Chaddleworth Collection & Management Systems

I have been asked to look into a new (to me) software system called Chattels, which is focussed on private collectors and Stately Home Collections.

You can download a trial version from their web site:
Chaddleworth Collection & Management Systems :: Downloads

From first impressions it seems quite an elegant, intuitive system that provides something of an information database which would be more than adequate for most people with their own collections. It is nicely designed, seems easy to use and the, by using linked database tables, it provides something of an information system rather than simply a collections database.

From a Museum perspective it does not appear to be Spectrum Compliant, and is not mentioned in the MDA's partners scheme. This would give me pause before recommending it to a Museum. It has a license scheme which costs more the more objects you have and I believe it will cost an institution in excess of £2,000.

Some of the fields in the database are linked to their own data table, so, apart from the object description, there are databases forCollection as a whole, for artist and one or two other fields. But some fields seem to require their own table which they do not yet have. This makes me think that Chattels has some development work to do before it can be considered to be a fully capable system, but the ground work is in place and it does seem to work rather elegantly and would be a pleasure to live with.

The database appears to lack a Donor system - simply having a Owner field, nor is there a table associated with the owner. Text could be put into free text fields but this would be a problem for a public institution.

The literature field should also be linked to a bibliography database otherwise a lot of repetitive entries will be made.

There is no period field so that objects have to be given a date in the form dd/mm/yy which is not appropriate for many historical or archaeological data.

Although Sale data is well represented I think this should also be linked to a Sales table as this also must be a field that is relevant to many objects.

The shortcomings above should be relatively simple to address as they have the technology in place for other fields.

So I'm hopeful it can be improved. If I had a private collection I would probably put it on my shortlist - as a Museum I would say no, look at it again in a year or two.


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