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Resilient, sustainable and participatory practices: Towards the GLAMs of the commons

Project description

Working towards stronger, sustainable GLAMs

COVID-19 forced the world to act quickly to face the extraordinary challenges brought on by the pandemic. Cultural institutions — galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs) — were not unscathed. In fact, GLAMs had already been struggling due to lack of funding, higher operational and maintenance costs and tourism-laden problems. The question has emerged: How can GLAMs organise and articulate cultural production and consumption? The EU-funded GLAMMONS project will provide answers using the theory of the commons: the notion that shared resources are unduly depleted by those seeking short-term gain. This new conceptual approach will offer in-depth analysis and evaluation of GLAM dynamics and it will review practices that can lead to sector sustainability.


The outbreak of the pandemic created unprecedented challenges for galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs), which were already struggling during the last years with issues of underfunding, increased maintenance and operational costs and challenges imposed by over-tourism. The COVID-19 pandemic served as a wake-up call to rethink how cultural production and consumption are organized and articulated with different sets of actors and local contexts, towards safeguarding sustainability, access and the well-being of the sector, its workforce and surrounding communities. Long before the pandemic crisis, European cultural policy encouraged museums to embrace participatory governance and digitisation (European Commission, 2010 ), become more financially self-reliant and diversify their income-generating activities. It is thus vital to map pre-pandemic practices across the sector, to fully account the pandemic effects on the sector and to explore novel solutions that will inform GLAMs response and adaptation to the post-pandemic era, under a new conceptual paradigm that will advance GLAMs as the agents of change. GLAMMONS project aims to provide answers to the above challenges, fill gaps and advance research and policy employing the theory of the commons to i) provide an in-depth analysis and evaluation of ongoing shifts (with a specific focus on both pandemic-driven transformations and digitalisation) in the field of GLAMs, ii) explore and assess practices (concerning management, finance and participation) that emerge around small scale, community-led GLAMs and the possibility of transferring relevant knowledge to more “established” and traditional ones to provide more sustainability to the sector. Rooted in a track record of internationally recognized research excellence and world-leading practice, GLAMMONS will deliver an ambitious work programme, mainly through a novel conceptual approach: the GLAMs of the commons.


Net EU contribution
€ 498 693,75
176 71 Kallithea Athina

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Αττική Aττική Νότιος Τομέας Αθηνών
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 498 693,75

Participants (7)