Last year Birmingham Museums took the decision to make images from its out-of-copyright collections freely available under a Creative Commons CC0 licence. Now the Trust is making images easier to access via a new digital asset management system (DAMS), which manages the digital media assets and enables images to be shared online.
In the first year of free access, over 100 academics and researchers have used Birmingham Museums’ images for research and publication at no cost. With the new system in place the Trust expects an even greater take up, as people can now search and download images themselves at http://dams.birminghammuseums.org.uk/.
The open access policy was developed from Birmingham Museums’ values and in line with the Trust’s charitable objectives. It has been received positively since launching last year and is helping Birmingham Museums to grow and diversify its audiences by making images easier to access.
Images are steadily being added to the digital asset management system (DAMS). All the images that can be released into the public domain will be viewable at the online link, and the public can download them for their own uses, without the need to login or to fill in any forms.
Currently 2394 collection item images are available, but the number is increasing daily. Images include topographical views of Birmingham that showcase the changing face of the city, which many people will have never seen before.
Digital images of works in the collection that have no copyright issues will be freely available up to 3Mb files, and up to 300dpi.
High res images can still be licensed from Birmingham Museums Trust at a cost, if these are required, by contacting the Picture Library: firstname.lastname@example.org
A prints service is still provided for people who would like to buy a print or canvas for their walls. www.bmagprints.org.uk/