Megan Forbes is the Community Outreach and Support Manager for CollectionSpace4, working to raise awareness and foster adoption of the open-source software application and the organizational home services that support it. She has been a part of the CollectionSpace project team since its inception in 2008, serving as both project manager and functional lead.

Before joining CollectionSpace full time, Megan was the Director of the Collection at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York, where she oversaw the use, management, and care of the collection and provided strategic guidance for collection-related technology selection and implementation. Megan has an M.A. in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

9 days later

If you have questions and comments for Megan, please post them here.

As some one new to this topic how does Collection space compare to Archive space? Is one better for certain types of archive, repository, collection...?

It sounds like the community of users is somewhat separate from the community of developers (code contributors). What strategies can you recommend for fostering dialogue directly between the 2 groups, so they speak and listen to each other? Especially given that they may not always use the same jargon!

It is fascinating that you go out of your way to get opinions and feedback from museums that are not (or not yet) users of the application. How do you get staff from these institutions to volunteer their time and take their role as seriously as actual implementers? Its notoriously difficult to get CHO staff to even respond to surveys.

Absolutely yes to both questions! CSpace is very configurable, and could be made to work with just about any type of object collection. We would be delighted to reach out to those user communities and add them to the conversation - please comment here or send me a note at collectionspace (at) lyrasis.org if you have recommendations for specific groups, people, or organizations you think we should reach out to.

I'll lift a quote from Howard Besser, who defines the differences between archives and museums as "Archives manage groups of works and focus on maintaining a particular context for the overall collection, Museums collect specific objects and provide curatorial context for each of them. These distinctions of the fundamental unit that is collected and why affect each institution’s acquisition policy, cataloging, preservation, and presentation to the public."

So ArchivesSpace and CollectionSpace manage objects and groups of objects quite differently based on how they're collected, arranged, described by the collecting institution. The easiest way to figure out which application might be right for your organization is to get in touch with both projects, and check out their demos to see which more closely mirrors how you'd like to manage your collection. The CSpace demo is available at http://demo.collectionspace.org, and the ASpace sandbox can be reached via http://archivesspace.org/sandbox.

Thanks for bringing up this point Camille. To a broader point, I think it is a challenge for open source projects to think outside of their already existing adopters to be inclusive of new users of the software. In my experience, there can be an echo chamber effect where the core contributors only see their own use cases. I don't know enough about the CollectionSpace project to know if that is an issue there, but I have seen it happen in other communities.

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