GLAM/Case studies/The Children's Museum of Indianapolis/Featured article
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis' collections department and an individual Wikipedian worked together to greatly expand the Broad Ripple Park Carousel article, which eventually became a Featured Article. Curators worked with the Wikipedian, User:Ealdgyth, to gather resources and fact check details. User:Ealdgyth spent an impressive amount of time obtaining additional sources and revamping the article, utilizing her connections within the Wikipedia community for additional copyediting and to move it through the Featured Article Candidate process.
Locating Interested Collaborator
The idea to collaborate with a Wikipedian to attempt a Featured Article began with a local Featured Article writer who has ties to the GLAM initiative in Indianapolis. Due to unforeseen circumstances, this individual was unable to put the necessary time forth to complete the task, but provided a great list of other known Featured Article writers that might be interested. The Wikipedian-in-Residence considered the locality of the suggested individuals, as well as their posted interests, before soliciting the help of User:Ealdgyth. After explaining the broad scope of the Residency project and the details of the task, she agreed to lead in revamping the Carousel article.
Wikipedian Museum Visit
Soon after agreeing to the project, User:Ealdgyth visited the museum for a behind-the-scenes tour of collections, a meeting with the American Collection curators, and a chance to explore the carousel exhibit and the museum. She also took the opportunity to visit the Indiana Historical Society for more information while she was in the city. This visit provided sources for the article that she then supplemented in the coming weeks with additional journals and magazines about the topic.
Fact-Checking with Curators
Throughout the research process, User:Ealdgyth remained in touch with the Wikipedian-in-Residence as well as the curators, asking for clarifications on information when necessary. The curators were keen to provide her with additional information, and even began more deeply researching some long-forgotten details of the carousel’s provenance. Through this renewed interest, User:Ealdgyth ended up mailing copies of additional sources she had found back to the museum for their research and archives. As such, the collaboration and sharing of resources went both ways.
Featured Article Process
After receiving additional copy editing help from the Wikipedia community, User:Ealdgyth nominated the article as a Featured Article Candidate. The FAC reviewers underwent an intense review of the article, listing questions about sourcing and issues with phrasing, as per the usual FAC process. User:Ealdgyth kept a sharp eye on the review and responded to questions and concerns as they arose. When necessary, we clarified points with the curators throughout the process. After a few weeks of intense review, the carousel was designated a Featured Article in early April, about four months after the project began.
In addition to the amazing accomplishment of obtaining Featured Article status, the Broad Ripple Park Carousel article is now the definitive source of provenance information on one of the museum’s most important objects. The museum staff is thrilled with the result and have been inspired to continue researching the finer points of the carousel’s history. Future information will be posted in blog posts in order to maintain the momentum of this renewed interest in the history of the carousel.