You are browsing the archive for Sarah Stierch.

Walters Art Museum goes CC0

- July 30, 2015 in Featured, News

In 2012, the Walters Art Museum, in Baltimore, Maryland, became one of the first American cultural institutions to adopt an open license model for their digitized collections. Using a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license, they released over 18,000 images into the OpenGLAM world. These images were not only available via the Walters website, but, also on […]

State of the Commons: OpenGLAM highlights & what the future holds

- November 21, 2014 in Featured, News

In this blog (cross-posted from her blog The Culture Feed) Sarah Stierch discusses some of the OpenGLAM highlights in the recently published Creative Commons report ‘State of the Commons’, as well as some suggested future steps. “Creative Commons’ goal has always been “realizing the full potential of the internet,” with greater access for everyone to […]

Hack the Bells – The world’s first interdisciplinary open license contest celebrating the carillon!

- July 10, 2014 in contest, Featured, Hack days

In this blog (cross-posted from her blog The Culture Feed) Sarah Stierch introduces the world’s first interdisciplinary open license contest celebrating the carillon: Hack the Bells, running from 1 July – 1 September. An esteemed jury of cultural visionaries will be awarding $1,000 USD and the opportunity for the grand prize winner’s work to be exhibited […]

Takeaways: American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting 2014

- May 27, 2014 in Events/Workshops, Featured

From 18-21 May Sarah Stierch attended the 2014 American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting in Seattle. In this blog (cross-posted from her blog The Culture Feed) she shares her biggest takeaways from the conference, in no particular order: Seeing the MUSE Award’s “Open” category awarded for the first time I had the pleasure of serving on the first jury of […]

Sweden’s LSH publishes 40,000 images under open licenses

- March 8, 2013 in Featured, News

This week, Sweden’s Royal Armoury, Skokloster Castle, and The Hallwyl Museum (LSH) released approximately 40,000 images under open licenses on their website. They are the second Swedish museums, after the Nordic Museum, to make this leap, thus placing them next to other OpenGLAM institutions such as the United States National Gallery of Art, the Rijksmuseum, and the Central Art Archives Finland.
"Bibliotekarien" (in English: "The Librarian") by Guiseppe Arcimboldo is one of the many images available under an open license, and as a high resolution download, from LSH

“Bibliotekarien” (in English: “The Librarian”) by Guiseppe Arcimboldo is one of the many images available under an open license, and as a high resolution download, from LSH

These three museums, which join together to create one unit maintained by the Swedish government, is funded by the tax payers of Sweden.  These taxes go towards the digitization of collections and archival content, thus, as stated by Senior Curator Magnus Hagberg in this recent press release, these materials should be accessible to the public – and now they are. Web visitors can browse the freely licensed collections, which fall under CC BY A, CC BY SA, and public domain licenses, through a custom “open” focused search. The open collection consists of approximately 40,000 images, with a quarter of the collection being available in high resolution. More high resolution images will be made available in the future. The collection ranges from fine art to weaponry from around the world. LSH has also partnered with Wikimedia Sweden, who is assisting in making the high resolution images available on Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia’s free media repository, which supplies websites like Wikipedia with it’s images, videos and sound. This is one more way that LSH can disseminate it’s collection, which connects to its mission of making cultural heritage accessible to the world. Welcome LSH to the OpenGLAM family! We are very happy to have you.

OpenGLAM Pick of the Week: Indian School Journal and the records of the Chilocco Indian School

- February 28, 2013 in Featured, Pick of the Week, Public Domain

OpenGLAM Pick of the Week showcases handpicked digitised cultural artefacts made available by Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums from around the world under an open license. This week’s Pick of the Week was selected by guest curator  Dominic McDevitt-Parks.

“Photograph of a School Room,” Chilocco Indian School (NARA ID 2745588)

My pick this week is not a well-known work or by a well-known artist. Instead, I want to highlight a group of documents that demonstrates how opening up access to our cultural record is not just a boon for fans of the arts, but for shedding light on neglected aspects of history. The Chilocco Indian Agricultural School, founded in 1884 by an act of Congress and in operation for more than a century, was a primary and vocational school in Oklahoma for Native Americans. Because it was part of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, a U.S. federal agency, its records are in the public domain and are now housed at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration’s Fort Worth, Texas regional archival facility. The records include photographs of classes, sports, and the campus from 1909–1915. One set of  grade books[1] shows students in 1936 taking classes like English, physics, and music alongside farm accounts and rural sociology, and other grade books[2] show marks for personal cleanliness. There are detailed attendance records, showing the tribal affiliation of all the students.[3] And the transfer records report data showing that students ranged from full-blooded to as little as 1/16 native; that students had names like Fred Tyler and Mildred Buffalo Chief, some with additional “Indian names” listed (Mildred’s was “Afraid of Moon”); and that it was far more rare than one might imagine in the 20th century for a student’s two parents to both be living.[4]

“The Journal: Aspires to be an organ that will contain matter of interest to the Indian people of the entire country and to all other persons who desire to keep in sympathetic touch with this much misrepresented and misunderstood race.”[6]

Most fascinating of all are the records of the Indian School Journal, a magazine printed by Chilocco students under the supervision of school officials, which covered news and events related to the school’s goings-on and the lives of current and former students, as well as articles from academics and government officials about Native American life, education, and governance. Articles ranged from poems; to vocational topics like “The Selection of a Good Cow;”[7] to more academic or philosophical essays, like “Subjects for Language Lessons: Second and Third Grade;”[8] to religious topics, like a Navajo translation of the Apostle’s Creed.[9] There are also more mundane—but enlightening from a historical perspective—news items from the Chilocco community, such as “A letter has been received from Rufus Bushybead, Class ’20, he is located at Oil Hill, Kansas stating he is sulsessfully[sic] playing the ‘white man’s game.’”[10]

See more:

Dominic McDevitt-Parks is the former Wikipedian in Residence at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. He is currently the volunteer Cultural Partnerships Coordinator for the Wikimedia District of Columbia chapter. Notes: 1 Indian School Journal, Vol. 20 (index), (NARA ID 2745588) 2 Gradebook of the Chilocco School (NARA ID 2745162) 3 Gradebook of the Chilocco School (NARA ID 2745163) 4 Report of Attendance by Tribes, 1910-1925 (NARA ID 2745332) 5 Descriptive Statement of Children, 1895-1897 (NARA ID 2745159) 6 Indian School Journal, Vol. 11, 05/1911, page 3 (NARA ID 2745507) 7 Indian School Journal, Vol. 14, 12/1913, page 162 (NARA ID 2745534) 8 Indian School Journal, Vol. 19, no. 6, 2/1919, page 218 (NARA ID 2745571) 9 Indian School Journal, Vol. 8, no. 2, 12/1907, page 43 (NARA ID 2745464) 10 Indian School Journal, Vol. 20, no. 9, 10/1920, page 265 (NARA ID 2745581)

Metrics matter: Open Images releases media usage metrics

- February 22, 2013 in Featured

Open_Beelden_logoOpen Images, a Netherlands based initiative that provides an “open media platform that offers online access to audiovisual archive material to stimulate creative reuse,” has released their first metrics report about the usage and dissemination of their media materials. This is part of an initiative, which grew out of the OpenGLAM workshop at OKFest 2012, being led by Sound and Vision and Kennisland, to analyze Open Culture Data usage. This report showcases visitor statistics in relation to media on the Open Images website, the reuse and dissemination of Open Image content on websites such as Wikipedia and Europeana, and a general overview of API usage and applications created using Open Image content. Highlights from the report include:
  • A 68% increase in unique visitors, up from 2011, to Open Images webpages
  • Over 3,200 unique visitors have visited Open Image media files on Europeana since May 2012
  • A 60% increase on how many Wikipedia articles are using Open Images media, totaling 1,600
  • Those Wikipedia articles had an increased view of 110% in 2012, meaning Sound and Vision material was viewed nearly 40,000,000 times.
Yes, that last statistic reads correct: those 1,600 articles with, Open Images media in them, have been viewed almost 40,000,000 times.   

And if you’re curious, the most viewed article is refrigerator, which features this great video documenting the first cooperative refrigerator in the Netherlands in 1956 (above). That video has been potentially viewed over 9 million times in January 2013 alone.

Metrics such as these are critical to not only show the public how open data is being disseminated, viewed, and used, but, it also provides a remarkable “selling” point to create institutional buy in into the importance of sharing open culture data. If your institutions content is being viewed on Wikipedia articles almost 40 million times, that is not only helping you expand your public mission to disseminate cultural heritage, but, it also is providing the public with greater access to your content. OpenGLAM can help you learn about tools and techniques to analyze the use of your open cultural data without cost. Contact us!

OpenGLAM Pick of the Week: The Poetess

- February 13, 2013 in Featured, Pick of the Week, Public Domain

February is African American History Month, and this week’s OpenGLAM Pick of the Week celebrates the first African-American woman to have her work published: Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784).

Phillis Wheatley; this image was the frontispiece to her book Poems on Various Subjects and was created by Scipio Moorehead.

Wheatley was born in West Africa in 1753, and arrived in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States via a slave ship named Phillis, on July 11, 1761. She was owned by a wealthy couple, John and Susanna Wheatley, who named the eight year old slave girl after the boat she arrived on. Phillis was tutored by the couples children, learning how to read and write. She started writing poetry, which was published by local Boston newspapers. Her work was celebrated by George Washington, who invited her to the White House in 1776, to thank her for her poem, “To His Excellency, George Washington.” While Wheatley’s poetry was celebrated and recognized, she would go on to live a life of struggle and poverty. She became a free woman in 1778, married, and her two infant children died. She could not financially afford to get her work published. Her husband was put in prison for debt, and Wheatley was forced, for the first time, to work as a domestic laborer, which she had not experienced while enslaved (unlike most enslaved women). She died at the age of 31, in 1784. Her legacy leaves us with unique insight into the life and interests of a woman who found more support and celebration while shackled by slavery, than she did when she was free. Her poetry features elements of Christianity, pagan religion that she brought with her from Africa, and classical elements, which she discovered as a young woman learning to read Greek and Latin classics. You can learn more about Phillis Wheatley at our sister project, the Public Domain Review, and through her Wikipedia article.

Walters Art Museum: A case study in sharing

- January 22, 2013 in Case Studies, GLAM-Wiki, US, Walters Art Museum

The Ideal City, attributed to Fra Carnevale, created between circa 1480 and 1484. This was the first image contributed to Commons by the Walters Art Museum.

The Ideal City, attributed to Fra Carnevale, created between circa 1480 and 1484.This was the first image contributed to Commons by the Walters Art Museum. 

The Walters Art Museum, located in Baltimore, Maryland, is a model OpenGLAM institution. With a forward thinking staff aimed at opening their collections in unique and innovative ways, and a collection consisting of over 35,000 objects that are public domain, the Walters is prime real estate when it comes to OpenGLAM. In early 2012, the Walters started partnering with volunteers from the Wikimedia community. The idea for the partnership was hatched out of GLAM Baltimore 2011; a series of events that brought volunteers from the Wikimedia community to the Walters to present about GLAM-Wiki projects. GLAM-Wiki is a project that focuses on fostering relationships and projects between cultural institutions and the Wikimedia community, the community that maintains websites like Wikipedia. This case study, written by myself and Dylan Kinnett, Manager of Web and Social Media at the Walters, showcases the projects that evolved out of this ongoing partnership. It summarizes key aspects of this partnership:
    • The image donation of over 18,000 images to Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository that supplies websites like Wikipedia with images. These images are used in thousands of Wikipedia articles in over 40 languages. They have been viewed on Wikipedia over 10 million times and additional metrics are included.
    • The changing of licenses on the Walters website to be more open, allowing the public to utilize the Walters website, or Wikimedia Commons, as locations to collect media and curatorial descriptions without copyright restriction.
    • An internship modeled after the Wikipedian in Residence concept. This internship is structured for museum studies students interested in new media and open culture. The first Wikipedia intern wrote numerous articles about artworks in the museum, and learned skills focused around art history research, Wikipedia mark-up and policies, collaborative editing, and other skills that can only improve a resume.
    • The importance of outreach events in bringing together GLAMs and OpenGLAM community members. Without the GLAM Baltimore event, this partnership may have been delayed or not happened.
The case study will be expanded to include coverage about the newly developed transcription project, which has the Walters working with Wikimedia community members to transcribe and translate rare Latin documents in the museum collection. These documents will then be shared via Wikisource, a free online library. We hope that this case study will inspire and engage others to develop open sharing projects and programs. Please forward, share, and brainstorm how your GLAM can share its collections and knowledge holdings to provide further access to the public through OpenGLAM.

Sita’s free: Landmark copyleft animated film is now licensed CC0

- January 19, 2013 in Free Culture, Nina Paley, Open Content, Public Domain, Public Domain Works

Sit back and relax're free!

Sit back and relax’re free!

This past Friday, American cartoonist, animator, and free culture activist Nina Paley announced she was releasing her landmark animated film Sita Sings the Blues under a Creative Commons CC0 licenseSita Sings the Blues is quite possibly the most famous animated film to be released under an open license. The 82 minute film, which is an autobiographical story mixed with an adaptation of the Ramayana, was released in 2008 under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. Paley, a well known copyleft and free licensing advocate, found inspiration for releasing Sita in recent life events. The day after learning about the death of internet activist and computer programmer Aaron Swartz, Paley was asked to provide permissions, by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), for filmmaker Chris Landreth to “refer” to Sita Sings the Blues in an upcoming film. Challenges with NFB lawyers reminded Paley of the challenges Swartz faced in relation to his “freeing” of JSTOR documents. “I couldn’t bear to enable more bad lawyers, more bad decisions, more copyright bullshit, by doing unpaid paperwork for a corrupt and stupid system. I just couldn’t,” Paley explained on her blog. She refused to sign the paperwork, and the NFB requested that Landreth remove any mentions of Sita in his film. “CC-0 is as close as I can come to a public vow of legal nonviolence,” Paley states, channeling her frequent frustration with film industry lawyers and copyrights. In a copyleft community where participants are often challenged on what license is the best option, Paley took this chance to attempt to discover that: “I honestly have not been able to determine which Free license is “better,” and switching to CC-0 may help answer that question.” Sita can now sing the blues (or perhaps something happier, since she is as free as it can get), without having to file for paperwork ever again.