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OpenGLAM Principles: ways forward to Open Access for cultural heritage

- April 30, 2019 in Featured, Front Page

OpenGLAM?

In the early 2010s, OpenGLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives & Museums) was set up: a network that supports exchange and collaboration between cultural institutions that support Open Access. OpenGLAM is an initiative and working group of the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN), currently known as Open Knowledge International, and was co-funded by the European Commission. Creative Commons, the Communia Association and the GLAM-Wiki community were allies from the start.

Especially in Europe, several local OpenGLAM groups were formed. The network does outreach via several communication channels: a dedicated website, and the OpenGLAM Twitter account; and it has worked together with the Public Domain Review, another OKFN initiative but is now independent.

In order to outline the shared values behind free and open access to digital cultural heritage, the working group drafted a set of OpenGLAM Principles in 2013, with the aim to define what being an open institution in the cultural heritage sector meant.

 

Screenshot from the OpenGLAM Principles as drafted in 2013

As Open Access has become broadly adopted in the cultural sector, the need for stronger collaboration between stakeholders in this area has grown. In 2018, a group of people connected to Creative Commons, the Wikimedia Foundation and Open Knowledge International took initiative to revitalize the OpenGLAM network and to think about next steps. Creative Commons is doing fundamental work in this space, helping cultural heritage institutions release their content through their standard licenses and by offering training, such as the Creative Commons Certificates. The first step was to breathe new life in the @OpenGLAM Twitter account through an open call for contributors, and to run a “temperature check” survey on the OpenGLAM Principles. Here, we want to present some conclusions and next steps to be taken. You can access and comment on the full analysis of the survey here.

Surveying the OpenGLAM Principles

We publicized the survey through social media, mainly through the @OpenGLAM account, and we reached out to specific people whom we wanted to take the survey. We received a total of 109 responses. Most of the participants belonged to Europe (30%) and Oceania (25%), followed by North America (19%) and Latin & Central America (19%). We obtained a very low number of responses from Asia and the Middle East, and no response from Africa. Aside from the flaws of our outreach strategies, this also speaks to one of the problematic aspects of the Principles: they are only available in English, therefore adding an extra barrier to participation.

We also wanted to know the relationship that respondents had with GLAM institutions. Librarians were the most active in the survey (27%); followed by museum professionals (11%), academics and community organizers, i.e., Wikimedians in Residence (23%). Only 7% belonged to Archives, followed by 8% of people working as advisors or external consultants with a GLAM organization. 21% responded that they occupied more than one role or that were working for an institution that comprises more than one function.

We discovered that the Principles are not well known — almost half of the respondents (45%) weren’t aware of them before taking the survey. Then we asked participants to state whether they thought the Principles could be useful for their work, obtaining a vast majority of positive answers (72%), with 25% considering that “maybe” and only a small percentage claiming that they didn’t consider them they could be useful (3%).

Among those that did not consider them useful, most of the critiques were around the lack of support from an official organization, their lack of communication and connection to cultural heritage institutions, and the absence of a support structure for them. As one respondent summarized:

“Open Data, etc. are not relevant organizations in the cultural field. They need to be supported by relevant organizations. We need to have guidelines and values to discuss; to build up a better structure and network.”

Of those who considered them useful, most of them indicated the utility of having a framework and a set of values to use as a guide for their work. However, in their current version it seems that the Principles offer little to no guidance. Alongside with the limited scope of the examples provided, their primary focus on the release of data, the lack of acknowledgement of the tension between open access and the interests and rights of other stakeholders, such as marginalized groups or indigenous communities, and the absence of a broader, global perspective on cultural heritage, were signaled as concerns that need to be addressed in a possible update. As one respondent put it:

“Information with personal, cultural or social constraints, such as traditional knowledge, should not just be ‘released’. We require some acknowledgement of the complexities of cultural knowledge.”

Participants of the survey were also asked whether they thought the Principles needed to be updated, and if so, how. Respondents indicated that they wanted to see more guidance on how to apply the principles in practice. They would appreciate more and better examples of a more diverse set of institutions working with Open Access. Participants also expressed the need to set up a better structure that accounts for the maintenance of the Principles. The lack of connection with values and broader useful declarations also appeared as a weak point of the Principles. As another participant said:

“Greater emphasis must be placed on the human rights perspective. Access to cultural heritage is a right enshrined in several human rights charters and declarations.”

Beyond this immediate evaluation of the OpenGLAM Principles, we need to ask ourselves: what is their broader function and usefulness? We know that cultural heritage institutions need more and better guidance to apply Open Access policies to collections. There is a growing amount of evidence that backs this statement, including the reports commissioned by Europeana around the accuracy of rights statements and the survey of GLAM open access policy and practice made by Andrea Wallace and Douglas McCarthy, that show the disparity in the application of Open Access policies across cultural heritage institutions. And while more training, such as the CC Certificates, and better advocacy and tooling can be set in place, recommendations and declarations could also be useful elements for advocates working within or with institutions.

The list of Declarations that support Open Access maintained by the Open Access Directory has a strong focus on Open Access publication of scholarly communication and scientific data, and shows a clear gap in principles or declarations that address cultural heritage specifically, including some of the concerns around traditional knowledge, indigenous rights, or other problematic aspects of digitization & open access release.

We hope that we can come together to work in a broader conversation with the cultural heritage sector around better guidelines for open access. As part of this broader conversation, we are currently working on a draft and having monthly calls with advocates and practitioners. We will have more follow-up strategies during the year, in order to involve as much people as possible.

If you are interested in joining the conversation, please get in touch through the OpenGLAM mailing list, join the monthly open community call that is announced there, or join the #cc-openglam channel on Creative Commons’ Slack.

You can read, and comment on an extensive report of the OpenGLAM Principles survey here.

Do you use OpenGLAM? Help review shared #OpenGLAM principles for Open Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums

- October 15, 2018 in Featured, Front Page

TL;DR: As part of reinvigorating our OpenGLAM (Open Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) community, we’re evaluating the OpenGLAM principles: fill out this survey and get involved.

Several months ago, community members from Wikimedia, Open Knowledge International and Creative Commons reinvigorated the “OpenGLAM” initiative. OpenGLAM is a global network of people and organizations who are working to open up content and data held by Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums. As a community of practice, OpenGLAM incorporates ongoing efforts to disseminate knowledge and culture through policies and practices that encourage broad communities of participation, and integrates them with the needs and activities of professional communities working at GLAM institutions.

One of our first steps was to revitalize the @openglam twitter account, inviting contributors from different parts of the world to showcase and highlight the way in which “OpenGLAM” is being understood in different contexts. So far, the Twitter account has had contributors from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, North America & Europe. Anyone can become a contributor or suggest someone to contribute by signing up through this form. If you want to see the content that has been shared through the account, you can check the oa.glam tag in the Open Access Tracking Project.

Now, as we move forward in planning more activities, we want to check on the continued impact of the Open GLAM Principles. Since their publication in 2013, the Open GLAM principles offered a declaration of intention to build a community of practice which helps GLAMs share their collections with the world

In the last five years, the OpenGLAM community has become more global, adopted more tactics and strategies for integrating openness into institutions. But do the principles reflect this change?

To find out, we’re inviting people to fill in a survey about the utility of the principles. We want to understand from the broader community: Are you aware of the principles? Are they still relevant or useful? Do you use them in your institutional or local practice? What opportunities are there to improve them for the future?

The survey will run until 16th November. Your participation is greatly appreciated! To get involved with the Open GLAM working group, you can join us through openglam@okfn.org 

Are you working in the OpenGLAM arena? Tweet about it!

- July 19, 2018 in Featured

Starting today, community members from Open Knowledge International, Wikimedia Foundation, and Creative Commons, will be facilitating a rotating curation of the @openglam twitter account to highlight and reflect on the impact of  “OpenGLAM” (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) in their respective contexts.

OpenGLAM is a global network of people and organizations who are working to open up content and data held by Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums. As a community of practice, it incorporates ongoing efforts to disseminate knowledge and culture through policies and practices that encourage broad communities of participation, and integrates them with the needs and activities of professional communities working at GLAM institutions.

GLAMs are powerful institutions for sharing knowledge with the world. Especially on the internet, building a practice of sharing knowledge requires adopting practices that open collections using open licensing, tools, and infrastructures. To do this work, leaders around the world have to converse, run projects, and support institutions in thinking about the larger potential of sharing their knowledge with the world. We want to use the OpenGLAM Twitter account to highlight the great work that people from different regions, linguistic communities, time zones and contexts are doing to advance openness in GLAMs.

Our approach is simple: contributors will be added to the @openglam account through Tweetdeck and will get a chance to curate the conversation coming from that Twitter account for 2 weeks. You can read the instructions for participants here. If you want to contribute, please sign up on this Google form!

Our first curator is going to be @samuelguebo, a Wikimedia community member who has been leading partnerships with libraries in Côte d’Ivoire  and will be attending Wikimania 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa this week. Do you have an upcoming event or activity that you think will spark a conversation? Contact us to become the next curator!

Curating the @openglam account is part of a broader conversation that organizations like OKI, WMF and CC are having about growing the impact of the “big open”. We hope that this curated Twitter will open up conversations about what brings us together as practitioners and enthusiasts for Open GLAM. There has been massive change in the cultural heritage sector and open communities in the past few years – the Open GLAM community is brought together by a set of principles that may need to evolve to meet these changing contexts.

We hope to hear from you soon! If you want to get involved with the GLAM at Creative Commons and beyond, please consider joining the Creative Commons Slack group.

Just as we need open data, we need open art

- May 24, 2016 in Featured, Guest Blog Post

This blog post was written by Chris Woolfrey, Editor of Right to Copy. You can fund Right to Copy on Kickstarter.

In 2007 the novelist Jonathan Lethem wrote “The Ecstasy of Influence” for Harper’s Magazine. In it, Lethem argues that all art by necessity connects with other art: that open lines of communication are built into the creative process and into artworks themselves.

In other words, that an artist can’t help but connect his or her work to existing things, and at the same time lay the ground for others to connect with his or her own. Discussing the connection of ideas across hundreds of years, he writes:

… consider the remarkable series of “plagiarisms” that links Ovid’s “Pyramus and Thisbe” with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, or Shakespeare’s description of Cleopatra, copied nearly verbatim from Plutarch’s life of Mark Antony and also later nicked by T. S. Eliot for The Waste Land. If these are examples of plagiarism, then we want more plagiarism.

In so writing, Lethem put eloquently something I had for a long time felt but couldn’t articulate: that sharing ideas and drawing on the ideas of others isn’t always an ideological choice. It happens without us even thinking about it.

That was the impetus for creating Right to Copy, a magazine discussing the relationship between copyright and art, and promoting a belief in the open communication of ideas. My thinking was this: if Lethem is right (and I believe that he is), then why is it that we close artworks off with stringent copyright laws?RtC front cover

For me, doing so only makes it harder for people to do what they’re doing without even meaning to: creating something – from music and film to writing, painting, video games and fashion – that naturally affects everything around it.

Though I’m probably in favour of some form of copyright law, I agree with Lawrence Lessig and the like that the current system is broken and wildly out of control. I won’t repeat those arguments here, because they’ve been better made by others – including Cory Doctorow, in Right to Copy’s first issue – but it’s clear to me that something should change, and that artists and their audiences should be talking about it.

Cory preview

Right to Copy will provide a forum for that discussion, and it will make clear that the discussion doesn’t begin and end with the law. Indeed, it will argue that how the law permeates in popular culture is much more important.

To that end, it’ll look at what an author is, and why we think authors are important; it’ll consider why originality is such a sought after thing, and how far it can really be achieved; and it’ll wonder why the kinds of discussions orchestrated by
Open Knowledge International happen in certain fields – data, software, publishing itself – but not so much in the arts and the way we discuss the arts.

And they need to happen in the arts. Mass media have always had a community element to them; it’s imperative that we not only protect that but strengthen and extend it. It’s my hope that, in publishing a magazine under an open copyright license – and more importantly, discussing issues and concepts that really matter to people – I can help in my small way to spread the word, and to bring others into the conversation and therefore empower them.  

It might be grandiose and it might not work: but if there’s an audience for the magazine then it means that there might be an audience for a different kind of art. In that sense, Right to Copy is a case study; and one that is gathering support already.

Lethem-preview

 

OpenGLAM Documentation updated

- May 12, 2016 in Documentation, eSpace, Featured

Last summer Open Knowledge launched the Open Content Exchange Platform, a resource developed within the E-Space (Europeana Space) project that collects materials on the reuse of open cultural heritage content. It is incorporated in the E-Space Content Space, where you can find a variety of resources on licensing, IP and copyright. At the end of April 2016 we completed our work on the platform: the final version contains 120 resources and has now also been incorporated into the OpenGLAM Documentation page to provide a more user-friendly and updated overview.

ocep_openglam

In this summary document on the Open Content Exchange Platform you can read more about the contents and functionality of the platform. Through the search interface, you can easily filter on specific content, or on specific tags. It is also possible to browse through the content, or a specific type of resources. All resources of our OpenGLAM Documentation page have also been incorporated – if you know of any additional resources that need to be added, feel free to notify us by email.

We look forward to seeing the final outcomes of the E-Space project develop over the next months, as the winners of the hackathons in six thematic areas (TV, Photography, Dance, Games, Open and Hybrid Publishing and Museums) further develop and shape their innovative ways of reusing digital cultural heritage into sustainable business models.

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Copyright, free culture and art

- May 9, 2016 in Featured

This is a guest blog by Antonio Roberts, a new media artist whose work focuses on the errors and glitches generated by digital technology. Using only open source software and remixing openly licensed material, his art invites people to reflect on issues around free culture, copyright and ownership. In this blog he shares his approach as well as an overview of his recent work. 

Copyright is an incredibly important law that can have massive implications on individual artists and the cultural sector as a whole. Unfortunately, it isn’t until it affects us negatively that we begin to seriously consider it. Legal cases such as the estate of Marvin Gaye versus Robin Thicke , Katrijn van Giel versus Luc Tuymans, and earlier examples such as Art Rogers versus Jeff Koons, and TufAmerica versus Beastie Boys show that the law can negatively affect creativity. If we allow this behaviour to continue we risk entering into a permission culture where even being inspired by an artist can have dangerous consequences.Dead Copyright

It is for these reasons and more that I set out to make art about copyright. Since 2009 I have used only open source software and since around 2014 I have began to focus on the legal side of this choice instead of just the tools themselves. My general aim is to act as an example to both artists and institutions of the opportunities to be had when laws are relaxed, attitudes changed and a general community of sharing and collaboration is fostered. Permission Taken

From October 2015 – May 2016 I had my first solo exhibition, Permission Taken, at Birmingham Open Media and University of Birmingham. The works in the exhibition and supporting events and presentations gave the public many avenues into which they could engage with the topic of copyright.

Copy BombCopy Bomb sculptures (reskinned PirateBoxes) introduced the idea of sharing in a counter-culture way; the Dead Copyright wall installation of prints dealt with the noise and influence of corporate branding and the dangers of one-way cultural appropriation; and the Archive Remix prints and videos shared works created with open licenced content. An important milestone in this exhibition was the launch of archiveremix.com and the subsequent Remix Party!. Although many institutions are now making the archives public, as academics such as Melissa Terras have pointed out, in order for this action to have greater impact there needs to be some curation. Archiveremix.com, which takes inspiration from Oliver Laric’s Lincoln Scans website, presents a selection of archive content from the University of Birmingham’s Research and Cultural Collections to the public with the intention that they are remixed and reworked and re presented to the world.

CarlaG_RemixFinal

Remix by: Carla Gannis // Original Work: Cathode Ray Oscilloscope

The Remix Party! brought together these remixes, which include work from artists such as Adam Ferriss, Nick Briz, Dan Hett, Carla Gannis, and Emily Haasch, for a night of projections that aimed to celebrate what great art can be created by remixing existing art. Remix Party!

What this experience has shown me is that a multi faceted approach is needed if we are to engage artists with the issue of copyright. Explaining how restrictive the laws are and the potential negative implications is important but so is highlighting the great work that can be made by freeing artwork.

Open & Hybrid Publishing: Collated resources

- April 26, 2016 in eSpace, Featured

As one of the six thematic pilots in the Europeana Space project, the Open & Hybrid Publishing pilot explores increasingly open and hybrid forms of publishing. Such new forms disrupt traditional publishing structures, giving people the opportunity to become publishers themselves, and not just consumers of published content. The main goals of the pilot, which is led by Joanna Zylinska (Goldsmiths, University of London), are to make more people familiar with the available open cultural content (especially images), as well as to explore a new business model for open and hybrid publishing and share this model with others. In this blog you can find a summary of all relevant resources that the pilot has produced.
photomediations

First of all, the model for open and hybrid publishing is demonstrated through ‘Photomediations: An Open Book, a creative online experience of a traditional coffee-table book filled with openly licensed images relating to different aspects of photomedia, as well as academic and curatorial texts. There is also an offline printed version of the written texts available, in the form of a scholarly reader. For those interested in using the model themselves, there is a downloadable brochure ‘A Guide to Open and Hybrid Publishing, which uses the open book as an example to outline possibilities and offer technical and business advice on how to put the model into practice. Around these outcomes, the pilot organised a series of educational activities, ranging from university classes to an online contest and the Hack the Book festival-cum-hackathon in January 2016. guide_2Openness is a core aspect of this pilot. The online version of the book has been built with open source code, and the images are drawn from various online repositories of open access material, such as Europeana, Flickr: The Commons, and Wikimedia CommonsWork also focused on promoting the social and cultural value of openness, and the idea of open access, especially in educational contexts. With the hybrid aspect in mind, possibilities for generating value or revenue were explored as well, such as making the book freely available online, but selling a paper edition next to it. Another major focus was organising the hackathon, the Hack the Book festival (22-24 January 2016) in Athens, which focused on creating a phygital (physical + digital) book from scratch by remixing and building upon open content from Europeana, and was preceded by educational demonstrations as well as an evening symposium on open book cultures.

 

Finally, the pilot is currently curating an exhibition, both online and physical, which will be a celebration of the possibilities of remixing open digital culture. Through an open call, people have been invited to submit still and/or moving image works that creatively reuse – in the form of mashups, collages, montages, tributes or pastiches – one or more original image files taken from Europeana. In this way, different user groups such as students, educators, artists and independent publishers will become familiarised with Europeana content and encouraged to get involved in reusing this content in a creative way. The material received in response to the call will form the basis of a virtual and a real-life exhibition later on in 2016, to be held online and in a real-life venue.

More information

screenshot_OHP

The Europeana Space MOOC

- April 19, 2016 in eSpace, Featured

Europeana Space (a project that works on increasing and enhancing reuse of Europeana and other online collections of digital cultural content by creative industries especially) is developing a MOOC, a massive open online course, to be launched in the fall of 2016. The aim of the course is to share our experiences, the lessons learned during the project and the tools we have developed during the pilot activities of E-Space; but also what we learned thanks to the hackathons and the workshops that we held with creative professionals throughout Europe. We want to share all of this with students and teachers, professionals from the GLAM sector, event organizers and developers working on cultural heritage, with the aim to convince them of the importance of the creative reuse of digital cultural heritage and to show them that the steps to take and the tools to use to do so are within everyone’s reach.

mooc-580x348The information on the MOOC is always distributed on three different levels. The first is a general level that targets mainly cultural heritage amateurs, students and teachers: the education segment. Here we want to show our learners how easy it can be to move from a passive use of digitized cultural heritage – that can be simply searching for materials on repositories such as Europeana – to an active and proactive use, where everyone can contribute and share their own insights and new narratives built around this cultural heritage individually and/or with others. To give an example, in the first module of the MOOC (the Photography module) we show how teachers, using the storytelling tool that we developed, can create stories with materials that they can find on trusted web sources, and share them with their students. This can easily become a group assignment where students are asked to complement the teachers’ stories with their own chapters and materials.

On the second level, we target GLAM professionals. Learners will be taught how to access APIs, how to query the database from their own websites and to automate important processes for the stories they want to develop, how to create interactivity into their events, how to build components in their websites and refer to the technologies that we have developed. They also get guidance on how to use the E-Space technical space and its API, how to find interesting samples of code on Europeana Labs and they will have access to more readings on how to reuse Europeana contents and on Europeana creatives.

Lastly, the third level reaches out to developers. They will be able to search the MOOC to find the most technical information, e.g. a link to a certain API or a specific explanation; they will also have the opportunity to participate in forum discussions with people working with Europeana or from the GLAM sector. We hope this way to incite interesting discussions where knowledge from different sectors can be shared and learners can learn not only from us, but also from one another.

e-space-edu-470x196

Within E-Space we also developed a website for education where it is possible to find pointers to almost everything that will also be in the MOOC. But we decided to develop a MOOC as well, because it provides more guidance through the steps of learning. The MOOC brings in the structure, discipline and an A to Z learning path necessary to learn and spur some action. It is, if you wish, a sort of guided tour through what we, the pilots of E-Space, have developed, experienced and learned.

More information on the MOOC is available from this website or from this recent presentation.

Clarissa Colangelo and Fred Truyen

Update on the Open Content Exchange Platform

- April 6, 2016 in eSpace, Featured

Last summer Open Knowledge launched the Open Content Exchange Platform, a resource developed within the ESpace (Europeana Space) project that collects materials on the reuse of open cultural heritage content. It is incorporated in the Content Space (which is one of three spaces being developed in ESpace alongside the Innovation Space and the Technical Space), where you can find a variety of resources on licensing, IP and copyright. Since then, many new resources have been added, and there is a useful guidance document on the platform now available as well.

ocep_apr2016

In this summary document on the Open Content Exchange Platform you can read more about the type of content available (which includes blogpost, reports, videos, presentations and much more) and the functionality of the platform, which has been built using Omeka (similarly to the OpenGLAM Open Collections page). Each resource is added as an item, with metadata for the title, description, identifier/url, creator, date, rights, format and type, and tagged with a number of keywords describing their content. Through the search interface, you can easily filter on specific content, or on specific tags. It is also possible to browse through the content, or a specific type of resources. All resources of our OpenGLAM Documentation page have also been incorporated – in the future, a version of the new platform will replace our Documentation webpage to provide a more user-friendly and updated overview.

To give you an idea of what has been added to the platform in recent months, here is a brief overview with some of the new resources in their respective categories:

Guides

  • A series of infographics by Podromos Tsiavos on orphan works, copyright & IP and the different value production models that can be used when dealing with digital cultural heritage content
  • IPR Guidelines – A guide to understanding copyright when reusing cultural data – Kennisland has partnered with Collections Trust to address questions that partners of Europeana Food and Drink have about Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Though primarily intended for the partners of the Europeana Food and Drink project, the context and flowcharts in this publication are useful for several types of reuse of cultural data.

Blogposts

  • Open for Business – A look at how platforms and creators build successful endeavors around open digital content, by Sarah Hinchliff Pearson – the first in a series of six Medium articles exploring how creators, businesses, and nonprofits sustain themselves when they are giving their work away for free using CC licensing.
  • On the Commons – Blog on how the National Library of New Zealand added the first batch of 3500 open images to Flickr Commons, as well as their future plans for increasing this amount.

Video

Papers

  • A Curated Object and a Disruptive e-Anarchive – Illustrated article by Kamila Kuc, introducing Photomediations: An Open Book – an experiment in ‘open and hybrid publishing’ undertaken in 2015 as part of the ESpace project.

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Open Culture at Open Belgium

- 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 http://2016.openbelgium.be/presentations.