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GLAM-WIKI: Archives working with Wikipedia

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Since the start of the summer, the United States National Archives has been building a close relationship with the editors of Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, and we encourage others to do so as well.

Wikipedia is one of the top ten sites on the web, and its pages get millions of views per day. There are versions in more than 200 languages with a total of almost 20 million articles. This content is created and maintained by thousands of volunteers across the globe. The site is supported by a non-profit with an educational mission and run entirely by donations and grants. All of its articles are written under a free copyright license, and open access is a core principle. And it is part of a family of projects, along with other educational projects, like Wikisource—which houses and transcribes primary-source documents—and Wikimedia Commons—a repository for image, sound, and video files.

So, why isn't your institution already working with Wikipedia? Many Wikipedians are now part of the GLAM-WIKI project (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) which assists cultural institutions that want to get involved. For archives, the benefits include raising awareness about your collections to a wider online audience, improving the quality of information publicly available about them, and the ability to draw on a pool of online volunteers. Relationships with Wikipedia can be varied and customized to your needs, but may include contributing high-quality images and media under a free license, providing subject matter expertise for the improvement of articles, hosting local Wikipedians for meetups at your institution, collaborative transcriptions of textual documents on Wikisource, and so on.

Along with the US National Archives, other participating archives and libraries include the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, the German Federal Archives, National Library of France, Sweden's Regionarkivet, State Library of Queensland (Australia), the City Archives of Toulouse (France), and the State and University Library Dresden (Germany).

For more information, please visit or e-mail glam﹫