Calm is a collections management system developed by archivists for archivists to meet the specific needs of managing archives and records.

Built on a foundation of international standards for archival and curatorial collections management, Calm solutions are flexible and highly customisable to suit a customer’s requirements. More than 400 institutions have adopted a Calm solution.

Minimum hardware requirement

Windows 2008r2 or 2012 64bit O/S
4 – 8 Gb RAM
1 quad core 3GHz processor
100Gb disk space for Operating System
100 GB disk space for data and digital content storag

IIS7.0+ .NET 3.5. OAI / API: IIS6.0+ .NET 3.5.

Minimum customer requirement for accessing hosted Calm solution – RDP and Internet access.

Arena normally offered as a hosted solution.

Operating system(s)

Calm ALM is a Windows based application. It runs client/server as a Windows Service on a Windows server. It runs under Citrix and VMWare. Web modules are based on .NET and IIS.

Database architecture

The software that Calm ALM is built on, called DScribe, is a proprietary sophisticated structured text retrieval and relational system. DScribe uses a dynamic full text index and allows ‘messy’ data schema, neither of which are (commonly) supported by RDBMS.

Public access support

Axiell Arena is an information discovery portal for users. It offers a local information hub or “CultureNet” bringing data and digital content together from Museums, Archives, Libraries and other local cultural heritage sources. Additionally allowing community information and pictures; social networking including forums, messaging, communities and virtual clubs; Personalisation via My Collections, tagging, rating comments and debates.

CalmView offers a high quality ‘out of the box’ look and feel. With a layered approach to customisation, CalmView allows you to present data over the Internet or local intranet with minimum design or configuration. It is anticipated that customers would only need to make minor changes to the ‘out of the box’ look and feel with simple adjustments to the top configuration layer.

Backup support

Back-up is down to local policies. Instructions provided on files that need to be backed up.

Data auditing and cleaning

Calm has a very flexible data entry model.

Single user cost

£1495 for a single user Calm client (local installation).

Five user cost

£5995 for 5 user Calm network licence (local installation).

Additional pricing notes

Licencing available to fit with specific customer requirements, including Lite option (based on restricted functionality/database size), integration modules (API. OAI), web applications (Arena and CalmView), hosted solutions based on annual concurrent user charge.


A range of courses are available in the UK; both classroom sessions and in house training.

View upcoming training here:

Technical support


  • Telephone/fax/email/remote access help
  • Calm members web site
  • All software maintenance releases
  • All software upgrades
  • User group
  • News

Annual support charge is based on a percentage of purchased software licence.

Special features
  • Compliance with standards
  • Objects, archival material, documents, books and digital assets in one central inventory
  • Intranet and Internet enabled through Arena and CalmView
  • Integrated multimedia management
  • Multiple security levels
  • Full text searching
  • Unicode
  • Powerful data parser
  • Enhanced authority control
  • Extended ”tree” view of records
  • Full API and OAI modules for integration and interconnectivity
  • Dynamic customisable user interface
  • Navigate seamlessly between related records
  • Multimedia field for links to digital assets including audio and video
  • Security database to control levels of user access
  • Locations database for stock check and collections management
  • Web service integration with external thesauri

Additional features:

  • Audit Trails – As standard
  • Password – As standard
  • Picklist – As standard
  • Thesaurus for data entry – As standard
  • Thesaurus for retrieval – As standard
  • Screen designer – As standard
  • Report writer – As standard
  • Modifiable data structure – As standard
Image formats
  • BMP
  • TIFF
  • JPEG
  • PCD
  • PNG
  • GIF

Full text and multimedia support. There is an optional add-on database, for storing digital assets and technical metadata, which links to the catalogue. API for integration with other 3rd party Digital Asset Management systems. Axiell is currently working with the Calm user group to extend support and functionality for born digital material.

Media formats
  • AVI
  • RealMedia
  • WAV
  • MP3
  • MP4
  • Ogg Orbis
  • RA
  • WMA
  • Flac Lossless
  • APE
  • WMV
  • FLV
  • PDF
  • ZIP
  • RAR
  • MIDI
  • WORD
Are image and media formats configurable?
Not at present, defined within the system.
Integrated DAMS

Calm currently provides top level built-in support for management of digital assets.

Support for integration with other DAMS

For deeper levels of functionality Axiell has used the Calm API in conjunction with other 3rd party DAMS to deliver varying levels of solution integration. There is a synchronisation module available for Preservica.

Business process automation


Digital rights management

This process is being reviewed as part of the development of further support for born digital material and DAMS integration.

Mobile support

The Calm API may be called from a mobile platform.

Remote thesauri

Yes, there is a flexible linked data feature built in to Calm which enables links to remote data sources.

User generated content

Yes, it is possible to record and manage user-generated content although this is not an automatic capture from the (public) user interface.



Inflected, non-inflected, delimited (comma, tab, user delimited), dBase, SGML, XML, EAD, EAC, MARC, OAI. Axiell also offers bespoke data migration service. There is a Calm API.


Inflected, non-inflected, delimited (comma, tab, user delimited), formatted, MARC, EAD, EAC, XML, OAI. There is an API. Documentation available to customers on request.

Ready for Europeana Connection Kit (ECK)

OAI-PMH - Purchase
SOAP - Purchase
Linked Data/SPARQL - Standard

  • DC
  • MARC

The flexible nature of the underlying Calm database structure makes it possible for customers to define their own approach to data entry and to data models. It is possible to import and export data in MARC though the standard is not supported in the application.

Museum / heritage standards
  • Spectrum

The flexible nature of the underlying Calm database structure makes it possible for customers to define their own approach to data entry and to data models.

Spectrum procedures
Object Entry (primary)
Acquisition and accessioning (primary)
Location and movement control (primary)
Inventory (primary)
Cataloguing (primary)
Object Exit (primary)
Loans In - borrowing objects (primary)
Loans Out - lending objects (primary)
Documentation planning (primary)
Condition checking and technical assessment
Collections care and conservation
Insurance and indemnity
Damage and loss
Deaccessioning and disposal
Rights management
Use of collections
Bibliographical records


Bibliographic / library standards

Standard AACR2 compatible bibliographic templates may be customised by users as required and used for bibliographic materials.

Archival records support

The Calm for Archives system is fully integrated into the core Calm ALM application.

Archival records standards


Integration with other library and archive management systems

Calm-API, Z39.50 and Arena offer varying levels of integration with other information management systems.

Contact postal address

Axiell ALM UK  
Hall View Drive  

Software developer name
Axiell ALM
Software developer contact name
Malcolm Howitt
Software developer contact address

Axiell ALM UK
Hall View Drive
Nottingham NG8 4GD

Software developer email
UK users and sites

There are over 450 sites in the UK using a range of Calm applications. There are currently 30 specialist museum sites.

View UK client list.

International users and sites

Over 400 institutions including National Records of Scotland, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, HSBC bank, London School of Economics and the Wellcome Library amongst its users.

View the full list.


The Wellcome Trust Case Study can be viewed here:

A video interview with the Royal Albert Hall can be viewed here:

Integration associate with the URL of the digital asset
Other software
Publish records online
Previous URLs