The case for open access | Apollo Magazine

“For a growing number of museums, providing open access to online collections is seen as crucial to engaging with the public and serving their wider missions. While select institutions began exploring open access a decade ago, the practice is now becoming mainstream. In February, the Smithsonian released 2.8 million images of its collections for unrestricted public reuse. This spectacular announcement followed recent initiatives by the Cleveland Museum of Art, Paris Musées, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and others. All are part of the Open GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) movement that advocates for liberal access to and reuse of public domain collections.

A key Open GLAM principle is that works in the public domain – meaning copyright has expired or never existed – should remain in the public domain once digitised. This may sound obvious but the reality is less straightforward. Copyright law in this area is complex and lacks international harmonisation….

The evidence from open access museums shows that foregone revenue from image licensing is generally outweighed by an increase in brand visibility and new opportunities for revenue generation. Adopting open access need not prevent museums from undertaking commercial partnerships….

Most museums lose more money than they make on image licensing….

In the UK, a small but growing number of institutions are responding to the call. The first to embrace open access was the National Library of Wales, which now employs a ‘National Wikimedian’ to develop collaborations and services that advance the representation of Wales and the Welsh language on Wikimedia projects. York Museums Trust releases the majority of its online images to the public domain. This year, Birmingham Museums sponsored an art remix contest with artist Coldwar Steve and the local creative community Black Hole Club, inviting the public to respond imaginatively using Birmingham’s open collections….

Open access can also be transformative inside heritage institutions. One year after the Cleveland Museum of Art’s open access launch, its chief digital information officer, Jane Alexander, noted the following impacts: increased updating of attribution, provenance and collections information; curators forging new connections with scholars; and resources being reallocated from responding to image requests to supporting digitisation. The vast majority of the museum’s online users who are looking for images now self-serve from its online collections, freeing up valuable staff time….”

ICOM’s Efforts to Advocate for Exceptions to Copyright for Museums

“ICOM applauds any effort to experiment and discuss issues surrounding exceptions to copyright for museums. It is within the context of experimentation, that ICOM wishes participants at today’s program well. While an American approach to copyright law and fair use may not be suitable in every copyright system and cultural environment, it is still to everyone’s benefit to examine, ponder and discuss the various legal systems and their benefits and limitations so as to better understand subject matter. Since 2014, ICOM has advocated before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the United Nations Agency responsible for international treaties about copyright law and related policies and programs, for exceptions to copyright for museums. ICOM’s position is that exceptions to copyright for museums are necessary to allow museums to fulfill their missions, given how museums access and communicate materials in the twenty-first century. For this reason, ICOM and its partner organizations, the International Federation of Library Associations and the International Council of Archives, have advocated for an international treaty on subject. In 2014, ICOM was successful in lobbying member states of WIPO for support to commission a study about the current status internationally of museum exceptions to copyright. This study was the first of its kind. Previously, WIPO had only addressed copyright exceptions for libraries and archives. WIPO published the museums study in 2015….”

ICOM’s Efforts to Advocate for Exceptions to Copyright for Museums

“ICOM applauds any effort to experiment and discuss issues surrounding exceptions to copyright for museums. It is within the context of experimentation, that ICOM wishes participants at today’s program well. While an American approach to copyright law and fair use may not be suitable in every copyright system and cultural environment, it is still to everyone’s benefit to examine, ponder and discuss the various legal systems and their benefits and limitations so as to better understand subject matter. Since 2014, ICOM has advocated before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the United Nations Agency responsible for international treaties about copyright law and related policies and programs, for exceptions to copyright for museums. ICOM’s position is that exceptions to copyright for museums are necessary to allow museums to fulfill their missions, given how museums access and communicate materials in the twenty-first century. For this reason, ICOM and its partner organizations, the International Federation of Library Associations and the International Council of Archives, have advocated for an international treaty on subject. In 2014, ICOM was successful in lobbying member states of WIPO for support to commission a study about the current status internationally of museum exceptions to copyright. This study was the first of its kind. Previously, WIPO had only addressed copyright exceptions for libraries and archives. WIPO published the museums study in 2015….”

European web conference on the value and use of 3D digital cultural heritage for resilience, recovery and sustainability | Shaping Europe’s digital future

“The crisis caused by the global coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on our mobility, and it is changing our habits. In the context of such limitations, digital 3D technologies can be an effective solution for keeping our cultural heritage virtually accessible to citizens. Furthermore, 3D digital cultural heritage can provide important opportunities for cultural heritage institutions and for other sectors that re-use such content, including in particular in the tourism sector, for immediate resilience and recovery but also for long-term sustainability….”

No Need to Hold these Horses: Announcing New Free to Use and Reuse Set | Picture This: Library of Congress Prints & Photos

“In the Library’s latest Free to Use and Reuse set of images drawn from the collections, the focus is on the horse, and all the myriad ways these noble animals have been part of our lives, including sports, recreation, agriculture, transportation, and so on….

Explore the entire set of Free to Use and Reuse: Horses, as well as additional sets of images from the Library of Congress. …”

5,000 rare and unique maps are now available online

“Over 5,000 unique maps from the Asia-Pacific Map Collection are now available online as part of an ongoing project by The Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific.

This significant portion of the college’s map collection is now available on Open Research for people to download and enjoy for free.

 

The collection is home to a variety of topographic, cadastral, aeronautical, and thematic maps, some of which date back hundreds of years….”

Welcome to GLAM 3D | GLAM 3D Engelberg Center

“If you are thinking about starting a 3D Open Access program you have come to the right place!

This site will walk you through the entire process of planning, creating, and launching an Open Access 3D scanning program. It is designed to have something for everyone, from 3D beginners to 3D experts.

Glam3D.org is an open resource that welcomes contributions and suggestions from the community.”

 

UC Berkeley Library makes it easier to digitize collections responsibly with novel workflows and bold policy | UC Berkeley Library News

“If you’ve spent any time stoking your curiosity with the UC Berkeley Library’s new online Digital Collections website, you’ve likely discovered all types of treasures digitized from the Library’s collections. The Library has already scanned and made available a virtual mountain of materials, from a photo of folk icon Joan Baez singing in front of Sproul Hall in 1964, to (almost) the entire run of the Daily Californian student newspaper.

The effort is part of the Library’s moonshot goal of wanting to make its estimated 200 million items from its special collections (rare books, manuscripts, photographs, archives, and ephemera) available online for the world to discover and use. But there’s a catch: Before institutions can reproduce materials and publish them online for worldwide access, they have to sort out complicated legal and ethical questions — ones that often stop libraries and other cultural heritage organizations from being able to move forward in setting these treasures free.

The good news? It just got easier to navigate these challenges, thanks to newly released responsible access workflows developed by the Library, which stand to benefit not only UC Berkeley’s digitization efforts, but also those of cultural heritage institutions such as museums, archives, and libraries throughout the nation….”

Sketchfab Launches Public Domain Dedication for 3D Cultural Heritage

“We are pleased to announce that cultural organisations using Sketchfab can now dedicate their 3D scans and models to the Public Domain using the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0). This newly supported dedication allows museums and similar organisations to share their 3D data more openly, adding amazing 3D models to the Public Domain, many for the first time. This update also makes it even easier for 3D creators to download and reuse, re-imagine, and remix incredible ancient and modern artifacts, objects, and scenes.

We are equally proud to make this announcement in collaboration with 27 cultural organisations from 13 different countries. We are especially happy to welcome the Smithsonian Institution to Sketchfab as part of this initiative. The Smithsonian has uploaded their first official 3D models to Sketchfab as part of their newly launched open access program….”