The low-hanging GLAM fruit

GLAM-WIKI is now only three days away. Scary and exciting.

I am moderating the Tech session, and part of that involves facilitating an open discussion to arrive at “recommendations” for both parties (“Wikimedia” and “cultural institutions” – as if either of those is a homogeneous group, but for the purposes of discussion let’s pretend):

The tangible outcome of this workshop [will] be a pair of guidelines – one for the Wikimedia community and one for the cultural institution – each containing specific, practical measures to enable the achievement of better online public access to cultural heritage.

So I have been thinking about what recommendations or requests are likely to come out for the Wikimedia side, and if there are any that we could figure out ourselves without waiting to be told. And the most obvious immediate one for me is Provenance. When we re-use source materials from galleries and the like, they like to be recorded as the source, regardless of the copyright status of the item and whether or not according to copyright law we actually have to. It also generally provides a better service to our users, to give them more detailed source information.

A commitment to provenance would be a goal of always systematically recording such information where relevant. It would recognise the importance of this information to cultural institutions, and actively aim to respect their wishes.

Because as Gerard put it, “Good relations with GLAM, galleries, libraries, archives and museums are important when you want to provide everyone with all encyclopaedic information. In the GLAM the data sources referred to in our citations can be found. Images to illustrate our articles are available with the annotations that help us understand what it is that we see. We need good relations with GLAM from all over the world because our cultural heritage that we describe is distributed globally.“ When we can do the right thing by groups with overlapping aims, without harming our own mission, why on earth shouldn’t we?

Think about how Wikimedia must look to a museum or gallery, for a minute. What would you guess are the “low-hanging fruit” available for us to improve?

02 August, 2009 •



That’s good Brianna.

The first thing I’d do is show the GLAMs this.
So they can see how ‘their’ images would be used, and their GLAM would be promoted (in the Description).

I’ve suggested what the WMF is trying to do.

The low hanging fruit? The argument I’d use is; “it doesn’t make sense for WMF to attempt and duplicate every global GLAM’s images (unless they see it makes them more secure = google LOCKSS.) So how can we make the process work more easily, and help a wiki user discover more of your GLAM’s stuff?

simonfj · 3. August 2009, 13:51

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