Open Access Implementation Working Group

Following the announcement of Yale’s Open Access policy, outlined in the Memo on open access to digital representations of works in the public domain from museum, library, and archive collections at Yale University 5 May 2011, repositories across the university engaged in the production or distribution of digital images of Yale collections are striving to adjust their practices to the new policy, and have encountered questions ranging from interpretation to practical application. Although the policy statement allows for variations in implementation across units, there is value in developing guidelines and shared practices.

The Open Access Implementation Working Group has been convened by the ODAI Steering Committee on Policy and Shared Practice to the identify issues raised during implementation of Yale University’s Policy on Access to Digital Images of Works in the Public Domain, and to develop common understandings and implementation guidelines for collections across Yale.

The Working Group will identify and address areas requiring further clarity in practice, including but not limited to the following:

  • Considerations and guidelines for assessing collections and determining material subject to the policy (practical guidelines for determining public domain vs. copyrighted or other restricted material
  • Selection and application of public domain affirmation
  • Transmission of rights-related metadata with images
  • Citation and credit guidelines
  • The online transaction – things to think about
  • Relationships with outside licensing vendors
  • Continued revenue from services with free intellectual property
  • Revenue from licensing use of images of works under copyright
  • Online documentation
  • Finalize a policy document


The Open Access Implementation Working Group will report periodically to the ODAI Steering Committee on Policy and Shared Practice and the Yale Digital Commons (YDC) Advisory Group. The Working Group will consult with and/or refer topics as appropriate to other working groups. Technical issues will be referred to the YDC Implementation Working Group. All policy will be recommended to the ODAI Advisory Committee.


The working group consists of the Associate General Counsel, the Director of ODAI, and additional professional staff with responsibility for or extensive experience with image rights from representative units across the University. Members and convener are appointed by the Director of ODAI in consultation with local units.


Bi-weekly or monthly basis as agreed by the group


  • Meg Bellinger, Director, Office of Digital Assets and Infrastructure
  • Sheree Carter-Galvan, Associate General Counsel, Yale University
  • Ken Hamma, Consultant
  • Nancy Kuhl, Curator, Beinecke Library
  • Melissa Fournier, Associate Registrar and Manager of Imaging Services, Yale Center for British Art (convener)
  • John ffrench, Director of Visual Resources, Yale University Art Gallery
  • [Pending Appointment], Yale University Library
  • Tim White, Assistant Director of Collections and Operations, Peabody Museum of Natural History