GLAM/Get started/GLAM external links guide
- 1 GLAM external links guide
- 1.1 Can I add a link to our special exhibition on an artist or subject, or mention it in the text?
- 1.2 To which articles can I add external links to my institution?
- 1.3 To which articles can I add Wikipedia internal links to the article on my institution?
- 1.4 What about categories?
- 1.5 Can I add links to digital objects curated by my institution from relevant pages?
- 1.6 How do I get a template to reference material from my institution?
This page lists more detailed FAQs regarding how to apply Wikimedia's linking policies when considering what museum information to link to within Wikipedia.
Please see the following general resources:
- External links guideline
- Links to avoid
- "Wikipedia is not a repository of links" policy
- FAQ section on Links
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a news site. Material posted temporarily on your site should never be linked. Permanent material can be linked in limited cases if it complies with our guideline, however you should not promote your exhibition and adding a link to a current event is frequently seen as being promotional. How much information useful to a reader who will not visit the exhibition does your website contain? If you have as much information as the Metropolitan Museum of Art often does—several pages of material and PDF attachments—then that will probably be fine. If you just have a couple of pages that are mostly visitor information, it probably won't be. A good test of whether current event material is encyclopedic is if it will remain relevant to readers long after the event is over. Normally the page to link from will be the article most relevant to the subject, for example the biography of an artist for a retrospective exhibition.
Your purpose in editing Wikipedia should not be to promote your institution's website. Links are appropriate in certain cases as explained in our guideline. Generally, links should only be added to actual online information on the article subject, not to pages saying you have information but not showing it – for example, library or archives catalogues, or a page saying what a fine collection you have, without much illustration of it or discussion of the topic. A link to your home page should be the first "External link" in the article on your institution. Other links depend on how much detailed information useful to a non-visitor your website contains. If your website has extensive material on particular topics, direct links to the material may be appropriate in related articles. In articles on specific objects in your collection, a link to a specific page should be used. There can be a limited tolerance for large numbers of items in the "External links" section of any article, even if all are relevant. On many articles they are kept at a maximum of perhaps four or five. If your link is removed but you feel it is more relevant or informative than others kept in place, raise the matter on the talk page. If a specific object in your collection is mentioned in the article, especially if there is no image on Commons and your site has good information on it, it may be appropriate to add a link to the object's page as a reference, but do not add mentions of your objects in the text yourself, unless they are clearly appropriate.
Most institutions should add such a link to the article on their city, or sometimes to a list article of museums in a large city. There may be other lists of museums by country or state, or by subject: see Ceramics museum, for example. You might also add an external link to your museum as a reference. If your collection is really a global leader on a particular subject, a brief mention with a link may be appropriate in one or more articles on the subject – for example if you are a museum on a single person, a paragraph is probably justified at their biography. The same principle applies to libraries with the personal archives of an individual. In articles on specific objects in your collection, a link should be added. In any article mentioning your institution the first mention should be linked, following the usual Wikipedia policies.
What about categories?
Categories are a sometimes neglected way of linking articles on your institution. If there are at least four articles on objects from your collection, no one will object if you establish a category to be a member of Category:Museum collections or Category:Manuscripts by collection etc, or add appropriate articles to an existing category (but not objects loaned for exhibitions etc). Generally only very large and internationally known institutions should also establish a category in Category:Categories named after museums – currently only 20 museums worldwide have these. There are a handful of similar categories in Category:National libraries.
- More on external links to cultural sector institutions: a personal essay by a very experienced editor
Web materials not covered by a preservation policy should not be linked to. Permanent materials that your institution is committed to preserving on the web at a given URL may be linkable to a single appropriate article if they are unique and significant. This uniqueness may be that your institution has the largest collection of information on this subject/item/creator; that you have negotiated a liberal licence for redistribution with the creator; or that these are digital surrogates of your globally unique holdings (novel manuscripts, archival content, etc etc). Significance is related to notability; all wikipedia articles should ideally be illustrated with, and linked to, a small number of relevant examples. It is preferable to upload them to wikimedia and embed them in the page, where this is not possible they may be linked to. Where there are many potential examples that could be linked to, it is preferable to link to collections of examples. All material must comply with guideline.
How do I get a template to reference material from my institution?
It would be best to first post on the discussion page to determine if a template is warranted. There is resistance to creating templates unique to a single organisation. The Louvre has one, but this is focused on its buildings and history, and excludes individual objects. The best justification would be an abundance of good and legitimate articles about specific items in your institution's collection.