All posts by Merete Sanderhoff

Projektforsker og projektleder, Statens Museum for Kunst. Mag. art. i Kunsthistorie.

Sharing is Caring 2012: Let’s get real!

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.”

Keynotes in conversation: Shelley Bernstein and Jasper Visser. Photo by ODM, CC BY-SA
Keynotes in conversation: Shelley Bernstein and Jasper Visser. Photo by ODM, CC BY-SA

Photos from Sharing is Caring 2012

Video archive of talks and debates at Sharing is Caring


9.30: Coffee

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

12.45: Lunch

13.30: Ignite session – one hour of inspiring cases, insights and discussions

Ellen Pettersson, Communicator of Digital Engagement, ”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

17.00: End of seminar

Sharing is Caring 2011: Digitized cultural heritage for all

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?


Jacob Wang speaking. Photo by Lars Lundqvist, CC BY-NC-SA
Jacob Wang speaking. Photo by Lars Lundqvist, CC BY-NC-SA

Photos from Sharing is Caring 2011.

Video archive of talks and debates at Sharing is Caring


9.30: Coffee

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
12.30-13.15: Lunch
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) 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

Sharing is Caring 2014: Working with our users

The 3rd international Sharing is Caring seminar was held on 1 April 2014. The seminar focused on collaboration with users in the GLAM sector.

“All over the world cultural institutions are striving to develop new ways to engage and collaborate with users, enabled by digital technologies and the Internet, with the aim to foster deep and lasting involvement, enrich our knowledge and assets, and to be not only places for the preservation of cultural history, but also hubs of new creativity, ideas, and innovation. In a series of expert talks, discussions, ignites, and networking sessions, we’ll explore the topic from a wealth of different angles. User involvement, remix culture, crowdsourcing, citizen science, and citizen exploration are just some of the keywords on the agenda. How do we tap into the cognitive and creative surplus so abundantly present in the people we used to call our audiences, and help make it thrive in relation to the collections and knowledge in our institutions?”

Kathryn Eccles and Charlotte S. H. Jensen in conversation at SiC2014. Photo by Lars Lundqvist CC BY-NC-SA
Kathryn Eccles and Charlotte S. H. Jensen in conversation at SiC2014. Photo by Lars Lundqvist CC BY-NC-SA

Photos from Sharing is Caring 2014

Video archive of talks and debates at Sharing is Caring


  • 9.30: Coffee
  • 10.00: Welcome by Merete Sanderhoff, SMK
  • 10.15: Keynote #1 Kathryn Eccles: 
    “Using crowdsourcing to understand public engagement with cultural heritage”Kathryn holds the position of Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. Her main interests lie within the field of Digital Humanities, focusing on the impact of new technologies on cultural heritage, and on scholarly behaviour and research. Her current research looks at the role of crowdsourcing in the arts, in particular the potential of new information and communication technologies to promote public engagement with and awareness of museum collections and to elicit new information about users and usage. This AHRC-funded research focused on the project Your Paintings as the key case study.
  • 10.45: Keynote #2 Mia Ridge:
    Enriching cultural heritage collections through a Participatory Commons platform: a provocation about collaborating with users”Mia is currently researching a PhD in digital humanities (Department of History, Open University), focusing on historians and scholarly crowdsourcing. Mia has published and presented widely on her key areas of interest including: user experience design, human-computer interaction, open cultural data, audience engagement and crowdsourcing in the cultural heritage sector. Mia was formerly Lead Web Developer at the Science Museum Group, and has worked internationally as a business analyst, digital consultant and web programmer in the cultural heritage and commercial sectors. She is editor of the forthcoming volume ‘Crowdsourcing our Cultural Heritage’ (Ashgate, to be published 2014).
  • 11.15: Keynotes in conversation: Mia Ridge and Kathryn Eccles, moderated by Charlotte S. H. Jensen
  • 12.00: Lunch
  • 13.30: Ignite session I“VIborgerne – We the citizens of Viborg – a participatory exhibition”
    Anne-Mette Villumsen, director, The Skovgaard Museum
    Process and outcome of a participatory exhibition that was meant to give rise to a discussion about the art museum’s role in the local community.”Folkemøde på Bornholm”
    Camilla Bøcher Roesen, DR Archive
    DR wishes to explore a variation of possibilities for end-users to generate metadata for its programs. The upcoming event, “Folkemøde på Bornholm”, is an opportunity to meet the end-user and to get end-user tags – live, as we broadcast live.

    “ULK / Metrofences”
    Emil Lüth, ULK
    Digitally “remixing’ and releasing 600 years of art history from the SMK collection, into works within the public space, beautifying the Metro fences at the construction site by Frederik’s Church in central Copenhagen, together with the citizens themselves.

    Daniel Gunnarsson, librarian and project manager of
    The crowdsourcing project of, a picture database of Danish architecture, showcases the potential to run a crowdsourcing project with almost no fundings at all. Thoughts on challenges, possibilities, practice and methods – and how to keep the “crowd” motivated and stimulated to secure further contributions.

    “Let your fingers do the walking”
    Peter Balch Berthelsen, exhibition designer, and Camilla Bjarnø, curator, Moesgaard Museum
    Working with specific groups of end-users such as the Danish Association of the Blind on creating a new tactile, auditive installation for the museum. The experience gave valuable insights on how much preparation the users need, when engaging in a completely new way of perceiving the past.

  • 14.00: Keynote #3 Nick Poole:
    “Why people fall in love with museums”Nick is CEO of the Collections Trust in London, where he is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the organisation. Nick is also the Chair of ICOM UK and of the Europeana Council of Content Providers and Aggregators. Nick advises Governments and agencies in the UK and internationally on issues relating to Culture, and he represents the UK on the European Commission’s Member States Expert Group. He has published and lectured in the UK and worldwide on subjects relating to Collections Management and the legal, economic and ethical issues relating to delivering collections-based services.
  • 14.30: Keynote #4 Simon Tanner:
    When we share, do they care? Using Impact Assessment to understand how our digital presence changes lives“Simon Tanner is Deputy Head of the Department of Digital Humanities and Director of Digital Consulting at King’s College London. He works with cultural institutions big or small across the world to assist them to transform their collections and online presence. His research on reproduction charging models and rights policy for digital images in art museums has heavily influenced the trend towards opening up cultural heritage collections. He authored Digital Futures: Strategies for the Information Age with Marilyn Deegan and in 2011 wrote Inspiring Research, Inspiring Scholarship: the value and benefits of digitised resources for learning, teaching and enjoyment. In 2012, Simon published Balanced Value Impact Model.
  • 15.00: Coffee break
  • 15.15: Keynotes in conversation: Simon Tanner and Nick Poole, moderated by Harry Verwayen, Europeana
  • 16.00: Ignite Session II“How to get happy prod-users and engaged co-workers”
    Peter Soemers, audience and GLAM user
    Examples of ‘user engagement’-highlights that I experienced in 2013 in or from museums: What made me happy? Why did it make me happy? Opportunities in user engagement and recommendations to the GLAM sector on what to do in order to get happy prod-users and engaged co-workers.”Make users a part of your organization”
    Christian Høegh, CEO & Co-founder, BIT Blueprint
    How to integrate the users as a part of the challenges, possibilities and solutions. Eliminating the classic talk about ‘Us and Them’, and instead make ‘Us and Them’ = ‘We.’ It is no surprise that together we are stronger, and integrating the users in the organizational hierarchy, literally, can make a difference.

    “Sharing is caring in a natural way”
    Christian Lange, IT co-ordinator, Natural History Museum of Denmark
    Natural history museums all over the world are increasingly using digital images of specimens as replacements for the real objects when exchanging material. Previously, a lot of specimens were sent between institutions and continents to allow scientists to study important material, with the risk of wear and tear of the material, or even total loss, due to ignorance by the handling agents. The increased use and exchange of digital reproductions have meant a huge leap forward, both in sharing scientific specimens, and in caring for the conservation of the specimens.

    “Navigating Networks: considering changes in user behaviour”
    Faith Robinson, BA History of Art graduate, University of Leeds
    The developed and established structures in place regarding user interaction with GLAM sector resources are certainly effective. However, as the digital continues to effect contemporary approaches (in many general and specific ways), how can institutions adapt to facilitate engagement with their resources? This ignite is a case study of personal experience with these new challenges.

    “How to create loyal fans instead of customers”
    Nicoline Olesen and Flemming Møldrup, partners, Grizzly
    Movement Marketing is all about passion. It is about creating vibrant communities between a company or organization and its customers / users. Existing and potential. The starting point for the community is found in a common position or point of view and is being communicated so inspiring and relevant, that people will want to join and share it. Movement Marketing therefore opens up to create loyal fans instead of customers

  • 16.30: Concluding remarks by Merete Sanderhoff
  • 17.00: End of seminar