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.
The Digital Strategy provides a high-level vision of how GLAM can harness technology to support research and teaching in the 21st century; as well as engaging the public nationally and internationally. In addition, it outlines how digital techniques can be used to enhance the management and preservation of the collections held by the University.
To embrace the opportunities offered by digital to democratise access to the collections, eliminating geographic, cultural and economic boundaries.
To create full machine-readable metadata and digital surrogates of our unique collections and make them available and discoverable online, and to preserve and safeguard them for future generations.
To fulfil this ambition, we will deliver the following:
- Ensure that all collections are discoverable online through the provision of high-quality metadata.
- Create digital surrogates of all unique collections.
- Acquire and create born-digital material and digitise existing material.
- Optimise access to the collections for digital teaching and research.
- Utilise the collections to enhance public participation and engage new audiences - locally, nationally and internationally.
- Create an efficient and sustainable model for preserving and managing the collections.
- Develop commercial strategies and partnerships, where appropriate, to grow income streams and ensure the financial sustainability of our operations.
Fulfilling the ambitions set out in the Digital Strategy will enable GLAM to facilitate further research, teaching, lifelong learning and public engagement, and encourage new collaborations and experimentation.
Questions & answers
The GLAM Digital Strategy provides a high-level vision of how GLAM can harness technology to support research and teaching in the 21st century; as well as engaging the public nationally and internationally. In addition, it outlines how digital techniques can be used to enhance the management and preservation of the collections held by the University.
There are six key tenets to the Digital Strategy:
- Digitisation – creating machine readable metadata for all collections and digital surrogates of the unique collections.
- Search and Discovery – developing systems to enhance searching across the collections; optimising online access for researchers, students and the public.
- Digital Research and Teaching – developing the tools and systems to support digital scholarship and teaching.
- Digital Engagement - producing digital learning and engagement services and resources; conducting community outreach and dissemination.
- Digital Preservation - building and maintaining systems for digital preservation; and taking action to ensure that data and systems are securely protected.
- Digital Estate – collaborating with IT Services to deliver sustainable and cost-effective systems and providing appropriate staff development.
The preliminary implementation plan outlines approximately 50 projects which we hope to complete during the first three years (2017-2020). The projects cover the six key tenets of the GLAM Digital Strategy and range from collections management through to redevelopment of the IT systems.
This work is being overseen by the Digital Strategy Implementation Programme Board, supported by a dedicated Programme Manager.
The GLAM Digital Strategy will be supported by a variety of sources, both internal and external. A large portion of the projects, such as enhancing the commercial systems, are supported by the central University through its IT Capital Plan. These projects are approved by the IT Sub-Committee.
Alternative funding will be sought for other areas of the plan, such as digitisation.
For more information on the IT Capital Plan see: http://www.it.ox.ac.uk/strategy/it-capital-plan.
The Digital Strategy Implementation Programme Board is responsible for implementing the GLAM Digital Strategy and its projects, from their initiation through to securing funding and monitoring their progress.
The Board is chaired by Richard Ovenden (Bodley’s Librarian) and has members from across all the GLAM units and beyond who have particular expertise in the use of appropriate digital technologies. It reports to the GLAM Strategy Group, to Curators of the University Libraries, and to the Oxford University Museums Board. All projects funded from the IT Capital Plan also report to the University’s IT Committee.
The current membership of the Board is as follows:
- Richard Ovenden, Bodley's Librarian, Bodleian Libraries (Chair)
- Aruna Bhaugeerutty, Manager of Digital Collections, Ashmolean Museum
- Andrew Bonnie, Chief of Digital Operations, Bodleian Libraries
- An Van Camp, Christopher Brown Assistant Keeper of Northern European Art, Ashmolean Museum
- Kathleen Diston, Head of Archives and Library, Museum of Natural History
- Haas Ezzet, Head of IT, Oxford University Museums and Gardens
- Philip Grover, Assistant Curator, Photograph and Manuscript Collection, Pitt Rivers Museum
- Simon Hiscock, Director, Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum
- Stephen Johnston, Deputy Keeper, Museum of the History of Science
- Ian Wild, Director of Programme and Project Delivery, University of Oxford
- Susan McCormack, Director of Public Engagement, Ashmolean Museum
- Christopher Morton, Curator of Photograph and Manuscript Collections, Pitt Rivers Museum
- Will Thomas, Senior Trusts and Foundations Officer
- Judith Siefring, Head of Digital Research, Bodleian Libraries
- David De Roure, Professor of e-Research
- Julia Walworth, Representative of College Librarians
- Helen Adams, GLAM Digital Engagement Lead
- Susannah Wintersgill, GLAM Director of Communications and Marketing (interim)