DIY infrastructure – building the GLAM Workbench

Tim Sherratt

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Paper


Invited feature presentation.

The GLAM Workbench is a collection of Jupyter notebooks and related resources that encourages exploration of collection data from GLAM organisations (galleries, libraries, archives and museums). Using Jupyter notebooks, researchers can run live code to manipulate and analyse data – developing their skills, and learning about the possibilities of digital collections, while undertaking real research tasks.

The GLAM Workbench has always sought to provide researchers with multiple pathways, responding to their interests, aims, and digital confidence. Some of the notebooks run as web apps, requiring nothing more than a couple of clicks to run. Others are aimed at more experienced coders, providing live examples of what's possible using collection APIs. Similarly, the notebooks can be used in a variety of computing contexts – one click will launch the Binder service, but for more sustained work there are options to use Docker images, Reclaim Cloud, or other cloud facilities. Different users can follow different pathways.

Without direct funding or institutional support, the GLAM Workbench has sought to achieve sustainability by opening its contents and processes to reuse, collaboration, automation and integration. There is no single platform that needs to be maintained, instead the GLAM Workbench takes advantage of existing standards and technologies to connect resources as required. Most recently, tools and documentation have been added to support individuals and organisations that want to contribute to the GLAM Workbench. For example, a standardised GitHub repository template has been developed for any GLAM organisation that wants to create its own section of the GLAM Workbench (or indeed, its very own version of the GLAM Workbench).


ConferenceReviewing, Revising, and Refining Open Social Scholarship: Australasia
Period16/11/22 → …
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