HASS-GLAM Networking

Ms Ingrid Mason1, Ms Hilary Goodson2, Peter Elford3

1AARNet, Sydney, Australia, ingrid.mason@aarnet.edu.au

2AARNet, Sydney, Australia, hilary.goodson@aarnet.edu.au

3AARNet, Sydney, Australia, peter.elford@aarnet.edu.au



The 2016 National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy Roadmap [1] outlines as key national research infrastructure: Platforms for Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS), with a strong focus on interoperability across platforms and researcher access to physical and digital collections, including cultural collections.

Advancing research in these areas is critical to our future, and requires a nationally coordinated approach to infrastructure development to drive transformations in the way researchers discover, access, curate, and analyse Australia’s social and cultural data. (p33) 

Collaboration is a core aspect of this national strategy, reflected in its structural features and infrastructure design, and in the complex stakeholder interactions in the complex mix of infrastructure owners and jurisdictions referenced in the Platforms for HASS focus area. Built into this strategy is an assumption that collaboration will arise between the HASS and GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) communities to build bridges between public and research infrastructures and establish working relationships and service boundaries.

AARNet already provides bridging infrastructure components (network and services) for the HASS and GLAM communities.  The national research and education network (NREN) AARNet provides vital underpinning research infrastructure to this focus area of the national strategy. Many of Australia’s large state and national cultural institutions are on the NREN and CloudStor (cloud storage service) has been designed to be easily accessible to any collaborator and partner on a research project (with an email address).  The combination of having all parties (data providers and digitisation suppliers) collaborating around research are ideally on high speed network connections that support rapid data transfer via the research institution or through arrangements under AARNetConnect.  The combination of these research infrastructure components makes collaboration around data sharing between HASS and GLAM in Australia straight forward.

This presentation will:

  1. Highlight AARNet’s experience to date with providing national research infrastructure bridging components to support HASS-GLAM collaboration.
  • Cover a selection of insights gained through that experience as entry points, to aid the broader eResearch community in engagement, with two diverse and highly collaborative communities, with long and well-established histories of collaboration.



There is a significant challenge ahead for the eResearch community to work together to build connecting research infrastructure to enable collaboration.  The eResearch community can draw confidence from the fact that professional communities and networking already occurs between the “HA” in HASS and the GLAMs.  The Australasian Association of Digital Humanities has been running a biennial conference listserv “2Cultures” for association members and the wider community to exchange information since 2012.  In 2016, the Digital Humanities Australasia conference hosted by the University of Tasmania in Hobart for example had a presentation from academic librarians at University of Wollongong on their infrastructure collaboration with history academics to develop the “History Archives Portal” [2] using the Omeka platform (a platform used in common by digital humanities research and the GLAM collecting communities).  The annual National Digital Forum in Wellington, New Zealand, commenced in 2002 has been drawing in contributions from GLAM and DH communities from Australasia and internationally.  The VALA biennial digital library conference (in operation in Australia for decades) has also more recently drawn in contributions from GLAM and from digital humanities (DH) researchers from Australasia and internationally.  A clear conjunction between the interests of DH research interests (and their data access requirements) and GLAM collection availability for mining was revealed in 2012 in a paper delivered on “Mining the treasures of Trove: new approaches and new tools” [3].  In 2015, the international Digital Humanities conference and the international LODLAM (Linked Open Data: Libraries, Archives, Museums) summit were co-located in Sydney at Western Sydney University and the State Library of New South Wales to enable the crossover of DH and GLAM interests in semantics, linked open data, and cultural heritage be exchanged.  In February of this year the international museum community landed in Melbourne to attend MuseumNext (a mobile professional forum) hosted by the Australian Centre for Moving Image [4] to give and listen to talks on: artists working in museums, science galleries, the use of robots and virtual reality, museum innovation hubs, library labs and much more.  The evidence is there that collaboration flourishes between DH and GLAM, these communities share events, interests, data, ideas, and physical and digital infrastructures.



The bundling the humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS) and galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM), as communities, is a categorisation abstraction.  By example the Australian Academy for the Humanities in its submission [5] on the National Research Infrastructure Capability Issues Paper states:

The humanities together with the arts and social sciences (the HASS sector) form a sizeable part of Australia’s research and innovation system. HASS researchers comprise 43% of the university-based research system, and HASS contributed 44% of the total number of units of evaluation in the Excellence for Research in Australia (ERA) initiative in 2012.  The HASS sector is not only sizeable but diverse, comprising some 50 disciplines at the four-digit field of research level.

The GLAM Peak [6] initiative driven by Museums Galleries Australia and National and State Libraries Australasia draws together eleven peak bodies:

  • Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA)
  • 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 Galleries Australia (MGA)
  • National Research Collections Australia (NRCA)
  • National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA)

The members of those peak bodies include local, state, territory, and national institutions in Australia, and represent an enormous highly connected network of physical and digital infrastructure.  Complexities can arise from conflating the practices, resources, and needs of the highly diverse academic and collecting activities and professionals represented by each letter in both of these two acronyms: HASS and GLAM.



  1. 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap. Available from: https://docs.education.gov.au/node/43736, accessed 15 June 2017
  2. History Archives Portal. Available from: https://hap.uow.edu.au/, accessed 15 June 2017
  3. Sherratt, T. “Mining the treasures of Trove: new approaches and new tools”, VALA 2012 Conference. Available from:  https://www.vala.org.au/vala2012-proceedings/329-vala2012-session-2-sherratt, accessed 15 June 2017
  4. MuseumNext. Available from: https://www.museumnext.com/conference_history/melbourne/, accessed 15 June 2017
  5. Australian Academy of the Humanities, National Research Infrastructure Capability Issues Paper, September 2016. Available from: http://www.humanities.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/AAH-Policy-2016-InfrastructureCapability.pdf, accessed 15 June 2017
  6. GLAM Peak.  Available from: http://www.digitalcollections.org.au/, accessed 15 June 2017



Ingrid Mason, Deployment Strategist with AARNet, provides support for engagement and the uptake of the national research and education network (NREN) and services with AARNet members across the research, cultural and collections sectors. Ingrid has worked on several NCRIS programs: Australian National Data Service, National eResearch Collaborative Tools and Resources, and Research Data Services.


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