The Museum System (TMS) Users


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Fri, 24 Jun 2022 21:40:48 -0400
"The Museum System (TMS) Users" <[log in to unmask]>
"The Museum System (TMS) Users" <[log in to unmask]>
Todd Lamkin <[log in to unmask]>
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The Carlos uses TMS Exhibitions this way, Fatima. A curator proposes an exhibition and provides their draft object list for review by a committee. Prior to making any official loan requests, the registrar's office creates the TMS Exhibition record and any needed Loan and Object records from the curator's draft list. When formal loan requests go out, we generate the schedules of objects for the loan agreements from TMS directly.

As responses to loan requests begin coming in, denied loans are culled from the Exhibition record but remain in Loans and Objects (in inactive statuses), and we note changes to the list as they occur in Text Entries in the Exhibition record. 

We track lenders' requirements for handling and internal notes for mounting, lighting, conservation treatment needs, etc. in the Exhibition Objects Remarks field in TMS as well.

When we move to planning layout, we use TMS to sort by section and by case, sometimes even choosing installation sequences within each case in advance. We've been doing it this way for our major exhibitions for the past 4+ years, and it seems to be working well. It took about 2 years to get full buy-in from the team, but now everyone is on-board.

The learning curve for working with Exhibition records in TMS is steep. Changing Section and Sub-section names is the absolute worst, and it happens at least once during each exhibition's development, without fail. Our conservation lab, registrars, and some of our curators are comfortable with making edits and pulling reports, but other curators, our designer, preparators, and mount-maker aren't, which means that the registrar's office takes an outsized role in exhibition planning and management. Our best solution has been to pull reports each time a new round of changes is made to the Exhibition and share them as PDFs in MSTeams, ending the "is this the latest list?" confusion once we're actively planning installation, catalogues, etc. In previous work-flows, the rhythm changed exhibition by exhibition depending upon its curator. Switching to TMS Exhibitions helped us to formalize aspects of the process regardless of who is curating, and this alone made it worthwhile.

I'd be happy to chat with you about it if you'd like. Good luck!

Todd Lamkin
Director of Collections Services and Chief Registrar
Michael C. Carlos Museum
Emory University

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