PurposeThe aim of this paper is to describe the Arches Heritage Inventory and Management System for the benefit of practitioners working with heritage inventories. Arches is a modern software platform purpose-built for the creation and management of inventories to support effective heritage place management. The system was developed as open source software jointly by the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and World Monuments Fund (WMF).Design/methodology/approachThe paper discusses the needs and challenges addressed by the GCI and WMF in developing Arches, explains the system’s design and functionality, reports on software releases and ongoing enhancements, describes current software implementations, and concludes by discussing the role and growth of the open source community and the Arches project’s aspirations.FindingsThe needs and challenges in the heritage field that the GCI and WMF originally identified have been confirmed through interactions between the Arches project and a range of practitioners. The suitability of Arches to address these needs is demonstrated through steady growth of the open source community and an increasing number of implementations of the Arches platform.Practical implicationsArches provides a purpose-built system that is freely available and ready for use. It offers a system that requires a marginal investment by organizations compared to building digital inventories from scratch. The Arches project has created an international community of IT and heritage practitioners to share experience, knowledge and skills to address their common challenges in dealing with digital inventories.Originality/valueThe paper offers heritage practitioners details on a new tool for overcoming their challenges in building and managing digital heritage inventories.
Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 15, 2016