GLAM/Newsletter/February 2023/Contents/Belgium report
Public Domain Day Belgium 2023
Public Domain Day Belgium 2023
On the 15th of February 2023 the University Library of Ghent, the Royal Library of Belgium, Wikimedia Belgium and meemoo - Flemish Institute for Archives organised Belgium's annual public domain day event. Of the 49 participants, 30 were also present for the public domain rights workshop prior to the celebration. This workshop is the starting point for helping cultural heritage institutions to identify their public domain collections. They are then invited to participate in the upcoming public domain Wiki-upload workshop on the 15th of march at meemoo.
At the Public Domain Day celebration, Bart Magnus (meemoo) showed how the Public Domain Tool allows you to semi-automatically determine the rights status of collections using Wikidata. Joris Colla en Fien Messens (ODIS / KADOC-KU Leuven) presented how they added 31.000 records about persons from their database to Wikidata, increasing the power of Wikidata as a knowledge and authority hub and thereby also increasing the efficacy of the Public Domain Tool.
Public Domain Day Belgium is an annually recurring event a platform for institutions to show their (incremental) progress in opening up their public domain collections and putting into practice an openGLAM policy. Wouter De Witte from the Passchendaele Memorial Museum 1917 participated in the 2022 Wiki upload workshop and presented his plans to upload collections in 2023. Koen Van Daele from the Agency for Built Heritage showed how he made available 6.220 architectural drawings on their portal. Like every year, the Royal Library uploaded work of artists that entered the public domain in 2023. He uploaded songs by Lodewijk Mortelmans, numismatic collections by Adelin Salle, Pirart René, Emile Vloors and etchings and drawings by Constant Permeke, Paul Cauchie, Albert Daenens, Leon Bartholomé, Hippolyte Daeye and Paul Collet. Activities on Wikimedia platforms are now an integral part of KBR's digital strategy. They mutually enrich their own authorities (ISNI) and data on Wikidata, follow up the use of already uploaded content using the GLAMwiki Dashboard tool and reuse their own uploaded content, illustrated by the hiking guides by Maurice Cosyn which they turned into a georeferenced map using the webappbuilder-tool.
We shifted to an international perspective with Douglas McCarthy's (Europeana) presentation on his OpenGLAM survey. Of his 1.481 recorded openGLAMs, 34 are Belgian. Brigitte Véniza (Creative Commons) & Emine Yildirim (KU Leuven) presented the publication Towards better sharing of cultural heritage, intended to support policy makers. With the 2019 EU copyright reform in the rear window, Brigite Vézina also looked forward to how copyright might be further reformed, presenting Communia new 20 recommendations for copyright reform. A central idea to these is the switch to the concept of usage rights, a conceptual departure which no longer places users and creators in opposition. Since makers are often also users (ie. documentary film makers) their interests are not necessarily opposed.
We moved from the theory to how the heritage sector might encourage (creative) reuse. Rein Debrulle (Ghent Center for Digital Humanities) presented how his experiences in finding high res maps as source material for the Gent Gemapt project and argued for more open data and transparent user guidelines. Saar Vandeweghe & Thijs Temmerman showed how their project Collections of Ghent doesn't only make 45.000 public domain objects available, but also created a Cultural Datalab to encourage (creative) reuse. They experimented with a range of formats from setting up a cocreation fund to fund small projects, to organising a hackathon, to organising GIF-making workshops.
Wikimedia Belgium's president Geert Van Pamel ended the day with the awards for the Wiki Loves Heritage photography contest and a new call for projects for its Wikimedia in Residence program.
Slides are available here.