Collecting organisations are providing digital access to their collections in two main ways:
- organisational website – these include both photographic and object-based collections. Some organisations also allow users to request and/or purchase a copy of photographs via their website.
- collection sharing platforms where organisations upload their information, or the site ‘harvests’ their ‘open data’ (openly-shared information) via the internet. Popular platforms in Australia include:
There are collection sharing platforms all over the world, such as Culture Grid and Europeana, which has over 3000 cultural institutions from across Europe contributing items from their collections to the site. The Digital Public Library of America has over 14 million items that are easily discoverable online. Private collectors are also sharing their collections through platforms such as The Collecting Bug.
Some collection management systems, such as Victorian Collections, work as both a collections management system and as a sharing platform. Sharing on social media can also be an effective way to engage interest in your organisation and its collection.