Connecticut Collections is an open-source, online resource tool that allows history and heritage organizations to manage their collections, to share selected items with the public through a statewide portal (https://ctcollections.org) and to preserve their digital collections and associated metadata in the Connecticut Digital Archive (CTDA). There are so many “hidden treasures” among the small to mid-size museums and historical societies in Connecticut, and our goal is to help our members manage them, share them, and preserve them!
Connecticut Collections began in 2015 with five pilot organizations, and has expanded to 22 organizations across the state. CLHO is proud to have a hand in opening a window onto the amazing historical resources of Connecticut.
Organizations involved in Connecticut Collections
Barnum Museum Fairfield Museum and History Center
Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution Wilton Historical Society
The Beekley Collection Preston Historical Society Sharon Historical Society
Cheshire Academy Hotchkiss School Archives & Special Collections
Weston Historical Society Portland Historical Society The Unionville Museum
The Gunnery Archives The Mark Twain House & Museum Madison Historical Society
Henry Whitfield State Museum East Windsor Historical Society Prudence Crandall Museum
Eric Sloan Museum New-Gate Prison & Copper Mine
Westport Historical Society The Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County
Connecticut Collections (CTCo)
Table of Contents
Connecticut Collections (CTCo) is an online database tool and collaborative project that allows history & heritage organizations to manage their collections and share selected items online. It is based on a customization of the Collective Access collections management software.
The Collections Management System....a state-of-the-art collections management system that is standardized, offers access to multiple descriptive vocabulary systems, and allows cataloging for the full range of collections housed in most history museum collections, including objects, tools, artwork, photographs, ephemera, diaries, letters, archival collections, textiles, household implements and more.
The Public Portal...Researchers, students, teachers, and history buffs will be able to browse collections or search for specific kinds of artifacts, photographs, artwork, and other items using keywords, geo-reference points, object types, time period, and so on. Visit our current public portal at https://ctcollections.org
The Digital Preservation Solution...We are working with the Connecticut Digital Archive to connect the two projects so that items shared in the Connecticut Collections portal will also be published online and preserved in the state's preservation repository. Input the data once into your CTCo management system, mark the record for ingest into the CTDA, and your responsibility to digitally preserve your collections is done.
What is Collective Access?
CollectiveAccess is open-source software for managing and publishing museum and archival collections. • Runs on any modern web browser • Pre-configured with several cataloging standards including Art & Architecture, Library of Congress, and more • Reporting tools export to PDF or spreadsheet formats • Batch editing allows for flexible transformation and updating of data • Free online documentation and support. Find out more at http://collectiveaccess.org.
Who should use Connecticut Collections?
Whether you are a historical society, historic site, history museum, library or archive, Connecticut Collections is designed for you. If your organization is looking for an open-source collections management program that is affordable, connected to a state-wide network, accessible by multiple users both on and off-site at one time at no extra cost, creates finding aids, offers robust cataloging options for both archival collections and museum collections, you will want to look closer at CTCo.
When you choose CTCo you join a growing group of users in the state who are actively working together to make museum collections useful - and user-friendly - to the public. CTCo has a sliding fee scale, so that organizations of all sizes, volunteer-run to professionally staffed, can both afford the platform and use it effectively. CTCo is the new face of integrated collections management.
What is the support structure for Connecticut Collections users?
All new users are invited to participate in several training sessions to learn the system and answer common questions. A Connecticut Collections user manual demonstrates how to perform common tasks in the database.
We know that some people prefer to have access to immediate help. Please email email@example.com and we will respond to the best of our ability. If there is a more technical issue, we can discuss options for support that are available at an additional fee.
We also encourage users to communicate with other users in an online discussion platform made available to members of Connecticut Collections.How much does it cost to become a Connecticut Collections user?
The cost to join the CTCo project in 2020 is set on a sliding scale, depending on the organization's annual operating budget. (The application to participate includes proof of operating budget, and percentage of that total amount spent on collections care and management.)
The Annual fee structure covers: basic support (as noted above), Hosting, Digital back-up, and database maintenance.
Additional fees are associated with the migration of data from an organization’s current system to CTCo. We are happy to get an estimate of the one-time cost for migration. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-832-2674 with questions.
*If you are not migrating from a current collections management database, and intend to start cataloging directly into CTCo, no additional migration fee is charged.
We are now accepting applications for the 2020 cohort - apply here! For more information about applying, or questions about the application process contact email@example.com.