The project to implement the Louise Hawley Stone Collections Management System began in 2015, with a goal to integrate 44 disparate collections databases into a single, robust, flexible platform for the creation, collection, management, reporting, dissemination, and archiving of collection information. To date, more than 2 million object and specimen records from every curatorial discipline across art, culture, and nature have been successfully migrated. For the first time in its history, ROM’s collection is in a single system of record that all staff can access, thereby facilitating and simplifying a wide range of museum activities including research, registration, archival, location tracking, object conservation, exhibition planning, photography, rights & reproductions, and online publication.
The Collections Management System is named for one of the Museum’s greatest patrons, the late Louise Hawley Stone. Mrs. Stone was passionate about ROM and its outstanding collections, and had a particular interest in documenting and disseminating information about the collections – the context and stories – for the public, the research community and other institutions.
According to Dr. Mark Engstrom, Senior Curator Emeritus and former Deputy Director of Collections & Research, “Mrs. Stone knew that ROM’s world-class collections on their own are a disparate set of silent objects. The contextual information associated with those objects and collections is critical – as important in some ways as the objects themselves. It’s why we have curators to assemble, document and interpret the collections, and why she was so enthusiastic about not just new acquisitions and research, but also publishing.”
ROM is grateful to the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust for generously supporting this important initiative.