Why

Everyone should be able to access our collective cultural heritage.

We are building a “Declaration on Open Access for Cultural Heritage” that builds on the evidence collected after +10 years of institutions doing open access and reaches consensus on building equitable open access. During 2020-21, Creative Commons is supporting rounds of consultations around the Declaration.

In 2011, the Open Knowledge Foundation launched the “OpenGLAM Principles”, a set of very simple five principles around the release of open data within cultural institutions.

In 2018, following conversations to revitalize the Open GLAM initiative, community members ran a survey to understand whether the principles were relevant and if they spoke to the needs of the cultural heritage sector. The results of the survey can be found on the post “OpenGLAM Principles: Ways forward to Open Access for Cultural Heritage” in the Open GLAM Medium publication.

The different responses on the survey agreed on three main issues:

  1. The need to have a set of shared values;
  2. The need to acknowledge some of the complexities related to managing cultural knowledge;
  3. And a better approach to the ethical boundaries necessary to ensure equitable open access.

This resulted in the kick-off of a process to build a “Declaration on Open Access for Cultural Heritage”. During 2020-21, Creative Commons is supporting rounds of consultations around the Declaration.

The Declaration builds on the evidence collected throughout the last ten years of different institutions, organizations and advocates driving conversations and implementing policies for open access to cultural heritage. This has been summarized in an upcoming research paper.

The new areas of focus that have been identified in the Declaration refer to some of the minimum consensus and understandings that the sector has achieved through practice, and includes areas where more work, including more research, remains to be done.

New areas of focus of the Declaration

Watch this space for more upcoming information on the Declaration and how to get involved.