Open access at RAMM

What RAMM is doing?

Throughout 2023, RAMM staff have been working with the GLAM-E Lab and students at the University of Exeter Law School to prepare the collections for open access. This exciting collaboration is helping to ensure the museum’s artworks are made available for free reuse by everyone, anywhere in the world. Our partnership will help spread awareness of the incredible collections at RAMM, as well as the lessons learned along our open access journey with the wider cultural heritage sector. 

RAMM’s open access vision is to make our public domain collections available to everyone for research, inspiration and enjoyment, while also sharing the research outcomes of the GLAM-E Lab partnership (2022-2025) for reuse by other organisations. Our strategy aims to ensure the wider public awareness and long-term preservation of RAMM’s collections. 

We believe that adopting an open access strategy enables RAMM to fulfil its central purpose. Open access lets everyone access and use our digitised public domain artworks and contribute to the rich cultural heritage of Exeter, regardless of their location. We want people to be inspired, informed and entertained by the museum’s collection and to use it to foster individual creativity. We recognise the importance of providing knowledge and information to the public to advance our mission and to unlock new cultural discoveries. 

What does this mean?

RAMM applies the CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication to photographs of 2D artworks in the public domain, where appropriate. RAMM’s public domain images will soon be available to view and download from Wikimedia Commons, and soon from RAMM’s own online collections as we update our website to support open access. 

RAMM applies CC0 1.0 to publicly-funded digitisation projects. For example, we release 3D models of our public domain collections made by the Digital Humanities Lab at the University of Exeter as part of the GLAM-E Lab Partnership. RAMM’s 3D models are available to view and download from Sketchfab

RAMM also applies CC0 1.0 to images metadata. 

The logo for the CC 0 public domain licence.

Photographs of 3D public domain works are licensed using CC BY-NC 4.0. These works can be shared and adapted for non-commercial use, so long as RAMM is attributed. 

The logo for the CC BY-NC licence. This stands for 'Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial'.

We are also working to clear copyright in written materials published on the website. When written by RAMM staff or when we own the copyright, we apply the CC BY-SA 4.0 licence. These materials can be shared and adapted for any purpose, so long as RAMM is attributed and the works are distributed under the same licence.

The logo for the CC BY-NC licence. This stands for 'Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike'.

Are there restrictions?

Not all of RAMM’s collections are in the public domain. In many cases, copyright protects a work and is held by the work’s artist or author. Please look for a copyright notice, CC licence or other tool to help you identify whether any restrictions apply to your use of website materials. 

It will take us some time to clear copyright in our collections in order to remove copyright notices for open access release. You can always find our most up-to-date open access collections on Wikimedia Commons

Works marked CC BY-SA or CC BY-NC should be used according to the licence’s terms. 

Works marked as CC0 are in the public domain and have no restrictions on reuse. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

When using public domain images, we ask that users credit the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery so researchers and other users can identify the source of the material. Examples of an appropriate attribution statement include:

[Name of artwork], [date of artwork], [Artist], Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, [Licence or other rights statement]


St. Sidwell’s Church, Exeter, after the Blitz, 1943, by Olive Wharry, Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, CC0

Other good practice guidelines on public domain usage can be found on Europeana’s website.

How to find the open access images?

To find open access images of RAMM’s collections, please visit any of the following websites:

We’re always interested to hear how our images have been used, so please feel free to let us know on social media or leave some feedback at 

If possible, RAMM would also appreciate receiving a copy or notice of any products, new creative works or scholarly publication(s) in which the images are used. Learning how you’ve used our collections allows us to share the exciting outcomes of our open access strategy.

For more information on RAMM’s open access work see our Open Access Strategy.