Dr. Brad Pettitt, Henty Farrar and Craig Franklin launching Freopedia
On the 26 May 2013 Freopedia was launched in Fremantle, Western Australia, by the city's Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt. Representing the partners in the project was Craig Franklin, President of Wikimedia Australia and President of The Fremantle Society, Henty Farrar. Freopedia is a WikiTown project based on the original Monmouthpedia.
The project was originally initiated by two separate approaches to the City of Fremantle in August 2012, one from the Fremantle Society after the then president Roel Loopers saw QR codes being used by a local photographer to sell his artworks. The other approach was from local Wikimedians who had been enthused with the QRpedia concept after attending Wikimania in Washington and saw Fremantle with its significant historical buildings - including the World Heritage listed Fremantle Prison - as an ideal location for a Wikitown.
Fremantle Prison (1859)
When we became aware that The Fremantle Society was also interested, local Wikimedian Gnangarra contacted them and suggested a collaboration that utilised the vast information already on Wikipedia. Five introductory workshops at the City of Fremantle library were followed by an edit-a-thon in the Fremantle Heritage Collection library, kindly opened for the event by staff. The Western Australian State Records Office generously provided a number of its records including official diaries from the principals of local schools during the gold rush period of Fremantle's development. The diversity of articles associated with Fremantle is best demonstrated by the range of people who have shaped the city. They include its early politicans, an Australian Prime Minister and a President of United States, sporting heroes and shadier individuals such as bushrangers, bank robbers and murderers.
Initially, 70 plaques are being placed at various locations across the city with an estimation that some 300 locations within the suburbs and a further 100 within the city will result in some 1,000 plaques being attached. Additional plaques will be placed within the many museums, galleries and other locations within Fremantle.
Fremantle has borne witness to much of Western Australia's trials and tribulations, including some its greatest moments and celebrations. It was also the place that offered great opportunities and a new life for many migrants. Bringing these stories to life within the context of Wikipedia has been both enlightening and challenging. Wikitown projects help to share knowledge with even wider audiences. They are more than worth the time and effort needed for their success.
The projects in which the State Library, its Wikipedian-in-Residence and Wikimedia Australia are involved continued to produce engagement and results during May. Library staff are updating the list of New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards as part of their monitoring of this important set of awards.
The Newspaper project
The Wikipedia:GLAM/State Library of New South Wales project page is being developed and readied to enable the Library to share its results - and more importantly, its procedures - with other libraries across the country. This is especially important in regard to the Newspaper Project which has developed a clear architecture and processes that can be repeated by other States and regions. The whole is steadily becoming more coherent.
Staff are producing articles on the other areas of focus such as exploration. The new article 1813 crossing of the Blue Mountains is ready in time for the bicentenary of the first successful colonial crossing of the Blue Mountains and is beautifully illustrated with images from paintings in the Library’s collection.
Australian Wikimedians have been busy all across New South Wales running wiki workshops for regional librarians. Users Bidgee and Peterdownunder went to work at Wagga Wagga; Users Ariconte and Whiteghost.ink trained staff at Campsie in Sydney and then Whiteghost.ink travelled more than a thousand kilometres west to Broken Hill in the Australian outback to train librarians in that very remote part of the country. Half the group had to drive more than three hours each way to attend. Wikipedia now has articles on the city's library and hospital and Broken Hill’s memorial to the Musicians of the RMS Titanic now helps illustrate the article.
70 plaques! Now that is impressive. I think that will make you the leader if these are permanent plaques. Have you considered including NFC chips which can also be made to do the language trick? Useful to think about as they can be added at installation if you have considered the opportunity. They are a lot easier to use than QR codes but you need to have (or borrow) a fancy phone/tablet. Do ping if you want some advice here --Victuallers (talk) 10:00, 21 June 2013 (UTC)