GLAM/Case studies/Teylers Museum

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Oval Room (1784) in Teylers Museum; photo and accompanying article added during the challenge
Painting gallery I (1838); photo and accompanying article added during the challenge
Courtyard of fundatiehuis with observatory; photos and accompanying articles added during the challenge

From 21 January 2012 to 3 June 2012, the Teylers Multilingual Challenge was a Wikipedia writing challenge for the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, the Netherlands, based on the template created by the Wright Challenge.



The Teylers Museum was nominated 12 December 2011 by the Dutch Cabinet for UNESCO world heritage status, based on its long history as a public knowledge institute and its continued efforts to preserve public access to its collections. The museum actively sought contact with Wikimedia Netherlands to start up a cooperation to improve content related to the museum and its collections.

The Multilingual Challenge was thanks in large part to the efforts of Geert-Jan Janse, the project manager of digitization at the Teylers Museum, and Maarten Dammers, a seasoned Dutch Wikimedian with lots of experience in Wikimedia projects (most notably Wiki Loves Monuments). They had first talked informally at Glamcamp Amsterdam, and Maarten enabled the Geonotice for the challenge, which started with a "backstage" event that coincided with the first informal meetup of the year for Dutch Wikimedians on 21 January at the Teylers.

Early decision to base project on English Wikipedia


Though some Wikimedians only attended the backstage tour and others only attended the social meetup afterwards at a nearby pub, fruitful discussions on that day became the basis for a "Teylers WikiProject" on the English Wikipedia, interlinked to a simple informative page on the Dutch Wikipedia, instead of the other way around. The Netherlands has a high number of English Wikipedia contributors (according to statistics, about half of all Wikipedia edits in the Netherlands are to the English Wikipedia). Later in the challenge, it appeared that this decision was beneficial as most article translators were using the English Wikipedia articles as a source. When the overall quality of Dutch articles appeared higher, the "challenge" for the organizers was to organize acceptable quality in all English articles.

Though the Teylers Museum boasts a highly international list of "friends", most information about the collection inside the museum's walls is only available in one language: Dutch. As the main point of contact for the "First" & "Second" societies founded by the Pieter Teyler legacy, the museum is not only responsible for the dissemination of knowledge, but in the spirit of the Dutch enlightenment, it is also responsible for the active pursuit of knowledge through scholarship prize awards. Collaboration with Wikipedia could possibly assist the museum therefore in their mission to be true to the Teyler legacy.



During the challenge, two edit-a-thons were organized; one was held at the museum on Saturday afternoon, 28 April, and one was held at the Dutch Wikimedia chapter headquarters in Utrecht on Sunday afternoon, 3 June.


Teylers Museum director Marjan Scharloo awards first prize winner Lodewijk Gelauff a Michelangelo print in Teylers Library 16 June 2012

The Museum's Wikipedia article is now available in 12 languages. Over 300 new & improved Wikipedia articles in 10 languages were contributed to various language Wikipedia's, and 270 files were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. The Wikipedia article Martin van Marum was created and promoted to Feature article status in Catalans by second prize winner ca:User:Davidpar. For more results, see the Challenge page.