Your collections data

The Museum Platform's Collections Online module has at its heart the CIIM - a piece of software developed by KInt, which we use to import and transform your data into a common data model that we believe is adaptable to a wide range of collections. We will work with you to map and clean your data in a repeatable way so that you can get the very most from it, and support you in tailoring the display of your collections as you wish.

It's important to remember that the names and contents of the fields listed below are simply a guide. You get to choose the names used for different fields on-screen. What is important is the type of data (for instance, text, date, or geographical), and which ones can be used for searching and filtering. This is because we process the data in specific fields when it comes in, looking for hidden structure in the text. As a result these fields may actually turn into several fields once in CIIM.

Tier 3 offers you additional fields to hold whatever sort of data you need (geographical, date, numeric, thesaurus terms or just plain text); and we also make available a whole set of automated enrichment processes that use machine learning and similar techniques to make deeper inferences about the content and nature of your collections and media. Again, these will be added to your data.

Of course, you can export all of your data - including all enrichments - for use in your own systems.

Finally, as well as the items in your collection, you may want to include full records about related things, like people, places and events. Tier 3 offers this ability too, with a set of fields tuned to each authority and the ability to attach media to them too.


Core data fields for objects are listed below. You can download our blank spreadsheet so you can share with colleagues and start to map your data.

Don't forget: many fields will work with somewhat different contents, because you can choose how they will be labelled on the search and details pages. So if you want to use a field like "Place of collection" field to contain, say, the location of the view of landscapes in your collection of paintings, that should be fine.

Object data fields (tiers 1 and 2)

Field Description
Identifier Required. Your unique identifier for the object - probably an accession number, but sometimes these are not great
Name The name of the item. Everything needs something we can use to label it, lots will use just this field. Examples: "Painting", "Handaxe", "Spiggot".
Title Title of a work like a painting or publication. Not everything has a title. Use this when you don't put something in the name field - or use both.
Image file location To let us locate a file for an image to use in TMP. It could be the name in a zip file, a USB stick, or somewhere online.
Dimensions Measurements, weights, page counts and the like
Description Describing the physical appearance of the object and/or its content.
Provenance Description of the provenance and/or known history of the item.
Subjects (core facet) A list of subjects/themes or similar. This will ideally be from a thesaurus or list of controlled terms, so that it makes an effective filter.
Date or period of production (core facet) This should be either a particular date or date range, or the name of a period which will ideally be from a controlled list.
Associated event (core facet) The key event related to the object. Ideally be from a controlled list.
Maker (optional facet) A name, possibly from a controlled list. To be used as a facet, a controlled list is preferred.
Creator (optional facet) A name, possibly from a controlled list. To be used as a facet, a controlled list is preferred.
Related person (optional facet) A name, possibly from a controlled list. To be used as a facet, a controlled list is preferred.
Collector (optional facet) A name, possibly from a controlled list. To be used as a facet, a controlled list is preferred.
Collection (optional facet) The name of the collecting department or of the collection the object is part of (perhaps linked to a collector, per above). For instance "Textiles collection", or "The H.P. Sauce bequest" collection. To use this as a facet, a controlled list is preferred.
Place made (optional facet) This might be simple text data or could be accompanied by co-ordinates such as grid reference or latitude and longitude. To be used as a facet, a controlled list is preferred.
Place of collection (optional facet) Frequently useful for natural history specimens. This might be simple text data or could be accompanied by co-ordinates such as grid reference or latitude and longitude. To be used as a facet, a controlled list is preferred.
Related place (optional facet) Another associated place. This might be simple text data or could be accompanied by co-ordinates such as grid reference or latitude and longitude. To be used as a facet, a controlled list is preferred.
Materials (optional facet) A list of materials. To be used as a facet, a controlled list is preferred.
Media URI The location of media (audio or video) at a third-party host such as SoundCloud, YouTube or Vimeo. Talk to us if you wish to use something else.
Copyright/attribution statement You can provide a standard statement for all objects, or anything you like in this field.
Licence Use this field to declare a licence for media you assert rights over. We love openly licenced content at TMP but it is entirely your choice! However if you choose to use one of the standard Creative Commons licences we can provide appropriate links to the licence itself.