Radical GLAM Collaboration in BC

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David Stewart, Royal BC Museum, Canada, Ben Hyman, Vancouver Island University, Canada

Sharing collections data across Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) makes a lot of sense. Collectively it allows us to tell unified stories. Individually it allows us to display any number of extraordinary specimens, artifacts, volumes or records that might otherwise be tucked away unseen and unheard. A one-stop BC Digital Library that makes accessible the collective sum of British Columbia’s scientific and cultural heritage has the transformative potential to show the complexity of people and places, amplify local collections, and to make our holdings available as never before to help shape social discourse.

But first this data hub must be built. And lots of thought should go into how it’s built. There should also be a reasonable expectation that it can be maintained in the future. Expanding it as collections grow would be nice too. These simple goals allude to not-so-simple solutions that require many forms of expertise and resources. With no primary funding source to speak of, a growing group of like-minded GLAM institutions are finding ways to get it done through radical collaboration.

Join Ben Hyman, University Librarian from the Vancouver Island University, and David Stewart, Digital Manager from the Royal BC Museum as they recount tales of rapid prototyping, job sharing across sectors, the looming question of metadata standards, and the results from a probing survey – a pulse check of who needs what, and most of all, how the GLAM sector can help each other.