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Open Culture at Open Belgium

Lieke Ploeger - March 14, 2016 in eSpace, Events/Workshops, Featured

logo_bigLast month Open Knowledge Belgium organised the Open Belgium event in Antwerp – a one-day community-driven conference with talks, workshops and discussions around the state of openness in Belgium and abroad. One of the sessions was ‘Open Culture – How Wiki loves art and data’, which featured three talks around opening up cultural content.


In the first talk, Romaine of Wikimedia Belgium presented the Wiki Loves Art project, which they are starting up for Belgium. To boost Wikipedia content on Belgian art, and to raise awareness of the current underrepresentation of Belgian art and knowledge on the internet, they invite photographers and volunteers from Wikipedia to visit Belgian cultural institutions and take photos of collection pieces, which are then published online under an open license. This is not a replacement for digitisation efforts of museums, but a quick first step to get images online and boost searchable information on the artworks and collections. This summer there will be a contest to select the best images. Wiki Loves Art has been taking place in other countries as well.


Following on that, Alina Saenko and Barbara Dierickx (PACKED) talked about how they started working together with Flemish museums to publish the metadata of their art collections on Wikidata (with a CC0 license), and then make this dataset available as Linked Open Data (LOD). All artworks are for example given a persistent identifier, which allows for enrichment because the works can then be linked to other available data, providing more contextual information. Over 25.000 records of Flemish artworks have now been added.

Some great examples were shown of the new overviews that can then be produced, such as the lifecycle of an artwork, the history of ownership of artwork or the acquisition sources for a museum. In addition, Wikidata feeds into Wikipedia, which greatly increases the public outreach. In this whitepaper PACKED summarises how data managers in museums may publish collection data on Wikidata, and what benefits this can bring. More information on the project is available here.


The final talk focused on OpenGLAM: after a short overview of the initiative, we went into the two new resources have been developed last year: the Open Collections, a resource bringing together collections from around the world that provide digital scans or photos that can be freely used without any restrictions and the Open Content Exchange Platform, an online, publicly accessible platform  developed within the Europeana Space project to connect people to documentation on open licensing for both suppliers and users of open content. Then there was a brief overview of the ongoing work on the OpenGLAM benchmark survey results (the complete presentation on this was given a week earlier by Beat Estermann at the Vernetzte Welten conference in Austria – see full slides here), and more information about the local groups and their activities. Perhaps some day a new OpenGLAM local group for Belgium can be started up, as the open data community in Belgium seems quite active!


There were many other sessions at the Open Belgium event, on topics ranging from open science to open cities and data journalism: presentations of the other sessions are now available from




Hacking, designing and tinkering open cultural heritage in Finland

Sanna Marttila - March 3, 2016 in Contest, Events/Workshops, Featured, Finnish, Hack days

The Hack4FI – Hack Your Heritage hackathon was organized for the second time in the beginning of February 2016. Nearly 100 creative minds came together for an inspirational and creative weekend. Designers, artists, storytellers, software developers and cultural heritage experts were working with concepts ranging from ‘big dada’ to sauna culture, and all the way to viable business solutions!

image00More than 30 Finnish cultural heritage institutions had made open cultural data and content available for everyone to explore and appropriate (see the datasets here). The biggest release ever in Finland of open cultural content was done for the hackathon: the service released an open API that provides a way to perform searches and access metadata from nearly 9 million cultural objects and artefacts coming from Finnish cultural and memory institutions, as well as access over 200 000 openly licensed photographs.


“In my opinion opening collections is an important part of the mission of the publicly funded art and cultural institutions” Senior Planning Officer Sanna Hirvonen, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma

The hackathon weekend was organized around 10 different tracks that were facilitated by invited experts coming from different fields. These tracks included themes such as Digital Humanities, Art & Design, Digital Fabrication and Digital Storytelling. This year Hack4FI also partnered with the CreatiFI project, which organises Creative Ring Challenge Helsinki as a horizontal track where selected teams can win up to 50.000 euros to develop their idea further if the solution has business potential and you are using at least one of the offered FIWARE enablers.

“I took the Finnish Wartime photography archive terms-of-use clause: “you may not use the photographs to mislead people” as an invitation and inspiration to my Misleader project.” Artist, Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen


After the busy weekend of hacking, designing and cultural tinkering 20 teams presented their ideas, concepts and prototypes on Sunday evening. These presentations comprised a variety of innovative, creative and even a bit crazy concepts varying from tangible information visualization and 3D objects to flash mob experience for single people and ‘big dada’, to games and virtual museums. Most of the results of the hackathon were collected to the Hack4FI Hackdash, where one can also get a better overview of the concepts and follow their progress. (

The Hack4FI competition is on!

The hackathon was the kick off event for the Hack4FI – Hack your heritage 2016 competition that is looking for innovative solutions that creatively re-use open cultural data and show a potential in creating value for the society at large. The competition welcomes designs, artworks and services in various stages e.g. concepts, prototypes or working products.

During the competition period there will be events in the partner organisations, and workshops to support and facilitate the teams to excel in the competition! To find more about the offerings please visit

In addition to the participants of the Hack4FI – Hack your heritage! hackathon all creative minds all around the world can take part in the competition with their project. The only criterion is that the submitted works should make use of open cultural data or content with a Finnish or Nordic origin (see the competition’s datasets here). The competition will be open for submissions until March 31st, 2016 (see the submission guidelines here) and the winners will be announced and awarded in the final gala on April 13th, 2016 in Helsinki, Finland.

Did you miss the fun at Hack4FI – Hack your heritage hackathon? See the short video of the weekend below:

Hack4FI – Hack your heritage from Open Knowledge Finland on Vimeo.

The Pirate Book: Read Me

Lieke Ploeger - February 11, 2016 in Events/Workshops, Featured

Last week at the transmediale festival for art and digital culture in Berlin the launch of The Pirate Book took place. This work aims to offer a broad view on media piracy, re-evaluating the issues surrounding the topic through a visual essay and anthology of global stories about sharing, distributing, and experiencing cultural content outside the boundaries of local economies, politics, or laws.

As Marie Lechner writes in the Preamble, the term piracy nowadays refers to the unauthorized usage or reproduction of copyright or patent-protected material, while the origins of the word are close to an Indo-European word for trial, attempt, experiment: something much more related to creativity. The Pirate Book intends to offer a more multi-sided perspective on media piracy, by showing the vitality of pirate culture around the world through a collection of stories of creative distribution of cultural content. This is combined with a visual history of the warez culture (the underground community of people that specialize in the distribution of copyrighted material) and an overview of anti-piracy technologies that industries have used to combat piracy, such as security holograms, torrent poisoning and mysterious TV detector vans searching for those watching TV illegally.

One of the stories included is that of Waldo Fernandez ‘Marakka’ from Cuba, who has been collecting, copying and reselling Cuban films after emigrating to the US in the 1980s. The historical films are not copyrighted in USA, and in addition, paying copyright fees to Cuba would violate the US trade embargo against Cuba. Marakka managed to collect over 14.000 films, which he often re-edited into versions that would be easier to sell (“For example, if there’s a woman walking in the countryside, looking at the sky, and it goes on for minutes, I take it out.”1). He also made his own documentaries by reusing chopped up parts of historical Cuban films.


The Pirate Book launch at transmediale, 5 February 2016

At the launch event, six of such stories from around the world were shared with additional photo and video material, demonstrating how piracy can function as an infrastructure that provides access to culture in parts of the world where there would otherwise probably be no access at all. The editors of the book, Nicolas Maigret and Maria Roszkowska, encourage everyone to (re)use the texts of the book in whatever way they want: the work is published by the Aksioma Institute for Contemporary Art under a copyleft license, and will also be spread as a digital version (a USB stick containing the PDF and all source files) with the next edition of Neural magazine.

You can listen to the launch event through the player below, read more about the book on or of course read a free copy of The Pirate Book online here.

1. Ernesto Oroza and Magdiel Aspillaga’s interview with Waldo (Marakka) Fernández (2012) – quoted from The Pirate Book, p. 165,

The Future Museum Challenge

Lieke Ploeger - January 28, 2016 in eSpace, Events/Workshops, Featured, Hack days

The Europeana Space project is exploring different ways of reusing digital cultural heritage by running pilots in six thematic areas (TV, Photography, Dance, Games, Open and Hybrid Publishing and Museums).  On March 17-18, 2016 the Museums pilot invites everyone to Venice for The Future Museum Challenge, focused on creating disruptive solutions to enhance the museums’ visitors experience, engage the audience and boost the educational experience.


In the past several years the amount of digitized cultural content made available online has grown exponentially. The way people interact with culture and media as well as the way people learn and absorb information has changed as well. Museums around the world are moving away from a physical space speckled with digital devices to digital spaces that operate in the physical. Placards on the wall next to pieces are no longer enough. The E-Space Museums Hackathon seeks to discover new disruptive, innovative and sustainable ways that museums can enter this “phygital” realm.

During a 48-hour marathon of brainstorming, hacking, networking and pitching, participants will be encouraged to utilize new technologies and devices to see how digitized materials can enrich the museum experience. They will have access to the technical solutions developed within the E-Space Museums Pilot, including the Toolbox and Blinkster, but also to millions of digitized cultural heritage items from around the world via Europeana Space’s Technical Platform. Technical staff will be on hand to assist with development issues and business modelling consultants to help shape and hone participants ideas for the marketplace.

Designers, coders, museum experts and lovers, cultural managers, artists, creatives, IT and marketing experts are all welcome to join, either in pre-existing teams or as individuals. The jury will look at several aspects of each concept:

  • Relevance and value to the cultural heritage sector. Does the proposition offer a new application or perspective on the use of the digitalized cultural heritage content? Does the proposition use, re-use, or facilitate the use or re-use of digitalized cultural heritage material? It is important to remember that these projects are not only confined to the museum space. Participants are free to choose their own field for exploration.
  • Business potential & job creation. Does the proposition hold a strong position against current and likely competitors? What is the composition and size of target market(s) for this proposition?
  • Likelihood of success. How likely is the proposition to be adopted by users? Does the team have the skills and capacity to successfully accomplish and launch a new business concept?
  • Innovation & quality & uniqueness. How innovative, new, or original is the idea? (New technology, original approach, potential uptake by target users) What is the quality of the concept? (Form, function, aim)

More information on the programme will be made available through registration is possible here.

E-Space Photography pilot: citizens love to share their memories!

Clarissa Colangelo - January 7, 2016 in eSpace, Events/Workshops, Featured

Thanks to the digitization work of libraries, museums, and archives in Europe, and to online data sources such as Europeana, Wikimedia, Flickr and the likes, a vast number of images of high historical, artistic and cultural heritage value has become available. The Europeana Space Photography pilot draws on this wealth of images and tries to find spaces of possibilities for the reuse of this digitized photographic heritage.

On Friday, November 27th, we organized in collaboration with the City Archive of Leuven and the Erfgoedcel the “Photographic Memories Workshop”. The aim of the day was to revive the history of Leuven and connect it with today’s life, all through the medium of photography. The event targeted the citizens of Leuven and took place in the City Archive, which opened its doors for the three activities of the day: a spin-off of the exhibition “All Our Yesterdays” featuring old images of Leuven, a Wet Plate Collodion demonstration by the photographer Frederik Van den Broeck, and the possibility for people to get their own old photographs professionally digitized.


While all three activities were well received by the visitors and had very positive feedback, it was the latter in particular that taught us a valuable lesson.

We knew that citizens would show up with their own old images: we had already organized similar “Collection Days” in Pisa (Italy) from April until June 2014 during which over a 1000 images were digitized. What we didn’t know was how they would react to licensing. In Pisa we experimented only with CC-BY-NC, a license that does not allow for material to be used for commercial purposes, but in Leuven we took it one step further and presented the possibility of commercial reuse. What could have supposedly been a problem was in reality a non-issue: upon being explained by Professor Fred Truyen (KU Leuven) and Barbara Dierickx (Packed) the value of Open Access and the meaning of CC-BY and Public Domain licenses, most of the citizens had no doubts in licensing their old photographs as such. Far from being jealously attached to their images, visitors held in very high esteem the possibility to share and pass on memories of the history of Leuven and therefore gladly licensed their images as freely accessible and reusable.


The numbers speak clearly: out of 228 collected images, 190 were licensed CC-BY, 32 PD and only 6 CC-BY-NC. The photographs were digitized by the team of the Digital Lab at KU Leuven with state-of-the-art technology. A group of students from the Master of Cultural Studies helped us interviewing the owners of the photographs in order to get to know and collect, along with the images, stories about the places and people they captured.

Through the Europeana Space project, we will deliver these photographs to Europeana. They will all be available, together with more open access resources and technological toolkits, for the participants of the Photography Hackathon “Hack Your Photo Heritage” that the Photography pilot organizes from the 25-27 February 2016 at the FabLab Leuven. Developers, cultural heritage professionals, designers, creative entrepreneurs, photographers and photo-amateurs are all invited to the event, where they will be challenged to tap into the power of huge resources such as Europeana and Europeana Space, Flickr Commons and Wikimedia to build innovative apps that reuse photographic heritage and develop web environments for tourism, culture and education, with monetizing potential and investment appeal.

If you have an innovative idea for the reuse of photographic heritage or want to contribute with content, don’t miss out on this event: contact us or register here for the hackathon and follow our blog to read more on our latest developments!

Creative reuse of cultural heritage and contemporary practices – challenges and opportunities in the digital world

Lieke Ploeger - December 22, 2015 in eSpace, Events/Workshops, Featured

Last week the consortium of the Europeana Space (E-Space) project came together for both a project meeting and the international conference on Creative reuse of cultural heritage and contemporary practices in Tallinn, Estonia. Over the course of three days they presented and discussed the various ways in which the project works on stimulating the reuse of Europeana content by creative industries.


Espace is running pilots in six different areas, focused on developing innovative applications that use digitized cultural heritage material in creative ways, as well as supporting new business and sustainability models around these innovations. Each pilot also organises a hackathon event, in which participants are encouraged to new and interesting ways to reuse cultural heritage content in domains such as film, TV, photography, dance and publishing.

In the project meeting on 9 December, the consortium partners (a mix of 29 cultural institutions, broadcasters, universities, national cultural agencies and SMEs) discussed the busy months ahead: four hackathons will take place in 2016, while the work in the TV and Dance pilots is now in the incubation period: the most promising projects are being further shaped in Business Modelling Workshops to explore the business potential of the project ideas. A report of the most recent hackathon, Hacking the Dancing Body, is now available from this blog of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. While combining cultural heritage material with dance and technology seemed quite challenging at first, the event generated exciting ideas, such as using BCI (Brain Computer interface) technology as a new way to explore Europeana collections. Next up from 22-24 January will be the Hack the Book festival: all information on these upcoming events is available here.


In addition to the hackathons, the project is also working on a set of educational demonstrators: five examples of creative reuse of digital cultural content for education, as well as a MOOC (Modular Open Online Course) to learn what you can do with digital cultural heritage in your research or classroom. Barbara Dierickx of PACKED gave an overview of the ongoing work, after which the five different demonstrators gave a preview of their progress:

  • Photographic Investigation of Art Works – Frederik Temmermans (iMINDS) showed the website Closer to Van Eyck – Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece which presents the Ghent Altarpiece (1432) in visual light macrophotography, infrared macrophotography, infrared reflectography and X-radiography. For this demonstrator, the site will be further updated, keeping in mind an educational dimension, and iMINDS will deliver guidelines on how to increase interactivity with the public by giving innovative, ‘live’ access to an art restoration campaign
  • The Rode Altarpiece – the participants visited the actual work later in the afternoon in the Niguliste Church in the city centre of Tallinn
  • The Cavafy archive – Thodoris Chiotis & Prodromos Tsiavos (Onassis Cultural Centre) presented the digital application that showcases the work of seminal Greek poet C. P. Cavafy, housing digitised manuscripts of a specific number of Cavafy poems along with audio and video recordings of said poems and audiovisual commentary by leading scholars.
  • 3D visualization of archaeological heritage
  • Irish poetry & folk tales – The Irish Folktales demonstrator combines Irish folktales with new elements such as audio and video (recordings from storytellers), illustrations and lessons in a digital storytelling application, to demonstrate the potential that cultural heritage and creative industry partnerships can have.

The first version of the ESpace education miniwebsite is now up and running as well at here you can follow future progress of all five demonstrators.

With all this work, background information and guidance on issues around IPR, copyright and licensing is often needed, which is why ESpace has created the Content Space as a central place to access guidelines, tools and methods for managing IPR, clearing copyright and exchanging open content. Open Knowledge has been developing the Open Content Exchange Platform, which now contains over 100 resources that help both users and suppliers of open content fully understand the technical and legal implications of their work and make best use of its open character. Further resources will be added in early 2016, and a background document on the platform and its functionality will be shared in February 2016. If you know of any resources that should be in there, please let us know!


Following on the project meeting, the project organised their second international conference on creative reuse of cultural heritage, with keynote speeches, two round tables of experts, a poster session for the project pilots and a loop presentation of the project educational demonstrators. The presentations of the event can now be accessed from this site.

Hack the Book Festival

Lieke Ploeger - November 10, 2015 in eSpace, Events/Workshops, Featured

The Europeana Space project is exploring different ways of reusing digital cultural heritage by running pilots in six thematic areas (TV, Photography, Dance, Games, Open and Hybrid Publishing and Museums).  From 22-24 January 2016, the Open and Hybrid Publishing Pilot is organising the Hack the Book Festival in Athens, Greece, inviting designers, artists, publishers, programmers, authors, poets, hackers and entrepreneurs to redefine the book as an evolving, visual and open medium.


Books are increasingly “re-invented”, moving to a hybrid, ‎phygital (physical + digital) phase. The Open and Hybrid Publishing pilot has for example created Photomediations: An Open Book, in which a coffee-table book is redesigned as an online experience to produce a creative resource that explores the dynamic relationship between photography and other media, using open content from various online repositories such as Europeana, Wikipedia Commons and Flickr Commons. In this way, the book showcases the possibility of the creative reuse of image-based digital resources.

The Hack the Book festival challenges users to create their own publications, finding the technical and legal limitations and learning to use data sources in order to create inspiring and innovative open-access books. The festival will include workshops, talks and a 2-day hackathon that will focus on creating a phygital book from scratch using the infrastructure offered by Europeana Space by remixing and building upon Europeana content. Participants are invited to rethink the book by working on four different dimensions / challenges. Each team participating in Hackathon’s final stage is asked to address each and every one of these dimensions:

  • #BookDesign: What kind of an object is the book? How do the physical object and its digital extensions merge into a new hybrid? What sort of aesthetic experience do we want to invoke to the user/reader? How could we use smart materials in order to construct a hybrid phygital object?
  • #OpenHardware: How can you address the object-environment interaction through your design? How can you use Arduino or RasberryPi to its full potential so as to make the book part of an interactive network of objects  that provide the user with a coherent operation experience?
  • #API: How can you connect the object or the cluster of objects that you have created to open data and Europeana’s content? How can you implement the application programming interfaces (APIs) and the programming tools provided by Europeana?
  • #Entrepreneurship and #sustainability: Which is the business model that best supports your prototype? How can you secure your prototype’s sustainability? Which is the social and financial value that could be derived from your prototype? How does your proposal contribute to the expansion of the commons (especially the digital commons)?

The event will take place at the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens, Greece from 22-24 January 2016 and is open to people from different backgrounds such as design, content curation, book art, creative programming and business modelling. On the day before the hackathon, a series of inspiring talks and workshops will take place, focusing on creating value via new publishing models, especially for educational purposes. Among the key topics that will be discussed are educational demonstrators, the eSpace MOOC, innovative practices as well as business modeling through open content.

More information on the event, as well as the registration process, is available from and the hackathon website at

OpenGLAM-related events: Autumn 2015

Lieke Ploeger - September 3, 2015 in Events/Workshops, Featured, Uncategorized

On the OpenGLAM homepage, we maintain a calendar of events to notify everyone in our network of relevant events related to opening up cultural heritage. This post highlights some of the most interesting conferences and meet-ups you can participate in this autumn. If you know of an event that should be in our calendar, please notify us by adding it here


2 October: Sharing is Caring: Right to Remix? (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Sharing is Caring is an annual seminar on collaboration and sharing in the cultural heritage sector, bringing together practitioners, researchers, and users of culture to discuss issues of remix culture and copyright, user involvement, and the technological infrastructures for sharing digitised cultural heritage. This year’s edition features some great keynote speakers:

  • Eva van Passel (iMinds – SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel) will talk about how adopting an ‘as open as possible’ philosophy, with respect to rights but without being unnecessarily constraining, can inspire cultural policy and cultural institutions’ digital experimentation
  • Maarten Zeinstra (Kennisland) will discuss the merits of sharing vs. the monopoly of intellectual property rights
  • Melissa Terras (UCL Centre for Digital Humanities) will talk about her experiences in trying to reuse digitised heritage content to make something she likes, wants, and will use – and the frustrating barriers she encountered along the way.

The full programme and abstracts of the keynotes are available from the conference website at

5-8 October: Museums and the Web Asia (Melbourne, Australia)

This is the Asian edition of Museums and the Web (MW), one of the largest conferences in the museum technology field. The annual proceedings of MW conferences have been freely available online since MW’s founding in 1997 and represent one of the most extensive and important repositories of global knowledge, innovation and best practice in digital applications for the cultural sector. The full programme and details of MWA2015 are available from

tepapalogo_900pxx900pxOf special interest to OpenGLAM is the session on Sharing Culture, in which Adrian Kingston and Philip Edgar of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa will present the paper A year of open access images – was it worth it? Since June 2014 Te Papa has been providing open access to over 45,000 high resolution images. This session will address what a years worth of downloads looks like from a user, data, financial, creative and museum perspective. How do the numbers stack up against others internationally, and was it worth it? And of course, will Te Papa keep doing it?

3-4 November: Europeana Annual General Meeting (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

Under the title ‘We are Europeana’, this event provides the opportunity for Europeana and its partners to share, discuss and develop specific areas of mutual interest. On the agenda will be a reflection on the work accomplished in 2015 and a look ahead to the challenges and opportunities for the coming years.

If you have an inspiring idea or topic that you would like to share with other digital heritage professionals, you can submit your idea to the Ignite Talks session (a series of 5-minute presentations) no later than 30 September. More details are available from the conference page.

4-6 November: CopyCamp and The School of Rock(ing) EU Copyright (Warsaw, Poland)

copycamp_2015_en.1ab18bb0e0efThe CopyCamp on 4 November will host a balanced and multi-sided debate over the influence of copyright on social changes taking place around the world, with a diverse audience of representatives of cultural institutions and the media, creative sectors, academic, legal, political and non-governmental circles, and everyone interested in the topic. The aim of the conference is to allow an effective dialogue between all interested parties in the neutral and friendly space encouraging participants to share thoughts and exchange ideas.

On 5-6 November EDRi (European Digital Rights) and Communia are organising a two-day EU copyright educational workshop – the School of Rock(ing) EU Copyright. For the first time in nearly a generation, the EU will update its copyright framework. This is a unique opportunity to reform and modernise Europe’s creaking, outdated, ill-adapted rules. Activists interested in taking up on this opportunity will get a crash course in effective copyright activism during this workshop. EDRi offers a stipendum of maximum 300 EUR to cover transport and accommodation costs for up to 20 participants: application is possible until 6 September (more details are here).

7-8 December: DISH2015 (Rotterdam, the Netherlands)

Digital Strategies for Heritage (DISH) is the biennial international conference on digital heritage and strategies for heritage institutions. The main theme for DISH2015 is Money and Power. The event will discuss what power cultural institutions own, what they are worth, how they can stand their ground in a networked digital world where information is controlled more and more by private companies, and also how the cultural heritage sector can show another side than money and power alone, and should invest in a strong digital public domain and share their digital assets as much as possible.

One of the conference tracks, Lose control, gain influence! states: “We really should be less restrictive about the use and re-use of our collections. It becomes more and more clear that digital assets have to swarm about to really bear fruit.” In addition, the latest results of the OpenGLAM Benchmark survey will be presented at the DISH conference.

spa_tallinn_banner0_alt-624x44310-11 December: Europeana Space 2nd international conference (Tallinn, Estonia)

The second international conference of the Europeana Space project is titled ‘Creative reuse of cultural heritage and contemporary practices: challenges and opportunities in the digital world’.

The event aims to generate new perspectives for the wider re-use of cultural heritage and contemporary practices within a framework of creative experimentation and novel dialogue between multidisciplinary sectors. It will present a critical review of the project’s creative prototypes, focusing on the lessons learnt in their development and move towards sustainable results.

All this is just a selection of events: you can find our complete calendar of events on the OpenGLAM homepage

OpenGLAM at Wikimania 2015 – Benchmark survey update

Lieke Ploeger - July 21, 2015 in Events/Workshops, Featured, GLAM-Wiki

Last week the annual Wikimedia conference Wikimania took place in Mexico City. Attendees from over 40 countries came together to discuss issues related to the state of free knowledge, the role of Wikipedia in education, privacy and digital rights, using technology to grow participation, and more. From our OpenGLAM working group, Subhashish Panigrahi presented on How to Guerilla GLAM, while Beat Estermann gave an update on the work of the OpenGLAM benchmark survey.Wikimania_15_Mexico_logo.svg

The OpenGLAM Benchmark Survey, is an online survey that is conducted among heritage institutions throughout the world. The purpose of the survey is to measure the state of advancement of OpenGLAM in various countries around the world (for example regarding digitization, inter-organisational cooperation involving the exchange of metadata, open data, crowdsourcing, linked data) and identify the main challenges and obstacles that stand in the way of the promotion of open cultural data and free access to knowledge. As such, it is a useful tool to better understand the particularities of each country, to put insights gained in a country into a broader perspective, and to better adapt strategies and best practices to the specific situation of each country.

At the Wikimania session, Beat Estermann of the Bern University of Applied Sciences showed the results from the first set of countries surveyed, which include Finland, Poland, Switzerland and the Netherlands.



Some of the main findings show encouraging trends for OpenGLAM:

  • Digitization and social media are widespread practices in the GLAM sector
  • 70% of institutions think that opening up their content helps them to better fulfill their core mission: over the next 5 years we will see leaps in digitization activities and freely licensed content
  • Copyright clearance is no show-stopper: across all object types, institutions may release at least 50% of their holdings as open content

The study also identified the main challenges and risks in the way of opening up content:

  • Many GLAM institutions have an aversion against allowing commercial use of open content as well as to letting third parties modify the content
  • The time effort and expense related to the digitization and the documentation of content are high
  • Re-use of content without proper attribution, misuse of content and copyright infringements are seen as the biggest risks

Interestingly, loss of revenue is only a minor concern for institutions: the greater worry is around rights clearance issues and the tracking of the use of content.

The OpenGLAM benchmark survey team will continue their efforts to collect data in further countries throughout 2015. Additional country reports will be published later this year, with an international final report in the first half of 2016.
More information about the survey and how to get involved is available on the project’s webpage.

Europeana Creative Culture Jam

Lieke Ploeger - June 29, 2015 in eSpace, Events/Workshops, Featured

On 9-10 July the Europeana Creative project is organising its final showcase event, the Europeana Creative Culture Jam at the Austrian National Library in Vienna. For the past 2,5 years, the project has worked on exploring ways for creative industries to connect with cultural heritage, by organising challenges, developing pilot apps and games and starting up the online laboratory space Europeana Labs.


The Culture Jam event will mix inspiring keynote talks with lively discussion on topics ranging from copyright to co-creation and from living labs to business models. Some OpenGLAM-related highlights from the program include:

  • Keynote: The Crypto Cosmic Culture Jam by Michael Edson, CLIR / Open Knowledge / Smithsonian – OpenGLAM Advisory Board

    Europeana aspires to transform the way Europeans access and participate in culture, but what about the rest of the cosmos? In this talk, Michael Peter Edson explores the cost and consequences of jamming culture at a galactic scale.

  • How to Make an Impact Online – 5 Reasons to Set Your Content Free. With Examples! by Joris Pekel, Europeana Foundation – OpenGLAM working group coordinator 
    Joris Pekel will take a closer look at the different reasons why cultural institutions chose to make their digital collections available for free in the highest possible quality and – more importantly – the results from doing so.
  • Set Art Free! by Merete Sanderhoff, Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen – OpenGLAM Advisory Board

    Following the release of 25,000 images of artworks in the public domain, the national gallery of Denmark (SMK) partnered with Europeana Creative to stage the event SMK Friday Set art free! showing how their collections can be re-used creatively when they are set free.

In addition, Culture Jam will also feature talks on fellow creative projects Europeana Food & Drink and Europeana Space. Everyone with a creative, practical or strategic interest in open data, cultural heritage or digital culture is invited to join – sign up is possible through this page.