GLAM/Case studies/Archives of American Art/Institutional awareness

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A meeting with Archives staff to learn about the newly developed partnership.

Increasing institutional awareness and staff enthusiasm for Wikipedia was a part of the primary goal of the Archives of American Art partnership. This opportunity was not limited to just Archives of American Art staff, but also invited Smithsonian-wide staff to attend and participate in events. Together with Archives webmaster Sara Snyder, the Wikipedian-in-Residence organized a campaign to education staff. This campaign included a series of brown bag talks, staff specific meetings, and general advising and on-site assistance for editing help.


The Wikipedian-in-Residence developed a three-part brown bag series which invited Smithsonian staff from all units to attend. This program, finalized by the resident's staff mentor, webmaster Sara Snyder, provided a simple and non-intimidating opportunity for staff to learn about Wikimedia's missions, the resident's goals, and policies and procedures regarding copyright, conflict of interest, neutrality and other related topics.

  • You are who and you're a what?: This talk introduced the Wikipedian-in-Residence to Smithsonian staff and a basic overview of her agenda during her residency at the Archives of American Art. View the PowerPoint here.
  • Sourcing, original research, notability & conflict of interest: This talk asked basic questions regarding the criteria for creating or adding to Wikipedia articles, how to cite sources and if you can cite your own work. It also explored notability guidelines for subjects and conflict of interest regarding making contributions on behalf of one's organization or about a subject related to that organization. View the PowerPoint here.
  • Media Rights and Usage: This talk examined the often complicated rules and policies regarding image and media rights on Wikimedia projects. Is it okay if images from your museum already exist on Wikimedia projects? The talk also shared how Wikimedia goes about safeguarding copyright, defined what Wikimedia Commons is, and how Commons compares to Flickr Commons. View the PowerPoint here.

The resident also made herself available to other units and departments for talks at request.

The Wikipedian-in-Residence also met with archivists and image rights staff, learning about their own work, how they use Wikipedia in that work, and where further partnership opportunities lie. The resident also provided on-site staff support regarding Wikimedia related questions and concerns.


The process has resulted in a deeper understanding among archives staff about the practical implications of using Wikipedia to share the archives content in order to reach a global audience.