How Digital Solutions are Changing Collection Management

Artwork Archive | April 22, 2020 (Updated April 12, 2021)

When you think of an archive, do images of dusty, dark cramped spaces filled with rows of file cabinets with thousands of manila folders come to mind? 

Collection management has changed considerably the past decade with the advent of online database platforms. There have been so many positives to digital solutions. We’ve seen them personally with our own online art collection management system here at Artwork Archive

Online collection management systems provide accessibility.

Digital platforms provide accessibility tools. No longer are people reliant on downloadable software on one computer with upgrades and updates that can slow you down. 

Ease of use. Not everyone is tech-savvy. In order for an online database to succeed, it has to prioritize ease of use without sacrificing utility. The most common feedback we get from users of all ages and types is how simple Artwork Archive is to get information into, and use.

Affordability. Most collection management systems are not only overly complex and antiquated, but they are also prohibitively expensive as well. Our pricing model is considerably more affordable than any alternative in the space and is meant to be disruptive. It was a conscious decision by the team as we wanted to create something that delivered real value while still being accessible to a much broader audience (like the countless nonprofits we work with around the world).

Ability to access anywhere on any device. The “download only” software or “licensed” models that are common amongst our competitors are incredibly limiting. These limitations include:

  • risk of data loss
  • device compatibility 
  • limited or no access to upgrades and updates
  • device limitations 
  • and lack of access on the go

We wanted to create a platform that you could access anywhere on any device that was easy to collaborate on as well. 

Discover new art. Collectors have never had more options for discovering art and learning about artists. Digital solutions have brought galleries into our homes and have removed barriers that made it difficult to experience art outside of traditional environments. 

Having a platform that serves both artists and collectors puts us at the intersection between the two. The more artists that are using the platform, the more diverse and interesting the offering for collectors. The more collectors using the platform, the more valuable that kind of exposure is for the artists. The two sides fuel each other. 

Online platforms offer facilitation and enable collaboration. 

Cloud-based tools enable collaboration. You don’t have to be in the same room as your attorney or family members to manage your art inventory. You’ll also reduce the amount of phone call and email back-and-forth by being able to share information easily and quickly. Collectors find benefits from online collection management with the following:

Estate planning. With 10,000 baby boomers reaching retirement age every day, more and more people are starting their retirement planning. Documenting ones collection not only can increase the value of the collection, but also ensure the wishes you have for that collection you worked so hard to build are communicated. Avoid your prized possessions ending up in storage, or even worse, getting tossed or sold in a yard sale.

Insurance and accounting. You save a lot of time with being able to generate specific reports with a click of a button.

Collaboration. Share information directly from your account with anyone quickly and securely.

Sell your artwork. Artwork Archive offers multiple options, like Private Rooms and sales links, to help showcase, share, sell and donate your art. We also offer a full suite of tools to help track and record all sales related information. 


Online platforms give you peace of mind.

People are being more conscious about insuring their artwork, and want vital information and informative reports easily accessible in case disaster strikes.

Information at your fingertips. No more running around searching which file cabinet or drawer the information is in and no more trying to remember which email or site you stored the record in. All records and information are in one place.

Natural disasters. In the wake of historic natural disasters in 2017 (disastrous fires in CA, massive floods in TX, monstrous hurricanes on the east coast) art collectors are turning to online collection management systems to keep their precious collectibles safe. 

Redundancy. Digital data doesn’t suffer from vulnerabilities that exist with physical documents and records. And, thanks to the infrastructure we’ve built and backups we’ve put in place, it removes the risk of data getting lost or destroyed.

Privacy & security. Keeping data safe and secure is one of the biggest concerns our customers have.  As a result, we’ve spent nearly a decade building a system that employs best-in-class security protocols, including encrypting data to and from the site, that ensures our client’s data remains private. We also are privately owned and have no third-party conflicts of interest like some others in our space.

Data migration. Just because you or an old employee made a choice years ago, doesn't mean you have to be stuck with an overpriced, overcomplicated and outdated system. You can easily migrate your data from an old system. Our team of collection professionals streamlines that migration process. And, Artwork Archive’s complementary data import saves you significant time and gets you up to speed on a new account.

Artwork Archive offers a robust set of online tools to manage and protect your art collection.

What features do we offer?

  • Document Storage
  • Advanced Reporting
  • Private Rooms
  • Location Management 
  • Contact Management
  • Enterprise-level Security
  • Daily Backups
  • Sales & Donation Tracking 
  • Appraisal Tracking
  • And More

Sign up for a free trial to see how digital solutions make collection management easier.

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