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Getty announces partnership with DPLA

Lieke Ploeger - September 19, 2014 in Featured, News

This week, the Getty Research Institute announced a new partnership with the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), the database that provides access to digitized cultural heritage materials from American libraries, archives, and museums and makes these available as freely and openly as possible.

As a start of the collaboration, the Getty has added the metadata records (licensed as CC0) for nearly 100,000 art history materials (digital images, documentary photograph collections, archives, and books) dating from the 1400s to today, including some of their most popular items. Making this information available through the DPLA interface will both improve search and retrieval of material and open up more possibilities for reuse of this content. It for example ensures that the data is interoperable with datasets from other initiatives, so that websites like are able to create an interface through which you can search DPLA and Europeana simultaneously.

All Getty records are available through this DPLA page: more metadata will be uploaded in the future as more of the Getty’s collections are digitized.


Frontispiece in The mysteryes of nature and art: conteined in foure severall tretises… by John Bate. London, 1634. The Getty Research Institute, 2822-075

The Internet Archive joins Flickr Commons

Lieke Ploeger - August 30, 2014 in Featured, News, Public Domain

This week, the Internet Archive announced that they have joined Flickr Commons and will be uploading over 14 million copyright-free images over the next months. These images have been extracted from the Internet Archive’s collection of public domain eBooks (spanning a time period between 1500 – 1922) by research fellow Kalev Leetaru. At the moment, over 2.5 million images are already available. What makes this resource specifically valuable is that for each image a detailed description, the subject tags of the originating book and 500 words of surrounding text have been added – which makes it possible to search through them based on topics and keywords.


The image collection can be found and used through this Flickr page: more background information on the release is also available from the Flickr announcement, as well as from this background article by the BBC.

Atlas of Mutual Heritage on Wikimedia Commons

Lieke Ploeger - June 20, 2014 in Featured, News

This week a large set of images from the Dutch Atlas of Mutual Heritage project have been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, making them openly available to the wider public. The Atlas of Mutual Heritage is a database containing old maps, prints, illustrations and data from the 17th and 18th century about settlements of the Dutch East & West Indian Company (VOC and WIC). It was created in cooperation with the Dutch Rijksmuseum, Rijksdienst voor Cultureel Erfgoed, the National Library and the National Archives of the Netherlands and is continuously expanding.

The current release to Wikimedia Commons consists of over 2500 images with metadata from the collections of the National Library and the National Archives of the Netherlands. The images are all geolocated and contain extensive descriptions in English and Dutch, making it into a valuable resource for research into the colonial past of the Netherlands. They have been released under a CC0 license, as part of the open data policy that both institutes are increasingly aiming for. This set of images has been chosen as one of the first open data releases on Wikimedia Commons because of its value for areas such as socio-cultural history, history of architecture, restoration of overseas monuments, colonial history and art history.


Map of Batavia and environs, Atlas van der Hagen, volume 4. 1682. Collection National Library of the Netherlands

More information on the release is available from the Dutch press release and from the Wikimedia Commons website: the images can be accessed here. The set has also been added to the OpenGLAM overview of Open Collections


Second Europeana Creative challenge

Lieke Ploeger - June 13, 2014 in Featured, News


Europeana Creative is dedicated to stimulating re-use of cultural heritage resources by Europe’s creative industries. The project is developing five pilot applications, focused on natural history education, history education, tourism, social networks and design, with an open innovation challenge around each of the topics.

The second round of the challenge is now open: all creative developers, designers, start-ups and other entrepreneurs are invited to create innovative applications that reuse Europeana content in the themes of Tourism or Social Networks. The challenge winners will will receive a tailor-made Incubation Support Package, consisting of business mentoring, technical support, assistance with identifying and accessing finance, facilitation of business partnerships, access to specialised testing environments, marketing and promotion support.

For inspiration, Europeana Creative has developed some innovative Pilot Applications to demonstrate the things you can do with Europeana content and a bit of imagination. If you need some guidance on what Europeana content you could use and how to access it, check out the Europeana Labs platform and this blog post on how to get started.

The deadline for applications is 28 August: more information on the challenge and how to apply is available here.


Open Humanities Awards: deadline extended to 6 June!

Lieke Ploeger - May 30, 2014 in Featured, Linked Open Data, News


Are you planning a project that uses open content, open data or open source tools to further humanities teaching and research? Are you interested in linked open data, and would you like to build upon the research, tools and data of the DM2E project? This is your chance!

Submit your project to the second round of the Open Humanities Awards for a chance to win €20,000 worth of prize money in one of two dedicated tracks: an Open track and a DM2E track. We have just extended the deadline until Friday 6 June 2014: more information is available from this blog or on

National Library of New Zealand’s Use and Reuse Policy

Thomasin Sleigh - May 22, 2014 in Featured, News

Sketch map of the geology of New Zealand by Dr. Hector, 1869, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, NZ Map 2600. No known copyright.

Sketch map of the geology of New Zealand by Dr. Hector, 1869, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, NZ Map 2600. No known copyright.

The National Library of New Zealand has just released its new ‘Policy for Use and Reuse of Collection Items’. The policy is a timely move towards openness and clarity on rights statements for the National Library’s collections, and is underpinned by the New Zealand Government’s Open Access and Licensing framework for government agencies.

The policy reflects the Library’s legislated responsibilities to its diverse stakeholders, including Māori, and upholds the Library’s kaitiakitanga responsibilities, which can be translated as ‘guardianship’. As the blog about the policy states:

Kaitiakitanga sits alongside western concepts of intellectual property and acknowledges that tāonga [treasures] have a mauri, or life-force, by way of the people that were involved in their creation.

Key points from the policy include:

  • Principle 4: Negotiations with rights owners and donors will promote and be informed by the Creative Commons licensing framework as a mechanism to facilitate use and reuse of in-copyright works.
  • Principle 5: Where no copyright restriction applies, NLNZ will seek to provide the items for use and reuse with a statement of ‘no known copyright restrictions’, after careful consideration of cultural and ethical issues relating to the items.
  • Principle 6: Where there are works where copyright is likely to apply, but the rights owner is unable to be identified or traced after a reasonable search, NLNZ will seek to provide a statement of ‘copyright undetermined – untraced rights owner’, after careful consideration of cultural and ethical issues relating to the items.
  • Principle 7: Collection items with ‘No known copyright restriction’ statements should be available for use and reuse at an appropriate quality resolution.

The policy also outlines the Library’s intention to make its public metadata available under a CC-BY 3.0 license. This will include the National Library’s catalogue for published material, the TAPUHI descriptive system for unpublished records, and metadata about NLNZ’s collections available on third party platforms. Some of the Library’s metadata is already available for reuse.

You can read the policy in detail hereThere’s also a blog post which unpacks some of the behind the scenes processes and considerations.

VanGoYourself: recreate classic paintings

Lieke Ploeger - May 16, 2014 in Featured, News

This week the Europeana Creative project (focused on promoting the re-use of cultural heritage resources by creative industries) launched the website VanGoYourself. This new site allows you to recreate classic scenes from some of the world’s most famous painting in a contemporary setting with your friends (like Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper). When you upload your new version through VanGoYourself, it is paired with the original and ready to be shared, offering a playful way of interacting with cultural heritage. You can choose the level of difficulty (from “easy” to “challenging”), the type of painting (such as one with “selfie” potential or one “for lovers”) and link your results to a variety of widely used social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Screenshot of the VanGoYourself website, with the current VanGo'd images

Screenshot of the VanGoYourself website, with the current VanGo’d images

VanGoYourself contains over fifty paintings from the collections of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Museum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels, the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen, the Herbert Gallery in Conventry, the Royal Pavilion and Museum in Brighton, the Compton Verney Museum (UK), the Villa Vauban in Luxembourg, the Saarlandmuseum in Saarbrücken and the Stadtmuseum Simeonstift in Trier, Germany, including of course works of masters like Van Gogh and Rembrandt.

The BBC made a nice introductory video on VanGoYourself: you can also read more on the Europeana Creative blog or follow them on Twitter through @VanGoYourself.

77.000 images added to the Getty Open Content Program

Lieke Ploeger - April 25, 2014 in Featured, News

The Getty Open Content Program received a huge boost in available content this week with the addition of 77.000 high-resolution images. getty_tapestry The images are free to download and use for any purpose and come from two of the most popular and often-used collections:

  • Foto Arte Minore: Max Hutzel photographs of art and architecture in Italy (from Antiquity to late Baroque)
  • Study Images of Tapestries: photographs of medieval and early modern tapestries from European and American collections, a rare visual resource for the study of often long-lost tapestries

The Getty started its Open Content Program in August 2013 (read more) with an admirable goal:

The Getty adopted the Open Content Program because we recognized the need to share images of works of art for free and without restriction, so that all those who create or appreciate art—scholars, artists, art lovers, and entrepreneurs—will have greater access to high-quality digital images for their studies and projects. Art inspires us, and imagination and creativity lead to artistic expressions that expand knowledge and understanding. The Getty sincerely hopes that people will use the open content images for a wide range of activities and that they will share the fruits of their labors with others.

More information on the Open Content Program is available here: the available content can be browsed via this page. The Getty expects to make more collections openly available through this program in the near future.

One year of DPLA

Lieke Ploeger - April 18, 2014 in Featured, News


Since its launch last year, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has been working hard on bringing together digitized cultural heritage materials from American libraries, archives, and museums, and making these available as freely and openly as possible.

Impressive progress has been made: today, at the celebration of its first birthday, the amount of content that is available through the DPLA portal has tripled in size to nearly 7 million items from over 1300 organisations. DPLA also announced that 6 major new partners have been added as content hubs (bringing the total amount to 15). These hubs are large content holders committed to providing, maintaining and editing over 200.000 unique metadata records to the DPLA portal.

Next to continually increasing the size of its collections, DPLA also recently partnered up with Europeana and Kennisland to work on creating and standardizing clear statements on the exact rights of digital objects. The working group responsible for this process aims to release its findings in the fall of 2014.

The full press release on DPLA’s first birthday is available from this page. Congratulations to DPLA on this great achievement, and on to a successful second year!




US National Gallery of Art releases 35k public domain images

Lieke Ploeger - April 15, 2014 in Featured, News, Public Domain

This week the US National Gallery of Art announced that over 35.000 images are currently available as public domain through their website, NGA images. Following the start of their Open Access policy in March 2012 (which you can read more about in this blog), the NGA has been adding more and more digital images of artworks in their collections, free for everyone to search, browse, share, and download and reuse to facilitate learning, enrichment, enjoyment, and exploration.

As a natural extension of their mission, the NGA believes that “increased access to high quality images of its works of art fuels knowledge, scholarship, and innovation, inspiring uses that continually transform the way we see and understand the world of art” – a statement OpenGLAM definitely supports. This resource has now also been added to our overview of Open Collections.

John Constable (British, 1776 - 1837 ), Wivenhoe Park, Essex, 1816, oil on canvas, Widener Collection

John Constable (British, 1776 – 1837 ), Wivenhoe Park, Essex, 1816, oil on canvas, Widener Collection