The digitisation of cultural heritage
collections has been going on for several decades now, promising unprecedented
potentials for the GLAM sector to fulfil its public mission of opening up
knowledge and culture to the participation and enjoyment of all citizens. As
stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 27.1,
Everyone has the right freely to participate in the
cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific
advancement and its benefits.
The big question is, how can the GLAM sector demonstrate that we are achieving this ambition through the digitally powered public engagement efforts we have been developing on the base of digitisation? Increasingly, politicians and funders are demanding numbers to show that the tax or private money spent on culture have tangible social impact. How have people’s opportunities to learn, create and contribute to their culture and society improved after we started providing access to digitised collections? Is it even possible to produce hard evidence of such improvements?
Venue : Aarhus, Denmark – The 2017 European
Capital of Culture Date: November 20-21 2017
A terrific panel of artists, copyright experts, and museum people in a debate about contemporary art, digital media, and rights issues.
In this debate, we discussed perspectives and challenges in using Creative Commons licenses on contemporary art, as opposed to traditional copyright. Does it entail increased visibility for artists if they share reproductions of their work more liberally than copyright allows for? Is it even possible for artists to opt out of social media today, if they want their work to known more widely? Are there new ways for artists to make revenues in connection with more openly licensed images of their work? Or is it a slippery slope to start relaxing the restrictions on how images of artworks are shown, shared and circulated online?
The aim was to have a constructive and solution-oriented debate that will help artists and cultural institutions alike to better understand how to navigate and benefit from the participatory culture on the Internet, while respecting rights.
Historically, copyright has been concerned with encouraging commercial cultural production. Today, most of the creative expression comes from amateurs who do not understand copyright, or have no clue what it’s about. What about tomorrow? The Internet, with its 2.8 billion users and counting, is just beginning to change the legal landscape. How to reform copyright – in Denmark or in Europe – to reconcile the interests of those who want to make money, when others just want to share knowledge or information?
Cédric Manara, PhD, has lost his hair teaching, writing or consulting. He has been a full time law professor at EDHEC Business School (France) and held visitorships in Finland, Italy, Japan and the USA, published a lot on intellectual property and internet legal issues, and also was a consultant for e-commerce companies or law firms. He joined Google’s wonderful legal team as copyright counsel in 2013.
How open is open enough? A philosophy of cultural commons for the cultural heritage sector.
Cultural (heritage) institutions are redefining their roles in a context of digital access to culture. This talk will address how the cultural heritage sector can adopt a layered approach, with different degrees of openness. An overall goal of cultural heritage institutions in the digital age can be to provide as much access as possible and to be as open as possible towards reuse and remix practices. How open this is, however, might change depending on specific user communities, and it can also be different depending on the content being shared.
The idea of ‘constructed cultural commons’ can provide a useful background or philosophy for initiatives the sector is undertaking. Some of the guiding principles of this approach are the intrinsic value of culture and digital cultural artefacts, the rights of users to sustainable access to these valuable assets, and the need for diversity and inclusiveness of the offer – also with regards to copyright status, in order to avoid a ‘digital black hole of 20th century content’. This ‘as open as possible’ philosophy, with respect to rights but without being unnecessarily constraining, can inspire cultural policy and cultural institutions’ digital experimentation.
Eva Van Passel has been a researcher at iMinds – SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, since 2007. Her research interests include the many challenges and opportunities for arts and heritage in a networked society, but her research mainly focuses on the changing roles of cultural (heritage) institutions in the context of digitisation, digital preservation, and distribution and sustainable digital access. Topics under scrutiny over the years have included strategic challenges for cultural institutions, digital cultural policy, audience strategies, business models, the European digital library Europeana, open cultural data and open GLAM initiatives, and financing models for digital cultural heritage. Eva holds Masters degrees in Communication and Media Studies, and in Film Studies and Visual Culture.
While our digital lives are undisputedly globalised, we have no international harmonised market for intellectual property. For this reason, artists and the cultural heritage sector struggle to legally share their creative works online. This hinders the public’s access to knowledge and culture, which in turn can have an economic impact on society.
At Kennisland, we call for a strong public domain, an EU harmonised internal market for intellectual property, fitting limitations and exceptions, and accessible provenance information. The current implementation of the new orphan works directive only solves problems of access to the extent of the Internet five years ago, not for the future.
If the cultural heritage sector wants to support a thriving Remix Culture, we need to debate the legal and technical mechanisms that are holding artists and institutions back from sharing. We need a frank discussion on the merits of sharing vs. the monopoly of intellectual property rights.
Maarten Zeinstra works at Kennisland (KL). KL is an independent think tank with a public mission. KL aspires to strengthen our knowledge society by designing innovative programmes and realising interventions to address the grand challenges of today’s society. A strong knowledge-driven society subsists because of access to information. By making digital heritage collections available in an open and innovative way, knowledge can thrive.
Maarten is advisor on copyright law and open technology in the cultural sector. His focus is to guide cultural institutions in making data available online. In practice, this means writing policy, giving workshops and masterclasses, and guiding technological development. Maarten is project lead of Creative Commons Nederland and has extensive experience as a requirements engineer and architect for projects like Open Images, Europeana and OutOfCopyright.eu.
Through a versatile programme of international keynote speakers, keynotes in conversation and ignite sessions, the seminar focused on the amazing stuff the cultural sector can achieve when rethinking the logic of copyright in a digital age perspective. But we also discussed the hurdles to overcome and the fights to take, when we want to challenge the traditional notion of copyright.
The speakers delivered talks to open up fresh perspectives on how to work more flexibly with rights in the digital age, and what awesome potentials the cultural sector can tap into if we dare to change our existing mindsets and ways of working.
As a special feature this year, Sharing is Caring led directly up to the annual cultural heritage hackathon Hack4DK from Friday evening 2 October through Sunday 4 October.
Taking, Making and Law-Breaking: copyright, digitised content, and the digital maker movement.
Although there is a lot of digitised cultural heritage content online, it is still incredibly difficult to source good material to reuse, or material that you are allowed to reuse, in creative projects. What can institutions do to help people who want to invest their time in making and creating using digitised historical items as inspiration and source material? How does this affect the creative choices that people can make when trying to produce items based on digitized content? How does the current copyright licensing, and the treatment of digitized versions of orphan works, help or hinder the ability to reuse and share digitized content in a physical form?
In this talk, Melissa Terras will talk about her experiences in trying to reuse digitized heritage content to make something she likes, wants, and will use – and the frustrating barriers she encountered along the way. Covering issues of technical digitization standards, search and retrieval issues, and licensing issues, it is demonstrated how difficult it is to reuse cultural heritage content in this context, given the implicit and explicit barriers raised, institutionally, technically, and legally, along the way.
Melissa Terras is Director of UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, Professor of Digital Humanities in UCL’s Department of Information Studies, and Vice Dean of Research (Projects) in UCL’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities. With a background in Classical Art History, English Literature, and Computing Science, her doctorate (Engineering, University of Oxford) examined how to use advanced information engineering technologies to interpret and read Roman texts. Publications include “Image to Interpretation: Intelligent Systems to Aid Historians in the Reading of the Vindolanda Texts” (2006, Oxford University Press) and “Digital Images for the Information Professional” (2008, Ashgate) and she has co-edited various volumes such as “Digital Humanities in Practice” (Facet 2012) and “Defining Digital Humanities: A Reader” (Ashgate 2013). She is currently serving on the Board of Curators of the University of Oxford Libraries, and the Board of the National Library of Scotland. Her research focuses on the use of computational techniques to enable research in the arts and humanities that would otherwise be impossible. You can generally find her on twitter @melissaterras.
The 2nd Sharing is Caring seminar was held 12 December 2012. The seminar focused on real life practical examples of the impact of sharing digitized collections, and the authority to use them.
“At the first Sharing is Caring in 2011, we set the agenda for why it is important that cultural heritage institutions open up their digitized assets to the public, and how it can be done. This year, let’s get real: Let’s learn from concrete cases at institutions who have taken radical steps to open up and collaborate with the public. What are the challenges when opening up and engaging with the public – not only traditional cultural heritage lovers, but also people we don’t normally reach: Non-users and users who might not fit into a Eurocentric definition of culture. What can we learn if we open up to authentic two-way dialogue that might demand us to change?
What are the hard facts behind the philanthropic vision of opening up? How do vision and reality interact? What do the actual usage, statistics, and data tell? What are the keys to success, and what are the biggest barriers that we must face when engaging with users and letting go of control over our assets.”
10.00: Welcome by organizers Hans Henrik Appel, ODM and Merete Sanderhoff, SMK
10.15: Keynote #1: Shelley Bernstein, Chief of Technology, Brooklyn Museum
“New Methods to Foster Deep Engagement”
Shelley will talk about the Brooklyn Museum’s mission as a departure point for recent initiatives, including GO, a project where Brooklyn-based artists were asked to open their studios to the community, so visitors could nominate artists for inclusion in a group exhibition at the Museum. GO will be discussed in the context of other in-gallery and online projects that have been developed in recent years to explore alternative methods with the aim to engage museum audiences in deep ways.
11.00: Keynote #2: Jasper Visser, digital strategist, Inspired by Coffee
“The future of museums is about attitude (not technology)”
To say the digital revolution has changed the world is like opening a novel on a dark andstormy night, to paraphrase global strategist Pankaj Ghemawat. Yet it has. Audiences change, their expectations change, funding changes… Museums will have to adapt to this new reality and reinvent their role in society to remain relevant in years to come. However,this has more to do with dramatically changing their attitude than with an increased focus on the use of technology. In this high-paced presentation digital strategist Jasper Visser will summarize good practices for museums to remain relevant in the 21st century, drawing from his international experience as a consultant for cultural institutions. The presentation will present actionable lessons the audience can take home and apply in their institution.
11.45: Short break
12.00: Keynotes in conversation – Shelley Bernstein and Jasper Visser, moderated by Merete Sanderhoff
13.30: Ignite session – one hour of inspiring cases, insights and discussions
Ellen Pettersson, Communicator of Digital Engagement, digidel.se: ”Digital literacy is a prerequisite for digital learning”
The Digidel 2013 campaign is for organizations, companies and authorities who work together with private citizens in raising the question of digital inclusion. Digidel’s aim is for everybody to have the knowledge, courage and understanding needed to use the Internet in everyday life. Using the Internet is a question of democracy when your life, services and companies go digital.
Lise Sattrup, Ph.D. fellow, RUC, & Nana Bernhardt, Head of Education and Development, SMK:
“Museums and cultural institutions as spaces for Cultural Citizenship”
Ten Danish museums and cultural institutions collaborate to examine how to create spaces for Cultural Citizenship. This has raised lots of questions, the most significant perhaps being how knowledge is produced. The project is based on Mikhail Bakhtin’s term ‘Multivoicedness’. We will give a few examples of how the involved museums invite users to participate and let their voices become part of the production of knowledge through co-creation, thus unfolding a potential for mutual learning processes both for users and museums.
Lene Krogh Jeppesen, Innovator & Knowledgesharer, Danish Ministry of Taxation: “@skattefar – using Twitter to communicate with citizens”
In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”, Benjamin Franklin said, thus voicing a common attitude towards taxes: boring, dreaded and quite dusty. Add to that a modern bureaucracy and the image of an authority as a big black box, lots of red tape and complicated rules is complete. The Danish Ministry of Taxation uses Twitter (@skattefar) to illuminate the big black box and to give taxes a more humane yet professional voice. @skattefar is part of a bigger movement changing the authority’s perception of citizens as well as citizens’ perception of the authority. An honest insight into what happens when a modern bureaucracy ventures on new paths.
Nanna Holdgaard, Ph.D. fellow, ITU & Bjarki Valtysson, Associate Professor, KU:
“Caring for whom? – Perspectives on participation in social media”
In this talk we will discuss the participatory potentials of social media, particularly Facebook, and inspect how its affordances stage participation, sharing, and the act of creating. Political parties, politicians, businesses, cultural institutions, media institutions, artists, producers, consumers, and users – you name it – everyone is online. But how can these kinds of communications best be described and what should cultural institutions financed by the state be aware of? Is it marketization? Is it empowerment? Is it communication for the sake of communication? Is it caring – and if this is the case, caring for whom?
Ditte Laursen, Ph. D. and Media Researcher, The State and University Library, Aarhus:
“Meeting the visitor: Distribution and dissemination of mobile guides at the museum front desk”
Over the years, the benefits of mobile devices in museums have been explored in a number of papers. Yet studies show that encouraging visitors to use mobile interpretation is the largest challenge in implementing mobile projects in museums. One of the keys to encouraging visitors to use mobile interpretation – one that has received little attention so far – is the distribution and dissemination of the guides. This presentation focuses on the operation of the museum’s front desk. Based on video recordings, it addresses the interaction between front desk assistants and visitors, highlighting barriers and organizational challenges in the distribution and dissemination of multimedia guides.
Peter Leth, Educational Advisor, Lær-IT & Creative Commons Danmark:
“Open licensing opens up education”
If teachers violate copyright law in our educational practices we criminalize both ourselves and our students. Any use of other peoples’ knowledge in an IT-didactical context requires that we are allowed to use this knowledge. Consequently, the school system must ensure that students are offered a basic understanding of copyright law along with a range of tools to search for materials they are allowed to use. Creative Commons licenses make the communication between owner and user short, clear, concise, and user-friendly. They establish the foundation for a legal and rich environment for learning. At Lær IT we have developed a toolset called SchoolTube that ensures a safe learning environment providing students access to both knowledge and tools to reach their learning goals.
Miriam Lerkenfeld, Project Manager, The Danish Broadcasting Corporation:
“Old Content in a New Domain – Giving Access to Cultural Heritage”
DR has launched the laboratory Dansk Kulturarv by opening the radio- and TV-archive to the Danish citizens. The goal of Dansk Kulturarv is to create access to as much data as possible, for as many Danes as possible – but there are numerous limits. The limits are often related to platforms, technology, copyright and communities controlled by commercial interests. This makes it hard to expose public service content outside the traditional domains. This session will present some of the problems that arise when a public broadcaster wishes to share content on the Internet. It will also give some insights to how hard it is for a cultural institution to share content and combine it with content from other cultural institutions. But in the end also, how one should focus on collaborating and keeping the users engaged.
Theis Vallø Madsen, PhD Fellow, Aarhus University and KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art:
“Mapping the Messy Archive”
In the sixties a group of American avant-garde artists began experimenting with fluctuating, intertwining information. They built a decentralized, rhizomatic network where art and information circulated between artists outside the official institutions of art. The mail art network was an offspring of the Fluxus movement and was based on the same principles as we see in today’s digital culture: There is no autonomous work of art within the mail art network because every piece is part of an exchange between a sender and one or more receivers. In cooperation with three museums, Meaning Making Experience, Danish Broadcasting Corporation and a group of digital developers, I am working on the development of a digital map of a mail art archive, i.e. Danish artist Mogens Otto Nielsen’s archive at KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art. This collaboration – “The Mapping Project” – sets out to develop new ways of visualizing messy, entangled museum collections.
14.30: Coffee break
15.00: Jill Cousins, Executive Director of the Europeana Foundation
“Building a European Cultural Commons”
European Memory institutions have been the custodians of our culture for many a year. They preserve, conserve, and now digitise our past. Creating access to this huge repository means creating some common ground where both providers and users can play and gain new partnerships and new innovations. Europeana has been facilitating workshops for just over a year aimed at developing a European Cultural Commons, where caring is sharing and the world is possibly a richer place.
15.30: Sarah Giersing, Curator, Museum of Copenhagen
“The WALL in Copenhagen and Cairo. When citizens create their city’s history”
Sharing is not only about creating access to museum collections. It is about sharing the authority to interpret and augment these. Although many museums have embraced participatory information sharing, few have yet let it affect their information accumulating activities of cataloguing and collecting. The WALL in Copenhagen suggests new ways to let audiences explore and discuss their city’s history as well as shape and document digital future heritage. This presentation explores how this concept is unfolding in Copenhagen – and in the very different cultural and political climate of Cairo, where an adaptaion of the WALL is currently underway.
16.00: Jacob Wang, Head of Digital Media, The National Museum of Denmark
“The Digital Museum as Platform”
The National Museum needs a digital revolution and the hard work has begun! But what does it look like when a “digital museum” is built – not from the ground up, but from the messy place known as “now”? Who are the participants in such an effort, what is needed from them and how will they (we) be changed in the process? Museums are organizations in the “forever-business”, so how do we plan our activities for them to be both relevant today and valuable in the far future?
In my talk, I will share some of the core challenges the National Museum is facing (primarily as a digital museum) and suggest ideas and principles with which to tackle them: government 2.0, lean startup methodologies, hacker-mentality, in-house digital hacktivism, crowd-sourcing and community-engagement, the ‘self-conscious-generous-meta-museum’ and other more or less homegrown strategies “to do work that matters”.
16.30: Panel discussion
16.45: Concluding remarks by Merete Sanderhoff, SMK
The 1st Sharing is Caring seminar was held 11 November 2011. The seminar focused on building the technological infrastructure that enables the cultural heritage sector to share our digitized collections with the world.
“When cultural heritage is openly and freely accessible, everyone has a chance to use it, to engage with it. It becomes relevant, a part of people’s lives. It creates a sense of shared ownership that makes us care. If it is locked away and hard to get to, why should we care? If it is a tool and an experience in daily life, it becomes a living part of us. In order to be relevant to the users of today and tomorrow, we need to share. Sharing demands networked efforts and common standards. How do we establish the preconditions for sharing – and caring for – our common cultural heritage?”
The speakers shared ideas and insights on,
What we can gain from collaborating cross institutions?
How we can build sustainable technical solutions, that enables different institutions to share and combine their data and content?
How we can tackle intellectual property issues in the current media reality?
10.00: Welcome by Hans Henrik Appel, ODM and Merete Sanderhoff, SMK
10.15: Keynote – Michael Edson, Director of Web and New Media, Smithsonian Institution
“Hackers at the Helm”
What would you do if a group of citizen activists took over your organization? You should decide quickly, because they already have, and you have less authority with every passing day. In this presentation, Michael Edson will talk about the forces driving organizations towards greater openness and the tactics they can use to be on the winning side of change.
11.00: Martin von Haller Grønbæk, IT-lawyer, partner at Bender von Haller Dragsted law firm, and co-founder of Creative Commons Denmark
“Creative Commons – Remix culture”
Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation. The infrastructure Creative Commons provide consists of a set of copyright licenses and tools that create a balance inside the traditional “all rights reserved” setting that copyright law creates. Creative Commons tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to keep their copyright while allowing certain uses of their work — a “some rights reserved” approach to copyright — which makes their creative, educational, and scientific content instantly more compatible with the full potential of the internet. The combination of Creative Commons tools and users is a vast and growing digital commons, a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law.
11.30: Lars Lundquist, Head of Unit at the Swedish National Heritage Board
Open data and Creative Commons in a cultural heritage context
The Swedish National Heritage Board (SNHB) is one of many cultural heritage institutions busy dealing with issues facing a rapidly changing media landscape and what we need to do in order to be relevant in such a context. What happens now when we are acting on a global arena?
The Board is concentrating on improving openness in two ways. One is to open up and expose the knowledge and passion that exist in culture heritage institutions via new media. Finding and building relations with the audience and new users through social media sites has proven to be successful. Another way is to set digital information free. Cultural institutions can benefit from a greater use of information, and allow use in new contexts.
SNHB main objectives now are infrastructure for aggregation of museums and immobile cultural heritage, building and marketing APIs, implementing Creative Commons and PD mark, phase out trading photographs, building tools for linking data and implementing semantics into the systems. We are also involved in implementation of social media channels as tools for listening to and communicating with stakeholders.
12.00: Challenge Round I
• Panel: Speakers
• Moderator: Merete Sanderhoff
13.15: Bo Weymann, Director of It development, Danish Library Center and council member in TING
“TING Community –Development and Sharing”
TING Community defines itself as an Open Ecosystem for cultural innovation, cooperation and sharing of results in the digital society. A main goal is to create and share relevant digital solutions for libraries, museums and other cultural institutions and their end users. This is not possible if we do not release information, knowledge and digital representations of physical collections and make it visible in contexts with a high degree of relevance to the public. Sharing development based on Open Source, Open Content and Open Access was a main driver when the two biggest public libraries, Aarhus and Copenhagen, together with Danish Library Center formed TING. So far, a Drupal™ based discovery interface and CMS based platform have been developed and shared. The presentation will focus on how these can be shared in the long run together with new development, and in cooperation with other Open Source projects, for instance Collection Space.
13.45: Jacob R. Wang, Head of IT development, Odense Bys Museer
“Sustainability in digital heritage projects”
What characterizes a sustainable digital project? How do we create projects that aligns with our core acitivities, not creating new ones that lead into dead ends? How should we act in the midst of tech hype and the draw of the latest one-trick pony? What is the “cemetary of dead frontends” and what is burried there?! What should we do to prepare for digital heritage sharing and collaboration beyond the 2010’s? All these questions will be adressed using the LAM-project (libraries, archives, museums) http://historiskatlas.dk as case.
14.15: Tobias Golodnoff, Leader of the Danish Cultural Heritage Project at The Danish Broadcasting Corporation
“When I want to start a project, building a backend is too late.
– How building a technology community makes it more feasible to initiate new projects”
The Cultural Heritage Project is working in a community to assure use of our heritage through Free and Open Source Software. Sharing experiences from the work done in building the Cultural Heritage Archive Open System and the CHAOS:\Community, Tobias Golodnoff will give insights of the reasoning behind working together in a technology community, and why being ready is everything when the next new thing makes our audiences demand innovation in terms of digital services and products.
14.45: Coffee break
15.15: Henrik Jarl Hansen, Senior Consultant and Christian Ertmann-Christiansen, Section Leader, National Heritage Agency of Denmark
“Towards a common Danish infrastructure for collections management, aggregation and dissemination”
Museums have a very long tradition for collecting, recording and for sharing knowledge. Some were early adopters of computers and Denmark is in the unique situation that it has been possible to establish a framework at the national level for giving access to the Danish museums’ collections 24/7/365 using the internet. So far not every item or artwork is digitised and a few museums are still missing from the national overview. Simultaneously, new possibilities for sharing information are rapidly emerging.
The Ministry of Culture has just initiated a consolidation process for a new common infrastructure for collections management, digital resource management and aggregation to be used by all museums within 3 years. The work includes a new shared data model, a new database as well as new applications. Collaboration, involvement and innovation are among the keywords. The presentation looks at the process leading to new system, gives a status and outlines some of the future possibilities among others for sharing and caring.
15.45: Lars Ulrich Tarp Hansen, Head of Communication, KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg
“Museums in digital space”
Museums constantly write and produce educational texts, and increasingly also audio and video. Often, the different texts and files are only used on a single platform, for instance on a website, on exhibition labels, or in printed publications. A new initiative will collect all kinds of educational texts and files in a shared database in order to make the content scalable and reusable on a number of digital platforms, and add data from Regin, the central register of Danish museums. The first platform to be developed is a smartphone application, made in collaboration with the DR Cultural Heritage Project
16.15: Challenge Round II
• Panel: Speakers
• Moderator: Merete Sanderhoff
16.45-17: Concluding remarks by Merete Sanderhoff
Conferences on open data and collaboration in the GLAM sector