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The University and Jepson Herbaria needs to migrate from its current collection management system, SMaSCH, to a new platform that better supports its existing and emerging needs. This initial engagement between the Herbaria, Informatics Services, and the CollectionSpace project team is intended to take the next set of concrete steps towards a migration to a new platform. 

Though some work can begin now (see Preliminary Steps below), this project will begin in earnest in mid-January 2010 when a) more time becomes available from the Informatics Services team (specifically Lam Voong though perhaps with some help from Glen Jackson) and b) the BNHM-IST Partnership will have moved closer to a decision about the strategy and next steps for a platform for collection management systems.  In addition, some analysis is needed to determine the timing and approach to be taken with a currently funded project (the Global Plants Initiative ) and a pending project proposal (to catalog and database the seaweed collection).  Depending on this analysis, a more comprehensive project will be scoped that includes the migration of SMaSCH to CollectionSpace and solutions for funded projects (i.e., Global Plants Initiative, seaweeds).

Note that the approach as outlined here is intentionally conservative.  The goal will be to add more scope and clarity as we learn more about CollectionSpace, BNHM-IST decisions, and the outcome of the Herbaria's NSF proposal.


The purpose of this initial engagement related to the potential use of CollectionSpace for the University and Jepson Herbaria is to conduct some initial work that will produce some early deliverables, determine what the longer term engagement will be, and lay the foundation for the longer term engagement.

Scope Statement

By May 2010, this Initial Engagement project will produce a set of early deliverables related to the Herbaria's migration to CollectionSpace.  Following the model being developed for the deployment of CollectionSpace by PAHMA, deployment planning will be conducted including process and schema mapping.  Subsets of Herbaria data will be iteratively imported into releases of CollectionSpace, and testing will be performed.  Schema extensions will be developed as needed and documented for other natural history and herbaria collections.  Any functionality requirements that are not in scope for version 1.0 of CollectionSpace will be described more fully, implications evaluated, and alternatives identified and selected.  The CollectionSpace deployment guide will be updated both for general purposes, for other natural history museums, and for herbaria collections more specifically.

As several issues become clearer, an important outcome will be a more precise description of the goals for the funded projects (i.e., Global Plants Initiative, seaweeds).  If sufficient information is gathered earlier, then this project will be rescoped as needed.

Preliminary Steps

While work will start in earnest in January, initial steps can be taken in December and the beginning of January to,

  • Discuss project with Director Brent Mishler and identify him as the sponsor
  • Develop a more complete project charter and review with stakeholders
  • Review the CollectionSpace Deployment Guide
  • Obtain feasibility statement from CollectionSpace project team (based on the SMaSCH-CollectionSpace Design Analysis )
  • Discuss Herbaria staff involvement needed
  • Develop documentation on existing PAHMA work (Susan)
  • Get others up to speed on approach for ETL (extract-tranform-load data) tasks (Lam)
  • Obtain NSF seaweed proposal and discuss timing
  • Review other systems with Andrew
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