Over the past decade, important work by the cultural sector has led to dramatically expanded access to public domain heritage collections. Out of this work, an open GLAM (Galleries, Archives, Libraries, and Museums) movement has grown to support the creation and management of digital collections and their reuse by new audiences and user-groups globally. But research increasingly shows that greater consensus is needed to ensure no new rights are claimed in non-original reproduction media, and that digital cultural heritage and identities are shared responsibly, both within, but also separate from, established institutions.
This initiative proposes co-developing a Declaration on Open Access for Cultural Heritage to guide more equitable practices around open access. It advances the need for a living document that provides workable definitions, goals, and standards for making digital cultural heritage available, accessible, and reusable, and one that can adapt to emerging topics relevant to the future of digital media and cultural heritage engagement.
Below you will find a Declaration draft and a research paper to support this initiative, along with information on how to get involved. Over the next few months, Creative Commons will be supporting rounds of public consultations on the Declaration draft to co-develop a final, revised version. We invite you to join us!
Critical Open GLAM: Towards [Appropriate] Open Access for Cultural Heritage
GLAMs face a number of obstacles when digitizing and making collections available online. Many are beyond their control. Yet there is one important area where GLAMs do have control: decisions around the access and reuse parameters to apply to the breadth of media generated during the reproduction of public domain works.
This research paper brings together the valuable insight gained from open GLAM initiatives to date, while reflecting on wider societal questions relevant to the trajectory of open access and its future needs. The goal is to support the development of a Declaration on Open Access for Cultural Heritage that establishes greater consensus around legal and ethical approaches to open GLAM participation. This paper aims to inform that process. More importantly, it is meant to be a starting point, rather than a destination.
Information on the public consultation and feedback process will be released shortly. In the meantime, please get involved in any of the following ways.
Subscribe to the OpenGLAM mailing list to receive regular updates, including when new sections of the paper are released and ready for comments;
Reach out directly via email at: info[at]openglam.org;
Provide feedback directly by:
commenting on the (forthcoming) Google Doc, or by downloading the Doc and sending comments via email; or
creating a PubPub account, highlighting relevant areas, commenting via the platform as illustrated below.