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How Can The Commons Stay Relevant? Let’s Talk GLAM.


Imagine a Vilhelm Hammershøi painting printed out and hung over your fireplace, a 3D printed sculpture in your garden, or maybe a party that mixes Spotify playlists with an opera singer performing romantic songs in front of the newly acquired Friedrich’s painting. Sounds like something John Lennon dreamed up in the song “Imagine?” These are actual examples of a museum keeping up to date and using technology to its advantage.


SMK Friday at the SMK Museum, Copenhagen, Ida Tietgen, CC BY

Engaging with users: a closer look at the strategies of GLAM institutions

After almost 30 years of “the modern internet” and ten years of “Internet 2.0,” we already know that technology won’t open all the doors. As GLAM (Galleries Libraries Archives and Museums) practitioners our objective is clear: how can we make sure people stay connected to knowledge and heritage, and become inspired by it? How can technology be our ally?

Heritage institutions improve accessibility and access to knowledge, art, and culture. . In addition to access, they also provide the inspiration and building blocks for further innovation and creativity. How can the (digitised) commons serve as the means to both heritage institutions’ and their audiences’ ends? What are the different institutional strategies and user behaviours related to them? What works and what doesn’t in delivering access, use and reuse? To what extent are CC licenses already promoting this? And, last but not least: why?


Alicja Peszkowska gets up close with Johannes Larsen’s ‘Hvinænder i en våge’, 1899, picture by Jonas Heide Smith, Watching the Watchers, CC BY

We are going to address these questions during our Creative Commons Summit 2017 session. The idea behind the session is to shift the conversation from the abstract ideas and values to the actual institutional strategies and user behaviours. Our implicit hypothesis is that the only way for the commons to stay relevant over time is for increased usage. The context of who and how they can be used is, on the other hand, ever-changing. There are no absolute responses. The research that has already been done in a field will serve as a point of reference and a context for studying particular examples. We propose to explore the examples of how GLAM institutions successfully engaged the users basing on their (different) behaviours, rather than assumptions or declarations. And we welcome participants’ own reflections on both the present, and future, of heritage institutions’ use of open licenses to deliver creativity and innovation.

Our session will kick off with presentations and later take up a form of an open discussion. Let’s talk commons, and let’s talk GLAM. You are invited. See you in Toronto!

Posted 26 April 2017