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Eight open GLAM case studies selected: discover the successful projects and their leaders!

Open Culture

In October 2021, Creative Commons launched a call for case studies on open access in cultural institutions, such as galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs), from low-capacity, non-Western institutions, or representing marginalized, underrepresented communities from various regions.

The aim of the open call was to help generate a more global, inclusive, and equitable picture and understanding of open GLAM, highlighting the needs and expectations of a variety of communities and institutions from diverse regions and backgrounds. We hope the outcomes will provide some insights to guide the development of avenues of engagement with the global open GLAM community. 

We received many excellent submissions, and we thank the Creative Commons Open GLAM Platform members for their interest and efforts in responding to our call. An evaluation committee was tasked with selecting the applications. 

Without further ado, meet our successful applicants and read about their upcoming case studies!


Case 1: Common voices: contributing oral histories to the open knowledge ecosystem in Brazil 

Premier jour de la WikidataCons: questions, Caroline Léna Becker, 2019, CC-BY 4.0 International

Érica Azzellini is the Communications Manager of the User Group Wiki Movimento Brasil. Graduated in Journalism at Faculdade Cásper Líbero, she is a former researcher of the Scientific Journalism program at the Research, Innovation and Dissemination Center for the Neuromathematics at the University of São Paulo.

João Alexandre Peschanski is a Professor of Journalism at Faculdade Cásper Líbero, in São Paulo, Brazil. He holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently the executive director of the User Group Wiki Movimento Brasil and is a board member of the User Group Wikipedia & Education.

Fotos do Wikidata Lab XI, Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton, 2018, CC-BY-SA 4.0 International

In Brazil, Museu da Pessoa is a virtual museum that gathers and disseminates oral histories. Anyone can participate, and contributions are based on crowdsourced methodologies. The museum was created in 1991 and, since 2021, partners with the Wikimedia affiliate Wiki Movimento Brasil to share around 12,000 oral histories to Wikimedia projects. The case study will present this unique GLAM, a collection of lives, and the importance and methodological challenges to bringing oral histories to the open knowledge ecosystem, including challenges related to content licensing. 


Case 2: Open Access practices: Limitations and opportunities in Public Libraries in Nigeria

Isaac Oloruntimilehin, Isaac Oloruntimilehin, CC BY 4.0 International.

Isaac Oloruntimilehin is a member of the Wikimedia movement in Nigeria and co-founder of Free Knowledge Africa. He previously led the Wikimedia Club at the University of Ilorin. Isaac is also a member of the Creative Commons Global Network, Europeana Network Association, and actively contributes to open source projects. He is an alumnus of the Millennium Fellowship (2019 class) and a Local Pathways Fellow (2020 cohort) at the United Nations SDSN Youth. He is an environmentalist and an advocate of the SDGs.

This case study will highlight the current open access practices in public libraries in various locations in Nigeria. It will examine the opportunities that currently exist, potential areas of benefits, and the limitations in terms of resources, legal instruments, technical skills and facilities.


Case 3: Campaigns to digitize Treasures in the Tiny Home of the First Printing Press in Asia

Frederick Noronha, Frederick Noronha, CC BY-SA 4.0 International.

Frederick Noronha, PhD, has been a journalist, alternative book publisher, and photography enthusiast for his working life. He was born in Cubatão, SP, Brazil, to Indian migrant parents, and lives in Goa, on the west coast of South Asia. Over the past two decades, he has been closely tracking, involved with, and writing about India’s Free Software, Open Source, Wikipedia, and Open Access campaigns. He is a strong votary for sharing information, knowledge, and software in a way that makes a difference in the lives of millions. He co-founded BytesForAll, which has focused on the use of ICT and the Internet for the benefit of the deprived, particularly in South Asia. In addition, he is deeply involved in building cybernetworks in his home region of Goa, India’s tiniest state, but among the most active by way of cyber initiatives. His PhD was completed in January 2021, after a lifetime in journalism-publishing, focusing on publishing, and was undertaken through Goa University.

Goa was the home to the first Gutenberg printing press in the whole of Asia, way back in 1556. Once the center of knowledge exchange between Asia and Europe has rich archives and copyright-expired resources (in various languages, some relatively inaccessible now). This study will look at initiatives at digitization and sharing such resources, how much has been digitized, factors that might have blocked the same, and suggestions that could make a difference.

Photo: Frederick Noronha, Frederick Noronha, CC BY-SA 4.0 International


Case 4: Better together! Malopolska Virtual Museums – a regional hub for access to local heritage and best Open GLAM practices

Marta Moraczewska, Marta Malina Moraczewska, 2015, CC-BY-SA 4.0 International

Marta is an animator of educational projects on the Web and an independent OpenGLAM specialist. She coordinates projects based on open content, working with museum staff and visitors. In 2014-2019, as the coordinator of GLAM-Wiki at Wikimedia Polska, she helped the National Museum in Warsaw, National Archives, and the National Library of Poland share their collections with Wikipedia, and ran projects such as Carpathian Ethnography, the Faras Wikiproject and the Digital Museum (Muzeum Cyfrowe 2016) conference. She edited the Open Cultural Projects guidebook and is the author of School Navigator (nawigatorszkolny.net) – a teachers’ roadmap to reusing digital content from Polish museums, archives and libraries (Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland grant, 2000). 

The case study discusses the plan, development and results of the Małopolska Virtual Museums project – an innovative digitization effort based on establishing a hub for best Open GLAM practices in cooperation with 48 regional institutions from Małopolska, many of them small, under-resourced local museums. The case study will analyze the initial assumptions, openness strategy and working method, and then examine the project results in terms of usability of all the new digital content for learning and further innovation for local and global users and audiences.


Case 5: Inside the Badagry slave heritage museum in Nigeria

Charles Ikem, Charles, Ikem, CC BY-NC 4.0 International.

Charles Ikem is the co-founder of PolicyLab Africa based in Lagos, Nigeria. Charles is an open access and open data advocate. His focus is on supporting breakthrough research and policy at the nexus of technology, open policy, and humanity, and leading high-impact change projects in Africa. 

This case study project will document the history and foundations of the Badagry Slave Heritage Museum in Nigeria, with the artifacts as the subject. Using photo documentaries to showcase historical artifacts and oral narrations by the elders of the Badagry community to produce a substantial body of work to support the case study.


Case 6: The State of Open Access in Chilean Museums in 2021

Patricia Diaz, asistente administrativa de Wikimedia Chile, Carlos Figueroa, 2018, CC-BY-SA 4.0 International

Patricia Díaz Rubio is a Chilean social communicator (Universidad de Chile) passionate about collective work and social impact. Since 2018, she has been working at Wikimedia Chile, promoting local and open content on the Internet. She has a cultural heritage diploma (USACH) and a Master’s degree in Development Studies (Université Panthéon Sorbonne). She is interested in emerging new narratives within digital environments, and in promoting dissemination policies and open access to culture, collective memory, and cultural heritage.

According to the Survey of GLAM open access policy and practice (McCarthy & Wallace, 2018), only two museums in Chile develop some open-access policies or practices: the Memory and Human Rights Museum and the National Natural History Museum. Which is the current situation of “open” within Chilean museums in 2021? Has it changed or improved somehow? Or, more specifically: Which is the situation of public Chilean museums’ digital collections? Which are the licenses that they use to display their collections online? And mostly: Which are the limitations they put on their digital collections and copies? This case study will present the current status of these institutions, in particular public ones, and their online collections, and how they are used (or not) to promote and diffuse their contents.


Case 7: Open Access Cultural Heritage Outlook in Pakistan: Case Study on GLAMs in Karachi

Amber Osman, CC-BY-SA 4.0 International.

Amber Osman is a passionate expert in open science and a research enthusiast. Over the last decade, Amber has been actively involved in different international academic, research & publishing organizations, and with the Higher Education Commission (Govt. of Pakistan). She has been an award-winning journal editor for advancing the publishing process by adopting innovative research and publishing solutions. Amber advocates for best practices in open access scholarly content and has positively conducted & contributed to workshops, talks, training sessions globally while writing on the given matters in articles. She has two masters, one in Philosophy and one in Marketing.

Dr Muhammad Imtiaz Subhani, CC-BY-SA 4.0 International.

Dr Muhammad Imtiaz Subhani (Thomson Reuters Award-Winning Editor, (2015)) is a Doctor of Philosophy in Financial Econometrics. He is currently Dean of Business School at ILMA University, Pakistan, and contributes as an Education committee member at Society for Scholarly Publishing, USA, member of Creative Commons Global Network, and scientific publishing consultant at Higher Education Commission, Govt. of Pakistan. He is also an Editor at PLOSONE.

 To identify different aspects of GLAM in Karachi, the study will look at Pakistan’s organizations/institutions and see how they provide access to cultural heritage content. We will target universities/institutions/ rendering different teaching perspectives on ancient history, culture preservation, the country’s historical tools & ranges; whether they know about the CC GLAM movement to enrich & collaborate at a global level, which helps highlight and restore the country’s historical/cultural values.


Case 8: Spreading Creative Commons’ Open GLAM message in Brazil

Wikidata Lab XII (February 2019) 03, Sturm, CC BY-SA 4.0 International

Giovanna Fontenelle is a Journalist, Historian, Wikimedian, and Master’s student in Social History at the University of São Paulo. She works as a Program Officer, GLAM and Culture, at the Wikimedia Foundation. She’s also a member of Creative Commons Brasil (CCBR), Creative Commons Global Network, Wiki Movimento Brasil User Group, and ICOM Brazil. At CCBR, she coordinates the areas of Open GLAM and Wikimedia. Her current work activities are related to GLAM-Wiki, Open GLAM, linked open data, in addition to carrying out projects on diversity and knowledge equity.

Wikimedia Conference 2017 in Berlin, Germany, René Zieger for Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. CC BY-SA 4.0 International

Juliana Monteiro holds a bachelor’s degree in Museology and a Master’s degree in Information Science. She has been working in the collection management area for 14 years. She worked as a museologist at the São Paulo Energy Museum (2007-2008); as coordination assistant of the Museum Heritage Preservation Unit of the State Secretariat for Culture (2008-2015), where she coordinated the Museum Collection Policy Committee. Later, she was the manager of the Preservation Center of the São Paulo Immigration Museum (2015-2016). She is also a member of COMCOL-ICOM and of the advisory board of ICOM Brazil. She has been a professor of museology at ETEC Parque da Juventude since 2010, giving classes on documentation and databases for museums. She is the representative of the Creative Commons Brazilian chapter in the Global Council Network. She has also worked in the articulation between Wikimedia projects and cultural institutions, as a member of the Wiki Educação Brasil Group. She has been a regional ambassador for countries in the Portuguese-speaking community of the Art+Feminism international campaign since 2019. 

GLAMs have become more interested in sharing their collections online using open licenses, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the inability to access the physical space of cultural institutions. However, in places such as the Global South, this interest and some punctual actions were not necessarily accompanied by actual long-term open initiatives, on account of the difficulty in sharing the open GLAM ideals with institutions, especially considering the lack of resources by and for institutions in these regions. This case study aims to present Creative Commons Brasil’s work and workflow, providing guidance for Brazilian GLAMs during 2020 and 2021, to not only present the group’s work, but also to share the workflows of this process with other Creative Commons chapters and advocates, to help and inspire them to overcome barriers in the process of sharing and advocating for Open GLAM. It is an opportunity to discuss the cultural heritage situation in Global South places like Brazil and Latin America. And finally, it aims to engage more Brazilian GLAMs to know and understand Creative Commons, the licenses, open GLAM, and how to open their collections in such under-resourced regions.


As one of the program’s key components, community engagement aims to foster community-driven initiatives and underline community members’ efforts to provide better access to cultural heritage materials.   

We are delighted to showcase regional and national open GLAM initiatives and encourage sharing feedback from open experiences within cultural heritage institutions. 

The case studies will be published under CC BY licenses in early 2022 on our Medium account, and shared on our various communication channels.  

Have you found these projects interesting? Are you curious to know more? Join the Creative Commons Open GLAM Platform by filling out our membership form and subscribe to our Open GLAM mailing list

01 December 2021

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