Position Statement: 2022

GLAM Peak supports digital access to Australian collections for all communities. Our current work is based around three shared priorities.


Australia needs a comprehensive plan for digitising, managing, accessing and sharing the cultural heritage collections held in large and small collecting organisations around the country. GLAM Peak supports development of a National Arts, Culture and Creativity Plan as proposed by A New Approach (ANA) in 2021, which recognises the vital role of our cultural and creative industries in keeping our social fabric strong. The very real educational, creative, social and economic benefits of this plan must be underpinned by effective national and state digital infrastructure that can facilitate collection care and data-sharing at scale, and at the most basic level, can provide reliable internet access and affordable data storage.


The Deadline 2025 campaign has made explicit the particular threat facing our television, radio and sound heritage: hundreds of thousands of hours of Australian history held by cultural heritage organisations around the country will be lost forever without large-scale digitisation of magnetic media. Tape that is not digitised by 2025 will be largely unsalvageable. Investment continues to be urgently required for digitisation of audio-visual material in the care of many of our collecting institutions, so that Australians may continue to be informed, challenged, enriched and connected by it.


Australia’s cultural identity is rich, varied, complex and contested. Neglecting the preservation of our cultural heritage removes our capacity to enjoy it, to interrogate it, to share it with future generations. This undermines us as a nation. Members of GLAM Peak have a vital role in what the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Identity of a Nation report refers to as “protecting the digital evidence of who we are”. Even our smallest cultural organisations must have access to appropriate digital preservation software, data storage, networks suitable for data transfer, and importantly, the skills and resources for digital preservation espoused by international organisations such as the Digital Preservation Coalition.


GLAM Peak formed in 2015 as a coalition of peak bodies in the GLAM sector. In 2016, it successfully implemented a regional digital access project, funded through the Australian Government Catalyst/Australian Arts and Culture Fund, producing a suite of resources for the GLAM sector. The project delivered a practical toolkit for smaller collecting institutions; case studies addressing opportunities and challenges in digital collections; research into digital access strategies internationally; regional workshops with the support of technology partners; a draft national framework; and state digital access plans.

The organisation continues its work in support of GLAM sector organisations.