“The open access movement has empowered museums to connect with their audiences by providing unprecedented access to digital collections. Now that a number of museums have had an open access policy for the better part of a decade, how have their policies stood the test of time? How have their policies made an impact on their institutions and communities? Have standards of “openness” changed? How can policies be updated to address changes in community practice? What lessons can those still advocating for an initial open access policy at their institution learn from early innovators? Representatives from several museums with open access policies will share how their policies are evolving and lessons learned from their experiences implementing open access, and a representative from Creative Commons will give an update on the work the OpenGLAM community is doing to support open access policies….Key Outcomes: After attending this session, participants from institutions with open access policies will be ready to review their policies for areas that may need updating. Participants who are still lobbying for open access at their museum will come away with strategies for gaining institutional support for open access and crafting a policy that reflects current practice.”
“Our new AI for Cultural Heritage program will use artificial intelligence to work with nonprofits, universities and governments around the world to help preserve the languages we speak, the places we live and the artifacts we treasure. It will build on recent work we’ve pursued using various aspect of AI in each of these areas, such as:
- Work in New York , where we have collaborated with The Metropolitan Museum of Art and MIT to explore ways in which AI can make The Met’s Open Access collection accessible, discoverable and useful to the 3.9 billion internet-connected people worldwide.
- Work in Paris at the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, where we have partnered with two French companies, HoloForge Interactive and Iconem, to create an entirely new museum experience with mixed reality and AI that paid homage to Mont-Saint-Michel, a French cultural icon off the coast of Normandy.
- And in southwestern Mexico, where we’re engaged as part of our ongoing efforts to preserve languages around the world to capture and translate Yucatec Maya and Querétaro Otomiusing AI to make them more accessible to people around the world….”
“Our national heritage of approximately one billion biodiversity specimens, once digitized, can be linked to emerging digital data sources to form an information-rich network for exploring earth’s biota across taxonomic, temporal and spatial scales. A workshop held 30 October – 1 November 2018 at Oak Spring Garden in Upperville, VA under the leadership of the Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN) developed a strategy for the next decade to maximize the value of our collections resource for research and education. In their deliberations, participants drew heavily on recent literature as well as surveys, and meetings and workshops held over the past year with the primary stakeholder community of collections professionals, researchers, and educators.
Arising from these deliberations is a vision to focus future biodiversity infrastructure and digital resources on building a network of extended specimen data that encompasses the depth and breadth of biodiversity specimens and data held in U.S. collections institutions. The extended specimen network (ESN) includes the physical voucher specimen curated and housed in a collection and its associated genetic, phenotypic and environmental data (both physical and digital). These core data types, selected because they are key to answering driving research questions, include physical preparations such as tissue samples and their derivative products such as gene sequences or metagenomes, digitized media and annotations, and taxon- or locality-specific data such as occurrence observations, phylogenies and species distributions. Existing voucher specimens will be extended both manually and through new automated methods, and data will be linked through unique identifiers, taxon name and location across collections, across disciplines and to outside sources of data. As we continue our documentation of earth’s biota, new collections will be enhanced from the outset, i.e., accessioned with a full suite of data. We envision the ESN proposed here will be the gold standard for the structured cloud of integrated data associated with all vouchered specimens. These permanent specimen vouchers, in which genotypes and phenotypes link to a particular environment in time and space, comprise an irreplaceable resource for the millennia….”
“The Biodiversity Collections Network has released its new report, Extending U.S. Biodiversity Collections to Promote Research and Education. You are invited to download and share the summary brochure and to review the longer report that provides additional detail about this vision for the future. …”
“The United States should launch an effort to create an all-encompassing database of the millions of stuffed, dried, and otherwise preserved plants, animals, and fossils in museums and other collections, a U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)–sponsored white paper released today urges. The report, titled Extending U.S. Biodiversity Collections to Promote Research and Education, also calls for new approaches to cataloging digitized specimens and linking them to a range of other data about each organism and where it was collected. If the plan is carried out, “There will be [a] huge potential impact for the research community to do new types of research,” says NSF biology Program Director Reed Beaman in Alexandria, Virginia.
The effort could take decades and cost as much as half a billion dollars, however, and some researchers are worried the white paper will not win over policymakers. “I just wish that the report focused more on the potential benefits for noncollections communities,” says James Hanken, director of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
For the past 8 years, NSF has sponsored the $100 million, 10-year Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections program, which has paid for nearly 62 million plant and animal specimens to be digitally photographed from multiple angles for specific research studies. New technology has greatly sped up the process. Already, researchers studying natural history and how species are related are reaping the benefits of easy access to a wealth of information previous locked in museums….”
“No museum that has made the transition to open access for the images in its collection would return to its previous approach. Although challenges are still being resolved, such as the additional workload and the potential uncertainty about where images of works from their collections have been published, museum staff cited the satisfaction that comes from fulfillment of the museum’s mission as a tremendous positive. Most institutions are experiencing greater internal (and in the case of the Yale museums, university-wide) collaboration than in the past between museum departments and attribute this in part to their move to open access….”
Abstract: This paper highlights the challenges in content dissemination in Cultural Heritage (CH) institutions by digital humanities scholars and small Museums and Archival Collections. It showcases a solution based on Community Reusable Semantic Metadata Content Models (RM’s) available for download from our community website. Installing the RM’s will extend the functionality of the state of the art Content Management Framework (CMF) towards numismatic collections. Furthermore, it encapsulates metadata using the Resource Description Framework in Attributes (RDFa), and the Schema.org vocabulary. Establishing a community around RM’s will help the development, upgrading and sharing of RM’s models and packages for the benefit of the Cultural Heritage community. A distributed model for Community Reusable Semantic Metadata Content Models will allow the community to grow and improve, serving the needs and enabling the infrastructure to scale for the next generation of humanities scholars.
“The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) announced today it is using Open Access to make high-resolution digital images and collections data freely available by means of the internet. Open Access means the public now has the ability to share, remix, and reuse images of as many as 30,000 CMA artworks that are in the public domain for commercial as well as scholarly and noncommercial purposes. Additional information on more than 61,000 artworks —both those in the public domain and those with copyright or other restrictions—is also now available. …”
” The following principles are essential to preserve a meaningful understanding of the Public Domain and to ensure that the Public Domain continues to function in the technological environment of the networked information society. With regard to the structural Public Domain these are as follows:
- The Public Domain is the rule, copyright protection is the exception. Since copyright protection is granted only with respect to original forms of expression, the vast majority of data, information and ideas produced worldwide at any given time belongs to the Public Domain. In addition to information that is not eligible for protection, the Public Domain is enlarged every year by works whose term of protection expires. The combined application of the requirements for protection and the limited duration of the copyright protection contribute to the wealth of the Public Domain so as to ensure access to our shared culture and knowledge.
- Copyright protection should last only as long as necessary to achieve a reasonable compromise between protecting and rewarding the author for his intellectual labour and safeguarding the public interest in the dissemination of culture and knowledge. From neither the perspective of the author nor the general public do any valid arguments exist (whether historical, economic, social or otherwise) in support of an exceedingly long term of copyright protection. While the author should be able to reap the fruits of his intellectual labour, the general public should not be deprived for an overly long period of time of the benefits of freely using those works.
- What is in the Public Domain must remain in the Public Domain. Exclusive control over Public Domain works must not be reestablished by claiming exclusive rights in technical reproductions of the works, or using technical protection measures to limit access to technical reproductions of such works.
- The lawful user of a digital copy of a Public Domain work should be free to (re-)use, copy and modify such work. The Public Domain status of a work does not necessarily mean that it must be made accessible to the public. The owners of physical works that are in the Public Domain are free to restrict access to such works. However once access to a work has been granted then there ought not be legal restrictions on the re-use, modification or reproduction of these works.
- Contracts or technical protection measures that restrict access to and re-use of Public Domain works must not be enforced. The Public Domain status of a work guarantees the right to re-use, modify and reproduce. This also includes user prerogatives arising from exceptions and limitations, fair use and fair dealing, ensuring that these cannot be limited by contractual or technological means….”
“Beginning immediately, as many as 30,000 images of public-domain artworks in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s (CMA) collection will be available to all as part of our Open Access program. In addition, metadata relevant to more than 61,000 works are available without restriction, whether the works themselves are in the public domain or under copyright. To make this initiative feasible, the museum has partnered with Creative Commons Zero (CC0), a global nonprofit organization that makes possible the sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge….”