Christopher R. HOFFMAN's picture

CollectionSpace launched for the BAM/PFA Art Collection

Research IT is happy to announce that in November 2014, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive began using CollectionSpace as the collection management system for their art collection.

BAM/PFA is one of the largest university art museums in the US with a collection of more than 20,000 objects and 14,000 films "characterized by themes of artistic innovation, intellectual exploration, and social commentary, and reflecting the central role of education in BAM/PFA’s mission."

The CollectionSpace team in Research IT worked closely with BAM/PFA professionals to customize CollectionSpace and migrate data from a FileMaker Pro system. The group took advantage of CollectionSpace's capacity for extension and customization so that it works well with established BAM/PFA workflows, and developed new possibilities for streamlined operations. The CollectionSpace team has also built a number of essential reports and provides images and metadata for BAM/PFA's web site.

The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive is currently planning a move into a new physical space, and CollectionSpace will be an important part of that effort. A series of web applications that leverage CollectionSpace's RESTful API were built for the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology to help with their very large move, and these are being used with little modification to help BAM/PFA with their inventory and move activities.

UC Berkeley is now home to five major campus collections in CollectionSpace -- the BAM/PFA Art Collection, the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, the UC Botanical Garden, the University and Jepson Herbaria (public portal), and the BAM/PFA CineFiles collection. While each instance is customized, they all sit on top of CollectionSpace, allowing Research IT to manage these enterprise-quality systems efficiently.

This CollectionSpace launch represents a major accomplishment for UC Berkeley and for the CollectionSpace community as a whole! More information is available on the deployment wiki (BAM/PFA Art), and the project code is in GitHub. Contact the CollectionSpace team at if you'd like to learn more about this new deployment.


The image that accompanies this article is provided by the Berkeley Art Museum: Hans Hofmann: Effervescence, 1944; oil, India ink, casein, and enamel on plywood panel; 54 3/8 x 35 7/8 in.; gift of the artist.