Since launching our Open Access Initiative in January of 2019, the Cleveland Museum of Art has been asking, “How is Open Access making an impact?” Since launch, we have been collecting data across multiple platforms, hoping to gather insights. Thanks to the work CMA has done on our back-end systems for the past decade, we were able to launch our Open Access API and dynamically share our collection on multiple repositories across the web, such as Internet Archive, Creative Commons, Wikipedia, and ArtStor.

As the museum temporarily closed its doors in March of 2020 due to the COVID19 pandemic, we immediately saw a rise in views on our Collection Online – this lead us to wonder if there were similar patterns in Open Access downloads and views across repositories. With the help of local data science firm Pandata, CMA launched these live dashboards, which update daily. Click through the tabs on the top of the page to view different data sets. Sort by date or filter by department. What are the most viewed and downloaded artworks?

It’s exciting to see how different the museum’s top 50 are in comparison to our top artworks on Wikipedia, and the explosive, exponential effect that our partner repositories have had on the international reach of our collection. Comparing how the public interacts with our collection on CMA’s collection online, our API, and partner repositories such as Wikipedia, can help inform not only our future decisions, but hopefully inspire others in the museum community to extend the reach of their collections. Being transparent with our data is important to the CMA as an extension of our Open Access initiative and the museum’s mission.

As of now, we are displaying data for our Collection Online, our Open Access API, and Wikipedia. Check back soon, as we plan to add data on more of our partner repositories, such as Internet Archive, Creative Commons and ArtStor.

Find something interesting in our data? Let us know at [email protected].