Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAMs)
Canadian galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs) receive approximately 150 million visits every year, but they are much more than simply visitor attractions. They preserve and promote Canadian heritage, domestically and around the globe, while providing access to resources for education, research, learning and artistic creation. Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is an active member of the GLAM community.
Since 2014, LAC has been regularly leading and participating in events and collaborative initiatives with others in the GLAM sectors.
Memory Institutions Think Tank on the Post-COVID-19 Landscape
In 2021, LAC organized a Virtual Think Tank on the Post-COVID-19 Landscape to uncover new roles and opportunities that stem from the GLAM sector’s changing social realities, while addressing accompanying challenges.
First launched in 2013, the Wallot-Sylvestre Seminars promote discussions about topics related to LAC’s mandate, including library, information and archival science, and history. Invited lecturers have included scholars and practitioners from the academic, public and private sectors. Here is a list of past seminars currently available on LAC’s YouTube channel.
In 2016, LAC and the Canadian Museums Association (CMA) held the Taking it to the Streets Summit that led to the adoption of
the Ottawa Declaration (2016). By adopting this Declaration, the GLAMs agreed to continually adapt and reinvent their institutions, and to promote the full value of galleries, libraries, archives and museums to Canadians. The focus of the collaboration was on network renewal, new technologies, and improving access.
Ottawa Declaration Working Group
To keep the momentum going after the 2016 Taking it to the Streets Summit and to put the Ottawa Declaration into action, a working group was created in 2016 (wound down in 2019). Co-chaired by LAC and the CMA, the working group was made up of representatives from the GLAM sector. Its mandate was to explore and study how GLAMs bring value to Canadian society, and to help identify areas where partnerships could be developed.
In early 2019, the CMA, on behalf of the Ottawa Declaration Working Group, commissioned Oxford Economics to conduct a national study looking at the value of GLAMs in Canada. This first-of-its-kind study sheds light on the value of non-profit GLAMs in Canada through a combination of quantitative value metrics and qualitative assessments of societal values.
In 2019, the Ottawa Declaration Working Group also conducted a survey of collaborative projects being carried out by Canadian GLAMs. The survey received responses from 52 institutions across Canada regarding 130 collaborative projects.
From 2016 to 2019, a series of dynamic summits were held. These served as launching pads for collaboration and intellectual exchanges to strengthen the GLAM sector.
In 2016, LAC and the CMA held the first Summit, Taking it to the Streets, where members of the GLAM communities committed to finding new ways of working together to increase the visibility and impact of memory institutions. At the second Summit, held in 2018, participants discussed the pressing need to create a collective narrative that expresses the value and breadth of the benefits of GLAMs to society. At the 2019 Summit, the preliminary findings from the GLAM value study and the feedback received were presented, along with the GLAM narrative developed over the previous two years and based on the many exchanges that took place.
Contact LAC about GLAM-related activities
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