has been localized in over 24 languages and supports translated content data entry in multiple languages. TMS complies with many data standards including CDWA, CDWA-Lite, CCO, LIDO, ISAD(G), DACS, EAD, CCDO, Getty vocabularies (AAT & TGN), Europeana, CHIN, RAD, Dublin Core Metadata Standards, VRA Core 4.0. TMS Collections is Spectrum Certified and the current TMS data schema was designed specifically to accommodate the extension into the CIDOC CRM data model. TMS Collections is compliant with Open Archives Initiative (OAI). TMS Collections is currently self-certified for 508 compliance by using 3rd-party tools to discover deficiencies and remediated functional type, including labelling for screen readers and keyboard navigation for users with limited mobility.


eMuseum, Gallery Systems' web-based online collections software program, integrates seamlessly with TMS Collections to dynamically publish information to websites, Intranets, and kiosks. While eMuseum is delivered with a set of standard templates, configuration is simple which makes the production of unique web sites straightforward. eMuseum uses industry standards such as HTML5 and CSS and incorporates responsive design to enable viewing on tablets and phones, as well as desktop computers. eMuseum’s design improves search engine optimization for better search engine rankings. eMuseum follows WCAG 2.0 AA and most AAA guidelines, ensuring that labels, titles, alternate text, and the general style contrast of the application comply with accessibility standards.

Disciplines supported

TMS Collections supports all collection types including archives and library collections management.

Product launch date





Product history

TMS Collections is our web-based collections management system, which evolved from The Museum System (TMS). TMS originally emerged in 1981 as The Gallery System (TGS), a DOS-based application created for commercial galleries. Shortly thereafter, in close collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and through researching and dissecting the numerous functions involved in maintaining sophisticated cultural heritage collections, Gallery Systems introduced The Museum System (TMS), a Windows application and almost every year since Gallery Systems has included new releases and/or updates to the core application, which resulted in the debut launch of TMS Collections in 2018. Our current version released in 2020 is TMS Collections 2020 and includes extended capabilities when integrated with our TMS Suite products, a range of browser-based accessory applications: TMS Media Studio, and TMS Conservation Studio.

eMuseum was first released in 2001 and the current version, eMuseum 6, was released in 2019.

Future development

The next major release of TMS Collections is scheduled for winter 2021.

Demo version

Gallery Systems does not provide standalone demo versions of the applications. However, live demo is available for all prospects; demo databases and "sandboxes" can be configured for limited trial purposes on a case by case basis.


Support methods

Phone, email, and client support website.

Support language(s)

English, French, Spanish, and German.

Support availability and hours

Gallery Systems offers support during normal business days from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time in North America. Our staff in Europe and California are also available when needed, which extends the coverage to 3:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern time. During weekends, support email and phone lines are monitored remotely by assigned members of the support team.

Support fees

Included with annual maintenance package.

Client support network

Gallery Systems provides a comprehensive support portal that contains various forms of documentation and tutorials, peer discussions, and a space for clients to manage support cases. Additionally, clients may opt-in to a client-led, independently run listserv for further support and discussion.


Gallery Systems offers comprehensive TMS Collections training as part of our implementation approach to ensure successful use of the system. System administration and application training for core staff members is part of our “train the trainer” methodology to ensure a successful implementation. There is a fee for each training session.

System updates and maintenance

Gallery Systems’ standard Maintenance and Support services include full access to new releases of our software. For our existing products, we regularly provide interim updates incorporating bug fixes and additional features and functions between major version releases. Software upgrade packages are provided as part of annual maintenance and support.



TMS Collections is licensed per concurrent user and a one-time license fee. eMuseum is an offered as unlimited user license and a one-time license fee.

Maintenance costs

Annual Maintenance is delivered and charged annually as a recurring fee and includes updates/upgrades to the program.

Additional fees

Gallery Systems provides competitively priced business analysis, technical consulting, development, training, data migration, project management services, and managed hosting services.

System specifications

Operating systems supported

Windows Server 2012 R2 or 2016.

Underlying database

Microsoft SQL Server 2012, 2014 or 2016 Standard Edition, with latest SQL Server packs applied.


TMS Collections is web-based and accessible on desktops and all mobile tablets, including iPads and Surface Pro. eMuseum is also accessible on desktops and mobile tablets.

Minimum hardware requirements

The current minimum workstation configuration is:

  • A good Internet connection (broadband or better)

The current minimum server configuration is:

  • Operation System: Windows Server 2012R2 or Windows Server 2016
  • Number of Servers (minimum): Two, one dedicated to SQL Server, the other dedicated to web server (Apache Tomcat)

These requirements are for a typical installation of one of the TMS Suite applications: TMS Collections, TMS Conservation Studio, TMS Media Studio, or Audit Manager. Large institutions, or those with multiple TMS Suite applications, will require additional resources.

Web Server Resources

CPU Requirements:

  • 16 cores minimum
  • Includes provision for core application, FTS Service, SOLR Service, Media Service

RAM Requirements:

  • 32 GB minimum, 64 GB preferred
  • Includes provision for core application, FTS Service, SOLR Service, Media Service

SQL Server Resources:

  • 32 GB minimum, 64 GB preferred
  • Note: SQL Server must be installed on a separate server instance. It should not be installed on the same instance that the Web Server is installed on.

Disk Storage Requirements:

  • 500 GB minimum
  • Note: disk storage requirements depend on number and size of media files

Optimal hardware specifications depend on the clients' workload requirements.

Staff requirements

Each institution should understand the full scope of their staff time and expertise required for their implementation of TMS Collections, including: project management, system design, data cleanup, mapping, migration and testing, if necessary.

Gallery Systems recommends that the museum's core TMS Collections team consists of a project manager to communicate directly with Gallery Systems staff and coordinate project flow, web and/or system administrators, a head registrar/collection manager, and content experts from various museum departments.

Plug-ins and/or modules available

  • TMS Conservation Studio, conservation documentation software
  • TMS Media Studio, digital asset management system
  • eMuseum online collections software

Third-party requirements

  • Windows
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • "Full" SAP Crystal Reports (only to create or modify certain reports)


The TMS Collections and eMuseum data schema is open architecture, running on Microsoft SQL Server, which means that interoperability with other systems is achieved with minimal effort, and business standard third party reporting tools like Microsoft Office, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, and Crystal Reports are used.

eMuseum provides an API add-on that allows users to programmatically retrieve data in JSON, XML and RDF formats. We also support the IIIF image and presentation APIs.


eMuseum follows WCAG 2.0 AA and most AAA guidelines, ensuring that labels, titles, alternate text, and the general style contrast of the application comply with current standards. eMuseum uses an HTML based template system supplemented with CSS and JavaScript, which can be customized to meet additional requirements.

For TMS Collections, there are several built-in accessibility features, including: support for customizable image alt tags and keyboard navigation with high-contrast visuals. Additional accessibility is generally available via Windows' built-in Accessibility features. For example, Windows includes a tool called "Narrator" that reads text on your PC screen aloud and describes events, such as notifications or calendar appointments. There are other Windows tools and configuration settings that allow a user to use speech recognition to control their PC, magnify screen contents, set desired contrast settings, use an on-screen keyboard, and provide different aural cues when certain keys are pressed, adjust the mouse pointer size, etc. Using combinations of these tools may provide the required level of accessibility. Note that different versions of Windows may have different accessibility options and/or improvements to the same tools existing in prior versions.


TMS Collections is highly customizable, and supports custom ListViews and custom data entry forms, which can be configured by the user and/or administrator with the provided tools, List View Designer and Form Designer. All field names can be edited. Error messages are localized and can be customized. TMS Collections supports a wide range of configuration settings including date and label formats, currency, units, status flags, etc. and these can be configured between the included Database Configuration Utility and Maintenance of lists.


Web integration capabilities

Cloud functionality

Gallery Systems offers cloud hosting options for all products. We perform nightly backups, schedule service pack upgrades, monitor database health, and all other system administration duties, as required.

Server location
Gallery Systems has servers located at a datacenter in Manhattan, New York, NY, but additional virtual servers are located in datacenters around the world, including Canada.
Security protocols
  • SOC 1&2, HIPPA, PCI, SSAE 16 Compliant
  • Multiple layers of hardened physical security
  • 24x7x365 on-site security
  • CCTV surveillance with digital storage
  • Multiple layers of electronically controlled card access
  • Biometric access
Typical or average uptime
95% for TMS Collections and 99% for eMuseum. 95% for TMS Collections applies to 365 days a year, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, so that during the workday hours, the most likely result is 99+% availability.
Back-end maintenance procedures and downtime
Extended maintenance is done over the weekend, typically Saturday morning. Some maintenance is done after hours during the week, if necessary.

Browsers supported

Chrome and Safari are tested and supported, but others modern browsers may be used.

Web-based access for data entry

Gallery Systems can provide access to TMS Collections and any of our browser based offerings over the internet using secure protocols. Gallery Systems application hosting provides secure access and is also available with optional web-browser accessibility.

Online collections platform

Gallery Systems offers eMuseum, our online collections toolkit for public access purposes. eMuseum integrates seamlessly with TMS Collections to publish data to an Intranet or website, and can be configured to support tagging, commenting, integration with social media, search engine optimization, and the generation of URIs and links back to collection web pages. Gallery Systems offer a complete design service to ensure that the 'look and feel' of eMuseum is consistent with your existing web presence or to create a new visual identity. eMuseum offers an API.

In addition, clients can participate in eMuseum Network, a cross-organisation information searching and retrieval service. Object information can be downloaded and imported into TMS Collections, from eMuseum, via the Object Importer tool.

Gallery Systems provides support for exporting information in a wide variety of formats, including LIDO and CDWA Lite, and TMS Collections provides support for integrating with OAI-PMH.

Linked open data functionality

All URLs in eMuseum, including record detail pages from all modules (Objects, Constituents, Exhibitions, etc.) are persistent URIs. Using eMuseum’s API add-on, users can retrieve or view collection data in RDF format. Additionally, all fields are annotated with RDFs using the vocabulary. Customizations have been done to link ULAN and VIAF data to eMuseum.

User groups and security

User profiles

In TMS Collections security control over access permissions to view/edit/add/delete data is available down to the individual field level, and control over access to system functions (e.g. maintain authority files, update locations) is similarly comprehensive. Such permissions can be assigned to individual users (e.g. database administrator, collection manager), or distinct groups of users (e.g. registrars, curators, ‘look-up only’ staff), and can be varied for individuals or groups dependent on the type of records being viewed.

eMuseum allows the creation of multiple interfaces or “profiles” each of which can provide access to different levels of data that are displayed in eMuseum. Each profile can have a login and password for secure access. There is an integrated Administrator account. The MyCollection feature in eMuseum allows users to create accounts and save the results of their searches. They can elect to either share or keep their “collections” private. User accounts, including passwords, are stored in the eMuseum application database.

User groups

In TMS Collections, security control over access permissions to view/edit/add/delete data is available down to the individual field level, and control over access to system functions (e.g. maintain authority files, update locations) is similarly comprehensive. Such permissions can be assigned to individual users (e.g. database administrator, collection manager), or distinct groups of users (e.g. registrars, curators, ‘look-up only’ staff), and can be varied for individuals or groups dependent on the type of records being viewed.

eMuseum also supports roles–based security, which enables administrators to configure viewable, searchable fields, and downloadable content on a role-by-role basis. Administrators can also configure viewable records based on field values.

Visitor profiles

Visitor profiles can be created in TMS Collections as permitted by a museums' total licenses and their TMS Collections security settings. Additionally, eMuseum provides read-only access for public access. eMuseum allows the creation of multiple interfaces or “profiles” each of which can provide access to different levels of data that is displayed in eMuseum.


TMS Collections can be hosted on a server at your location or by Gallery Systems, making it accessible to any number of client computer workstations via the internet. Licensing is based on the number of concurrent user licenses acquired by the institution.

Audit trails and/or edit history

TMS Collections includes a built–in audit trail that captures information on a set of predefined fields in the Objects module. The information captured includes the date a change was made, the login ID of the person who made the change, the table name, the column name, the old value, and the new value. Users also have the option to enter explanations and approvals. In addition, a complete location history audit trail is maintained for each object and component of an object.

Privacy features

Access to the names of lenders and donors, who wish to remain anonymous, can be controlled by individual user accounts.

Departments can be created to control privacy to various areas and modules, based on configurable user security group profiles.

Package folders offers varying forms of privacy. Data packages saved in the Public folder are automatically made available to all TMS Collections users. The Web Access folder contains data intended for sharing with the public via eMuseum. The Shared folder contains packages a user wishes to share with a subset of TMS Collections users. Additionally, packages of records can exist in more than one folder, and owners of a package can grant (or deny) access to their packages in folders other than Personal. Only the owner of the package and system administrators posing as a user have access to packages in the Personal folder.

Data migration and stability

Import formats

TMS Collections supports the following import formats: .CSV, .txt, .XML, .xls, .xlsx, and ASCII.

Export formats

TMS Collections supports the following export formats: CSV, Excel, PowerPoint, Plain Text (ASCII), Rich Text (.rtf), PDF, XML and/or HTML files. XML can be structured to follow specific data formats including MARC XML and RDF XML. eMuseum provides data extraction APIs in JSON, XML and RDF XML formats for all types of published collection content.


TMS Collections and eMuseum backups are integrated into SQL server and may be configured at the time of installation. A mass storage device or tape drive with appropriate backup software is required.

Standards and schemas

Metadata schemas

  • Dublin Core
  • LIDO
  • CDWA
  • EAD
  • MARC

TMS Collections data schema was designed specifically to accommodate the extension into the CIDOC CRM data model.

Data content standards (cataloguing rules)

  • LIDO
  • CCO
  • VRA Core
  • CHIN Data Dictionaries
  • Object ID
  • Spectrum

TMS Collections by design, is highly configurable, allowing clients to adapt the system to support their preferred standard.

Vocabulary standards

The Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) and the Getty's Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) are integrated with TMS Collections. Optionally, TMS Collections can be delivered with Chenhall’s Nomenclature thesaurus and with the Species 2000 thesaurus. In addition, custom and local thesauri can be added using the TMS Thesaurus Manager.

Local terminology lists

In TMS Collections all authority–controlled fields, such as Classification, Object Status and Accession method, are client configurable. In addition, custom and local terminology lists can be added using the TMS Thesaurus Manager and FlexFields.


TMS Collections is certified Spectrum compliant.

Data entry and content

Media upload/linking

TMS Collections has a Media module, where any number of media records of any size and file type can be managed and linked to corresponding object records, events, or activities. Media records can include physical media (slides, negatives) and any type of digital file (images, video, text documents, PDF, HTML, Excel, etc.). TMS Collections supports drag-and-drop functionality for easy adding of new media.

Media formats supported

An extensive range of file types can be linked to records in each TMS Collections module.
Word processing files include:

  • .doc
  • .docx
  • .wpd
  • .txt
  • .rtf

Image files include:

  • .jpg
  • .jpeg
  • .gif
  • .tif
  • .tiff
  • .wma
  • Windows bitmap (.bmp)
  • Flashpix (.fpx)
  • WebP (.webp)

Video formats include:

  • Microsoft streaming media (.asf, .wm, .wma, .wmv)
  • Moviefile (.m1v, .mp2, .mpa, .mpe, .mpeg, .mpg)
  • MP3 (.m3u, .mp3)
  • Quicktime (.mov, .qt)
  • Real Audio (.ram)
  • Video file (.mp4,.WebM)

Audio files include:

  • .mp3
  • .wav

Other file formats include:

  • Portable Document Format (PDF)
  • Excel spreadsheets (.xls, .xlsx)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx)
  • HTML (.htm, .html)
  • Web URL

Any digital file format can be supported in TMS Collections and viewing the file formats are dependent on having access to the software to open the file format.

Data entry features

TMS Collections includes a toolkit, TMS Composer to design and configure any number of data entry forms in all modules based on the collection type and workflow requirements.

In TMS Collections, there are three main types of Data Entry fields:

  • Text Fields - Type data directly into the field, or enter data via a list of terms in the linked Thesaurus.
  • Drop-Down Fields - have a list of terms defined by your institution; to enter data in these fields, click the down arrow and select a term from the list that appears.
  • Control Fields - Data is entered via various assistant screens. Control fields include HTML text entry fields and Date fields.

TMS Collections has a batch update function that allows users to update identical information for a number of records at the same time. Users can also drag-and-drop any content from outside of TMS Collections into the Text Entries field.

Copy and paste
Yes. Users may use the copy function to create new records with the data in tables selected by the user. TMS Collections also allows users to copy data in one field and paste it into another field.
Search and replace
Yes. TMS Collections includes a search and replace utility that can run against the entire set of Object records in a database, or against a select group of records (via current selection). This utility allows you to make bulk changes to certain text fields in Object records.
Yes. The spell check tool is available directly within the browser. Users can run the Spell Check without having to go to the Tools menu (outside of the Text Entries field). This makes spell-checking more convenient and saves time.
Bulk cataloguing
Yes. TMS Collections provides many options for bulk cataloguing. Sets of data, common expressions, can be saved as Function Keys turning the keyboard’s F-keys into commonly used expressions for cataloging. A record in most modules can be copy/pasted intelligently (include/exclude options). The Objects module allows saving a record as a Template so any part of the record can be pre-filled (common credit line, common artist/make, common location, common dimensions…) during batch accessioning. Also, data can be imported using a variety of tools. TMS Collections includes an Object Importer that works in conjunction with Excel spreadsheets or XML files for rapid data entry and batch import. Within the Bibliography module, users can batch import bibliographic records from a wide range of publicly available Z39.50 servers. A Constituent clean-up/merge tool also can import Artist/maker records from a ULAN source, to capture all known variants of a name for example.
Batch edit
Yes. TMS Collections' batch update feature also allows users to make bulk changes to certain text fields, checkbox and dropdown list in records from all eleven modules.
Batch location change
Yes. Location changes can be performed on groups of objects from within searched object sets, saved lists (object packages), or a number of other parameters. Barcode Manager is a TMS Collections plug-in program to simplify location changes and batch movement of objects.
Duplicate record search
Yes. Accession numbers are unique.
Template record
Yes. Users may create and copy templates based on a collection or project profile and pre-populate the selected fields.
Date selection and formats
Yes. ISO date format and datetime dates are supported. TMS Collections will convert any dates entered in a valid ISO date format into a consistent date standard format. Pop-up calendars are available on most date fields.
Mandatory fields
Yes. TMS Collections supports a mandatory Object ID field. Outside of the Object ID field, TMS Collections does not enforce mandatory fields by default.
No response.

Spreadsheet editing view

TMS Collections provides configurable List Views, which can be exported to spreadsheets for editing.

Geographic mapping

Customizable DataViews in TMS Collections can display geographic information on a map. eMuseum can be customized to display geographic information on a map.

Multilingual fields

TMS Collections is fully Unicode compliant and supports multilingual cataloging.


TMS Collections Barcode Manager is an additional product designed to work with TMS Collections to facilitate efficient tracking of locations and movements in TMS Collections. TMS Barcode Manager uses standard barcoding hardware or RFID equipment, and automatically assigns unique barcode identifiers to all objects, components, locations, and crates in TMS Collections. Barcode Manager provides full scanning management of movement and inventory, and it allows for batch processing using barcode or RFID.


Labels can be printed using customizable reports. Additionally, a user can enter, edit, and view record data in Label Copy display mode. The Label Copy view in the Objects module displays summary information about a single record, including, but not limited to, Department, Title, Artist/Maker, Medium, Dimensions, Object Number, Credit Line, Description, etc. This information can be customized within the List View Designer, which comes standard with TMS Collections. Users can then export this Label Copy data view into Microsoft Word or Microsoft PowerPoint for further display and/or printing. Users can also generate a Fact Sheet report from the Label Copy screen.

Search and reporting

Types of search supported

TMS Collections supports pick list, wild card, and range searching in a number of Query options including Cross-field search, Field-specific search and Search by Location. Cross-field search is the most commonly used and intuitive method..

Boolean queries
Yes. Field-specific search allows users to build complex queries using Boolean operatives, which can be saved and reused.
Query any field
Yes. TMS Collections and Advanced Query allows users to search on any field in the database.
Sort query results
Yes. The results from a query can be sorted by various fields defined by the user.
Saving search results
Yes. Users can save query results as a Package. Packages in TMS Collections are ordered lists that can be shared, saved, and locked. A Package can be modified (sorted, added to, etc.) by users who have rights to that particular package.
Filter search results
Yes. Search results can be filtered by refining the results of a query by any field in the Cross-field search or field-specific search tools, both of which can be configured to include the desired fields.
SQL-based search
Yes. TMS Collections is available with Microsoft SQL Server DBMS.
Export search results
Yes. Search results can be exported in any of the following formats: CSV, Excel, PowerPoint, Plain Text (ASCII), Rich Text (.rtf), PDF, XML and/or HTML files.
Free-text (Google) searches
Yes. Cross-field search in TMS Collections is similar to Google-type search. eMuseum includes a Google-type search interface.
Search result views
  • Standard Data Entry - standard data entry forms come with the delivery package
  • Label Copy – standard DataViews; customizable DataViews that support full HTML encoding and CSS styling and can be designed to include any information in TMS Collections. DataViews can be created using the free designer tool distributed with TMS Collections. An unlimited number of DataViews can be created.
  • Light Box – displays thumbnail images and object numbers.
  • List – standard lists; and customizable ListViews that can be designed to include any information in TMS Collections, a free designer tool is distributed with TMS Collections. An unlimited number of ListViews can be created.

Configurable data entry forms for multidisciplinary cataloging can be created using the Composer, a free tool distributed with TMS Collections, which allows users or administrators to create specific cataloguing forms for multiple disciplines in all 11 modules, as well as any curatorial forms, registration forms, and forms for researchers.

Multilingual searching

TMS Collections is fully Unicode compliant and supports searching on multilingual characters.

Report styles included

TMS Collections includes a runtime version of Crystal Reports, the industry standard reporting tool and comes with hundreds of default reports. Standard reports exist in all modules and include standard forms for museum activities. TMS also supports SQL Server Reporting Services and exports of DataViews and ListViews directly to CSV, Excel, Word, PowerPoints, etc.

Report customization

Custom Reports can be created using Crystal Reports Standard report writing software, which can export to standard sharing formats such as Microsoft Word, PDF, and Excel, and Gallery Systems offers training on report writing. Custom reports can also be created using Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services.

Report program

Crystal Reports and SQL Server Reporting Services. TMS Collections also supports exports of DataViews and ListViews directly to CSV, Excel, Word, PowerPoints, etc.

Museum functions

Collections management function overview

TMS Collections, is a sophisticated, easy-to-use application designed specifically for collections, content, media, exhibition, and loan management. TMS Collections is comprised of 11 interrelated modules, with supporting functionality for entering and tracking all collections data and management activities. These modules are: Objects, Media, Exhibitions, Loans, Bibliography, Constituents, Sites, Insurance, Shipping, Crates, and Events.

The objects and works in the collection are tracked in the Objects module. The Objects module tracks the following data: Acquisition, Accessioning, Inventory Control, Location and Movement Control, Cataloguing, Conservation Management, Rights and Reproduction, Insurance Management and Valuation Control including Appraisals, Deaccession and Disposal.


TMS Collections supports key registration processes, and can be configured basesd on clients’ specific workflow. The supported activities include:

  • Location and Movement - Tracking the location of an object (in a gallery, in storage, etc.).
  • Status Flags - Object statuses specific to your institution, such as "Needs Photography” or "Damaged.”
  • Components - Individual parts of an object, such as a cup and a saucer or separable parts of an ethnographic piece (e.g., mask).
  • Valuation and Insurance - Valuation(s) of an object for insurance or other purposes.
  • Incoming - An object coming into your institution for acquisition consideration, or some other temporary reason.
  • Accessioning - The process of accessioning an object.
  • Deaccession and Disposal - The process of deaccessioning an object and tracking the use of proceeds (for that deaccessioned object).
  • Rights and Reproductions - Copyright, non-exclusive licenses, and other contracts relating to reproductions of the object.
  • Alternate Numbers - Any former or additional numbers for an object - such as temporary deposit numbers.
  • Handing Notes - Notes and instructions pertaining to the packing, storing, and handling of an object.
  • Accession by Lot - Tool for accessioning groups of objects as a 'lot.'


The entire acquisitions process is managed through the Incoming and Accessioning areas of the TMS Collections object record. By default, this includes fields for recording information about the depositor; incoming purpose; anticipated custody dates; shipping information; method of acquisition; approval dates; acquisition source notes and contract notes; acquisition justification; price, and other critical areas associated with acquisition and accessioning. TMS Collections provides support for accession lot management that allows for control of groups of objects where only part of the group may ultimately be accessioned.

Inventory management

TMS Collections includes comprehensive functionality for managing physical inventory and spot checking. Information recorded includes the location of the object, the date inventoried, by whom the inventory was conducted and the status of the inventory.

Internal tracking

Locations can be defined as either 'internal' i.e. internal to your organization or 'external' – physical sites other than your organization. Location transactions of different types can be performed in TMS Collections: historic, current and future, and scheduled moves. Location recording is granular and carried out at a component level, allowing the recording of different location information for the different components of an object, including 'accessories' as well as 'parts of an object'. For each transaction the name of the person carrying out the transaction is automatically recorded, as is the date and time of the transaction; it's purpose and, if required, the name of the person carrying out the physical move of an object and the authorizer of the move. A complete location history audit trail is maintained. Future moves can be scheduled and reminders set up to automatically notify staff of pending moves.

External shipments

TMS Collections has a Shipping module, which is linked to the Objects, Exhibitions and Loans modules and facilitates the shipping process. It manages dates, related constituents, origin, destination, packing lists, crates, conveyances, shipping forms and related materials, among other information.


Object records are used to capture all catalogue information for an object. Multiple object record 'views' are available. The object data entry form includes fields for recording: Object Number, Department, Classification, Object Name, Title, Object-related dates (date types and precise search dates can be defined), Individuals and Institutions related to object records characterized by relationship type for example, 'artist', 'donor', maker, etc., Object location, Medium, Dimensions, Description, Overall Object Condition (derived from a separate, structured Conservation record), Label Text, Curatorial Remarks, Provenance, Published References, Copyright information and restrictions, Geographic information, Historical attributions, and many more.

Configurable data entry forms for multidisciplinary cataloging can be created using the Form Designer, a free tool distributed with TMS Collections, which allows users or administrators to create specific cataloguing forms for multiple disciplines in the Objects module, as well as any curatorial forms, registration forms, and forms for researchers.


Comprehensive condition and treatment information recording is supported in TMS Collections. (Gallery Systems also offers Conservation Studio, specialized conservation documentation software.) The Conservation screens support the data entry and display of the entire conservation history of an object or site. Conservation data is organized in a chronological hierarchical tree: Surveys and relevant Line Items, with icons depicting each line item. Surveys include the following information: Survey Type (for example, incoming review, damage report, general survey), Duration (days), Survey and Report Dates, Overall Condition (appears in data entry screen), Examiner, Overall Testing and Analysis, and Remarks (i.e., handling instructions, storage requirements). Line Items include the following information: Attribute Type (type of action being performed such as fiber analysis, cleaning or fumigation), Brief Description, Statement, Proposal, Treatment Report, Duration (days), Date Completed, and "Action Required" and "Action Taken" check boxes. Media files relevant for conservation may be linked, which may include Before/After photos, Infrared or X-ray photography, or a word-processed Condition Report.

Curatorial research

There are several options for documenting curatorial research. "Text Entries" which is a highly flexible, repeatable notes field can be used for this purpose. Text Entries can be assigned a Type, a Purpose, a Status, a Date, and an Author, and includes a Free Text Field that supports HTML formatting. Unlimited numbers of Text Entries can be created per record. Another option is to create Media records for the research files and link them to the appropriate records.

Publications and printed material

TMS Collections has a Bibliography module, which records all reference material and documentation related to the collection and can be linked to corresponding records.

Rights management and reproduction

Copyright details maybe tracked on the object level (for reproduction of images) or in individual media records (for photo rights & reproduction requests). On the object level, the Registration menu includes a Rights and Reproduction screen which records the following details: when an Agreement was sent, received and signed, types of rights granted, contract number, copyright registration number, copyright restrictions, and credit line for reproduction. The Media module was designed to handle "parent" and "child" renditions, allowing for tracking of multiple formats of a single image (transparency, prints of various sizes, etc.).

Risk management and valuation

The Valuations utility is available within the Objects module, and maintains full valuations histories that include data on the valuation date, purpose, currency, etc. The Events module can be used to maintain Risk Management strategies. Objects and Constituents can be linked to a Risk Management event, allowing staff to track Risk Levels for particular objects and collections and related instructions. All documentation can be stored as media for quick reference, export and editing. The Insurance module can be used to track insurance policies.


TMS Collections has an Exhibitions module to manage the entire exhibition planning and execution process. The Exhibitions Module is tightly connected to the Loans and Shipping Modules to seamless facilitate coordination of all aspects of an exhibition including traveling exhibitions, venues, insurance and indemnity. Additionally, the reporting capabilities of TMS Collections allow for efficient reporting on conservation information, object labels, etc.

Loan management

TMS Collections has a Loans module, which can manage the entire loan process and all related data. For both Incoming and Outgoing loans, object data can be stored and edited within the loan, constituents can be linked as lenders and borrowers, and digital files of loan-related material can be stored. The status of all parts of the loan process can be comprehensively maintained in the loan record. The Loans module is linked to the Exhibitions and Shipping modules to facilitate the management of these activities.


TMS Collections allows for thorough tracking of deaccessioning processes through its deaccession utility, wherein objects can be flagged for consideration for deaccession and, later, tracked as deaccessioned objects. All deaccessioned object records remain in the TMS Collections database unless explicitly deleted. Access to deaccessioned objects can be controlled by updating their 'Department' to one specifically designated to hold such objects.

Digital asset management

TMS Collections offers sophisticated digital asset management in the Media module where records can be created for digital files (images, moving images, web pages, word processing documents, etc.) or physical media objects (photographs, videocassettes, etc.). An unlimited number of media files may be linked to records in TMS Collections modules. Related information: copyright, selected digital file metadata, circulation restrictions, quality, etc. is recorded in the Media module. TMS Collections can read and index the contents of text-based media files, the contents of which are also fully searchable. Metadata can be inserted into and extracted from media files. The Media module additionally tracks physical media such as negatives, transparencies, etc. and can track circulation, as well copyright and reproduction data. Copyright status and terms may be tracked for an object or for any media file.

Additional features and functions

  • Index and search Word and PDF documents content with ORC and linked to TMS Collections-related records.
  • Automatically ingest media metadata into linked TMS Collections media records, enabling searching from within TMS Collections on e.g. geotag data; camera type; data and time.
  • Write TMS object metadata into media files.
  • Control access to the names of lenders and donors, who wish to remain anonymous, by individual user account.
  • Store transcriptions of text documents, enabling images of written documents e.g. scanned letters to be searched.
  • Add media, including image files, to TMS Collections records via drag-and-drop.
  • Add Thesaurus Terms to records via drag-and-drop.
  • Create user-defined forms, incorporating record navigation via hyperlinks and integration with Google Maps.
  • Export user-defined forms into Word and Excel.
  • Create user-defined ListViews, which can be exported into Excel.
  • Create user-defined object data entry forms.
  • Create object records via integrated Object Importer.
  • Batch create Media records via integrated Media Loader.
  • Multilingual cataloguing.
  • Thesaurus for data entry - As standard.
  • Thesaurus for retrieval - As standard.
  • Screen designer - As standard.
  • Extensible data structure - As standard.

Associated software

The TMS Suite

Gallery Systems provides The TMS Suite, a configurable set of browser-based applications that all share the same database. The TMS Suite is designed to support collections management needs in the most efficient and cost-effective way for institutions of varying sizes and types.

The TMS Suite includes:

TMS Collections

TMS Collections is the foundation and centerpiece of the TMS Suite, combining robust cataloguing features with web accessibility, and enabling collections management and collaboration, using data managed in one central location. TMS Collections is intuitive and accessible for museum accessioning, cataloging, archiving, exhibitions/loans/shipping management, location and movement, inventory, and insurance and valuation.


eMuseum is a web publishing application that accesses the TMS Suite shared database and allows dynamic publishing of information to an organization’s website, Intranet, and kiosks, allowing users public access to museum collections.

TMS Conservation Studio

TMS Conservation Studio provides conservators advanced functionality to create and manage conservation reports, surveys, projects, and all conservation department details, enabling users to track light levels, annotate images on mobile devices for access from anywhere, collaborate with peers, and much more.

TMS Media Studio

TMS Media Studio provides users with efficient and advanced tools for digital asset management, including streamlining media workflow, downloading, annotating, and media sharing. Media Studio gives users outside of collections care secure access to data and media contained in the collections database, in an easy-to-use interface.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: