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The Library of Congress > Digital Preservation > News Archive > Libraries, Archives and Museums: A Collaborative Convergence

October 5, 2010 -- The Smithsonian Institution hosted Yours, Mine, Ours: Leadership Through Collaboration (external link)on September 20-21 in Washington, DC.  The OCLC Research and RLG Partnership planning committee organized the meeting, which was an outgrowth of previous OCLC work focusing on the convergence of libraries, archives and museums. 

The meeting drew important issues into focus, including how collaboration helps deliver what users want from LAMs.  There was also a wide-ranging discussion of lessons learned from different partnership projects.

Provocative keynote speakers highlighted the conference, which drew over 180 attendees from a variety of cultural heritage organizations.  Allan Cohen, Professor of Global Leadership and Director of Corporate Entrepreneurship, Babson College, spoke about principles that underlie successful collaborations, including “persistence with a personal touch.”

Dave Remsen, senior programme officer, Global Biodiversity Information Facility, gave a compelling talk about collaborative methods for identifying and providing access to natural science data collections from around the world.  Dylan Tweney, senior editor at, named multiple forces that are reshaping journalism, many of which also strongly influence memory organizations.

Thematic panels explored different aspects of collaborative practice.  An example was Common Interests, which featured Rob Stein, CIO, Indianapolis Museum of Art, speaking about "Collaboration Trials and Triumphs: ArtBabble,, Etc.", and John F. Helmer, executive director, Orbis Cascade Alliance, on "Collaboration Trials and Triumphs: Northwest Digital Archives & Western Regional Storage Trust."

Another panel, Common Value, included Nick Poole, chief executive, UK Collections Trust, addressing "How Do We Present Cultural Content to Our Users?" and Chris Prom, assistant university archivist, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign on "How Do We Source Our Tools?"

Six facilitated Birds-of-a-Feather sessions elicited much discussion among attendees.   Topics covered managing assets, leading multi-institutional collaborations, standards, administration, tools and technology and open access.  Bill LeFurgy of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program staff facilitated the multi-institutional collaboration session, which is discussed in a separate article.

The meeting was supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.