21 September 2010
Colleagues from Europe’s galleries, libraries, archives and museums – GLAMs – will hear about innovations in their sector from Wikipedia and Google at the annual Europeana conference, Open Culture 2010, in Amsterdam on the 14/15 October.
A cultural collaboration with Wikipedia is the title of Liam Wyatt’s keynote speech on 14 October. Liam was the British Museum’s first Wikipedian in Residence, where he brought curators, content and the Wikipedia crowd together in new ways. The collaboration was a great success and heralds a change in the way that GLAM professionals will engage with their online users.
In the keynote on 15 October, the Engineering Director for Google Books, James Crawford, will talk about the present and future of the project, which has the goal of scanning the world's books and making the data searchable online. Recent developments include Google’s digitisation agreements signed with Europeana’s host, the National Library of the Netherlands, and with Europeana’s main technology co-ordinator, the National Library of Austria. One result of these agreements is that a further 560,000 digitised historic texts will be made available through Europeana.
The Open Culture 2010 conference will focus on topical issues in the digital heritage sector. Delegates will work in informal discussion groups led by international experts to find practical solutions to questions around:
What are the applications envisaged for cultural linked data? How should GLAMS position themselves to take advantage of these opportunities? How can Europeana best facilitate this process?
Wikipedia highlights the value of the user's contribution. How best can GLAMs harness users’ information and expertise? What are the pitfalls and how can they be avoided?
Opening up data or content for re-use, potentially in a commercial context, can seem a high-risk strategy for GLAMs. Does openness threaten current revenue streams, control over data standards and content, or scholarly standards of provenance and authentication? Against this risk must be set the rewards in terms of their relevance to society, and the benefits that the whole of society can derive from open access to knowledge and creative ideas.
The Europeana conference is a free annual event that is open to archivists, curators, librarians, technologists and developers. Delegates will see how successful sites that exemplify the conference themes are built and have the opportunity to understand emerging trends, share knowledge and expertise, and develop their network of contacts and project partners.
This year the event is held in Amsterdam’s vibrant Westergasfabriek cultural centre.
Media contacts are welcome to attend Europeana Open Culture 2010 – please complete our registration. Interviews can be booked with keynote speakers and experts: please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Europeana is Europe’s digital library, museum and archive. Funded by the European Commission, the prototype service gives people free access to books, paintings, films, museum objects and archival records that have been digitised throughout Europe. At present it holds nearly 12 million items from some 1,500 organisations. These range from major international names like the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the British Library and the Louvre to regional archives and local museums from every member of the EU.