Collections Management

A primary obligation for a museum is the duty of care for its collections. Amongst other responsibilities this requires the museum to manage its collections, keep track of its objects, ensure they are well maintained, securely stored, properly insured and appropriately accessible. EMu facilitates this duty of care through collection management processes and tools designed in compliance with the Collections Trust's Spectrum standard for museum documentation.

The Spectrum standard is recognised internationally as the industry standard for Collections Management. Spectrum is a guide to good practice for museum documentation and contains procedures for documenting objects and the processes they undergo. EMu is fully compliant with the latest version of this standard.

Standards are the foundation on which EMu is built, but they are simply that, the foundation. Working hand in hand with museum professionals, EMu's developers have produced a full-featured collections management system with functionality that far exceeds anything described by even the most comprehensive standards.

Administration of your objects is handled with a suite of Spectrum compliant collection management modules that directly reference objects in your Catalogue. When an object is on loan, for example, a Loans record captures details of the loan and references all objects affected by the loan: authorised users viewing the object’s record in the Catalogue will see that it is on loan. From the object's Catalogue record it is then a simple matter to access full details about the loan (or from the Loan's record to identify which objects are covered by the loan).

Collection management processes

Collection management processes frequently entail interactions between the collection management modules: a loan being raised for an exhibition, for example; shipment of objects in response to a loan; or insurance policies for individual loans and shipments. In this case the various modules directly reference each other. As all management records are held in perpetuity a complete history of transactions is maintained by EMu and can be viewed by authorised users.

Integrated task management

EMu’s sophisticated task management capabilities allow you to specify your institution’s various processes and assign steps to individual staff members, together with commencement and completion dates. EMu has in-built email notification to alert users to pending and overdue tasks assigned to them. Due and overdue process dates and other critical dates, such as loan returns, are identified each night and a To Do List is emailed to relevant staff.

For each affected staff member EMu also builds a web page of their To Do List for the entire, rolling week, and can produce a calendar of their activities in a standard calendar format.