GLAM (industry sector)

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GLAM is an acronym for "galleries, libraries, archives, and museums",[1][2] although other versions of the acronym exist, such as LAM, which incorporates only libraries, archives, and museums.[3][4][5] More generally, GLAMs are publicly funded, publicly accountable institutions collecting cultural heritage materials.

The term GLAM emerged[when?] as these institutions began to realise their roles and goals were converging, creating the need for a wider industry sector grouping. This became especially apparent as they placed their collections online—artworks, books, documents, and artifacts all effectively become equal 'information resources' when they are online.

Proponents of greater collaboration argue that the present convergence is actually a return to traditional unity. These institutions share epistemological links dating from the “Museum” of Alexandria and continuing through the cabinets of curiosities gathered in early modern Europe. Over time as collections expanded, they became more specialized and their housing was separated according to the form of information and kinds of users. Furthermore, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries distinct professional societies and educational programs developed for each kind of institution.[6]

As collecting institutions, GLAMs preserve and make accessible primary sources valuable for researchers.


  1. ^ Australian Society of Archivists, Australian Society of Archivists Annual Conference - GLAM, 17–20 September 2003, Hilton, Adelaide.[1]
  2. ^ "GLAM - CC Wiki". Creative Commons. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  3. ^ BibSI. "On the LAM: Library, Archive, and Museum Collections in the Creation and Maintenance of Knowledge Communities | BibSI". Archived from the original on 2014-03-05. Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  4. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". 2008-12-22. Archived from the original on May 1, 2009. Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  5. ^ LAM DNA August 4, 2005 by Jim (2005-08-04). "Blog Archive » LAM DNA". Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  6. ^ Marcum, Deanna (2014-01-01). "Archives, Libraries, Museums: Coming Back Together?". Information & Culture: A Journal of History. 49 (1): 74–89. doi:10.1353/lac.2014.0001. ISSN 2166-3033. 

External links

  • Library, Archive and Museum Collaboration, OCLC
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