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In the early 2010s, OpenGLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives & Museums) was set up: a network that supports exchange and collaboration between cultural institutions that support open access to their collections. OpenGLAM was an initiative and working group of the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN); many Wikimedians active in GLAM-Wiki projects have also been part of this network and of various national or local OpenGLAM groups.

In order to outline the shared values behind free and open access to digital cultural heritage, the working group drafted a set of OpenGLAM Principles in 2013, with the aim to define what being an open institution in the cultural heritage sector meant.

Revival of the OpenGLAM initiative[edit]

In 2018, community members from Creative Commons, the Wikimedia Foundation and Open Knowledge gathered at the Creative Commons Global Summit in Toronto to discuss actions to revitalize the initiative. The first steps included:

  • revival of the @openglam Twitter account, making it a curated account with collaborators from all over the world
  • a survey to understand the relevance of, and necessary improvements to, the OpenGLAM Principles,
  • a renewed website for OpenGLAM -

2019-20: towards a new OpenGLAM Declaration[edit]

In 2019, the Wikimedia Foundation has supported the work around publishing a new revision of the OpenGLAM Principles or Declaration for a fiscal year (through August 2019-July 2020). This money has funded

  • project management and support for the OpenGLAM community in the rewrite and release of the OpenGLAM Principles/Declaration
  • revamping the OpenGLAM website and defining a strategy for the network's communication channels
  • allocating some travel funds for people to promote and engage the sector around the Declaration, among other activities.

In the second half of 2020, the OpenGLAM community works together to improve, finalize and publish this revised OpenGLAM Declaration, together with an extensive research-led position paper that provides context and arguments for cultural institutions to open up their collections in a culturally respectful way. Official publication is scheduled for late 2020.

This renewed OpenGLAM Declaration intends to be a crucial instrument that helps Wikimedia communities around the world to make the case to local and international GLAM partners to open up and share their collections.

Learn more[edit]

See also[edit]


  • Scann (was a Community manager for the OpenGLAM initiative; Creative Commons, until 2021)
  • Fiona Romeo (Senior Manager, GLAM and Culture at the Wikimedia Foundation)