Sharing is Caring: How Starting Small Can Change the (Museum) World
Sharing is Caring started small in 2011. But the idea behind it was big and bold from the beginning: To share digitised cultural heritage is a palpable way to care about it. When cultural heritage is open, people are free to participate in defining and shaping how to use it. It becomes part of their everyday life, like tools in their hands. In that sense, by opening up and sharing cultural heritage, we safeguard its relevance and value.
Since the small beginnings in 2011, the openness movement has grown and spread across the cultural heritage sector and rendered Sharing is Caring more relevant than ever. Today, it’s evident that our job is not done with creating access to our digitised collections. Our societal role is changing into that of facilitators: Helping people understand that cultural heritage belongs to us all, and that everyone can use it for their own creativity and learning.
Merete Sanderhoff is Curator and Senior Advisor at Statens Museum for Kunst where she is working with open access and creative re-use strategies for the museum’s digitised collections. She initiated the international Sharing is Caring conferences, and has published substantial research in the area of digital museum practice. Merete also serves on the Europeana Association Management Board and Members Council.