In Berlin, the Max Planck Society are operating the Science Gallery, a digital exhibition space featuring several exhibitions in parallel, between which can be switched back and forth. For 30 days and throughout the Berlin 11 conference taking place in the neighbouring Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften (see Open Access report), one of the themes was Open Access, and on that occasion, several speakers of the conference also gave talks there, including teenage inventor Jack Andraka. Avenues for collaboration between the gallery and Wikimedia projects are being explored.
The GLAM conference Zugang gestalten took place on November 28-29 in Berlin and was attented by over 200 representatives from museums, libraries and archives. Keynotes from both the former and future minister of cultural affairs on the perspective of Germany's future as digital land of culture stressed the importance of the issue still far from being solved. Pavel Richter, Wikimedia Deutschland, stretched out his hands to the audience, highlighting the role of community efforts such as in the Wikimedia movement. But the star of the event was Lizzy Jongma who presented the fully accessible collection of the national Rijksmuseum of the Netherlands. A truly inspiring collection of 125.000 items within the reach of us all.
Public funds finance and sustain museums, archives, libraries and monuments – but why? What is a government’s task, what is its responsibility when it comes to maintaining and creating access to cultural heritage?
The focus of the conference was a contemplation of the self-image of cultural institutions and what is expected of them. What is the relationship of cultural institutions to private initiatives and commercial activities? Is there a public responsibility to sustain what is culturally relevant? Can culture be equated with economic utility? Or does the responsibility of public archives, museums and libraries only start when economic utility ends? What is the reason behind legal tax or copyright privilege of so-called “memory institutions”? Finally it will be discussed whether and to what extent legal regulations are sufficient to enable “memory institutions” to fulfill their duties in the digital world.
For the second time GLAM on Tour took place. This time within the rather famous baroque library in Görlitz located in an even older renaissance building in the centre of Görlitz. Almost 20 Wikipedians, Wikisource editors and Wikimedians participated and created a WikiProject involving the staff of the library. More than 200 photos and many new articles arouse. Some of the participants will return for further research. Read more in English in the blogpost.
Annual conference of the Leibniz Association
In parallel to Zugang gestalten, the annual meeting of the Leibniz Association took place in Berlin on November 28-29. It included a meeting of the Science 2.0 research network — of which Wikimedia Deutschland is a partner — and Daniel Mietchen gave a talk on how ideas of free and open knowledge fit with the mission of the network.