The Participatory Museum

Nina Simon’s “The Participatory Museum”

Cameron Parkins, April 6th, 2010


Cover design by Jennifer Rae Atkins

The Participatory Museum, a new book from Nina Simon on ways to increase audience participation in cultural institutions, is now available in full under a CC Attribution-NonCommercial license:

I want everyone to be able to use the content and make derivative works. I didn’t choose Share Alike because I know that many museums, universities, and organizations are not able to use CC licenses (and thus would not be able to redistribute the content). But I did choose Noncommercial because I don’t want a publisher to snap up the book or a chapter, credit me as author, and sell the content.

The book contains an incredible amount of useful and thought-provoking information for those working in museums and other cultural institutions. Outside of the book itself, Simon posted on the process of self-publishing – including a deeper look at her license choice – on her Museum 2.0 blog.

In addition to its free release online, The Participatory Museum is available for purchase as both paperback and PDF download.

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Swedish Museum Historiska Museet Adopts CC Licenses

Cameron Parkins, March 3rd, 2010


Made of glass from Vendel parish Up (SHM Invnr 7250) | Photo: Christer Ã…hlin SHMM | CC BY-NC-ND

Earlier this week Swedish museum Historiska Museet announced the adoption of CC licenses for their digital catalog (Google translation here). Roughly 63,500 item photographs, 1200 illustrations, and 264,500 scanned catalog cards are now released, depending upon the medium, under our Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works license or Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license.

Project Manager Ulf Bodin notes that while the museum is starting out with a more restrictive license choice they hope to find ways to continue to open their catalog with less restrictions in the future. Like the Brooklyn Museum, Historiska Museet is looking at this as a first step, aiming to provide more openness as they better understand how the public will use these new resources.

To that end, author Nina Simon’s recently release, The Participatory Museum, is of related interest. Released under a CC Attribution-Share Alike license CC Attribution-NonCommercial license, the book explores ways to increase audience participation in cultural institutions to make them “more dynamic, relevant, [and] essential” destinations.

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