Connecticut Collections (CTCo) is an open-source, online resource tool that allows history and heritage organizations to accomplish three of their primary goals: 1) to privately manage their organizational collections in a state-of-the-art collections management system,  2) to share their collections with the public through a portal that includes collections from other CTCo users, and 3) to preserve their digital collections and associated metadata in the Connecticut Digital Archive (CTDA) where they will be safe for generations to come.  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!  

In 2015-16, CLHO completed a “pilot” phase with five institutions, who are now using the CTCo database, a fully customized version of Collective Access open source collections management software, designed to manage and present collections.  In early 2018, nine more institutions joined the group. CLHO is continuing to work on creating the public portal for Connecticut Collections (expected completion June 2018) so, stay tuned!  This is exciting stuff and 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 Wilton Historical Society

Fairfield Museum and History Center Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution

The Beekley Collection Preston Historical Society

Sharon Historical Society Hotchkiss School Archives & Special Collections

Portland Historical Society Cheshire Academy

Weston HIstorical Society The Unionville Museum



To Apply for the CTCo Program
Applications for the 2019 cohort are now closed.
For information about future cohorts, please email: ctco@clho.org

Connecticut Collections (CTCo) 

Table of Contents

What is Connecticut Collections?

What is Collective Access?

Who should use Connecticut Collections?

What is the support structure for Connecticut Collections users?

How much does it cost to become a Connecticut Collections user?

How can my organization become involved with the program?

Application for Participation in CTCo

What is Connecticut Collections?

Connecticut Collections (CTCo) is a three-part collections management, access and digital preservation project created by the Connecticut League of History Organizations, 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, is "goof-proof" for novice catalogers, and is robust for the full range of collections housed in most history museum collections, including (but not limited to) objects, tools, artwork, photographs, ephemera, diaries, letters, archival collections, textiles, household implements and more. The systems incorporates all the features of the Collective Access platform and customized tools identified by Connecticut's history museums. 

The CTCo Online Web Portal...Researchers, students, teachers, and history buffs—everyone—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.  Both Connecticut-related and non Connecticut-related items will be included since many of our history and heritage organizations have diverse collections. To get a sense of how the web portal will work, visit www.novamuse.ca. 

The Digital Preservation Solution...at the end of the third phase of the project, collections records (identified by the institution that owns them) will be incorporated into the Connecticut Digital Archive, where they will be preserved in the state's preservation repository forever. No more needing expensive digital archiving of your collections. 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 free open-source software for managing and publishing museum and archival collections. • Runs on any modern web browser • Pre-configured with several library standards including Dublin Core, PBCore, VRA Core and more • Customizable through simple user interfaces — no complex programming required • Reporting tools easily generate finding aids and exports to PDF or spreadsheet-readable formats • Supports multilingual cataloging • Mapping tools allow you to georeference any asset • Integrated with Library of Congress subject headings, Getty vocabularies, GeoNames, and more • Plugins extend the software's core functionality to support timelines, visualizations, image licensing and more • Import frameworks allow for the batch migration and transformation of media and 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?

The basic support structure for users is included in the CTCo yearly fee. It includes the following tools:

The online CTCo Forum, for posting questions that do not need "rapid" response turn-around;

A Connecticut Collections user manual (currently in development) and video tutorials demonstrating how to perform common tasks in the database;

Mentor/buddy support: all new users will be assigned an organizational “mentor” who will be able to answer simple questions, identify issues that are more complicated than normal and refer to the appropriate user group for answers, and be the point person for everyday operational questions.

We know that some people prefer to have access to immediate help. Please contact the CLHO office to discuss options for support that are available at an additional fee.

How much does it cost to become a Connecticut Collections user?

The cost to join the CTCo project in 2018 reflects 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.)

Up to $50,000 Annual Operating Budget $300 / year
 $50,001 to $100,000 Annual Operating Budget  $500 / year
$100,001 to $200,000 Annual Operating Budget $1000 / year
$200,001 to $500,000 Annual Operating Budget  $1500 / year
$500,001 and above Annual Operating Budget $2500 / year

The Annual fee structure includes:  Basic support (as noted above), Hosting fee, Digital back-up fee, 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 ctco@clho.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. 

How can my organization become involved with the program?

Applications for the next cohort will be accepted until September 14, 2018. Please click here to fill out the application. Questions about the application can be sent by email to ctco@clho.org. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. 

 

 

Connecticut League of History Organizations
Central Connecticut State University
Department of History
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT 06050
(860) 832-2674

Email: info@clho.org

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