Open Access and Art History in the 21st Century: The Case for Open GLAM – CODART CODART

“Almost 1000 cultural heritage institutions around the world1 have published some or all of their online collections for free reuse, modification and sharing. They are part of the ‘Open GLAM’ (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) movement that views liberal access2 and reuse (where culturally appropriate3) of digital collections as fundamental to education, research and public engagement.

A key principle of Open GLAM is that works in the public domain – in which copyright has expired or never existed – should remain in the public domain once digitized. However, many museums do assert copyright in digital reproductions of public domain artworks. How legally legitimate is this? Although the answer is not straightforward (the relevant copyright law is complex and lacks international harmonization), in the European Union the standard of originality for a new copyright requires that the work be the ‘author’s own intellectual creation’….”

Open Community Collections marks over 100 contributors – News | About JSTOR

“JSTOR’s Open Community Collection initiative has surpassed the 350 collection mark and is steadily growing, with more than 100 current contributing partners at libraries, museums, universities, and other institutions around the world….”

Cooper Hewitt Interaction Lab Presents: Activating Smithsonian Open Access | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

“The Activating Smithsonian Open Access Challenge (ASOA) from Cooper Hewitt’s Interaction Lab aims to support creative technology teams in designing engaging interactive experiences with Smithsonian Open Access collections for people all over the globe. Made possible by Verizon 5G Labs, this open call for proposals seeks to stimulate new ideas for inspiring digital interactions with over 3 million 2D and 3D objects in the Smithsonian’s Open Access collections, all available under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license for download, re-use, alteration, and even commercialization.

From these proposals, up to six finalists will receive $10,000 to develop their ideas into functioning prototypes to be presented and used by the public. A significant goal of the program is to identify compelling projects that the Interaction Lab might explore for wider use in the future. Creators will own all intellectual property they create in ASOA, subject to the Smithsonian’s license as set forth in the ASOA Participation Rules and Guidelines….”

SPARC Supports We Here’s Publication, up//root, with $20,000 Grant — up//root

“Recognizing We Here’s contribution to the library and archives community through the centering of Black and Indigenous folks and People of Color (BIPOC), SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) has provided a $20,000 grant toward their publication up//root. 

up//root: a we here publication, launched in 2020, is a publishing collective that exists to center the works, knowledge, and experiences of BIPOC within the context of the library and archives community. up//root is currently online and open access with goals of publishing in print in the future. …”

Boston Public Library makes historical images available for use in Wikipedia | Boston Public Library

“In celebration of Wikipedia’s 20th anniversary on January 15th, Boston Public Library has uploaded more than 8,000 historical photographs from its archival collections to Wikimedia Commons. These images include some of the library’s most important photographic collections, and contribute to the single largest batch of uploads ever contributed to Wikimedia Commons. By uploading these public domain images, BPL is making them available so that they can be freely used to enhance Wikipedia articles, re-printed in publications, or incorporated in student projects and papers. …”

Walters Art Museum Digitization Project | NEH Essentials

“In 2008, the Walters in Baltimore was awarded $307,500 from NEH to start digitizing their world-renowned collection of over 900 objects, some of which had never before been cataloged. The digitization began with The Islamic Digital Resource Project, a collection of the museum’s 128 illuminated Islamic manuscripts and leaves. A second grant of $315,000 included 105 manuscripts of German, Russian, Armenian, Byzantine, Ethiopian, Dutch, English, and Spanish origins, while a $265,000 grant covered digitization of 112 Flemish manuscripts, mainly the Books of Hours, dating between 1200 and 1600 CE….”

Open Archief

“Open Archief is a multifaceted, collaborative research project that explores the beauty and innovation that can be inspired by making archival material accessible to artists for creative reuse. Brought forward by three Dutch heritage institutions: Het Nieuwe Instituut (HNI), The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Sound and Vision), and the International Institute of Social History (IISH). Open Archief urges and supports media artists to make use of digitized and open archival collections. Through an artistic residency program, a symposium, and several workshops throughout the year, Open Archief brings media artists and heritage institutions together to discuss the importance of creative reuse of heritage and of making digital collections available….”

Open Access Week – How is the Smithsonian Doing? – Smithsonian Libraries / Unbound

“In celebration of this year’s annual Open Access Week, the Smithsonian Research Online team will be releasing a new dashboard on our statistics page that includes data about the openness of Smithsonian research publications. As the official record of scholarly publications for the Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Research Online is in a great position to analyze this data and help the Institution reflect, participate, and learn more about the scholarly output of the Smithsonian research community….”

Executive Summary: Research findings and recommendations for developing a Declaration on Open Access to Cultural Heritage

“Cultural heritage institutions face a number of obstacles to digitizing and making collections available online. Many are beyond their control. But there is one important area that these institutions do have control over: the access and reuse parameters applied to a breadth of media generated during the reproduction of public domain works.

Whether to claim intellectual property rights (IPR) or release the reproduction media of public domain works via open access parameters is a contentious topic among the GLAM sector (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums). Evidence shows GLAMs take a range of approaches to open access and encounter various obstacles that can hamper the release of cultural materials to the public domain. One of these obstacles is the lack of coordinated and sustainable support for GLAMs with open access ambitions.

Earlier this year, Wikimedia Foundation and Creative Commons came together to assist the OpenGLAM initiative and bridge this gap. The Wikimedia Foundation provided funding for an exploratory research paper on open access to cultural heritage. With the Wikimedia Foundation’s support, Creative Commons is now leading an initiative to develop a Declaration on Open Access to Cultural Heritage, along with a public consultation process to refine and generate consensus on what the Declaration might achieve.

This resource is meant to kick off that process. It brings together valuable insight from practice with wider societal questions to reflect on the trajectory of the open GLAM movement to date and its future needs. The research to support this work sought to:

To take stock of and reflect on open GLAM practices and the intellectual property rights (IPR) management of digital collections; and within this

Identify areas of uncertainty presenting barriers to open GLAM participation;

Identify new areas of focus emerging from open GLAM practice; and

Produce an open access resource to inform the development of a Declaration on Open Access for Cultural Heritage….”