Reviewed April 2021
GLAM 3D is an open access website designed to “walk you through the entire process of planning, creating, and launching an Open Access 3D scanning program” at a GLAM institution (gallery, library, archive or museum). The site is structured as a text-heavy online handbook and licensed through Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC-BY). As a website, GLAM 3D allows for an interactive and customized experience for users. This resource is a practical guide, allowing users to navigate directly to the pertinent information that they are looking for or to read the resource as a book with chapters. As each section is presented as a table of contents, it could lend itself to an ebook or print book format option. This would make a great ready reference guide specifically for GLAM 3D collection development or for anyone working with digital collections. While the user experience of the website could be improved upon and is under designed, this is still a highly effective resource.
The audience for GLAM 3D is very intentional since it is meant to be a practical guide for a particular process. The website clearly articulates the perspective and intentions for the content. It assumes that the reader is working at a GLAM institution and that they want to implement a 3D scanning project to create an online open-access collection. Designed to be a practical guide for implementation for specific users, this resource goes well beyond this goal. This is a thorough resource for general education of GLAM 3D specifically and for digital collection education in general. Many audiences will benefit from exploring this resource and applying it to their own particular situations. While the stated intention of GLAM 3D is noted above, this reviewer strongly encourages the use of this resource for higher education in disciplines such as museum studies, information & library science, art based studies, and more.
GLAM 3D is an effective resource with detailed and comprehensive content. It is well produced, however, the website is basic and simplistically executed. While it is not necessary to create a flashy site to convey the topic, the site could benefit from some enhancements and more user experience consideration. For example, the user may not immediately see the dropdown menu on the right side of the screen as it defaults is collapsed with the visible label “GLAM 3D Open Access” in a light grey box with simple carrot. Additionally, the navigation is a bit off on the drop down menu, with the first link, “Welcome to GLAM 3D,” taking you back to the Homepage, instead of the About GLAM 3D page the user was on. It is also not normal practice for all the main website content to live under the about page navigation and therefore making it more prominent would benefit the user. From a user experience perspective, a separate page would be preferable, but a better visible cue to show the importance and direct them to this spot more readily would also suffice. The user is also be directed to this page from the Homepage if they click on the “Get Started” call to action button.
The core information is presented in a clear table of contents format for each section, providing an outline for the topics that will be covered as well as linked sections, allowing the user to jump to specific topics on the page. Each section additionally includes a Notes section in the footnotes, providing valuable further reading and resources. The writing style is clear and easy to digest. The presentation of the website is simple yet effective, allowing the focus to be on the detailed information and multitude of examples provided in the text and via embedded videos. The video examples are highly beneficial and illustrative, allowing readers to fully comprehend the concepts being presented. Very specific mentions or resources for copyright law would have made this a truly comprehensive resource for this reviewer.
While there are other resources that provide similar content in part or for a different audience, this is the first resource that provides a comprehensive look at actual establishment of a GLAM 3D project at an institution. GLAM 3D has compiled and deconstructed almost all of the relevant information into one space and this makes it an invaluable resource.