LMC Switches to New Collections Database, Increases Community Access

The Lakeshore Museum Center opens the doors to their collection through the launch of a digital database. The new system allows the museum to not only securely store object records, but also share archival material, photographs, and three-dimensional artifacts with the public.

Made possible by a generous grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Lakeshore Museum Center’s database conversion was a year-long project that moved the Lakeshore Museum Center’s records from PastPerfect into Argus, by Lucidea. Through this project, the Lakeshore Museum Center has been able to increase the community’s access to the Museum through an online portal that allows anyone with an internet connection to access the public records of the Lakeshore Museum Center’s collection.

To access the database, simply go to and click on “Search our Collection Database.” From there you can browse by collection, search for a specific item, or check out the recent acquisitions, no log-in information required.

Argus is a collections management system platform used by cultural institutions to manage and present artifacts and objects. It allows museums to expand outreach and accessibility via public portal access while providing behind-the-scenes workflow for museum staff to manage object documentation.

Through the conversion process, LMC staff transferred 55,183 object records to Argus. Of these, 8,885 records are currently available to the public through the online portal. More objects and information will be added as an ongoing project.

Board Chair Robert Johnson noted that “The Lakeshore Museum Center is grateful for the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs Capital Improvement Grant which allowed us to increase our accessibility to our community. As a community supported organization, we are so excited that Muskegon’s history is accessible to the world now. This grant increases our ability to fulfill our mission to inspire curiosity and wonder about Muskegon County’s natural and cultural history through our interactive exhibits and experiential programs.”

Lakeshore Museum Center’s Capital Improvement grant of $7,825 from the State of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) was awarded through a peer review process and was one of 561 applications to compete for MCACA fiscal year 2019 funding. The MCACA peer review process allows for each grant application to be competitively considered by a panel of in-state and out-of-state arts and cultural professionals. This ensures the taxpayers, who support this project through legislative appropriations, and all other visitors or residents in Michigan will have access to the highest quality arts and cultural experiences.

Now that the database conversion has been completed, Lakeshore Museum Center will seek additional funding to help offset the ongoing database costs.

Since 1937, the Lakeshore Museum Center has inspired curiosity and wonder about Muskegon County’s natural and cultural history through interactive exhibits and engaging experiential programs. The Center is comprised of multiple sites and buildings including the Main Museum Center, Hackley & Hume Historic Site, Fire Barn Museum, and Scolnik House of the Depression Era.