Documentation of Museum Collections
Basic Information
Demus is a computer system for documentation of museum collections in the Czech (and Slovak) language territory. Demus is a higher-level alternative to traditional catalogue cards and accession book. Demus is designed to help with the organisation of loans, exhibitions, publications, conservation records and other specific problems. The description of objects may be complemented by images, sounds, videosequences etc. The shape and configuration of the basic screen form may be changed by the user according to his/her specific needs. Various print reports are built in, others may be created or easily modified by the user. Demus contains a detailed help manual (detailed user-friendly instructions) and is accompanied by a number of guiding texts.

Demus is not a universal museum program, Demus is not meant to be used by libraries, Demus is not a stock or accounting program. Demus is not made for text editing or image and map creating. Demus is definitely not a substitute for the Internet. All the areas are well covered by common software. Demus has not been created for the presentation of collections, nor for statistical research. However, the data from Demus are well structured and may easily be used for these purposes.

Demus is an application based on MS Access and it exists in three versions:
the first version called DEMUS needs MS Access 2.0 and MS Windows 3.11 or higher,
the second version called Demus99 needs MS Access 97 and MS Windows 95 or higher.
the third version called Demus01 needs MS Access 97 and MS Windows 95 or higher.
All of them work on IBM compatible PC’s equipped with processor 486 or higher (Pentium recomended), with RAM memory at least 8MB (16MB or more recommended).

Guarantee, Standards
Demus is developed by the Department of Informatics (renamed to CITeM since 1.1.2005) at the Moravian Museum in Brno, entrusted with this task by the Association of Czech Museums (AMG), with a financial support from the Czech Ministry of Culture and in correspondence with the recommendations of CIDOC ICOM. The data structure is in full coincidence with the international standard Object ID. The quality of analysis is guaranted by branch committees of AMG. Demus follows the Collection Act 122/2000.

Demus enables data transfer from the previous system – AISM (MZM Brno, dBASE IV, MS DOS). Demus provides an automatical data export to the security system of ISO SEUD (Integrated System of Culture Heritage Preservation). The transfer of identification numbers to CES (Central Collection Evidence) has been in operation since 2001. Further, data import and export in all common database formats is possible.

Demus offers a complete directory of Czech museums and galleries, a list of names of foreign countries, a list of districts and regions in the Czech and Slovak Republics and various lists related to respective branches (taxonomical system in botany and zoology, stratigraphy and symbols for minerals, techniques and materials for the fine arts, object types and classes for archaeology, and many others). Some of the lists are complete, others are created or modified by the user according to his/her individual needs.

Branch Applications, Further Plans
Demus is developed in the form of independent modules for following basic museum branches:
Evidence (Record-Keeping) - chronological accession documentation with integrated central register is delivered with every branch module. First version since 1.4.1999 in ca 25 museums, second version since 15.3.2000 in ca 50 museums. Third version since 15.7.2002.
Katalog (Catalogue) – universal application for any kind of collection objects. It covers the needs of minor museums and is sufficient for those branch collections, where a specialised module will be created later. Data conversion is guaranted. First version since 31.8.1997 in ca 30 museums, second version since 1.4.1999 in ca 25 museums. Third version since 15.7.2002.
The Fine Arts (including applied art) – first version since 1.12.1996 in ca 45 art museums, second version since 15.3.2000 in ca 35 art museums, third version since 26.11.2002 in ca 30 art museums. It fully covers the whole agenda from offers over purchase contracts, cards, loan agreements etc. to disaccessions.
Fotoarchives – first version since 17.7.2000 in ca 10 museums, second version since 23.10.2002, ca 30 museums.
Botany – first version since 25.5.1998 in 15 museums, second version since 12.2.2001 in 15 museums, third version since 11.2.2003, 25 museums.
Zoology – first version since 13.11.1997 in ca 10 museums. Second version since 22.9.2003 in 13 museums.
Geology (including Mineralogy and Paleontology) – first version since 19.4.2004, corrected 8.6.2004, ca 10 museums
Entomology – first version since 16.9.1998 in eight museums, second version since 12.10.2004 in 5 museums.
History – first version since 18.5.2005.
Archaeology – first version since 17.2.2006.
Numismatics, Technology and Etnography – analysis is being developed.
Bibliophilia (and Early Prints) – prototype version is used in one art museum.
Other branches are in the early stage of precising the users‘ needs.

Demus has no ambitions to solve everything at once. The main reason is the diversity and unpredictability of the needs of various museum workplaces. This was one of the reasons why MS Access was chosen. It is easy to make one’s own modifications in Access.

We offer data conversions from other documentation systems (AISM, Bach, MELCO, Multibase, ISO MacArt and individual ones) to Demus.

Standards for collection documentation (minimum obligatory fields, their type and form, lists, etc.) are of essential significance for future data conversions, exchange and integration. We try to use the opportunity of creating the database tools corresponding to the new Collection Act (122/2000), as well as the cooperation in CEICOM (Central Europe ICOM), to set at least the basic standards for Czech museums. This will enable other producers to create museum software with sufficient compatibility guarantee. A minimum standard is to be set even for the presentation of collections on www pages.

Advisory Service, Training – we offer not only a hot line (phone, e-mail), but even organize visits, consultation periods and training in the users‘ own museums.

Demus Katalog + Evidence 2 000 – 5 000 CZK according to the size of the museum,
every branch application plus 2 000 CZK,
upgrading new version 2 000 CZK.

The licence applies to the whole museum, for any number of single or connected computers.

Info Texts and Guidelines – Download (Czech)