Sidney Nolan’s SNAKE on display at MONA, Hobart



Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Hobart, Tasmania – 24 July 2017
By Gionni Di Gravio

AGENDA – GLAM PEAK (HOBART) – 24 July 2017 (97Kb PDF)

GLAM Peak Meeting, MONA, Hobart 24 July 2017
(Official Meeting Notes by Kate Irvine)

GLAM Peak Meeting, MONA, Hobart 24 July 2017 – Attachments

Visit the sites on Google Earth

Present: Robin Hirst, Museums Galleries Australia (MGA) Convenor

Robin Hirst at the Museum of Everything, MONA

Don Garden, OAM, Federation of Australian Historical Societies.
Margie Jantti, CAUL
Laurence Paine, TMAG/CAMD/CAAMD
Kylie Brass, Academy of the Humanities
Tina Parolin, Academy of the Humanities
Suzanne Davies, RMIT Gallery
Karmen Pemberton, UTAS
Ross Latham, State Archives
Mary Lijnzaad, MONA
Richard Mulvaney, Launceston Museum/Gallery
Liz Jack, LINC Tasmania
Lyndall Osborne, AIATSIS
Nancy Ladas, Museum Victoria
Meg Labrum, NSFA
Louise Doyle, National Archives
Jacqui Ulhmann, NFSA
Kevin Bradley, National Library of Australia
Gionni Di Gravio, Australian Society of Archivists
Simon Checksfield, CSIRO
Frank Howarth, Retired, Museums Galleries Australia
Sue McKerracher, ALIA
Kate Irvine, NSLA
Alex Marsden, Museums Galleries Australia
Malcolm Bywaters, University Art Museums of Australia
Hilary Goodson, AARNet
Stephen Forbes, CAMD
Lucinda Davison, GLAM Peak

Mary Lijnzaad, as our host, welcomed us to MONA. Robin Hirst acknowledged country and welcomed us all to the 9th meeting of GLAM Peak.

Session One:

Implementing the Catalyst – funded Stage II Project by Alex Marsden & Kate Irvine

Alex Marsden provided an overview of the original Catalyst grant application; what GLAM Peak asked for, what we actually received ($111K Catalyst/$39.9K in kind), and what we achieved, outlining the outputs from Stage 1, which included: a draft national framework for digital access to collections; principles to assist institutions of all shapes and sizes to achieve digital access for their holdings; a case study based toolkit; and a research report on international comparators.

She then provided an overview of our Stage II Catalyst application which was also successful in securing funding ($294.5K catalyst/ $66.2K GLAM Peak in kind/$150K Technology partners) Objectives included:

1) extending the reach of smaller cultural institutions, particularly those outside the metropolitan centres, based upon the principles of the Draft Digital Access to Collections National Framework
in the Digital Access to Collections Toolkit.

2) providing a blueprint and proposed process for the development of State and Territory Digital Access Plans to underpin the long term strategic support for Australia’s cultural collections.

Planned objectives include: dissemination, promotion and engagement of draft framework & toolkit across all Australian institutions large and small; delivery of training sessions to 10 regional centres; access to technology & software providers through regional hubs; promotion of educational & training materials; enabling development of Digital Access plans.


Focusing on the regional workshops, the plan discussed was to deliver 2 day workshops across 10 regional centres, with allocation of small grants to support participation; workshops to include training sessions on the toolkit, understanding the principles underpinning the  Digital Access framework, demonstrations by tech and software companies and aggregator services to help build regional GLAM hubs of digital expertise and cross sector relationships.

To tackle the path towards creating Digital Access Plans at State and Territory Government levels, it was proposed to establish an Expert Working Group to:

  • review the current activities occurring in each State, and work with each to determine a ‘road map’, designed to provide a shared alignment of all existing activities in each state/territory, and looking where national alignments may happen

A timeframe, listing of technology and aggregator supporters and ideas from the last GLAM Peak meeting (Melbourne) as to how it could all happen (see powerpoint slides below), with potential locations for regional workshops.


State Digital Access Plans

Sue McKerracher presented the key findings from Dr Katherine Howard’s Report:

International Comparators: How does Australia compare internationally? A research report contributing to the Digital Access to Collections initiative. By Dr Katherine Howard (2017)

which stated:

“Strategies analysed came from Europe (28 in total), Canada and New Zealand. Surprisingly, there was little variation identified in the strategies from Europe. The Canadian and New Zealand strategies, although being of a later date than the European ones, also did not provide much variation.

The key findings also form the basis of the recommendations. The key findings are:
– National strategies for digitisation and preservation are created in response to cultural
policies set by Ministers of Culture
– Use of a Secretariat
– Competence Centres
– Preservation of digital materials as a high priority
– The existence (or development) of a national register of digitisation projects
– Developing Public-private partnerships (PPPs) for funding”

and Key Recommendations:

“Based on the research that has been undertaken, the following recommendations are made for how these findings might inform the development of digital access strategies at the state, territory and federal level in Australia.

Recommendation 1:
That Australian digital access to cultural collection state and territory strategies include consideration of appropriate agencies to oversee the delivery of the plans and to work together to co-ordinate a national approach.

Recommendation 2:
That state, territory and national strategies include high level guidance regarding the topics and type of material to be digitised.

Recommendation 3:
That consideration be given to creating a register of digitisation projects Australia-wide – refer Section 3.2 Canada.

Recommendation 4:
That state, territory and national strategies include consideration of the potential for PPPs in order to assist in the costs associated with extensive digitisation projects.

Recommendation 5:
That state, territory and national strategies include consideration of the establishment of Competence Centres (or Centres of Excellence) in various aspects of the digitisation and preservation processes and procedures.”

Discussion was then had over who could create and implement the State and Territory Digital Access Plans? Who would be able to champion beginning discussions in their respective States and Territory? This was seen as crucial, as according to the Key Findings, internationally, it was the Ministries of Culture that set the policies, with a competent Secretariat to make it happen.

It was agreed that Tasmania would lead the National charge in pulling together a State Digital Access Plan.


GLAM Peak meeting underway

Session Two: Strategic Landscape
By Robin Hirst, Facilitated by Frank Howarth

Untitled, 1991–2011, Jannis Kounellis

Frank Howarth then led a workshop discussion dealing with GLAM Peak’s future objectives, operations, ethos and priorities for 2017-2019 identifying Issues (i.e., what we wish to achieve) and Organisation (i.e., how are we going to do it).

He recapped on the history of the GLAM gatherings from the initial “tension in the room” meeting in Brisbane in June 2015, where everyone eventually realised that, “although we all had our differences, we all had much more in common”.

In the ensuing gatherings in Sydney we were able to come together to collectively advocate for Copyright Reform, TROVE funding support, and the 7 Point Plan to Digital Access at the last election proves that we can all work together at being a formidable force for the greater good of furthering open access to Australia’s cultural heritage for all peoples.

All groups came up with their particular issues. Our group’s issue was:

” How do we get everyone in GLAM in the same room?

It was felt that everyone in the sector has their own conferences to attend, and so having a joint conference in 2020 would be a fantastic way to get everyone under the same tent. This idea was already proposed by me back in March 2016 following the Melbourne GLAM Digital Access meeting 25 February 2016.

Other issues raised included emphasising the role of culture in creating a civil society, significance of data literacy, implications of creative industries, making digital access relevant at the local level, advocacy for the value of culture, and advocacy in general, essentials for the survival of human beings, clarification to the wider community as to what GLAM is and does.

With regards to Organisation, there was identified, the need to engage with the States as well as Peak groups; the sustainability of relying on volunteers such as Sue, Alex and Kate to keep the GLAM show on the road; the importance of being able to employ administrative assistance through Wendy and Lucinda; the need of Champions for  the State Digital Access Plans; identifying evidence for the role of culture in creating civil societies;  investment and its impacts through advocacy.

Session 3: Progressing the draft National Framework – possible National Expert Reference Group.

Alex Marsden then provided a proposal for an Expert Working Group – designed to undertake three tasks:

–Review the Draft National Framework (and report by the end of 2017)

–Develop a Roadmap for State and Territory Digital Plans (review the activities and support a way of preparing it)

–Provide suggested Next Steps

Timeframe: August 2017 – June 2018

It was agreed by the gathering that this would be a good way to proceed.

Kylie Brass provided an update on The National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS)

Session 4: Updates

Kevin Bradley (NLA) provided an update on:

  • the TROVE roadshows that had well over 1000+ participants across the metropolitan and regional cities and towns of Australia.
  •  $16.4M received in funding to create a new digital business model, with the proviso that there would be no more funding, and were looking into a membership model as a way to fund it, with help from the States, whilst still keeping access to TROVE completely OPEN and FREE.
  • National Digital Deposit Network. With changes to Copyright legislation, more digital publications are now being collected under legal deposit provisions and planning is underway for a national collaborative approach led by the National Digital Deposit Network (NDDN) steering group. The National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA) is a leading library sector collaboration that is supporting it. TROVE is the delivery mechanism.
  • They are currently mapping TROVE, but it is becoming more like an atlas. Everyone outside thinks TROVE is the National Library of Australia (NLA), while everyone in the NLA think TROVE is everyone else. He ended by wishing to invite GLAM Perk to Canberra for the next gathering to focus on TROVE to discuss:  It’s Your TROVE; How can TROVE be more useful?; Different views of TROVE; Next Steps.

Sue McKerracher (ALIA) provided an update on the new changes to copyright law:

  • The Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill 2017 was passed by the Senate on 15 June. The new Act will improve access to copyright materials for people with disability, while simplifying and streamlining the copyright framework for the library, archive and education sectors, and the community.
  • The legislation has:
    • amended preservation copying exceptions, allowing libraries and archives to implement best practice preservation policies for protecting works, such as creating digital copies
    • changed copyright term provisions, ending perpetual copyright for unpublished works and providing a fixed term for works whose authors are unknown, including anonymous works and orphan works. From 1 January 2019 copyright will be 70 years from the death of author. Pre-1939 will be free of copyright provisions.
    • streamlined educational statutory licences and allow material to be included in online examinations
    • implement Australia’s obligations under the Marrakesh Treaty so that whenever copyrighted content that is not available in an accessible format can be converted into the required format by a person with a disability or someone acting on their behalf.
  • Sue also encouraged everyone to cook again to celebrate these important copyright reforms on 31 July – to mark the two-year anniversary since librarians around the country took part in this act of civil disobedience.

Robin Hirst then provided a summary of the day, an agreement on next steps and thanked our hosts and attendees.


At the conclusion there was a tour of the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) by Mary Lijnzaad.

Later that evening we also toured the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Murray Street, Hobart with a reception hosted by LINC Tasmania. On the following day (Tuesday 25th July) we toured the Morris Miller Library’s Special and Rare Collections at the University of Tasmania.


And Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG).

Gionni Di Gravio
31 July 2017



GLAM PEAK – Digital Access Meeting, National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) 9 May 2016

National Film and Sound Archives, Canberra

National Film and Sound Archives, Canberra (Australia)

We attended the fifth meeting of the representatives of national GLAM (i.e., Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) sector peak bodies in Canberra.

GLAM Peak Notes Meeting – 9 May 2016 by Kate Irvine

GLAM Peak Joint Election 2016 Statement

Our collective purpose is to work together to advocate for, advise on, and implement the open digital access and discoverability of Australia’s cultural collections.

Those present included: Alex Marsden, Executive Director, Museums Australia; Frank Howarth, President, Museums Australia; Margaret Allen, CEO, State Library of WA, National & State Libraries Australasia (NSLA); Roxanne Missingham, CAUL; Ann McLean, Director Reference and Information Services National Archives of Australia and representing Louise Doyle, Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities (CAARA); Jacqui Uhlmann, National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA); Lyndall Osbourne, AIATSIS; Meredith Foley, Executive Director, Council of Australian Museum Directors (CAMD); Diedre Kiorgaard, National Library of Australia; Bernadette Flynn, Online Outreach Officer, Federation of Australian Historical Societies (FAHS); Sue McKerracher, CEO, ALIA; Michael Loebenstein, Director, National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA); Tina Parolin, Director, Academy of the Humanities; Kate Irvine, Executive Officer, National and State Libraries Australia; Monica Telesny, Australian Local Government Association (ALGA).

I represented the Australian Society of Archivists (ASA) on a national level, as well as University of Newcastle (Australia) Cultural Collections on a regional level.

Most around the table would applaud our host, Michael Loebenstein’s opening statements in acknowledging what a great initiative the GLAM meetings really are, and how honoured he was to be included, and playing an active role, in together shaping the national policy and agenda evolving around the Australian community’s digital access to its cultural heritage.

The Objectives of this meeting were:

  • to review, discuss and agree scope and implementation of the revised joint project funded through Catalyst
  • to develop a short joint agenda for a number of forthcoming elections
  • to discuss common issues of concern with local government – ALGA
  • to agree on timing and issues to cover as part of GLAM Peak’s submission to the Commonwealth Budget deliberations at the end of 2016, as well as future areas of interest.


Catalyst Submission

There was good news and bad news. The good news was that we were successful in gaining funding, the bad news was that it was successful for one sixth of the funding asked for, over a period of one year as opposed to three years in the original submission. Therefore a revision of objectives was in order.

It was recommended that:

(A) we concentrate on ensuring a tangible outcome in the form of the ‘toolkit’ that would supply all organisations large or small will all they needed to know about the processes of digitisation and how to get their digital content out there. The project team would be responsible to compiling all the documentation probably already out there in various forms and distilling it into an easy to ready “how to” for cultural organisations great and small. So we can avoid re-inventing all wheels.

(B) that we will have a workshop at the next meeting of the GLAM PEAK to showcase case studies for cultural institutions that already do digital access well, and those that don’t, so that we have an idea of what is already going on out there, at all levels. This will give participants the opportunity to share what they do well, and where they don’t.

(C) that we would also identify potential business partners that would be prepared to invest in the national initiative across the GLAM sector.


Expression of Interest

Digital Access to Australia’s Collections: An initiative of the peak bodies of the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums

Expressions of interest are sought for two roles to deliver a digital access project for the GLAM Peak Bodies Roundtable. We require project management and research (desk and fieldwork). These roles could be performed by one person or by two depending on skills and experience.

The project is worth a total of $150,900, with $72,000 available for this element. The project will run from June to December 2016 with the potential for further engagement in future years.

We are seeking an individual/individuals who have project management and research skills. You must have knowledge and experience working with galleries, libraries, archives, museums, historical societies and/or in humanities research. Ideally, you will have worked across several of these parts of the GLAM sector.

The deliverables are a report, a draft framework and toolkit prototype to enable smaller institutions in the sector to make their collections discoverable online.

Expressions of interest are invited by midnight on 5 June 2016, sent by email

For further information, please contact:

Sue McKerracher, Australian Libraries and Information Association,

Kate Irvine, National and State Libraries Australasia,




Joint Agenda for Elections

To date the GLAM peak bodies have come together to provide joint statements on Copyright Reform , the Copyright Amendment Bill and the Support of TROVE. Discussions ranged over areas we could provide overarching advocacy and support in the areas of innovation, telecommuncations (NBN) infrastructure, education, research, Indigenous access and culture and disaster proofing. Repositioning the GLAM sector in the hearts and minds of the nation’s decision makers is of crucial importance to the future resilience of civil society and civilisation. For instance, imagine what can be gained by understanding Aboriginal cultural practices and heritage, embodied in the “archives in the field”,  the rock art and engraving sites, the keys to 50,000+ years of human survival and innovation on this continent. And imagine what it can teach us in managing our local environmental problems, changes due to climate change and industrial era pollution and contamination of land, sea and air. So the GLAM sector can reposition itself in the same league as HEALTH or EDUCATION, as an Australian RESILIENCE, SURVIVAL & CIVILISATION ENABLER. The digital infrastructure we can imagine as a MEMORY CULTURE SILK ROAD, or CULTURAL MEMORY HIGHWAY, enabling everyone free digital access to the wisdom of the past to enable new actions in the present that create a better future and world.

There was also discussion about creating linkages with Humanities Research organisations, in creating a unified voice as science does when speaking to Government. It was important to push for an exemption for national cultural institutions from the “efficiency dividend”. Not only are the institutions reeling from budget cuts, there is further pressure to provide surpluses. Why?

With so many young people unemployed wouldn’t it be great if we could establish as national cultural heritage-digitial humanities-creative industries GLAM AUSTRALIA TRAINEE or APPRENTICESHIP SCHEME to train the nation’s future archivists, conservators, librarians, curators, archaeologists, digital education virtualist innovators, etc etc while at the same time providing the local historical society or museum down the road with a young person (who is paid), and can help digitise their significance items for global exposure and preservation.


It was RESOLVED that a group would work on distilling the ideas from the whiteboard into a joint statement to our political leaders at Federal, State and Local levels.


There were also updates on the state of TROVE, and the copyright reforms. The National Library of Australia had appointed Deloitte Digital to investigate a variety of funding scenarios and report back by the end of June 2016. It would not affect what is already in TROVE, but there would probably be limitations on what might be possible in future. On the copyright front things were going well until the election was called, and now will have to be re-visited after the outcome of the July 2 poll.


Monica Telesny, from the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) provided a briefing on their working relationship with Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). They are the voice of local government representing over 650 councils around the nation. They employ over 188,000 people, administer funding in the billions, and expressed the importance to their members that cultural institutions such as libraries, art galleries and museums (and I hope archives) have in their communities.  They were very interested in supporting and becoming closely involved with the GLAM PEAK bodies, and we welcomed the association.


Discussions were also had over the collective image of the GLAM peak bodies, ideas ranges from GLAM AUSTRALIA to GLAM PEAK AUSTRALIA, finally deciding we would be known as GLAM PEAK.

Those interested in the fields of digital humanities and what can be achieved with archives & records need to see Professor Hamish Maxwell’s trail blazing Digital Panopticon presentation delivered at 2015’s Australian Society of Archivists’ Conference in Hobart, it was ground breaking and exciting and essential viewing for GLAMers.

NEXT MEETING is scheduled for late July – Early August 2016 and will include a workshop.

The day concluded with a tour of the amazing fascilities and film and audio specialists deep within the labyrinth of the National Film and Sound Archive.



Greg Andrews, Director, Arts Sector Investment, Creative Victoria emailed an update on the report prepared by the Digital Technologies Working Group of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers.

This final report is now publicly available from the MCM website at via the Work of the MCM webpage.

The report establishes a baseline of activity, practice and achievement in the use of digital technologies within state-owned collecting organisations. It also canvasses barriers to increasing access through digital technology, as well as opportunities for collaborative action and issues relating to community collections. The report also demonstrates a wide variety of innovative ways in which state-owned institutions are currently using new technology to extend access to collections, target new audiences and engage the public interactively with collections.

Questions regarding the report can be referred to Greg Andrews or Chrisopher McDermott or on 03 8683 3202.


Gionni Di Gravio
University Archivist, UON
Councillor, Australian Society of Archivists (ASA)
Chair, Hunter (Living) Histories Initiative (Coal River Working Party)