GLAM peak bodies

Australian Digital Access to Collections: an initiative of the GLAM peak bodies

Website: GLAM peak


Terms of reference

  1. This is a core group of collection sector peak bodies, plus invited representatives from major institutions already running national infrastructure (or those not easily represented by the peak bodies) and organisations representing smaller institutions.
  2. Our focus is digital access.
  3. The primary purpose is to clarify a shared vision and approach to digital access to Australia’s cultural collections through the development of a national framework.
  4. The secondary purpose is to enable dialogue and nurture partnerships across all three tiers of government and with the private and not-for-profit sectors.
  5. Within the scope of the group, we will advise and advocate on issues that are relevant to all, or the majority of, participants.

Peak bodies

The initiative has been driven by Museums Australia and National and State Libraries Australasia, with support from the Australian Library and Information Association. Participants include:

  • Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA)
  • The Australian Society of Archivists (ASA)
  • Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities (CAARA)
  • Council of Australasian Museum Directors (CAMD)
  • Council of Australian Art Museum Directors (CAAMD)
  • Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL)
  • Federation of Australian Historical Societies (FAHS)
  • International Council of Museums (ICOM)
  • Museums Australia (MA)
  • National Research Collections Australia (NRCA)
  • National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA)

National participating institutions

The peak bodies’ members include state, territory and local institutions as well as major national institutions: the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, CSIRO, the National Archives of Australia, National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, National Gallery of Australia and National Library of Australia.

Other participating institutions

Active participants include Museums Victoria (MV), the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre (QM), Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW) and Australian Academy of the Humanities (AAH).


The first meeting took place at the Queensland Museum, Brisbane, on 12 June 2015, and the group has continued to meet at least four times a year. The round table has used these opportunities to explore and discuss existing models for improved public access to digital collections, with presentations from Trove, Atlas of Living Australia, Victorian Collections, National Digital Forum (NZ), Google Cultural Institute and others.

At the meeting of Cultural Ministers on 1 October, the establishment of this GLAM peak bodies group was acknowledged and supported. The round table looks forward to working with government at all three levels to improve public access to collections.

  • The GLAM peak bodies agreed to issue a statement supporting Trove.
  • GLAM Peak Australia federal election agenda June 2016 - download the 7-point plan to enable community digital access here.
  • Digital Access to Collections project - media release announcing appointment of consultants.

Catalyst grant 2016-2017

GLAM Peak was awarded a grant to develop a draft national framework for Digital Access to Collections and a prototype toolkit. Four documents were produced as a result of this initiative:

10 ways that digital access to collections benefits millions of Australians

The GLAM peak bodies and institutions have put together case studies of ways in which digital access to collections have made a positive impact on people's lives - download the full story here.

  1. Providing valuable resources for researchers
  2. Fuelling innovation
  3. Keeping indigenous languages and customs alive
  4. Retelling the Anzac stories
  5. Supporting our Asia-Pacific neighbours
  6. Making community histories easily accessible
  7. Promoting entrepreneurship
  8. Feeding mainstream media
  9. Restoring historic properties
  10. Connecting friends and families


Alex Marsden, Museums Australia

Kate Irvine, National and State Libraries Australasia

Sue McKerracher, Australian Library and Information Association