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

“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….”

Archives, Access and Artificial Intelligence bei Transcript Publishing

“Digital archives are transforming the Humanities and the Sciences. Digitized collections of newspapers and books have pushed scholars to develop new, data-rich methods. Born-digital archives are now better preserved and managed thanks to the development of open-access and commercial software. Digital Humanities have moved from the fringe to the center of academia. Yet, the path from the appraisal of records to their analysis is far from smooth. This book explores crossovers between various disciplines to improve the discoverability, accessibility, and use of born-digital archives and other cultural assets….


Seiten 7 – 28

Chapter 1: Artificial Intelligence and Discovering the Digitized Photoarchive
Seiten 29 – 60

Chapter 2: Web Archives and the Problem of Access: Prototyping a Researcher Dashboard for the UK Government Web Archive
Seiten 61 – 82

Chapter 3: Design Thinking, UX and Born-digital Archives: Solving the Problem of Dark Archives Closed to Users
Seiten 83 – 108

Chapter 4: Towards Critically Addressable Data for Digital Library User Studies
Seiten 109 – 130

Chapter 5: Reviewing the Reviewers: Training Neural Networks to Read Peer Review Reports
Seiten 131 – 156

Chapter 6: Supervised and Unsupervised: Approaches to Machine Learning for Textual Entities
Seiten 157 – 178

Chapter 7: Inviting AI into the Archives: The Reception of Handwritten Recognition Technology into Historical Manuscript Transcription
Seiten 179 – 204

AFTERWORD: Towards a new Discipline of Computational Archival Science (CAS)
Seiten 205 – 218 …

[From the Introduction:]

The closure of libraries, archives and museums due to the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need to make archives and cultural heritage materials accessible in digital form. Yet too many born-digital and digitized collections remain closed to researchers and other users due to privacy concerns, copyright and other issues. Born-digital archives are rarely accessible to users. For example, the archival emails of the writer Will Self at the British Library are not listed on the Finding Aid describing the collection, and they are not available to users either onsite or offsite. At a time when emails have largely replaced letters, this severely limits the amount of content openly accessible in archival collections. Even when digital data is publicly available (as in the case of web archives), users often need to physically travel to repositories to consult web pages. In the case of digitized collections, copyright can also be a major obstacle to access. For instance, copyrightprotected texts are not available for download from HathiTrust, a not-for-profit collaborative of academic and research libraries preserving 17+ million digitized items (including around 61% not in the public domain)….

It is important to recognize that “dark” archives contain vast amounts of data essential to scholars – including email corres

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.”

Preserving Ukraine’s Cultural Heritage Online | Tufts Now

“The effort started in late February, just days after Russia invaded Ukraine, when Kijas mused on Twitter about launching a project to save digitized music collections, her area of expertise. The project soon attracted more than 1,000 volunteers from around the world—librarians, archivists, researchers, and programmers, some of them fluent in Ukrainian—and is now co-organized by Kijas, Quinn Dombrowski of Stanford University, and Sebastian Majstorovic of the Austrian Center for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage.

The group is crawling websites, digital exhibits, and open access publications of Ukrainian cultural institutions with automated computer programs that search sites and collect data. The group also manually archives pages and files. Volunteers have added more than 10 terabytes of data to servers outside the country and saved almost 15,000 files to the Internet Archive,  where it has a collection. (One terabyte is equal to 1,000 gigabytes, or about the amount of data that could be stored on 16 iPhones.)…”

CC Australia’s response to the exposure draft of the Access Reform Bill | by Elliott Bledsoe | Creative Commons: We Like to Share | Mar, 2022 | Medium

“On Friday 25 February the Creative Commons Australia Chapter (CC Australia) made a submission to the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications in response to their consultation on the exposure draft of the Copyright Amendment (Access Reform) Bill 2021 and a review of the technological protection measures (TPMs) exceptions in the Copyright Regulations 2017….

In the submission, CC Australia expresses its support for the proposed reforms as they harmonise with CC’s vision and mission. There are strong public interest arguments to support activating orphan works and supporting equitable access to cultural collections (and it aligns with CC’s Open GLAM Program). Permitting quotation of copyright material in a range of noncommercial scenarios will help make research available to the research community and the public quicker. And further facilitating online education and encouraging flexibility in the delivery of government services are both worthwhile endeavours….”

Wallace (2022) A Culture of Copyright: A scoping study on open access to digital cultural heritage collections in the UK | Zenodo

Wallace, Andrea. (2022). A Culture of Copyright: A scoping study on open access to digital cultural heritage collections in the UK. Zenodo.


This report was commissioned by the Towards a National Collection programme (TaNC) to better understand the ways in which open access shapes how the UK’s digital cultural heritage collections can be accessed and reused. The study was undertaken by Dr Andrea Wallace in 2021. The recommendations presented are the authors own and their report form part of the evidence that Towards a National Collection continues to gather to determine the future policies it will recommend.

Andrea Wallace gives a focused discussion on how the UK Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museum (GLAM) sector fares in the global open GLAM landscape and what potential is possible with a digital national collection. Four types of information inform this report:

Existing empirical data on global open GLAM activity, policies and data volume;
New empirical data on UK GLAMs, public domain collections and rights management, including:

A dataset of 195 UK GLAMs containing information on online collections, rights statements and reuse policies, technical protection measures, publication platforms, open access engagement, commercial licensing practices, data volume and other data points;
An in-depth review of the rights statements and reuse policies of 63 GLAMs selected from that sample;
30 one-hour open ended interviews with TaNC project investigators, UK GLAM staff, external platform staff and open GLAM advocates;

A review of relevant case law and policy developments in the UK and elsewhere; and
A literature review of scholarly writing on copyright and open access to digital heritage collections.

The findings indicate there is no consensus in the UK GLAM sector on what open access means, or should mean. There is also a fundamental misunderstanding of what the public domain is, includes and should include. Indeed, staff perspectives and GLAM policies can vary widely, even within a given institution. Accordingly, this study aimed to discern and outline what support is necessary to address systemic barriers to open access, starting with copyright itself.

Copyright generally protects creative expressions during the creator’s lifetime and an additional 70 years after death. During the copyright term, the public pays the rightsholder a fee to reuse the work. The idea is that these economic benefits will incentivise creators to make new creative works, over which they will enjoy a limited monopoly from which they may profit and exert control. Once copyright expires, the work enters the public domain and is available for anyone to reuse for any purpose.[1] In this way, the public domain is a central part of the copyright bargain and its availability produces a wider benefit to society: public domain works can be reused to create new knowledge and cultural goods that enrich social welfare and invigorate the local economy. Considering these aspirations align with public missions, GLAMs around the world are in the process of updating digital remits and strategies to feature these goals for digitised public domain collections. Yet new questions can arise related to the presence or absence of copyright in digital surrogates of public domain works and collections data as a result. This study thus aimed to understand how the UK GLAM sector fared in the global open GLAM landscape and what new potentials are enabled by the digital national collection

[1] The focal point of this report is limited to copyright. Other intellectual property rights, like a trade mark or publication right, can impact digitisation, availability and use. These are secondary to the main question about whether the digital materials should be in the public domain and are not addressed here.


Mit Volldampf voraus in Richtung „Openness“: Kompetenzen und Infrastrukturen mit Perspektiven (Full steam ahead towards “openness”: competences and infrastructures with perspectives) | Open Access Blog Berlin

English translation via

An event in the series: Quo vadis open science? A virtual Open Access Week for Berlin-Brandenburg.

Science policy strategies at national and European level have been calling for years for the “principle of openness” to be anchored in science. In this process, it is not only the digital infrastructures and adapted governance and funding models that are often called for that are needed. The competence profiles of science support staff – professional, methodological and social competences – must also change. This is especially true for libraries and is both a challenge and an opportunity for them. Whether digital humanities or new publication formats such as “executable” publications, digital long-term archiving or the implementation of FAIR principles, the support of work with research data and software or the use of research information systems, aspects of open science (open research) are present in all these topics. At the same time, because of their self-image, libraries claim to be a partner here and to play a decisive role in shaping the discourse. This also appears significant against the background that commercial actors are opening up new markets for themselves in these fields.

For the staff themselves, this offers a variety of development options, for example in the areas of data literacy, project management or strategy development. Libraries are thus increasingly appearing as exciting stations in professional qualification, also for lateral entry.

The Berlin/Brandenburg region with its two academic training institutions – the Institute for Library and Information Science (IBI) at the Humboldt University of Berlin and the Department of Information Science at the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences – and a large number of different libraries as places of training as well as employment plays a central role in the development of library and information science personnel.

On this panel, we would like to discuss the following aspects with representatives of library and information science teaching, libraries and science policy:

Are training and study programme curricula sufficiently designed to be able to be constantly and even forward-looking adapted to the state of knowledge?
Do the institutional framework conditions offer enough flexibility for the rapid development of new fields of activity?
Are libraries in a position to implement necessary measures in the area of personnel and organisational development?
How can libraries position themselves to strengthen their role as a mediator between science and other areas of society, for example through engagement in the fields of Citizen Science, OpenGLAM or collaborative knowledge generation and linking (e.g. Wikidata)?
How can higher education policy practically support change and ensure good working conditions in the process?

Please register for the event.

Eine Veranstaltung in der Reihe: Quo vadis offene Wissenschaft? Eine virtuelle Open Access Woche für Berlin-Brandenburg.

Wissenschaftspolitische Strategien auf nationaler und europäischer Ebene fordern seit Jahren, das „Prinzip Offenheit“ in der Wissenschaft zu verankern. In diesem Prozess braucht es nicht nur die oft geforderten digitalen Infrastrukturen und angepassten Governance- und Finanzierungsmodelle. Auch die Kompetenzprofile des wissenschaftsunterstützenden Personals – fachliche, methodische wie soziale Kompetenzen – müssen sich verändern. Dies gilt besonders für Bibliotheken und ist für diese Herausforderung und Chance zugleich. Ob Digital Humanities oder neue Publikationsformate wie „ausführbare“ Publikationen, digitale Langzeitarchivierung oder die Umsetzung der FAIR-Prinzipien, die Unterstützung der Arbeit mit Forschungsdaten und -software oder der Einsatz von Forschungsinformationssystemen, in allen diesen Themenfeldern sind Aspekte der offenen Wissenschaft (Open Research) präsent. Zugleich erheben Bibliotheken aufgrund ihres Selbstverständnisses den Anspruch, hier als Partnerin aufzutreten und die Diskurse entscheidend mitzuprägen. Dies erscheint auch vor dem Hintergrund bedeutsam, dass kommerzielle Akteur*innen in diesen Feldern neue Märkte für sich erschließen.

Für das Personal selbst bieten sich damit vielfältige Entwicklungsoptionen, etwa in den Bereichen Datenkompetenz (data literacy), Projektmanagement oder Strategieentwicklung. Somit erscheinen Bibliotheken zunehmend als spannende Stationen in der beruflichen Qualifizierung, auch für den Quereinstieg.

Der Raum Berlin/Brandenburg mit seinen beiden wissenschaftlichen Ausbildungseinrichtungen – dem Institut für Bibliotheks- und Informationswissenschaft (IBI) der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin und dem

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….”

A Digital Archive of Hieronymus Bosch’s Complete Works: Zoom In & Explore His Surreal Art | Open Culture

“The Bosch Project (aka the Bosch Research and Conservation Project) began in 2010 as a way to bring together the artist’s 45 paintings “spread across 2 continents, 10 countries, 18 cities, and 20 collections” for in-depth research, available to everyone….

Here is where the Bosch Project website shines. The “synchronized image viewers” allow us to zoom in to the smallest brushstroke to examine Bosch’s detailed worlds and characters. And in a nod to his use of triptychs, the other two sides of the painting zoom in as well. It makes for some interesting, but not essential, juxtapositions. It’s also easy to move around in the work with just the scrollwheel of the mouse. Other paintings allow the viewer to examine the infrared reflectogram of the painting’s layers, exposing Bosch’s corrections and deletions. Closer examination of his grand panels reveals Bosch’s cartoonish brushwork, his caricature, and his immense humor. For sure, the artist wanted us to meditate on greater matters like our own salvation, but there’s so much fun in the way he paints animals, or in the bacchanalia of The Garden of Earthly Delights, you can be forgiven for thinking he’d want to party as well. Grab that scroll wheel and check out the Garden—there’s plenty of room. Enter the Bosch Project website here….”

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.” …”

News – Open Licensing and the Open Library of Humanities

“To date, OLH has steered authors towards more liberal Creative Commons licenses (i.e. CC BY) but has allowed editorial teams some latitude to allow more restrictive clauses (CC BY-ND). Recently, the Directory of Open Access Journals, the central indexer and quality verification service for open-access journals, wrote to us noting that CC BY-ND is incompatible with titles having the “DOAJ seal”. The DOAJ Seal “is awarded to journals that demonstrate best practice in open access publishing”. The Seal is an important mark in many ways for the libraries that support OLH because it guarantees a set of technical standards and integrations that are helpful. We would like our titles to have the DOAJ Seal where possible.

That said, we face some challenges. While many authors are happy with the more liberal licenses – or, perhaps more worryingly, do not understand the full implications of those licenses – the re-use of third-party material remains extremely difficult for us. Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAMs) are often extremely poor at understanding the conditions under which we need to license material and insist that the licensed material remains under an all rights reserved status. The inclusion of this material is not optional. It would be the equivalent, in a citation, to saying: “As Eve et al. note: [see their article, p. 35, where they describe the processes of peer review]” or similar. The utility of the article is severely degraded. …”

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…”