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What’s new in Spectrum 5.0?

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As the most popular SPECTRUM compliant collections management software in UK museums, Modes takes a closer look at the pending updates to Spectrum 4.0. due to be released this summer – a Draft version of the proposed changes is now available on the Collections Trust website.

What's new in SPECTRUM 5 GRAPHIC ©Modes

The main changes are central to improving ease-of-use and accessibility – Spectrum 5.0 aims to be written in a clearer style than previous editions and presented in a more user-friendly format. Whilst there remains a net total of 21 procedures, there have been the following changes (list taken from Collections Trust website):

Two procedures have blended into others:

  • Pre-entry - the advice on how to deal in advance with archaeological archives has been moved to the guidance notes of the suggested procedure for Object entry.
  • Transport - has been combined with Location and movement control.

Additions are:

  • Reproduction was a procedure in the very first edition of SPECTRUM, but was later rolled into Use of collections. However, given the increasing importance of digital asset management, it seemed useful to bring Reproduction back as a procedure in its own right.
  • Collections review - this is a new procedure intended to help museums record the results of collections reviews in a systematic way (particularly when reviews cover items held by several museums, eg within a region or subject specialism).

Tower strap S5 article ModesKey feature changes, include the names of some of the Primary procedures:

  • Loans in has become Loans in (borrowing objects)
  • Loans out has become Loans out (lending objects)
  • Inventory control has become Inventory
  • Conservation and collections care has become Collections care and conservation
  • Valuation control has become Valuation
  • Risk management has become Disaster planning
  • Insurance and indemnity management has become Insurance and indemnity
  • Loss and damage has become Damage and loss
  • Deaccession and disposal has become Disposal
  • Retrospective documentation has become Documentation planning


The procedures have also been re-ordered. The eight primary procedures which UK museums must have in place to meet the requirements of the Accreditation scheme are prioritised in this update.

And so, what does this mean to Modes systems?  Well, our users can look forward to an updated Modes Complete (and Compact) in 18-months from the release of Spectrum 5 – this is the timeline for all Collections Management systems to ensure updates to the version 5 are completed.


Kevin Gosling to present at Modes Annual Workshop & AGM

Find out more about SPECTRUM 5:  Kevin Gosling, CEO at Collections Trust, will be talking to members at our Annual Meeting and Workshop on Tuesday 3rd October 2017.  Save the date!

Further details about SPECTRUM 5 are available on the Collections Trust SPECTRUM pages.