Collective Imagination Schedule

Regardless of your skill level, you’re sure to come away from Collective Imagination with inspiring, fresh perspectives on collection and museum technology.

Key Dates Details
September 15, 2015 Early Bird Registration Begins
January 31, 2016 Early Bird Registration Ends
April 1, 2016 Standard Registration Ends
April 18, 2016  Day 1 of Conference
April 19, 2016  Day 2 of Conference
April 20, 2016  Post-conference Workshops Day 1
April 21, 2016  Post-conference Workshops Day 2

What to Know Before You Go

Collective Imagination 2016 will be held at the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, located at 1000 Fifth Avenue. The entrance is on the south side of the building at Fifth Avenue and 81st Street on the ground floor (lower entrance).

Registration will begin at 8:30 am on April 18th, 2016. Coffee and tea will be served.

Conference Breaks and Lunch

Breaks will be provided between sessions throughout the day, and coffee and tea will be available for conference attendees. Lunch will be provided on April 18th and 19th. During lunch, join us for one of three informative Lunch and Learn sessions. These sessions, TMS Conservation Studio, eMuseum 5, or TMS Media Studio, are a great way to preview the newest offerings from Gallery Systems.

Conference Sessions

Data, Not What It Used To Be


Technologies that are new—from still developing ontologies and related data mapping software to more efficient semantic search and reasoning engines—have begun to change the ways we can think about managing access to data and images. This is useful for collections but particularly useful for research communities where common access across collections is most meaningful. Changes in policy have also been moving us toward an open shared view of digitized collection-based resources. This has been most notable for online access to high-quality images. While these changes have impacted human-readable web sites, the more profound change will be seen in the ways we can implement machine to machine interoperability that preserves local expertise at the same time it creates knowledge environments. Let’s look at implications for data managers of the the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model as implemented in ResearchSpace and of the use of International Image Interoperability Framework.

Kenneth Hamma, Consultant

Time-Based Media Arts and TMS

The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) collection of Time-Based Media Arts (TBMA) increases every year in number and complexity. Objects range from 16mm films and vintage electronic installations to digital videos, software-based artworks and video games. Customization and utilization of TMS enables collections managers to account for the volume and variety of media and equipment associated with Time-Based Media Arts. SAAM Registrars have created strategies to address the unique needs of these artworks by developing a robust cross-departmental workflow and accompanying documentation. This presentation explores SAAM’s approach to handling TBMA and how TMS performs as an integral tool for success.

Lynn Putney, Associate Registrar, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Emily Schlemmer, Assistant Registrar, Collections Information, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Bringing the Cats into the Barn: Building a Hosted, Multi-site TMS in the Cloud

In 2012, the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA) implemented TMS to manage Presidential Libraries’ artifact collections and museum operations in a fully-hosted and centralized cloud configuration. This joint presentation by Gallery Systems’ TMS Base System Administrator and the National Archives’ TMS Program System Administrator will share highlights about how this multi-site system is configured, managed and under development as a “one-NARA” system. The hosting of multiple libraries on the Amazon AWS network, within a Virtual Private Cloud, will be discussed.

Kimberly Koons, Museum Collections Officer, National Archives & Records Administration (NARA)

David Cummings, Network Engineer, Gallery Systems

Funnel to Faucet: Increasing the TMS user base @ the Dallas Museum of Art

Some institutions funnel their data entry down to a few users who transcribe information into TMS. When I started at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), curators entered acquisitions justification in TMS, while other staff transcribed the object tombstone information. Over the last three years, we turned on the faucet—curators now enter all object and constituent data for acquisitions as well as update that information for existing object records in the collection.

“Funnel to Faucet” outlines how this paradigm shift was achieved. The transition involved several conversations to assess the prior work flow, a presentation explaining how this change would transpire, seemingly endless web based instructional writing, testing the process using departments for data entry control, and training staff members. Additionally, the TMS security structures required an overhaul and data cross checking mechanics became vital.

Since the shift to numerous TMS editors, the museum added researchers to expand collection information, putting this new structure to good use. What’s next? Faucet to Flood. I am currently developing how the DMA can incorporate similar concepts into exhibitions planning in TMS relying heavily on the use of departments for data entry control and work flow.

Brian MacElhose, Collections Database Analyst, Dallas Museum of Art

Welcome to the New Age: Implementing TMS Conservation Studio

TMS has been the backbone of the Yale Center for British Art collection management for two decades; embraced by the Registrar and the curatorial departments for inventory management and collection cataloging, but distanced by the conservators adhering to their traditional paper file documentation.

However, 2015 brought a seismic shift with the release of the web-enabled Conservation Studio and the Center’s initiative to pursue the next great cataloging frontier of searchable conservation data. Recognizing that the future is now, the conservators have agreed to use TMS Conservation Studio with its’ promise of a fluid customizable user interface and extensive tools to build image collections for conservation needs.

Does Conservation Studio live up to its’ promises? Did the conservators embrace the new tools Conservation Studio delivers?
We shall see.

Come explore with me this heady journey from the TMS we know and love to the web-enabled Conservation Studio. Many unexpected surprises presented themselves during this project as the Center’s conservators migrated from their entrenched paper documentation to the brave new world of web-enabled flexible reporting and image management.

David Parsell, Systems Manager, Yale Center for British Art

Deconstructing Components

Whether you love them or hate them, components seem to spark a discussion among many TMS users. Here at the Princeton University Art Museum that discussion led us to review component functionality in TMS, resulting in the decision to use components only when necessary.

In our talk, we will be discussing how we examined the transactional limitations of components in TMS to inform our decision to create–or not create–component records to track objects’ various parts and accessories. In our exploration of this topic, we revised our cataloging guidelines to make data entry procedures more sustainable and logical and to work seamlessly with reporting information out. This includes a flowchart to visually walk users through the decision-making process on when to utilize either component or part object records.

Using examples from our collections, we will closely examine these new cataloging procedures and reports in order to illustrate our decision-making process surrounding the creation of components. We encourage others to bring examples of their own to continue the discussion.

Madison Goforth, Collections Information Specialist, Princeton University Art Museum

Marin Lewis, Collections Information Specialist, Princeton University Art Museum

Performance Art, Notes on Cataloguing and Documentation

With the ever increasing presence of performance as part of the Whitney’s programming, we have been devising practical ways of cataloguing these unique manifestations within TMS. The topic will discuss the development of a cataloguing practice to be both nimble as well as representative of current performative practices while also being able to deploy this within a collection management system such as TMS. The talk will discuss how conceptual areas of performance art were defined and then were crosswalked to applicable fields of data within TMS.

Farris Wahbeh, Director, Research Resources, Whitney Museum of American Art

Looking Behind the Scenes: Documentation of Theatre History Within the d:kult Network

The presentation shows, how we document intangible heritage—theatre and film history—within d:kult, the network of Duesseldorf’s cultural institutions. The following aspects will be dicussed: How do we reflect the knowledge structure? What about media (especially audio, video, digital born objects)? How do we try to ensure long term preservation and how do we handle rights management? And how do we collaborate with other collections of performing arts?

Margret Schild, Head of the Library, Culture Department of the City of Düsseldorf

A Framework for Reporting and Analysis with TMS

This session will provide a framework for reporting and analysis with TMS, focusing on Crystal Reports and SQL Server Reporting Services as resources for presenting museum data. Participants will develop strategies for expanding the access and use of data through reports. Examples of custom reports developed by The Metropolitan Museum of Art will be presented.

Jessica Williams, Associate Collection Information Manager, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Transitioning to TMS: Tracking Outgoing Loans at The Met

Prior to the consolidation of all of the TMS databases used by curatorial departments at the Met, no unified database existed for the outgoing loans team in the registrar’s office to use to produce shipment paperwork and statistics for outgoing loans for the entire museum, so they had to use a separate system, OLAS. After the TMS consolidation, the outgoing loans registrars moved their processes, which included the transition of dozens of documents, from OLAS to TMS and created a formal workflow for the museum. This presentation will be an overview of that process and where things stand today.

Ashley Hall, Manager of Collections Information, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Emily Foss, Associate Registrar for Domestic Outgoing Loans, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

TMS: Meeting the Demands of a Global Brand

Representatives from the adidas History Management Department based in Herzogenaurach, Germany will explore a global collaboration, resulting in the development of online tools. Including:

  • An internal application and website that provides access to the adidas collection to more than 50,000 employees world-wide.
  • An external-facing website for sneaker heads and sports enthusiasts worldwide.

The session will also explore the plans to use TMS to relaunch the external website and think about ways to track and tell the “Big Stories” in adidas’ company history.

Erin Narloch, Database/Project Manager & Consultant, adidas AG

Adapting your Database: Customizing TMS to Meet Institutional Goals

Exploring the different ways in which TMS can be customized to help achieve institutional goals, in particular improving efficiency and accuracy in workflow, collections reporting, and digital initiatives. Special focus will be placed on how a large institution, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and a medium-sized institution, the Hammer Museum, have implemented customized features in TMS. The presentation will discuss the benefits of customization through use of flex fields, altering field names, customizing TMS’ interface, crystal reports, lists, data views, and advanced queries.

Alexandra Bancroft, Assistant Registrar, Hammer Museum

Carole Campbell, Registrar for Collections Management, The J. Paul Getty Museum

My Fowl Obsession: Using Intellectual Child Records in TMS

In the presentation, My Fowl Obsession: Using Intellectual Child Records in TMS, the presenter explores the use of intellectual child record for cataloging individual pages of rare books. The Birds of America by John James Audubon is the focus of this venture. The books are bound in five volumes and hold a prominent place in the collection of the Stark Museum of Art. Intellectual child records in TMS (The Museum System) are the chosen method of capturing unique information about the individual pages of these volumes. Intellectual child records mirror the make-up of the physical object most closely. The presenter will review the project history, evaluation and objectives, cataloging and implementation, user testing, integrating the use of the exhibition module for tracking the display of individual pages. Finally, the presenter will review the future use of intellectual child records for additional rare books in the collection and lessons learned.

Allison Evans, Registrar, Stark Museum of Art

Lions, Tigers, & Bears oh my … Materials, Supports, & Technique Tagging

Thinking about embarking on tagging your collection using the medium thesaurus xref? Learn how the Philadelphia Museum of Art assigned terms to their encyclopedic collection of over 227,000 objects. Discover how we organized and implemented the project and how we faced challenges along the way. This session will discuss how the Package Explorer was instrumental in completing this project, using and finding terms in the TMS version of the AAT versus the online version of the AAT, and the programming used to complete the work on the back end. The presenter will also share PMA’s plans for monitoring the data between the medium thesaurus xref and the medium display window.

Renee Bomgardner, Data Standards Administrator, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Adopting the TMS Importer Tool

The Smithsonian National Postal Museum has been working with integrating the TMS import tool into our cataloguing processes. This has come with phenomenal success, with the creation of over 5,600 records representing 24,000 objects in our collection, in less than 6 months. The process has been integral to our ability to administer and catalogue both our new acquisitions and many of our long term backlog accessions. This presentation will showcase the National Postal Museum’s recent success, and will open into a discussion of how museums can utilize the tool, as well as how Gallery Systems may improve the importer tool moving forward.

Caitlin Badowski, TMS Administrator, Smithsonian Institution, National Postal Museum

Opening Up and Engaging Users: Working with eMuseum and API

The presentation centers on the experiences of the Danish Arts Foundation on using eMuseum API and custom web services to support user engagement with the TMS and eMuseum. The presentation will cover the new eMuseum 5 API as well as cases and methods of use and audience engagement.

Morten Nybo, Project Manager, Danish Agency for Culture

Using SQL Server Reporting Services in TMS 2014

Implementing SSRS is a leading reason for many museums to upgrade to the latest version of TMS.   This presentation will review the experiences at the Walters Art Museum with implementation and use of SQL Reporting Services.

Kate Blanch, Administrator, Museum Databases, The Walters Art Museum

Using TMS to produce Linked Open Data

This paper will look at how TMS can support metadata creation for Linked Open Data. I will specifically look at the CIDOC-CRM ontology and how the mapping from TMS to CIDOC-CRM requires the use of URIs for entities, as well as making explicit relationships that are implicit in the database.

Emmanuelle Delmas-Glass, Collections Data Manager, Yale Center for British Art

IIIF for Open Images in Museum Collections

Driven by a growing collaboration of leading research institutions and image repositories worldwide, the goal of the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) is to provide uniform and rich access to image-based resources hosted around the world, eliminating barriers that exist today between image repositories across the internet.

IIIF aims to make image repositories interoperable and accessible through defining a set of common application programming interfaces, and through cultivating and developing shared technologies like image servers and web clients that enable the viewing, comparison, manipulation and annotation of images.

Learn about IIIF in more detail, and see examples of how it is being developed to present collections and promote scholarship at the Yale Center for British Art as well as across institutions and in library, archive and museum collections and other collaborative projects worldwide.

Melissa Gold Fournier, Manager of Imaging Services and Intellectual Property, Yale Center for British Art

The “Récolement”, a French affair? Audit of the collection for the Musée d’Orsay, Musée de l’Orangerie and Musée Hébert

French national museums face the legal obligation of an audit of their entire collections every ten years. This process consists of comparing the inventory with the actual objects, their condition, and their location. A new audit campaign began in 2015. How can TMS help with this audit? After a short presentation on the implementation of TMS at the Etablissement public du Musée d’Orsay and Musée de l’Orangerie, the methodology and conditions of the audit will be reviewed. Focus will be given to adaptations of TMS in a disconnected mode as the main tool for conducting this audit. The presentation will also explore how TMS allows follow up on the collections’ condition reports, and helps fulfill the demands of the Ministry of Culture and Communication.

Elsa Badie Modiri, Project Manager & Administrator of the Collections Database, Musée d’Orsay

Building an Inclusive Database: Cataloging Race, Gender, Sexuality and Other Identities

As the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture prepares to open to the public in 2016, the museum is working to develop its TMS database in an inclusive way that is representative of its diverse collections. After providing a brief overview of the collection and the museum’s collecting areas, NMAAHC staff will discuss their development of data standards; thesauri; external vs. internal presentation of data; identification of race, gender, and sexuality within records; the use of culturally sensitive language; and approaches museum staff are using to try to adapt their collections data to ever-changing and fluid notions of identity. Next, CI participants are invited to join the NMAAHC team in an open discussion about cataloging identity, learning about successes and lessons from other museums, and ways to document identity in TMS not already discussed.

Terri Anderson, Cataloger, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African American History and Culture

Emily Houf, Collection Information Specialist, National Museum of African American History and Culture

Provenance as Process: From Research and Data to Public Access and Collaboration

In 2008, the Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative (SPRI) began coordinating collections research related to WWII-era provenance among the Institution’s museums. SPRI advances and enhances the institution’s commitment to provenance research and the preservation of cultural property and heritage. As an active partner in this effort, the Freer and Sackler Galleries received additional impetus to focus on this period of collecting after a 2002 claim against an Ancient Chinese ritual vessel. To fulfill its duties of due diligence and collections stewardship, the Freer|Sackler decided to undertake comprehensive Nazi-era provenance research for its own collections, supported by the wider Institutional initiative.

Since that time, the Freer|Sackler’s use of TMS for this research has evolved as the complexity and needs of the data has become clearer. A dedicated search portal is now planned which would prioritize transactions between collectors and dealers while providing access to supporting biographies and archival materials. And instead of creating a search site for siloed relational data, the Freer|Sackler is planning to express this provenance data as linked open data—as a means of encouraging data-sharing and collaboration among institutions with similar data. As it prepares for this shift in practice, current methods and models must further evolve to support research, sustain best practices, and enable collaboration with other institutions.

Jane Milosch, Director, Provenance Research Initiative, Smithsonian Institution

Jeffrey Smith, Assistant Registrar for Collections Information, Freer and Sackler Galleries

Managing Museum Workflow: A Roundtable Discussion

Get a nuts-and-bolts view into how other museums manage their day-to-day collection workflows by joining this lively discussion. Panelists from four institutions will share their experiences and ideas for implementing efficient collections management workflows. This roundtable will also encourage open exchange on how to develop and improve internal processes at your museum.

Madeline Betts, Collections Database Manager, Tate

Maja Clark, Head of Collection Information and Digital Assets, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Chad Petrovay, TMS Administrator, The Morgan Library and Museum

Yer Vang-Cohen, Senior Manger Collections Records and Review, Brooklyn Museum


Widen your network within the global collection community.

Register for Collective Imagination 2016 and purchase tickets on our Eventbrite site.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art