Anyone Using Open Source Collections Management Software?

I recently tweeted the question "What free/open source solutions exist for small museums looking to to create collections inventories?" In my role coordinating the Public History program at Eastern Washington University I often work with very small rural museums and heritage groups. These organizations are run by volunteers (often elderly volunteers at that) have budgets that are more often in the hundreds of dollars a year than the thousands, and have no one in the organization with any museum, historical, or technology training. However they are passionate about their local history, and often have unique and substantial holdings of records, photographs, and objects. How can they organize their collections? The software has to be free and extremely easy to use. It should also have web capabilities and use universal standards so data could be exported to another software package in the future.

Some twitter friend suggestions and a bit of gooling revealed at least four choices. But I don't have time to test them all and can't find a good compare-and-contrast article. If anyone has experience with any of these systems, please let us know what you think:

  • Museolog "is a software system, developed by EUROCLID within UNESCO HeritageNet project, and localised by NGO Open Systems where initial functions of input and editing of museum catalogues are provided by a modern intuitive graphical interface using forms and menu." Wikipedia page here.
  • "CollectiveAccess (formerly known as OpenCollection) is a full-featured collections management and online access application for museums, archives and digital collections. It is designed to handle large, heterogeneous collections that have complex cataloguing requirements and require support for a variety of metadata standards and media formats." Also web based. Here is a Slideshare presentation about the software.
  • CollectionSpace "is focused on developing solutions for museums and related heritage organizations that want to address this information gap and re-define the ways in which collections information is collected, managed, preserved, leveraged, and published. CollectionSpace partners will develop software with an open and extensible architecture, that is community-based and technologically robust." It appears to be in the early stages of development.
  • Omeka (of course): "Create complex narratives and share rich collections adhering to Dublin core standards with Omeka, designed for scholars, museums, libraries, archives, and enthusiasts." My only hesitation with Omeka is that lead developer Dave Lester has described it (at THATCamp PNW) as more of a web publishing platform than a collections management tool.
  •  Open Office version of Access (or Access itself if they already have it?) 
If you have experience with any of these systems, or suggestions for other ways to get this done, please weigh in!

[Image from Flickr user Brunngrrl and used via a Creative Commons license.]