Introduction

The internet, digital recording devices and the ready availability of content production software have together drastically changed the creative landscape. As a result, linear models of knowledge and cultural production are rapidly being supplanted by more distributed, collaborative, user-generated and open networking models. Yet Australians wishing to participate in this new digital culture have great difficulty gaining access to quality content from their own culture and history that can be legally and safely reused. This limits our ability to access the full benefits that could be provided by new technologies to fields such as education, the creative industries and business innovation.

The Opening Australia's Archives project aims to address this problem by working with Australia’s collecting institutions to increase the public’s ability to access and reuse our national collections. Run by the Innovation Law program of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation at Queensland University of Technology the project encourages the adoption of open access approaches through coordinated policy, implementation and advocacy initiatives across the collecting sector.

Opening Australia’s Archives: Open Access Principles for Australian Collecting Institutions were prepared in consultation with representatives of the Australian collecting sector commencing with a series of meetings held nationally during 2009. For more information on the meetings, principles and project see the Opening Australia's Archives website.

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