What's the best software for cataloging an art collection?
January 16, 2009 9:47 AM   Subscribe

What is a good software program for cataloging an art collection?

I am helping somebody pick a piece of software to manage their extensive art collection at their home. I have heard of Past Perfect 4, but I know this may be overkill since this is something mainly used by museums. I am looking for something that will be simple to back up (either an automatic backup feature built in or a simple database file that I can manually set up a scheduled backup for). Thanks!
posted by titans13 to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You could definitely kludge Delicious Library into doing it for you.

Alternately hire a LAMP (web developer) guy/girl to custom write a web application for you.

Or get a Filemaker guy/girl to whip one up for you. Or put it on Mefi Jobs and I'll roll it out in two weeks ;)
posted by plexi at 10:56 AM on January 16, 2009

I've used Past Perfect. Past Perfect is immense and was totally overkill for the historical society I worked for. We were basically using 1/4 of the program - an art collection would use the same.

I would have used Filemaker, having had previous experience with it. It is expandable as needed. Hell, someone could kludge up some Access that could do what is needed.
posted by cobaltnine at 11:55 AM on January 16, 2009

When I went through Applied Museum Studies, we were taught how to create a simple database in MS Access, specifically because it could be designed to fit a small museum's needs and would likely be already installed on their computer.
posted by deadtrouble at 12:22 PM on January 16, 2009

Depends on how extensive. The prog that my gallery used tracked all the basics (size, medium, cost, notes, etc.) but we were cataloging probably thousands of items that had come through and it was linked to automatically update on the website. It was a pain in the ass and I believe it was called GallerySoft or something similar.

I always think simple is better so yeah - I'll reiterate what the two posters said before and get a custom job done.

If you want to do a little research, you can call up personal art shoppers or art dealers or even restoration shops and ask how they do it. The ones I've dealt with are usually happy to give assistance.
posted by HolyWood at 12:26 PM on January 16, 2009

The gallery where I work uses ArtBase. It's FileMaker-based, and support/backup has been good thus far.
posted by quatsch at 5:08 PM on January 16, 2009

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