GLAM Digital Strategy

Oxford University's collections, based in its Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM), are of universal significance, representing the history, science, culture and knowledge of all major global civilisations. They are essential resources of cultural, intellectual and scientific materials for research, scholarship and education in the broadest sense - in Oxford, nationally and internationally.

Our vision is to utilise the opportunities offered by digital to democratise access to the collections, eliminating geographic, cultural and economic boundaries. Our ambition is for full machine readable metadata and digital surrogates of all our unique collections to be available and discoverable online, and for these digital assets to be preserved and safeguarded for future generation. GLAM institutions are interdisciplinary by nature, and their services already underpin research and teaching at the University. Fulfilling the ambitions set out in the GLAM Digital Strategy will enable GLAM to facilitate further research, teaching, lifelong learning and public engagement, and encourage new collaborations and experimentation, both now and in the future.

The diversity and size of the collections means a single vision for digital across the collections must of necessity be high-level in nature. Certain principles can, however, apply across the collections and represent the shared aspirations of GLAM:

1. All collections should be easily discoverable online, through the provision of high-quality metadata.

2. All unique analogue collections should ultimately have a digital surrogate.

3. The collections will continue to develop through the acquisition and creation of born-digital material as well as through the digitisation of existing material.

4. The collections will be easily usable for digital teaching and research, and GLAM will actively seek opportunities to participate in this activity.

5. GLAM will utilise the collections to support the University's widening participation and public engagement agendas, engaging new and diverse public audiences locally, nationally and internationally.

6. The collections will be created, managed and preserved in a manner which allows for their sustainable long-term use and reuse, that is efficient and cost effective, and that is secure, robust and resilient, safeguarding the investment made to create them in the first place.

7. GLAM will govern publication and reuse of the collections based on a shared IPR policy that aims to make material readily accessible in the public domain and encourage the widest possible reuse and engagement, while enabling GLAM to use its digital assets to support its institutions commercially.

8. GLAM will develop commercial approaches and partnerships where appropriate in order to grow and develop new income streams to ensure the sustainability of its operations.

Download the full GLAM Digital Strategy

Digital photography at the Bodleian Library and child using mobile device at the Ashmolean Museum


GLAM Digital Strategy Implementation Programme Board

The GLAM Digital Strategy Implementation Programme Board (GDSIP) is responsible for the overall management and delivery of a series of initiatives and projects funded by various sources to implement the GLAM Digital Strategy. It will report to the GLAM Strategy Group (formerly ASUC SG), to Curators of the University Libraries, and to the Oxford University Museums Board, but also with a reporting line to IT Committee on all projects funded from the IT Capital Envelope. With specific reference to the latter it will also function as an ‘IT Board’ with the appropriate approval authority for project funding and monitoring responsibilities, overseeing the ‘Digital Content’ envelope.

Download the full Terms of Reference for the GLAM Digital Strategy Implementation Programme Board.

Online Collections

Ashmolean Museum
Digital Bodleian
Eastern Art Online
History of Science
Natural History
Pitt Rivers Museum
Plants 400
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