Imagine the difference it would make if Australia’s arts and cultural heritage collections were all easily available online. If, simply by taking a smartphone out of their pocket, turning on their PC or swiping their tablet:
- Artists could take inspiration from vintage designs and the works of master creators
- Teachers could bring Australian citizenship to life through objects and stories
- Researchers could discover the information they need to produce valuable new insights
- Families could explore their own histories
- Everyone, irrespective of socio-economic factors, diversity, location and disability would have the same opportunity to access collections online.
It is intended that all this can be achieved through the Digital Access to Collections initiative of GLAM Peak.
As a result of the research findings, the consultants made 10 recommendations. These can be summarised as:
1. The formation of regional and GLAM sector collaborative models.
2. Support for national aggregated platforms.
3. Support for a diversity of collection management systems rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
4. Review of available systems to identify features and benefits to enable smaller organisations to make informed choices.
5. Increased funding for the Community Heritage Grants program to support digital access to collections projects.
6. Information for smaller organisations to address the issues that are holding back digital access.
7. Examples of excellence in digital access to be identified and promoted, and used to refine national standards.
8. Digital access to collections projects to be linked with school curriculum requirements.
9. Aggregated databases to be enhanced to incorporate social media platforms which can be utilised for crowd sourcing knowledge and story-telling.
10. Investigation of the potential for third party support to progress digital access for the benefit of small organisations, to increase awareness and use of collections, provide revenue streams and electronic funds transfer.