Digital transformation and GLAMs internationally

In summer 2020 the Europeana Foundation commissioned Culture24 to research the digital transformation agenda in galleries, libraries, archives and museums internationally and the final strategic report is now published. Learn more about the background to this research and how it fits in with Europeana’s other work building digital capacity.

With so many cultural organisations thrown into the digital deep end due to the impact of the pandemic lockdown, this report couldn’t be more timely or relevant.  

a woman with curly hair holding a printed report
Jane Finnis holding the new report

The report summarises the key themes arising from the research including digitally literate leadership, the role of agents of change, how digital divides, and tackling fear and negativity. It includes insights and interviews with eight experienced cultural professionals and we are grateful to them for their time and expertise –

  • Zak Mensah, Head of Transformation in the Culture and Creative Industries Service, Bristol City Council, UK
  • Jessa Agilo, Founder of ArtsPond / Etang d’Arts, Toronto, Canada
  • Nikita Mathias, Senior Concept Developer, Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway 
  • Maaike Verberk, Director of the DENFoundation, Netherlands 
  • Milena Dobreva, Associate Professor in Library and Information Studies, UCL Qatar 
  • Andrea Montiel de Shuman, Digital Experience Designer, Detroit, USA 
  • Abhay Adhikari, Owner of Digital Identities, Rotterdam, Netherlands  
  • Fiona Fieldsen, Director of Digital Experience at National Library of New Zealand and Virginia Gow, independent Contractor and Coordinator of the National Digital Forum

It also offers twenty strategic recommendations for us as individuals, organisations, a sector, a network and for society. When reading and considering this report’s recommendations, we ask that they be understood and enacted in contextual, holistic and purposeful ways.

These three terms are a framing drawn from the multipartner One by One project and are part of the project’s definition of digital maturity as ‘An individual’s or an organisation’s ability to use, manage, create and understand digital, in a way that is contextual (fit for their unique setting and needs), holistic (involving vision, leadership, process, culture and people) and purposeful (always aligned to the institution’s social mission).

By using these to frame how we think about the recommendations in the report, we can accommodate the multiple complicated and layered perspectives that exist across the GLAM sector internationally, which have been acknowledged throughout the research.

The report is a must for anyone trying to understand how to build their own digital literacy and the digital capability of their organisation.  

Want to read more?

Read Jane Finnis’s Medium article Why digitally literate leadership is so important right now

Download the full report The Digital Transformation Agenda and GLAMs

More about our research.