Collective access: cataloguing tool/web-based application

CollectiveAccess is a highly configurable cataloguing tool and web-based application for museums, archives and digital collections. Available free of charge under the GPL open-source license, it requires little to no custom programming to support a variety of metadata standards, external data sources and repositories, as well as most popular media formats. In addition to multilingual cataloguing facilities, it allows publication of this data in the languages of your choice.

Current users include representatives froma wide range of fields: fine art, anthropology, film, oral history, local history, architecture, material culture, biodiversity conservation, libraries, corporate archives, digital asset management, and many more. This community of partners has contributed funding, planning and software development resources, resulting in a series of specialist features.

Instead of just telling you about CollectiveAccess’ many advantages, let us show you why CollectiveAccess is a compelling alternative to expensive proprietary software. Start with the points below. Then, see who’s using CollectiveAccess. Take a tour; download the latest version. And, if you like what you see, consider joining the development effort!

Cataloguing Your Way.

CollectiveAccess is a highly configurable cataloguing tool that doesn’t require custom programming. It supports most metadata standards through straightforward configuration. Out-of-the-box support is available for several popular standards including DublinCore, PBCore and SPECTRUM. The configuration library contains a variety of user-contributed configurations for common use-cases. You can use a configuration as-is, or as a starting point for a system tailored precisely to your needs.

Plays Well With Others.

A variety of external data sources and services can be accessed for cataloguing and data display within CollectiveAccess. Access the Library of Congress Subject Headings or Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus (in English or Dutch) for descriptive cataloguing. Or use GoogleMaps, GoogleEarth or GeoNames for geospatial cataloguing. CollectiveAccess can also integrate with external digital repository systems such as Fedora and IRODS

Speaks Many Languages.

As befits a good world-citizen, CollectiveAccess offers support for multi-lingual cataloguing, as well as translation of the user interface into seven languages (with more on the way). Even better, the CollectiveAccess web-publishing module facilitates creation of multi-lingual web sites. So not only can you catalogue in many languages, you can publish your data in them as well.

Likes Books and Movies.

CollectiveAccess can handle a long list of digital media formats, including many popular image, video, audio and document formats. All accepted formats can be automatically re-sized, watermarked and converted to web-viewable formats using criteria you define.

Free. Really.

CollectiveAccess is free software released under the GNU Public License, version 2. All of it. There is nothing to buy. There are no “Pro” versions that just happen to cost something. CollectiveAccess is entirely yours to use, redistribute, and modify to suit your needs. Even support is free, although you can pay for that if you want.

Real Users, Real Projects.

An incredibly diverse range of collections use CollectiveAccess: from fragments of lost silent films to the latest 4k digital film; from pottery shards to 10m long steel beams; from postcards to performance video. Project-specific setups in the configuration library, our online support forum and user group meetings allow all users to share in the valuable experience gained from these projects.

Nothing to lose but your chains.

All cataloging, search and administrative functions are accessed via common web-browser software. Hence there’s no need to worry about the confines of specific operating systems. Cataloguing by distributed teams just got easier. And online access to collections information is efficient, and inexpensive.

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