Free software to manage your collections
- Attached below is an edited version of messages posted at the Vintage
Computer Forum, from Dianne Reuby of the Museum of Computing in the
UK. You can read the whole thread concerning this free collection
management software at
I download Adlib, and it seems to be just what a serious collector
Subject: Collections freeware
Adlibsoft have just released a freeware version of their catalogue
software. I've been trying it out, and we're going to use it for our
museum collection until we can afford the paid version.
Pentium III/IV processor
Windows XP or Windows 2000 or Windows 98SR2
Required Disk Space: Software 40MB, plus 2 5KB per object record,
plus 50-200 KB per image (1GB approx total for 5,000 records)
It's easy to get to grips with especially if you install the sample
data and use it with the manual step-by-step guide. The pop-up help
panel is good - changes as you change tabs and fields, with examples
which I found useful.
It's a 97Mb download, but it doesn't take up that much as you only
install in one language. Max number of items is 5000.
It would be good for private and hobby collectors as well as museums
on a small (or non-existent!) budget.
They already produce paid software for this, and it's very good. But
we can't afford it at the moment, so we were interested when the free
version was released.
The problems I came across when trying it out (and which they're
looking into) are:
Print preview won't scroll, so you can't see if the bottom of your
report pages looks OK.
Import doesn't seem to be available.
Slight "glitch" on the toolbar - one set of icons needs to be at the
end of the bar if you want all of them to display.
One thing to watch for - if you have XP with multiple users, and a
previous user hasn't logged off, then the program won't load. This is
to stop people who are on a network server from updating (and
corrupting) the database at te same time. Rebooting cures this.
Here in the UK, museums which wish to become accredited with the
Museums, Libraries and Archives Council need to meet cetain
requirements and standards, including the way objects are catalogued
Although we're non-profit and run by volunteers, we are open to the
public, and looking for grants/sponsorship, so we're trying to reach
accreditation standards. This catalogue software meets the MLA
Their target audience for this free version are small museums with a
tight budget. They asked us to be one of their testers, as we're used
to the idea of freeware. Many museums (who aren't involved with
computers) have rigid ideas and think that there must be a catch if
As it's free, I thought it might be of interest to other collectors
who don't have the time to write their own database program, or who
want a ready-made solution.
You can complete as many or as few of the fields as you like - if
you're a "stand alone" collector, you may not want to bother with the
details of a thesaurus of terms, institutions, etc. You're the only
person that's going to be recording stuff, and searching for stuff.
This Saturday I finally had all our procedural manuals printed and
filed, and then deleted the test data ready to start cataloging. Only
about 3000 objects to go!