Aron D. Roberts's picture

CollectionSpace 4.4 released

CollectionSpace's Materials Authority, introduced for the Design Materials profile in v4.4

Version 4.4 of CollectionSpace, an open source, web-based museums collections management and information system, was released by LYRASIS on July 25, 2016.

CollectionSpace helps manage five major campus collections at UC Berkeley, at locations ranging from the planted grounds of the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley, on the hill above the main campus, to the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive at its new location in downtown Berkeley. This new version integrates a number of contributions from across the CollectionSpace community, including:

  • Four new domain profiles: Herbarium, Local History and Material Culture, Bonsai, and Design Materials. These profiles come pre-defined with fields, vocabularies, and other features that support the needs of a specific domain or community of practice. As Megan Forbes, CollectionSpace Program Manager at LYRASIS notes, “any of these profiles may now be used as a jumping off point” by implementers in those communities, making it faster and easier for them to get their own museums up and running with CollectionSpace. Notably, the Herbarium profile was based on the customization of CollectionSpace for the University and Jepson Herbaria by UC Berkeley’s Research IT department.
  • The first working implementation of a shared authority service, currently available within the Design Materials profile, and scheduled to become generally available in upcoming version 4.5. This functionality allows any CollectionSpace system to offer up one or more curated sets of authority terms in which they might have special interest or expertise, which can be effectively "copy cataloged" by users of other CollectionSpace systems. This service was designed and funded by two relatively new community members, at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the Rhode Island School of Design, working with Research IT’s Ray Lee and LYRASIS’s Richard Millet.
  • A Django-based, community-contributed framework for web applications (“webapps”), primarily developed by John Lowe of Research IT, that uses CollectionSpace data and APIs. For several major UC Berkeley campus collections, these webapps have long been a mainstay of their day-to-day work, as well as powering their public-facing search portals. The webapps framework was refactored for general use, and contributed in increments, across CollectionSpace versions 4.3 and 4.4.

Version 4.4 also comes with additional documentation on writing reports and twelve new example reports, some of which were contributed by Research IT’s Lam Voong.

As exemplified by their work in this most recent version, Research IT’s current and former staff have made many core contributions to CollectionSpace’s design and development over the past seven years, working with partners and community members across the US and internationally. UC Berkeley campus museums have played a major role in this work, as well, in part by helping define functional requirements that have resulted in significant enhancements to this software over time.