CC’s Open Culture work
The OC platform’s Open GLAM Resources working group developed practical resources for the open culture/open GLAM sector, namely a bibliography and glossary. These are essential, foundational resources for greater understanding and capacity building in the open culture community.
Learn more about key policy issues in CC’s open culture policy paper (English, français, Português, Ελληνικά, हिंदी, Italiano, Српски, Igbo) and CC open culture policy guide (English, français, Português (Brasil), Español, Hausa, Nederlands, Ελληνικά, italiana, Yoruba, Shqip). Or watch the recordings of the open culture and policy events below:
- “Towards Better Sharing of Cultural Heritage”, a panel discussion on the possibilities of re-shaping cultural heritage policy;
- “UNESCO ResiliArt x Mondiacult – From Access to Culture to Contemporary Creativity,” a session exploring the necessity of open access to cultural heritage; and
- Wikimania 2022: “Open Culture, Brighter Future: An international policy outlook.”
Background on Open Access, and Open Education movements
“Open” has been defined in different fields as the publication of resources that are free of charge and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. This has given birth to what is often called the “open movement” that spans across a variety of initiatives, from free/open source software (FOSS), open access to scholarly publications and scientific research, open education and open educational resources (OER) to open government and open data.
Learn more about OER and Open Access in scholarly publication on the CC Certificate Unit 5 for Academic Librarians and for Educators.
Below are some resources that can help in understanding the relationship between Open GLAM, Open Access to scholarly communications and Open Education.
What is the Open Movement?
- An explainer from The Conversation.
- You can also check the definition of Open Movement in the Open Data Handbook.
Open Access to scientific research
As defined by the Budapest Open Access Initiative, Open Access (OA) to research means free “availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of research articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution and the only role for copyright in this domain should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.”
Important components of the OA model include:
- Authors keep their copyright.
- Zero embargo period.
- Share the research data with the article.
- Add a Creative Commons license to the research article that enables text and data mining (any of the non ND licenses work, but CC BY is preferred).
See the Budapest +10 recommendations for best practices in creating, adopting and implementing OA policies and processes. For example, “when possible, funder policies should require libre OA, preferably under a CC-BY license or equivalent.”
More background on Open Access
A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access by Peter Suber
- A short description defining Open Access, research articles, Open Access repositories, archives, and journals.
Open Access Overview by University of Minnesota Libraries
- An introduction to open access, specifically how it pertains to librarians. Provides
additional resources and information from the Scholarly Publishing and Academic
Resources Coalition (SPARC) about open access for librarians.
- A detailed description of open access for librarians that digs into some of the deeper logistics of how open access publishing works in practice.
Understanding Open Access: When, Why, & How to Make Your Work Openly Accessible by Lexi Rubow, Rachael Shen, & Brianna Schofield at the Samuelson Law, Technology, and Public Policy Clinic licensed CC-BY 4.0
- An in-depth overview of open access and how to make your own work openly accessible.
More information about Open Access and OER advocacy
ROAR: Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policy by The School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton
- A review of existing open access policies including terms and details.
OER and Advocacy: What Can Librarians Do? By University of Toronto Libraries
- Resources and information regarding how librarians can support OER adoption as well as some faculty perspectives on OER.
Scholarly Communication Toolkit: Scholarly Communication Overview by Advancing Learning Transforming Scholarship at the Association of College & Research Libraries
- A toolkit to help librarians integrate a scholarly communication perspective into library operations and programs, as well as prepare presentations on scholarly communication issues for administrators, faculty, staff, students, or other librarians.
CC’s Open Culture work
You can read more about the tensions between open access and Indigenous rights and interest in this keynote summary. Learn more about the key issues in the report of the OC Platform Traditional Knowledge and Copyright Intersections working group, which was created on the acknowledgement that the needs and circumstances of groups and resources that fall under the broad category of Indigenous knowledge are both varied and specific. This report aims to advance research, dialogue, and advocacy on the relationship between copyright and traditional cultural expressions.
You can also watch:
- Anti-Colonial Knowledge Webinar with Stacy Allison-Cassin (2023)
- Anti-Colonial Knowledge Webinar with Stacy Allison-Cassin (2022) and
- GLAMHack 2023 webinar on the ethics of open sharing, co-organized by the Geneva Museum of Ethnography.
CC’s Open Culture Platform working group on the Ethics of Open Sharing published a card game with Wiki Loves Living Heritage in 2023. Access and use of cultural heritage are governed by ethical considerations that must be taken into account, and these outputs contribute to building understanding in a playful and engaging way.
CC also hosted a webinar discussing how to handle offensive terminologies in metadata and collections catalog practices in November 2023. You can find a recap and recording on our blog: Open Culture Live Recap & Recording: Respectful Terminologies & Changing the Subject.
More resources on copyright & digitization
Our starting point for this conversation assumes that you either have some collections or items already digitized or that you are on your way to start a digitization project. The technical and planning aspects of digitization processes are out of the scope of this course.
If you need resources to plan a digitization project, you can review the Digital Project Proposal Process by the University of Michigan. This resource can help you plan a digitization project.
If you are looking for more general and technical resources, we recommend the following:
- The Digital Library Federation Wiki;
- the Digitization Guidelines by the Federal Agencies Digital Guidelines Initiative (FADGI);
- the “Resources” section by Our Digital World, a non-for-profit based in Ontario, Canada;
- and the Resources page of the Canadian Heritage Network.
More resources on benefits & challenges of Open GLAM
Benefit: Enhanced mission and relevance to 21st century audiences
Loic Tallon, former Chief Digital Officer at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in “Sparking Global Connections to Art through Artificial Intelligence.”
- “Our ambition is to make The Met collection one of the most accessible, discoverable, and useful on the internet. We want to educate and disseminate knowledge beyond the physical perimeter of the institution and foster understanding of the multiple histories of the artworks. Releasing the hi-res images of The Met collection and its data into the public domain under Creative Commons Zero (CC0) has proven to be a paradigm shift in how we achieve that ambition.”
Merete Sanderhoff, Curator and senior advisor at SMK, “Open Access can Never be Bad News”.
- “Creating access to our collections is our raison d’être. The reason we collect and preserve them is because we believe they can tell people important things about the history of humankind, cultural identity, developments and differences. Without access, they are just dead objects kept in impressive containers.”
Benefit: Foster education through the creation of high quality Open Educational Resources (OER) by allowing the reuse of digital heritage
- Several aggregators, such as Europeana and the Digital Public Library of America, have taken among their tasks to create OER; see for example the DPLA Primary Sources set, for classroom and other learning activities. Coloring books are also popular among projects outside GLAMs that work with collections; see, for example, the Public Domain Review coloring book and Europeana’s coloring books.
- Some institutions design special websites or projects to connect collections to children and young adults. Memoria Chilena’s website, “Chile para Niños,” features special collections for kids, inviting them to explore collections in ways that are meaningful to them. The Smithsonian has the Learning Labs, designed by teachers, educators and museum specialists, and tailored to different learning audiences.
- Explore how your art class can benefit from Open Educational Resources.
Benefit: Increasing scholarly access
If you are a small institution and do not have a lot of resources to produce “data dumps” or big research projects using your collection as data, the Collections as Data project has compiled a list of 50 things you can do “to support collections as data at your institution,” that go from very simple steps such as conducting interviews with curators and archivists, to understanding efforts to conduct rights assessments.
Benefit: Increased presence on social media
Another great example is that of software developer Andrei Taraschuk who is running a fascinating experiment, bringing art to social media one bot at a time. This is the list of his “artbots,” and in this 5 minute video he explains the purpose of what he is doing:
Challenge: Funding, loss of revenue and business models
Made with Creative Commons by Paul Stacey and Sarah Hinchliff Pearson is a guide to sharing your knowledge and creativity with the world, and sustaining your operation while you do.
Challenge: Misuse of public domain works
In 2022, CC published a detailed report of a wide-ranging survey about the needs, aspirations, and expectations of CC public domain tools (PDM, CC0) within the open culture sector.
Copyright for GLAMs
College Arts Association, CODE OF BEST PRACTICES IN FAIR USE FOR THE VISUAL ARTS.
Ronan Deazley, Copyright 101 · Copyright Cortex, 2017.
Peter B. Hirtle, Emily Hudson, and Andrew T. Kenyon, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums (Cornell University Library, 2009)
Anne Young, ed., Rights and Reproductions: The Handbook for Cultural Institutions, Second Edition (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).
Dryden, Jean. “Just Let It Go? Controlling Reuse of Online Holdings.” Archivaria 77 (2014): 43–71.
Saunderson, Fred, & Tudur, Dafydd. (2019, June 28). Clear and Consistent: Copyright Assessment Framework for Libraries. Zenodo.
Copyright & Digital Reproductions
Margoni, Thomas, The Digitisation of Cultural Heritage: Originality, Derivative Works and (Non) Original Photographs (December 3, 2014). Available at SSRN.
- This important case in the United States has been shaping how some GLAMs approach the question of digital reproductions in the US.
Andrea Wallace and Ronan Deazley, Display At Your Own Risk, 2016.
- This is an interesting art & law project that signals some of the challenges that users might face when conflicting copyright statements arise on digital reproductions.
Keller, Paul, Implementing the Copyright Directive: Protecting the Public Domain with Article 14, 2019.
- This analysis by CC Network Member Paul Keller signals the importance of Article 14 for protecting the public domain.
List of institutions and projects
We are providing a list of GLAM and other institutions working with them that are mentioned in this Unit for future reference, by alphabetical order:
- Auckland War Memorial Museum (New Zealand)
- Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (UK)
- Clark Art Institute (US)
- Cleveland Museum of Art (US)
- Collections as Data
- Connecticut Digital Archive (US)
- Dalhousie University (Canada)
- Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) (US)
- Europeana (Europe)
- Flickr (global)
- Getty Museum (US)
- GLAM-Wiki (global)
- Ipiranga Museum (Brazil)
- Library of Congress (US)
- National Archives of Brazil (Brazil)
- National Gallery of Art (US)
- National Library of Chile and Memoria Chilena (Chile)
- National Library of Scotland (Scotland)
- Nationalmuseum (Sweden)
- Newfields (US)
- NYPL Labs (US)
- Open a GLAM Lab (multiple countries)
- The Heritage Lab (India)
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art (US)
- The Rijksmuseum (Netherlands)
- Te Papa (New Zealand)
- Smithsonian Learning Lab
- Wikimedia Argentina (Argentina)
Reuse & Remix
Rick Prelinger: On the Virtues of Preexisting Material
Eschenfelder, Kristin R., and Michelle Caswell. “Digital Cultural Collections in an Age of Reuse and Remixes.” Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 47, no. 1 (2010): 1–10.
Wallace, Andrea, Accessibility and Open GLAM (January 1, 2020).
Jani McCutcheon and Ana Ramalho (eds), International Perspectives on Disability Exceptions in Copyright and the Visual Arts: Feeling Art (Routledge 2020), Available at SSRN.