Backstage Pass at Derby Museums
Six months or more from knocking on the door of Derby Museum and asking to "talk to somebody" I found myself with three key museum contacts, just days to go and just "one or two" things left to do. However one contact was on holiday and another was waiting (unsuccessfully) to find out if his job was to escape restructuring.
Amazingly the backstage pass opened on time with 25 people in the room and a choice of eight different activities plus talks about the new multi-lingual QR codes and a talk by a museum curator who was (now) temporarily employed by Wikimedia UK.
As a sunny day dawned on the city of Derby, 25 Wikimedians, museum representatives and others made their way towards Derby Museum and Art Gallery for a day of tours, talks and trials. The new QRpedia project was being given its first official outing on the day and its joint-creator, Terence Eden, was there to give a presentation (see right).
The day began with an introduction to Derby Museum's collaboration with Wikipedia, given by Jonathan Wallis the Assistant Head of Derby Museums, Roger Bamkin (Victuallers) and Andrew Turvery (AndrewRT) chair of Wikimedia UK. Participants then broke out into three groups for tours of various galleries including the Natural history department (which featured dozens of the new QRpedia codes), archaeology archives and the gallery and painting store.
After lunch, there were presentations by Terence Eden (Edent) on the QRpedia project and Nick Moyes - a former curator at the Museum and Art Gallery and a key player in the collaboration - on the museum's perspective of a Wikipedia partnership. Videos of the two presentations can be seen here and here.
QRPedia is a world first and arose out of an email discussion between me (Victuallers) and Terence Eden after the first installation of QR codes at Derby Museum. It uses one QR code but can redirect you to the language Wikipedia of your choice by detecting your smartphone's chosen language, eg. if a QRpedia code is for the Derby Museum and Art Gallery, it will detect the language you have set as default on your phone and then take you to that page. If your phone is set to Spanish, it will take you to the article on the Wikipedia en Español. If your phone is set to German it will take you to the article on the Deutsch Wikipedia. However, if the article does not exist in your chosen language, it will take you a list of languages in which the article does exist.
More parallel tours followed, including one of the mothballed Derby Industrial Museum (also known as the Silk Mill). During this tour, the first new Derby Museums article was written by Andy Mabbet (Pigsonthewing) about The King of Rome, a racing pigeon. This article has since achieved nearly 10,000 hits.
The day finished off with the announcement of the Wright Challenge, a translation challenge which aims to get Derby Museums articles in as many different languages as possible. You can join in!
- Derby's Silk Mill gets visit from Wikipedia volunteers from the BBC.
- Backstage Pass at the Derby Museum is a success
- When GLAM met Wiki (Wikipedia and Smaller Museums) Blogpost by former Derby Museum and Art Gallery curator, Nick Moyes.