ETHER Base is the name of the collection management system (CMS) which we have created over the past 6 years and which we are currently launching throughout Southern Africa.
So, with so many good CMSs available in the world today, why did we decide to build yet another one?
- Firstly, we have been concerned about the high costs of these international CMS
- Secondly, due the issues of local support in South Africa for these international CMSs
- Thirdly, because by creating a local CMS we are able to promote the local economy, with all of the money received remaining in the country
- Fourthly, because we are SPECTRUM Partners, has allowed us to build a SPECTRUM-based CMS which is currently undergoing formal compliance testing – which will make this one of only 15 systems in the world which have this compliance to world-wide best practices.
- Fifthly, because almost all CMSs require you to purchase hardware and software, and to have IT people of your own to manage this – rather than ETHER Base which operates over the web, in the “cloud”
- Finally, to ensure that this CMS can be designed to encompass all types of heritage in a single model, and to serve the needs of both physical and digital collections.
The features of ETHER Base are:
- it applies to any type of collections including objects, artworks, sites, buildings, archives, libraries, oral history, etc…
- it provides full inventorisation of the collections, in support of GRAP 103 and other local requirements
- it supports a wide range of international standards, such as SPECTRUM (museums objects), ISAD/ISAAR (archives), and many others
- it has a built-in digital repository, providing a managed space for your digital objects, born digital items, and all administrative records
- it supports all of the 21 SPECTRUM procedures
- it provides support for the special fields required in different disciplines, by a unique method we have called “Data Extensions”, allowing us to support natural history, and all elements of cultural and social history, into a single database model
- it runs in the “cloud” so that all you need is an account into ETHER Base and you can then start to use this immediately
- we provide full support for migration of your existing data, from almost any other data store or system, as well as for full support in implementation and customisation of the system
We are in the process of building a demonstration institution which holds a large number of different types of items, which will be our demonstration database, and which will be online for you to explore the features of ETHER Base from where you are.
ETHER Base is undergoing field trials with a number of selected institutions at present, and will shortly be available for general usage.
We will be exhibiting ETHER Base at conferences, around the country as well as abroad, and are always happy to meet you and discuss your needs, or to chat to you at any other time on how you can benefit from this new approach to CMS.
For further information please contact Roger Layton.