The first AvoinGLAM workshop was organised August 18th 2012 in the Society of Swedish Literature in Finland. We will return to the venue next week for the celebration of open culture! Photo: AvoinGLAM. CC BY-SA.

The first official AvoinGLAM workshop was organised August 18th 2012 in the Society of Swedish Literature in Finland. We will return to the venue next week for the celebration of open culture!
Photo: AvoinGLAM. CC BY-SA.

The AvoinGLAM network was founded in spring 2012. It all started with a handful of designers, artists and cultural institution representatives who enthusiastically decided to promote openness within the cultural heritage sector. They decided to map the challenges institutions face when attempting to open up. As a result a workshop model was created and a series of workshops held to understand the needs and problems better.

A cultural data master class was organised in spring 2014 to tackle the lack of knowledge, support and good examples of open materials that cultural heritage institutions mutually recognised. The master class resulted in over 20 Finnish cultural institutions opening their data and content. New collaborations were also being formed (e.g. a Wikipedia editathon course with six evenings in six cultural institutions).

Finland further needed more examples on the creative and beneficial uses that openly available informative and visually striking materials can bring about. The first culture hackathon focusing on open cultural data and content was organised in spring 2015. Hack4FI – Hack your heritage was born as a combination of a handful of successful European culture hackathons. The strength of the Hack4FI concept was not only the interesting and visually enchanting materials. Most of all Hack4FI was about meeting new people, learning about new and diverse ways of approaching cultural heritage, bringing together the substance (knowledge and aesthetics) and the form (technology) and having loads of fun in the process!

At the beginning the most popular form of opening cultural heritage materials was publishing old public domain photographs on Flickr. Today, in addition to this diverse group of Flickr photographs there is a multitude of other great open materials as well: sound effects, maps, various data and videos (see a relatively good representation on the Hack4FI – Hack your heritage 2016 dataset document).

We have come a long way in four years. The second Hack4FI – Hack your heritage was organised in February 2016 with an even more colourful group of participants (e.g. digital humanities experts). Furthermore more and more institutions are currently adopting policies of openness: collections and data are being opened for free use and new ways to incorporate openness and engaging audiences in everyday practices are being looked into. Today there seems to be a lot of buzz especially around the possibilities that open cultural heritage materials present for educational purposes. It is also something the AvoinGLAM working group is currently working on – more information to follow!

Photo: bfick. CC BY.

Original photo: bfick. CC BY.

Four years and three projects later it is most of all time not to look back at the things we have accomplished but to appreciate where we are now! Therefore we warmly welcome everyone to join us in a Celebration of Finnish Open Culture on April 13th! We will celebrate all the amazing works that were created from open cultural materials this year in Hack4FI – Hack your heritage 2016 among with all the future possibilities that openness entails!

Join us in the Society of Swedish literature in Finland (Ritarikatu 5, 00170 Helsinki) April 13th 2.00-6.00 pm! We will hear inspiring talks from our lovely guests (more information soon) and see presentations from a selection of works created in Hack4FI – Hack your heritage 2016. The afternoon ends with acknowledgments given to the most distinctive and the most nifty.

Register for the event by April 7th.

Please join also the Facebook event for updates.

More information on Hack4FI – Hack your heritage:

P.S. Neljän vuoden jälkeen on hyvä palata juurille. Siis, vielä kevään aikana uusitaan AvoinGLAM-verkostokysely, jolla kartoitetaan toiveita verkoston tulevaisuuden toiminnan suhteen. Tästä lisää pian!



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