Developing The Santa Barbara Statement on Collections as Data


Collections as Data National Forum, 3.3.17

An Invitation

The Santa Barbara Statement on Collections as Data was initiated during an Institute of Museum and Library Services national forum at the University of California Santa Barbara (March 1-3 2017). We invite librarians, archivists, museum professionals, researchers, journalists, artists, educators, and data producers to partner on further development of the statement. In spirit, the statement is inspired by similarly oriented efforts like The Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing and The Denton Declaration: An Open Data Manifesto.

A Purpose

The Santa Barbara Statement provides a set of high level principles to guide collections as data work. By design, the principles are not meant to stand as concrete actions. Rather, the principles are meant to support the development of actions. From now to November 2018, the project team and current and potential partners will workshop statement principles into corresponding sets of actions in collaboration with a range of specific communities. In addition to this work, the project team is developing a Collections as Data Framework that will include among other things (1) guidelines that support persona and use case development, (2) resources for “making the case” to engage in collections as data work (3) resources for running workflow hackathons (4) and exercises that can be used to facilitate conversations about collections as data needs at conferences, institutions, and other venues as they arise.

A Collaboration

We seek to collaboratively develop the statement with partners coming from different domains, professional backgrounds, and institutions of varied size and resources. The value of the statement depends on its ability to reflect diverse community goals and aspirations. Ultimately, we hope that the statement will provide a foundation that guides us all as we explore what collections as data looks like in our local environments. The first statement development period will run through summer 2017. The next version of the statement will be shared by September 2017.

Please join us in developing the The Santa Barbara Statement on Collections as Data.


Thomas Padilla, University of California Santa Barbara

Laurie Allen, University of Pennsylvania

Stewart Varner, University of Pennsylvania

Sarah Potvin, Texas A&M University

Elizabeth Russey Roke, Emory University

Hannah Frost, Stanford University