“Over the past decade, important work by the cultural sector has led to dramatically expanded access to public domain heritage collections. Out of this work, an open GLAM (Galleries, Archives, Libraries, and Museums) movement has grown to support the creation and management of digital collections and their reuse by new audiences and user-groups globally. But research increasingly shows that greater consensus is needed to ensure no new rights are claimed in non-original reproduction media, and that digital cultural heritage and identities are shared responsibly, both within, but also separate from, established institutions.
This initiative proposes co-developing a Declaration on Open Access for Cultural Heritage to guide more equitable practices around open access. It advances the need for a living document that provides workable definitions, goals, and standards for making digital cultural heritage available, accessible, and reusable, and one that can adapt to emerging topics relevant to the future of digital media and cultural heritage engagement.
Below you will find a Declaration draft and a research paper to support this initiative, along with information on how to get involved. Over the next few months, Creative Commons will be supporting rounds of public consultations on the Declaration draft to co-develop a final, revised version. We invite you to join us! …”
Epistemic Alienation in African Scholarly Communications: Open Access as a Pharmakon – Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou
Scholarly Communications and Social Justice – Charlotte Roh, Harrison W. Inefuku, and Emily Drabinski
Social Justice and Inclusivity: Drivers for the Dissemination of African Scholarship – Reggie Raju, Jill Claassen, Namhla Madini, and Tamzyn Suliaman
Can Open Scholarly Practices Redress Epistemic Injustice? – Denisse Albornoz, Angela Okune, and Leslie Chan
When the Law Advances Access to Learning: Locke and the Origins of Modern Copyright – John Willinsky
How Does a Format Make a Public? – Robin de Mourat, Donato Ricci, and Bruno Latour
Peer Review: Readers in the Making of Scholarly Knowledge – David Pontille and Didier Torny
The Making of Empirical Knowledge: Recipes, Craft, and Scholarly Communication – Pamela H. Smith, Tianna Helena Uchacz, Naomi Rosenkranz, and Claire Conklin Sabel
The Royal Society and the Noncommercial Circulation of Knowledge – Aileen Fyfe
The Political Histories of UK Public Libraries and Access to Knowledge – Stuart Lawson
Libraries and Their Publics in the United States – Maura A. Smale
Open Access, “Publicity,” and Democratic Knowledge – John Holmwood
Libraries, Museums, and Archives as Speculative Knowledge Infrastructure – Bethany Nowviskie
Preserving the Past for the Future: Whose Past? Everyone’s Future – April M. Hathcock
Is There a Text in These Data? The Digital Humanities and Preserving the Evidence – Dorothea Salo
Accessing the Past, or Should Archives Provide Open Access? – István Rév
Infrastructural Experiments and the Politics of Open Access – Jonathan Gray
The Platformization of Open – Penny C. S. Andrews
Reading Scholarship Digitally – Martin Paul Eve
Toward Linked Open Data for Latin America – Arianna Becerril-García and Eduardo Aguado-López
The Pasts, Presents, and Futures of SciELO – Abel L. Packer
Not Self-Indulgence, but Self-Preservation: Open Access and the Ethics of Care – Eileen A. Joy
Toward a Global Open-Access Scholarly Communications System: A Developing Region Perspective – Dominique Babini
Learned Societies, Humanities Publishing, and Scholarly Communication
“At times of global crisis and beyond, memory institutions will be crucial in upholding the public right to know and access to information for present and future generations to understand the pandemic and inform scientists, historians and policy-makers. Within the framework of International Day for Universal Access to Information 2020 (IDUAI 2020), the Bangkok celebration will focus on access to information, transparency and openness as the international standards moving forward in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In collaboration with Creative Commons, Open GLAM and the Memory of the World Regional Committee for Asia-Pacific (MOWCAP), UNESCO Bangkok will organize a series of webinars on Universal Access to Documentary Heritage in Asia and the Pacific. The webinars are designed for memory institutions, such as galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs), interested in digitizing and opening their collections under an open license to promote universal access to documentary heritage.
International experts from UNESCO, Creative Commons, Wikimedia Foundation, RightsStatements, Australian Libraries Copyright Committee, The Heritage Lab, Europeana, National Library Board in Singapore and OpenGLAM will introduce the principles of Open Access and licensing frameworks and share their experiences in implementing Open Access policies within their institutions….”
“The Marrakesh Treaty is an international treaty that seeks to facilitate access to published works for people who are blind, visually impaired or have other difficulties in accessing printed text. It is the first international copyright treaty that focuses on users of intellectual works and not exclusively on authors. It was adopted on June 27, 2013 in Morocco and its main objective is to guide countries in the creation of copyright flexibilities for the benefit of people with disabilities and difficulty in conventional reading. This article explores the impact of the Marrakesh Treaty and considers how to expand its benefits….”
“We are supposed to learn from history, yet we don’t have access to it. Historical photographs of extinct animals are among the most important artefacts to teach and inform about human impact on nature. But where to look when one wants to see all that is left of these beings? Where can I access all the extant photos of the thylacine or the passenger pigeon? History books use photos to help us relate to narratives and see a shared reality. But how can we look through our own communities’ photographic heritage, share it with each other and use it for research and education?
Historical photos are kept by archives, libraries, museums and other cultural institutions. Preservation, which is the goal of cultural institutions, means ensuring not only the existence of but the access to historical materials. It is the opposite of owning: it’s sustainable sharing. Similarly, conservation is not capturing and caging but ensuring the conditions and freedom to live.
Even though most of our tangible cultural heritage has not been digitised yet, a process greatly hindered by the lack of resources for professionals, we could already have much to look at online. In reality, a significant portion of already digitised historical photos is not available freely to the public – despite being in the public domain. We might be able to see thumbnails or medium sized previews scattered throughout numerous online catalogs but most of the time we don’t get to see them in full quality and detail. In general, they are hidden, the memory of their existence slowly going extinct.
The knowledge and efforts of these institutions are crucial in tending our cultural landscape but they cannot become prisons to our history. Instead of claiming ownership, their task is to provide unrestricted access and free use. Cultural heritage should not be accessible only for those who can afford paying for it….”
“Preserving and sharing born-digital and hybrid objects from and across the National Collection is a foundational collaborative project funded through the AHRC’s programme: Towards a National Collection: opening UK heritage to the world. Led by the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), in collaboration with the British Film Institute (BFI) and Birkbeck, University of London, the project addresses the challenges of collecting, preserving, linking and sharing born-digital and hybrid collections with the public. It will involve participants from across the national collection and museum sector, as well as partners and stakeholders outside the UK, focusing on three key areas of digital collecting: collections management, digital conservation, and access, experience and meaning….”
“Cambridge University Library (UL) is the first institution of the University of Cambridge to join the [Google Arts and Culture] platform and joins organisations such as the British Museum, Rijksmuseum and the White House, among many others, who share their collections freely, and openly, with the world….”
“Thanks to a Texas State Library and Archives Commission TexTreasures grant funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), over 100 reels of microfilmed archives documenting women and underrepresented communities in Texas visual arts will be digitized and made accessible online.
The Texas Art Project is an extensive collection of visual arts history preserved at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) library. Between 1978 and 1985, MFAH contacted artists, galleries, and arts organizations across Texas to document unique manuscript papers and research materials on microfilm, as part of the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art (AAA). The project yielded nearly 700 reels, a subset of which featured materials from women artists, artists of color, and galleries that hosted them. This subset is the focus of the TexTreasures grant which allowed University of Houston Libraries Special Collections and MFAH to collaborate on the digitization of approximately 150,000 images, previously available only in a limited, localized capacity in microfilm at MFAH. Digitized images of materials such as correspondence, exhibition catalogs, reviews, and publications will become openly available online with multiple points of access, thereby facilitating scholarship and research using unique primary sources….”
“The Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME) offers free and open access to the rich cultural legacy of the Middle East and North Africa by bringing together collections from a wide range of cultural heritage institutions. Developed by an engineering team from CLIR and Stanford Libraries, the platform federates and makes accessible data about collections from around the world….”
“These art provenance datasets contain publicly available information originally published online by institutions which has been formatted as a CSV file for easy download and analysis with digital tools. They are intended to facilitate research into Holocaust-era provenance for scholars, art historians and families….”