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The value of mass-digitised cultural heritage content in creative contexts

Coleman, Stephen; Terras, Melissa; Thornton, Pip; Smyth, Michael; Schafer, Burkhard; Drost, Steven; Pegado, Briana; Panneels, Inge; Elsden, Chris; Osborne, Nicola; Lechelt, Susan; Helgason, Ingi; Speed, Chris


Stephen Coleman

Melissa Terras

Pip Thornton

Burkhard Schafer

Steven Drost

Briana Pegado

Chris Elsden

Nicola Osborne

Susan Lechelt

Chris Speed


How can digitised assets of Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums be reused to unlock new value? What are the implications of viewing large-scale cultural heritage data as an economic resource, to build new products and services upon? Drawing upon valuation studies, we reflect on both the theory and practicalities of using mass-digitised heritage content as an economic driver, stressing the need to consider the complexity of commercial-based outcomes within the context of cultural and creative industries. However, we also problematise the act of considering such heritage content as a resource to be exploited for economic growth, in order to inform how we consider, develop, deliver and value mass-digitisation. Our research will be of interest to those wishing to understand a rapidly changing research and innovation landscape, those considering how to engage memory institutions in data-driven activities and those critically evaluating years of mass-digitisation across the heritage sector.


Coleman, S., Terras, M., Thornton, P., Smyth, M., Schafer, B., Drost, S., …Speed, C. (2021). The value of mass-digitised cultural heritage content in creative contexts. Big Data and Society, 8(1),

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Apr 6, 2021
Publication Date 2021-01
Deposit Date Apr 13, 2021
Publicly Available Date Apr 13, 2021
Journal Big Data & Society
Print ISSN 2053-9517
Electronic ISSN 2053-9517
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 1
Keywords Digitisation, creative industries, cultural heritage, GLAM institutions, industrial strategy, entrepreneurship
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The Value Of Mass-digitised Cultural Heritage Content In Creative Contexts (1.5 Mb)

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This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed.

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