Free our cultural archives

Publication Date



Australians are the creators and custodians of a broad range of cultural materials. This material includes literary, photographic, video and audio archives. These archives should be made available to all Australians for access and reuse, as part of a pre-competitive platform which promotes the interests of the Australian public in gaining access to a diverse range of content that contributes to the development of national and cultural identity. This does not mean that all material must be made available for access and reuse for free and in an unrestricted fashion. But for publicly funded content, free and unrestricted access should be the default. The Venturous Australia report on the National Innovation System recommended that '[t]o the maximum extent possible, information, research and content funded by Australian governments: including national collections: should be made freely available over the internet as part of the global public commons.'1 The report further stated that 'both for its direct and indirect benefits to Australia and for the greater global good, Australia should energetically and proudly maximise the extent to which it makes government funded content available as part of the global digital commons...

Document Type

Open Access Report

Access Rights

Open Access


Copyright 2011 Brian F. Fitzgerald, Cheryl Foong and Kylie M. Pappalardo. Submitted version. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence