Day 7 - GLAM OER



The purpose of this module is to provide you with an opportunity to explore the following:

  • What Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) have to offer in terms of OER
  • Places to search for GLAM OER
  • Teaching practice using GLAM OER

Day 7 - GLAM OER

illustration of a 19th century woman in a blue dress with an umbrella

Gown by Maison Laferrière from the public domain Rijksmuseum collection


The purpose of this module is to provide you with an opportunity to explore the following:

  • What Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) have to offer in terms of OER
  • Places to search for GLAM OER
  • Teaching practice using GLAM OER


As described in bullet point one of the Intention for this module, GLAM stands for galleries, libraries, archives, and museums. GLAM is a subset of OER that is growing in terms of number of resources. GLAM institutions are learning more about what OER and Creative Commons licensing means related to their digital collections, and agreeing (because they are often publicly funded institutions) to release their works with CC licenses.

Many of the OER you’ve explored thus far in the course are related to traditional teaching and learning in academic and discipline-specific ways. In addition to typical educational resources, there is a whole realm of modern and historic artworks, archival documents, and public library artifacts available as OER. Websites of open organizations that share their collections can be used for a wide variety of teaching and learning activities, especially when encouraging learners to explore and share resources as part of assessments. Many of the artifacts in GLAM collections are primary resources (original documents, artworks, etc.) that are in the public domain in part because of the passage of time.

Creative Commons GLAM Platform

Many government-funded organizations (both GLAM and science-related) share content openly. More and more are explicitly using Creative Commons licenses as part of of their work.

The following is a link to current list (as curated by members of the Creative Commons GLAM platform) of Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums that explicitly share using Creative Commons licenses: GLAM Collection


British Library - openly licensed as public domain

photo of 3 men on a triple bicycle

"Hundert Jahre in Wort und Bild. Eine Kulturgeschichte des XIX. Jahrhunderts herausgegeben von Dr. S. Stefan. Mit 800 Text-Illustrationen, etc." by S. Stefan is in the public domain.

In December, 2013, the British Library “donated” over one million images from 19th century books to Internet users and posted them on their Flickr landing page seen at the following link:  British Library Flickr Collection. Read the following short article that describes the collection. The British Library’s “Mechanical Curator” million

Some of the images have been curated and organized into albums as seen at the following link: British Library Albums

Rijksmuseum - openly licensed as public domain

colour illustration of six women on a walk wearing late 19th century dresses

Les modes de la saison, 1875 from the public domain Rijksmuseum collection.

Explore the following paper Democratising the Rijksmuseum (you can download the paper using the link at the bottom of the web page) and explore the full collection of high resolution digital images at the following link: Rijksmuseum Studio

The Rijksmuseum has an annual competition for artists and creators to use images from their digital collection to create new art – to reuse and remix. There are some amazing examples at the following link: 2017 International Rijksmuseum Award.

NASA - open but not licensed

image from hubble telescope showing a variety of far away galaxies in our solar system

Hubble’s Galaxy Cluster Cornucopia shared by ESA/Hubble & NASA

Most of the stunning images of our planets and other star systems captured by NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) are openly available to the public. Their use guidelines describe how images may be used but they are not explicitly shared with Creative Commons or other open licensing protocol. Read the NASA Media Usage Guidelines for more information.

Library and Archives Canada - Flickr Collection

photograph of a group of young women wearing kilts

Eight girls wearing kilts sit on a bench at Highland games, Antigonish, Nova Scotia by Ronny Jacques is licensed with a CC BY license.

Library and Archives Canada has also begun uploading and sharing images through Flickr with open licenses. Check our their page at the following link: Biblio Archives / Library Archives

Using GLAM for Teaching

History and art educators are well versed using primary resources from GLAM sources as part of their teaching and learning. They often access the collections of their institutional libraries to embed artifacts and databases into their courses. Because of the move toward use of CC license by GLAM organizations, these resources are now more available outside of post-secondary libraries and learning management systems. Here are a few pedagogic examples of how GLAM artifacts might be used for teaching:

Smarthistory is fantastic example of a highly curated collection of GLAM materials designed specifically for teaching. Their At Risk Cultural Heritage series describes issues of social justice, political, and community concern related to the destruction of cultural heritage sites. The website contains rich opportunities for exploration and discussion for a number of disciplines.

Creative Writing - with over one million images, the British Library collection is rich fodder for creative writers. Here is an example from Medium - post by Jenni Hayman - The Goblin Market.

Timelines (for a variety of good pedagogic strategies) can be authored using GLAM resources and Timeline JS, an open-source, embeddable tool for creating accessible work. Check out their Examples page for inspiration.

What are your ideas?


There are many places to explore and find OER that are not necessarily in OER repositories. It’s worth exploring what GLAM organizations in your region are sharing and how that might benefit your education practice and learners that you work with.

Day 7 Activity

Using GLAM for Teaching - Grab an image or other file type (audio, video, text) from one of the GLAM repositories shared in this module, or go and find your own. Prepare a short lesson in your discipline that learners might explore using the artifact and share your idea through the discussion forum, Twitter, your blog, or just keep it for your private reflection.

Explore More

A face-to-face visit with your local public library can yield some amazing finds in terms of what libraries have in the collections and what they’re able and willing to share. Go explore.


Content for Making Sense of Open Education Day 7 by Jenni Hayman is licensed with a CC BY 4.0 International license (unless otherwise indicated with citation and/or attribution).

Last modified: Thursday, 31 May 2018, 12:08 PM