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Sam Donvil

PACKED vzw Center of Expertise for Digital Heritage for Flanders and Brussels



Sam studied archaeology and culture and development studies at K.U. Leuven university.

In the past he worked at the Open Access department of the K.U Leuven university library and currently works at PACKED vzw – Center of Expertise for Digital Heritage on opening up heritage collections on external platforms such
as the Wikimedia ecosystem and crowdsourcing projects with the Wikimedia community. He is also involved in the annual museum-hackathon Museomix.



Wiki Loves Heritage

Since several years vzw, PACKED the center of expertise for digital heritage for Flanders and Brussels has
been working on opening up digital heritage collections and content about performing arts on external platforms such as the Wikimedia ecosystem (primarily Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata) instead of only on proprietary platforms. Packed vzw does this for several reasons: first of all it allows institutions of any size, budget and IT skill to engage themselves to work towards becoming an open(data) institution and integrate openness as a core priciple of their digital strategy. Furthermore, Wikidata allows institutions to publish their data as linked open data, allowing data enrichment of often poorly documented collections. On a more fundamental level, we hope that working with Wikimedia can serve as a catalyst to change institutional attitudes and approaches from closed and top-down to horizontal, democratic and truly participatory.

Lastly, because Wikimedia requires that any digital reproduction on its platforms be published under an open license, it provides the impetus to convince museums to move away from a commercial model with regards to image licensing and to think more broadly of the value they bring to society as a facilitator of reuse of their digital collections by citizens, researchers, the creative industries, etc.
Wiki Loves Heritage is an initiative by the Flemish Department of Culture in the context of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 which allows institutions to either donate digital reproductions and metadata or to crowdsource images on Wikimedia platforms in order to enhance the digital presence of Flemish heritage online.