OpenGLAM going forward

Over the last weeks it has been relatively quiet on the OpenGLAM blog and mailing list. This is partially due to summer holidays, but also because I recently have left the Open Knowledge Foundation to work for the Europeana Foundation as the Community Coordinator Cultural Heritage. Here I will work even closer together with cultural heritage institutions to show the benefits of opening up their collections, both for themselves, as for society as a whole.

What will this mean for OpenGLAM? Well basically, not too much. OpenGLAM has established itself over the last year as a network of people involved in the cultural heritage sector where we share knowledge, write blogposts, and collaborate to organise meetings and events with cultural heritage institutions to work to make their material available for everybody to re-use without any restrictions.

As the largest European project when it comes to open digital heritage, Europeana has always been an important partner of the OpenGLAM network. Together we have organised last years OKFestival session on building the cultural commons, and during the same week Harry Verwayen from Europeana announced on the main stage that all metadata on Europeana would be available under a completely open CC0 license, an amazing achievement for the work we have all been doing together.

As part of my new role at Europeana, I will remain coordinating the OpenGLAM working group alongside Sam Leon from the Open Knowledge Foundation. Together with our working group and advisory board we will work to set out the plans for OpenGLAM for the coming period. A few of the things I would like to work on:

  • Grow the network of OpenGLAM members. We have brought together people from around the world that are working to open up cultural data and content. We meet once a month to update each other about our activities, think about blogpost to write, and discuss next steps to be taken. Very often, working group members serve as a bridge between local initiatives and the global network. We are happy to share our knowledge with anybody that is involved in the cultural sector, or wants to initiate a similar initiative – like the recent founding of OpenGLAM Austria.

  • Finalise the OpenGLAM principles. You have been giving incredibly valuable feedback to the first set of principles we developed. We now have to rework them and include your comments and get back to you. If you are interested in getting closer involved, let me know.

  • Continue developing a set of documentation and blogs about open culture data for institutions and organisations. Why is it valuable, what are the barriers, what are good case studies etc?

  • Increase the focus on Public Domain collections. There are many collections online that are in the public domain. However, many times you run into exceptions on the terms of use page that conflict with the public domain status. We have found that this is in most cases not because of institutions wanting these collections to be closed, but simply because of a lack of understanding and/or time. With a little bit of help and suggestions we managed to change quite a few license statements to a more open one.

Happy to hear more suggestions. And as always, if you want to get closer involved and join the OpenGLAM working group, let us know. No strings attached, so if you’re not sure if this is something for you, come along and find out!