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Accomplishment: Led CollectionSpace Deployment projects for multiple campus museums


The Informatics Services team led efforts to deploy CollectionSpace, the open source collection management system, for multiple campus museums.  Worked closely with the Architecture and Design team and the broader CollectionSpace project to ground truth the principles of CollectionSpace.


The Informatics Services team delivered the following:

  • Installed, configured, and monitored CollectionSpace releases on cloud and IST data center virtual machines
  • Secured agreement from campus collections and consortia (Berkeley Natural History Museums) to select CollectionSpace as strategic platform for collections management
  • Developed financial models for current and future costs related to campus collections and CollectionSpace deployments
  • Worked with early adopters to map functionality and develop project plans
  • Performed data analysis and mapping with early adopters
  • Using open source ETL tools, developed methods for migrating data from legacy systems into CollectionSpace
  • Worked with museum professionals in campus museums to identify needed customizations
  • Customized CollectionSpace at user interface and schema levels
  • Testing deployments of customized CollectionSpace deployments with early adopters
  • Presented prototypes and methodologies to campus community and at conferences in order to build domain-based communities of practice
  • Initiated deployment projects for additional campus collections and developed an aggressive project plan for campus-wide deployments and shutdown of existing legacy systems.


The CollectionSpace project will provide a common, scalable solution for managing museum and research collections across the campus, and eventually across the system. This replaces a number of aging systems based upon obsolete technologies, and that require considerable overhead to support and maintain. It adds significant new functionality, provides accessible web-based interfaces, and leverages current enterprise technologies for security and stability.  The deployment work accomplished by IST demonstrates that CollectionSpace can provide a sustainable platform for managing, protecting and promoting campus collections, widely recognized as vital assets for education, research, and public service.

Impacted areas:

CollectionSpace deployment projects have near term impact on a broad array of campus collections:

  • Phoebe Apperson Hearst Museum of Anthropology
  • University and Jepson Herbaria
  • History of Art Visual Resource Collection
  • UC Botanical Garden
  • College of Environmental Design Visual Resource Center
  • Essig Museum of Entomology
  • UC Museum of Paleontology
  • Pacific Film Archive
  • Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

Discussions are being held with other collections stakeholders on campus and throughout California. In addition to production implementations of CollectionSpace, work in the next year will focus on developing a Software as a Service offering based on CollectionSpace.

Strategic Alignment:

This project represents a considerable strategic accomplishment in aligning many campus collections on a single sustainable strategy. These deployments are part of a larger community effort to share templates, tools, and experiences to provide better tools with a more sustainable model. Because UC Berkeley leads efforts to deploy CollectionSpace, we are also contributing to the broader multi-institutional, open source, community source CollectionSpace project.

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