GLAM Selects 2023 Projects

We are pleased to announce that the GLAM Incubator’s steering committee has selected two experimental projects to support this year. These projects both benefit the GLAM industries and engage our faculty and students. We will announce our Call for Projects for 2024 – 2025 later this year. Read on to learn more about this year’s projects and the GLAM Incubator:

Graph-based Archival Description at the Archives of Ontario

The Archives of Ontario, the GLAM Incubator and Profs. Anastasia Kuzminykh and Shion Guha at the University of Toronto will collaborate to create a proof of concept that explores the possibilities and potential benefits of a graph-based data model for archival description, using the International Council on Archives’ new Records in Contexts (RiC) standard and Linked Open Data (RDF data format). The traditional archival finding aid, with its static and inflexible hierarchies, fails to represent the complexity and nuanced reality of record creation, accumulation, use and re-use over time.Recent efforts to overcome this limitation have turned to entity-relationship based models developed by the graph theory of knowledge representation, with its infinitely flexible and extensible subject-predicate-object expressions of data (semantic triples). The overall objective of this project is to develop a data model, to select and model a small-scale sample of data drawn from the Archives of Ontario’s datasets, and to thereby test the possibilities and potential benefits for internal staff and public end-users. This work represents a paradigm shift for archival description: it promises a vastly improved ability to represent the reality of record creation, to manage the complexity of digital metadata, to allow machine-readable encoding of meaning that enables complex logical inferences and search capabilities, and to connect currently siloed datasets with related data across the world. In short, this proposed project will break new ground in the Canadian archival sector.

Screen-based Storytelling Kits at the Fredericton Public Library

In collaboration with the GLAM Incubator and Prof. Sara Grimes at the University of Toronto, the Fredericton Public Library will produce screen-based storytelling kits and a corresponding curriculum to foster digital literacy and creative skill-building in school-aged children. Children are increasingly immersed in passive screen experiences through tablets, smartphones, and TVs located in their homes, public spaces, and schools. This project will encourage them to harness the ubiquitous “screen” to express their own voices and views on the world. Libraries are invested in fostering literacy in its many iterations, and a screen-based storytelling project enriches a child’s engagement with screens from a creative generative perspective. In addition, the library aims to close existing gaps in digital access in their community by offering this program for free. The library will provide instruction in filmmaking, animation, basic world-building and videogame design, with a focus on fostering hard skills in relevant technology and software (e.g. videography, editing, sound recording, digital illustration, and storyboarding) as well as soft skills such as project planning, group work, communication, adaptability, and motivation. The kits and curriculum developed by this project will be shared with other public libraries in New Brunswick, meeting a crucial need in the community and supporting child development and technical literacy province-wide. The curriculum will be a timely and significant contribution to pedagogies of child development and technical literary with implications reaching far beyond this local library.

The GLAM Incubator

The GLAM Incubator is a research and support hub that connects galleries, libraries, archives, and museums with industry partners, researchers, and students to advance the development of seedling projects that benefit cultural institutions, industry, and the research and teaching goals of universities worldwide. The overarching goal of the Incubator is to provide support to experimental projects that benefit the GLAM industries and engage faculty and students. As an ethical approach to community partnerships, the GLAMIncubator is driven by the needs that GLAM organizations identify for themselves. It provides the broader context and overarching structure for an ongoing series of responsive, finite, cross-sector action research collaborations. A collaboration between the Faculty of Information and the Knowledge Media Design Institute at the University of Toronto, the GLAMIncubator provides space, administrative assistance, research expertise, equipment, event facilitation, funding, and knowledge mobilization.

Each year, the GLAM Incubator puts out a Call for Projects from GLAM institutions for small-scale projects that experiment or incubate new programming, service models, interactive experiences, technical services, knowledge media, and user interfaces that will have an impact on GLAMinstitutions or professions more broadly.

Please visit the GLAM website for more information.