Surprise machines | John Benjamins

“Although “the humanities so far has focused on literary texts, historical text records, and spatial data,” as stated by Lev Manovich in Cultural Analytics (Manovich, 2020, p.?10), the recent advancements in artificial intelligence are driving more attention to other media. For example, disciplines such as digital humanities now embrace more diverse types of corpora (Champion, 2016). Yet this shift of attention is also visible in museums, which recently took a step forward by establishing the field of experimental museology (Kenderdine et al., 2021).

This article illustrates the visualization of an extensive image collection through digital means. Following a growing interest in the digital mapping of images – proved by the various scientific articles published on the subject (Bludau et al., 2021; Crockett, 2019; Seguin, 2018), Ph.D. theses (Kräutli, 2016; Vane, 2019), software (American Museum of Natural History, 2020/2022; Diagne et al., 2018; Pietsch, 2018/2022), and presentations (Benedetti, 2022; Klinke, 2021) – this text describes an interdisciplinary experiment at the intersection of information design, experimental museology, and cultural analytics.

Surprise Machines is a data visualization that maps more than 200,000 digital images of the Harvard Art Museums (HAM) and a digital installation for museum visitors to understand the collection’s vastness. Part of a temporary exhibition organized by metaLAB (at) Harvard and entitled Curatorial A(i)gents, Surprise Machines is enriched by a choreographic interface that allows visitors to interact with the visualization through a camera capturing body gestures. The project is unique for its interdisciplinarity, looking at the prestigious collection of Harvard University through cutting-edge techniques of AI….”

CFP: Digital Heritage: Museum Data, Digitization and Digital Infrastructure ? dh+lib

“Digital Humanities scholar and digital heritage practitioner, Dr. Anne Luther (Digital Benin), is proposing a book project with Routledge and seeks proposals for book chapters that address the following:

History of Digitization in Museum: history of cataloging, history of digitization and computers in museums, today’s practices.

Digital Infrastructure: foundational texts that build an overview on internal and public infrastructure (who is interacting with data in museums [practitioners], what are data in museums [standards, vocabularies, thesaurus, data structures], what are databases [differences, uses, technical possibilities, use] how do museums publish data online [infrastructure, standardization, LOI, Wiki, online catalogues etc.], what are differences between internal data use and online publication [technical, social, monetary].

Ownership: copyright, access, authorship and the digital divide

Practice and Education: case studies in- and outside the museum

Impact and Change: case studies on restitution, accessibility and change in museum policies, practices, authorship and ownership

Short proposals of 500 words can be submitted until 31 January 2023 to contact[at]anneluther.info.”

Effie Frances Kapsalis’s Obituary

“Internationally recognized as an expert in open knowledge systems and equitable access, Effie began her career during the web boom in the nineties. In 2005 she found her niche doing digital work for museums. A passion for inclusiveness and outreach drove her work at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where she was a longtime employee.

Effie led the efforts to develop the Smithsonian’s Open Access Initiative, which put millions of images from the collection into the public domain. She was a significant collaborator on the One Smithsonian digital strategy, and was one of the institution’s greatest collaborators, bringing together partners from the Smithsonian museums and museums around the world….”

Vienna’s Albertina Museum goes open access | Europeana Pro

“In summer 2022, Vienna’s Albertina Museum put thousands of its digitised images into the public domain, many of which are available through the Europeana website. Douglas McCarthy interviews Martina Pichler to learn about the new open access policy and its benefits….”

 

The GLAM Fam! Transformative Use and Creativity in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums

“Did you enjoy our Fandoms, Fan Fiction, and Fair Use: Transformative Use For Creators session on August 17th? Join Library Futures to learn more about creativity and transformative use from a team of GLAM experts!

Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums curate, preserve, and display creative works that serve to inform and inspire continued innovation. Without transformative use, both GLAM institutions’ ability to provide these services and their patrons’ ability to create are endangered.
Join Library Futures Fellow Emily Finch in the second session of a two part series on transformative and fair use. Moderated by University of Illinois College of Law’s Associate Director for Research and Instruction Pia M. Hunter, the session will feature Brigitte Vèzina, Creative Commons’ Director of Policy, Open Culture, and GLAM, George Oates, Founder and Executive Director of the Flickr Foundation, and Douglas McCarthy Collections Engagement Manager, Europeana Foundation and Co-Founder and Editor of the Open GLAM Survey. Learn more Learn more about the role fair use, and especially transformative use, plays in GLAM institutions, in platforms and the sharing of creative content, and where the Warhol v. Goldsmith case stands to affect GLAM institutions and their users. Featuring a presentation by Policy Fellow Juliya Ziskina.”

Open GLAM survey – Douglas McCarthy

“The Open GLAM survey examines how GLAMs (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) make open access data – whether digital objects, metadata or text – available for re-use. Its working definition of ‘open’ is guided by Open Knowledge Foundation’s Open Definition. Its summary statement is ‘open means anyone can freely access, use, modify, and share for any purpose’ and the Definition helpfully provides a list of licences, rights statements and legal tools that accord with this spirit.

The survey covers data that GLAMs make available on their websites and/or external platforms. It focuses on digital surrogates of objects in the public domain, where any term of copyright for the material object has expired or never existed in the first place. Survey information is gathered via desk research and outreach to the global GLAM community.

The survey is housed and managed in a publicly accessible Google Sheet, and uploaded regularly to the Internet Archive. The survey has an extensive range of data points including institution name, type and country; licences/rights statements for digital surrogates and metadata; links to Terms of Use and copyright policies….”

Artvee

“In the last few years, several major museums and libraries have instituted an open access policy by designating most or all of the public domain art in their collections with a creative commons license making them available for use for any purpose with no restrictions attached.

We sort through and aggregate the best of these images in one location to make them easy to discover and download.

Some of our sources include….”

Bloomington library partners with museum to open access to local historical collections | WGLT

“The Bloomington Public Library has started an effort to preserve and improve access to local historical documents in partnership with the McLean County Museum of History.

Earlier this year, the library completed a donation of its archives and historical papers to the museum where they will be housed and displayed. Certain documents such as local city directories will also be digitized for online access….”

Montreal’s McCord Museum launches remarkable new open access online platform | Arts | thesuburban.com

“To mark its 100th anniversary, the McCord Museum is launching a new open access platform with bilingual descriptions of over 140,000 objects, photographs, and archival documents from its collections. The site also features approximately 130,000 royalty-free images that may be downloaded in the highest resolution available, free of charge, with no restrictions on their use.

Created to provide unparalleled access to the Museum’s collections, the project is a first for the institution. The new platform, whose content will be constantly updated, was launched with the support of the Azrieli Foundation and Canadian Heritage….”

Towards Better Sharing of Cultural Heritage — An Agenda for Copyright Reform

“This paper is intended to act as a pillar and reference point for CC’s advocacy work in copyright reform in the cultural heritage context, with a focus on issues arising in the digital environment. It may serve to support members of the CC community in their own advocacy efforts, guide policymakers in their legislative processes, and inform anyone interested in the policy issues gravitating around access and reuse of culture and cultural heritage. It will likely be adapted into a GLAM Guide for Policymakers and will be augmented with real-life examples, case studies and practical advice. It starts with an overview of copyright challenges to the legitimate activities of GLAMs, notably preservation (largely through digitization) and sharing of digital and digitized content images and data for access, use and reuse. It also notes copyright’s chilling effects in the face of the GLAM sector’s general risk aversion. The paper then offers insights towards effective copyright reform addressing those challenges, with a focus on the opportunities related to the digital environment. The proposals for reform aim to create legal certainty and international harmonization as well as to facilitate cross-border transactions. The paper encourages policymakers to recognize and support the pivotal roles of GLAMs in preserving and providing access to knowledge and culture to all members of society. It urges policymakers to engage with stakeholders to ensure there are clear, simple, and effective policies in place to support better sharing of cultural heritage in the public interest. The paper provides a high-level overview of the policy issues and, as a whole, it does not necessarily reflect the current situation in any specific jurisdiction.”

Copyright and Open Access in UK Heritage Collections Tickets, Wed 16 Mar 2022 at 14:00 | Eventbrite

“The Towards a National Collection Directorate is pleased to announce a webinar on the topic of copyright and open access in UK heritage collections. Our two speakers, both experts in their fields, have been commissioned by Towards a National Collection to prepare state-of-the-sector reports to open debate on future copyright and open access practice and recommendations. The recommendations they will present are their own and their reports form part of the evidence that Towards a National Collection continues to gather to determine the future policies it will recommend. We look forward to hearing your thoughts in this vital area….”

Smithsonian Open Access | Smithsonian Institution

“Welcome to Smithsonian Open Access, where you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking. With new platforms and tools, you have easier access to more than 3.9 million 2D and 3D digital items from our collections—with many more to come. This includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo….”

Auguste Rodin’s Sculptures Are In The Public Domain; 3D Scans Of Them Should Be, Too

“Wenman believes that museums, art galleries and private collectors around the world should make 3D scans of important public domain works and release them freely, thereby becoming “engines of new cultural creation”. The Musée Rodin disagrees, presumably because it is concerned that its monopoly on “original” posthumous casts might be devalued. As a result, it has been fighting for some years Wenman’s efforts to obtain the museum’s 3D scans of Rodin’s works through the courts.

Wenman has tweeted an update on his lawsuit. One piece of good news is that thanks to his legal campaign, the scans carried out for the Musée Rodin’s of two famous works – “The Kiss” and “Sleep” – are now freely available. Even better news is that Wenman has discovered the Musée Rodin has scanned its entire collection at high resolution. As he says: “These documents are of world wide interest and immeasurable artistic, academic, cultural, and commercial value. I am going after all of them, for everyone.” …”

Museum digitises five millionth specimen to unlock secrets of collection | Natural History Museum

“A naturally bright green stonefly has signalled full speed ahead for the Museum’s digitisation project, as it releases its five millionth specimen online.

As well as making the Museum’s specimens available online for anyone to access, the digitisation of these collections could contribute billions of pounds to the global economy….”

Natural History Museum reaches landmark of five million specimens available online as report values economic benefit of digitising the collection to be more than £2 billion | Natural History Museum

“Over five million specimens – around six percent of the Natural History Museum’s collection –have now been digitised and released onto the Museum’s Data Portal where they can be freely accessed globally. 

The Natural History Museum has digitised its five millionth specimen 
To date there have been 30 billion downloads of these data which are freely available online
Societal benefits of digitising natural history collections includes global advancements in food security, biodiversity conservation, medicine discovery, minerals exploration and beyond
A new economic report estimates the value of research enabled by digitisation of natural history collections to be in excess of £2 billion…”