Strong Wikimedia presence at American Association of Museums
From April 29 until May 2, 2012, five Wikipedians in Residence gathered in Minneapolis at the American Association of Museums Annual Meeting and Expo. Lori Phillips, Àlex Hinojo, Liam Wyatt, and Sarah Stierch took part in both a virtual and in-person panel Wikipedia and the Museum: Lessons from Wikipedians in Residence. The session described the context of GLAM-WIKI and Wikipedians in Residence, types of outreach events, methods for connecting with the Wikimedia community, and resources for helping museums get started in a cooperation with Wikimedia. Additionally, Dominic McDevitt-Parks led a Marketplace of Ideas question and answer session about how to implement Wikipedia in cultural institutions.
The American Association of Museums (AAM) is the largest museum conference in the United States, serving thousands of museum professionals from around the world through over 150 sessions and workshops on major themes in museum theory and best practice. The AAM Annual Meeting is considered to be the largest gathering of museum professionals in the world, attracting more than 5,000 attendees from the US and abroad. Our participation at AAM offered us an unprecedented chance to illustrate to institutional decision makers - the curators, the exhibit designers, and the museum directors- that Wikipedia is a serious tool that will help them further their missions.
Throughout the conference, it was clear that museum professionals are interested in more fully engaging with the Wikipedia community. On day one, two sessions included Wikipedians in Residence and GLAM-Wiki as models for digital collaboration, including the session "Children's Museums Leveraging National Visibility Through Partnerships" and "Beyond Digitization: Creating Broad Access for Your Online Collection." Wikipedia was also discussed in a session on the future of museum ethics within the context of transparency and openness.
On Monday all Wikipedians assisted in the Marketplace of Ideas event, an informal table presenting "What to do and What not to do" as a museum in Wikipedia. We had a constant stream of interested cultural professionals and distributed information via the GLAM-Wiki One-Pager. A number of potential future cooperations grew out of this event.
The Wikipedian in Residence Virtual Session took place on Tuesday. The session was quite successful in bringing together interested cultural professionals and GLAM-Wikimedians from around the world in a virtual setting. Immediately prior to the session beginning, event organizers surprised us by providing twenty-five free spots to the $120 virtual session to Wikipedians who were currently on Twitter and eager to participate. In the second half of the presentation an extensive Question and Answer session resulted in many relevant questions that were answered by both the presenters and the participating Wikipedians. About fifty cultural professionals took part from all over the United States, Canada, and beyond. While usually reserved for paid attendees, in the coming days the virtual session will be available for Wikipedians to access.
On Wednesday the Wikipedians in Residence participated in the in-person session, which was attended by around fifty conference participants. The question and answer session went over time and enthusiasm was extremely high. We are looking forward to following up with the many interested museum professionals in the coming days and weeks.
Oregon Historical County Records Guide Mass Upload
Following last month's success of WikiProject Oregon volunteers in convincing the Oregon State Archives (OSA) to release the low resolution images (72dpi) of the Oregon Historical County Records Guide under a compatible Wikimedia Commons license, a mass upload of the images was performed by Smallbot operated by Smallman12q. The ~4200 images were uploaded to Commons:Category:Images from Oregon Historical County Records Guide with filenames, descriptions, keywords, and county automatically determined using metadata from their their website. The images have automatically been categorized by their relative county. The images will be used to illustrate Oregon articles across Wikipedia. Technical details of the upload may be found here.
Final preparations for the American Association of Museums conference, which takes place April 29 - May 2. Wikimedia will be represented throughout the conference, including in a traditional and a virtual Wikipedian in Residence session, a Wikipedia basics table, a nomination for QRpedia at the MUSE tech awards, and highlights in the Association of Children’s Museum’s session.
Coordination and updates to the GLAM/US portal in preparation for the American Association of Museums conference.
Ongoing coordination with US cultural organizations, including support and advisement for early stages of planning processes. (Partnerships not yet publicly announced.)
Ongoing coordination on recommendations for technical tools from cultural professionals.
Preparations for the Wikipedia Lounge at the MuseumNext conference in Barcelona in May and session proposal writing and coordination for the Museum Computer Network conference.
MonmouthpediA Charles Rolls Challenge ends, QRpedia codes put up
April 21st saw WMUK's project in Monmouth being noted. A Monmouth meet up had been organised because of the MonmouthpediA project which had brought the WMUK to its first board meeting outside the English borders. This was also the first Wikimeet in Wales. Since December of 2010 the MonmouthpediA project had written over 120 articles in English and 300+ in other languages, the content is generating around 400,000 more page views a year of articles related to Monmouth. This meant that over 50 notable buildings (including most of the pubs) had articles and QRpedia codes had been placed on the notable objects inside several of the buildings.
MonmouthpediA is a project to make is to make the Welsh town of Monmouth "the first Wikipedia town". The project aims to cover all notable place, people, artefacts, flora, fauna and other things in Monmouth in as many languages as possible, but with a special focus on Welsh. This is a different scale of wiki-project. The project is jointly funded by Monmouthshire County Council and Wikimedia UK, Monmouthshire County Council have installed free, town-wide wifi for the project.
Also a special thanks to Llywelyn2000 who wrote 50 articles in Welsh, he chose not to enter the competition. I'm currently working with him on a Welsh Wikimeet and the possibility of making Android available in Welsh. This is particularly important as QRpedia relies on the operating system to find out the users language. If anyone would be interested in helping with this please get in touch with John.
Monmouthpedia is jointly funded by Monmouthshire County Council and Wikimedia UK. There are many people involved, all the local and worldwide contributors, the local museums, Monmouth library, Roger Bamkin, two Phd students are studying it as part of their course, a history degree student on placement with the project is working at the museum, a steering meeting with council heads of departments, a number of local volunteers helping me with organisation and artwork (including the image at the top of this page by Dilly Boase). Harry Mitchell (HJ Mitchell), Doug Taylor (RexxS) and myself have been teaching how to edit Wikipedia and upload images inc foreign languages at two secondary schools. The board of Wikimedia UK board held a meeting in Monmouth this month on the 21st and 22nd of April which was live streamed online. Because of our good relations we were given a folly to play in for an hour. A full list of partners can be found here.
We want to integrate this content into people’s everyday experience of the world in a free and easily accessible way, offering visitors a level of information (in their own language) and allow residents can learn more about the town where they live.
We will be the first town in Wales to have free and open wifi available to everyone. We use multilingual QRpedia codes (pictured), a type of bar code a smartphone can read through its camera that takes you to a Wikipedia article in your language. We will have over 1,000 QR codes in Monmouth by our celebration day on the 19th of May. These included:
Ceramic plaques there will be over 50 around the town. They are made by a local art therapy centre, Swan Court Studio.
Fingerpost signs ceramic plaques on pedestrian signage giving them Wikipedia articles, maps and trails
Town map signs There are several town maps, there will be QRpedia codes on them linking to articles, maps and trails
Shire Hall A local museum and tourist information point, QRpedia codes will be used to give museum visitors and tourists more information
Monmouth Library The librarian are creating QRpedia codes for the inside cover of books, to give information on the authors
Stickers in shop windows(pictured) QRpedia codes that link to the history of the profession and the goods and services that they sell.
We are also working on grouping the content by people's interest, allowing people to make online maps that can be accessed through QRpedia codes around the town on maps and signposts.
The Museum has a large and ranging collection including many notable objects.The most important thing is to make intergrating and using Wikipedia within the museum sustainable, the objects on display change over time, it's important to help the museum staff understand Wikipedia and how to create qrpedia codes themselves. The museum curator Andrew Helme (appears in the video at the top of this page) is interested in what Wikipedia can do in terms of making the museum information available to as wide an audience as possible in as many languages, something not possible using traditional labels.
The student on placement at the museum from the University of Wales, Newport, Roisin Curran has become the Wikipedian in Residence for the museum, writing specific articles for notable pieces in the collection and upload images from the museum collection. We're very proud that we are creating leading Wikipedians from newbies!
Shire Hall has a very small collection; it is the building and the events that took place within it that are important. We are trying to find ways to allow unobtrusive labelling. The Hall also functions as a tourist information centre, using QRpedia - they are able to offer information in many more languages than before. They also have a large store of images and a set of professionally-made videos John Cummings is working with them to release.
Dramatisation of the trial of the Chartists at Shire Hall, Monmouth.
QRpedia codes in the Shire Hall courtroom, where the Chartists were tried.
QRpedia deployed to the Galleries of Justice Museum in Nottingham: This month the Galleries of Justice Museum began experimenting with QRpedia codes. More information will be made available soon as the pilot progresses.
Augmented Reality; emerging artists internship; workshop for museum professionals
1st ever Augmented Reality linking to Wikipedia in a museum
Mar de Fons is the title of an art exhibition that is taking place in the Mataró Museum, a local museum not faraway from Barcelona. One of its peculiarities is that you can find more information about the paintings with any mobile devices, thanks to image recognition with augmented reality (AR) that links to Catalan Wikipedia articles. The exhibition - mainly about sea paintings, with an important role of local artists- was inaugurated on March 30, 2012 and will be open until September 29, 2013.
How it works
Visitors can interact with the artworks focusing them with their smart phone. The designed application allows the direct recognition of the artwork, combining virtual elements in a real context. Thus, when the artwork is focused by a smart phone or tablet, the APP automatically identifies it, appearing on-screen information that is superimposed on the camera and allows linking to the related artist or artwork article in the Catalan Wikipedia.
The AR experience is included in the museography of the whole exhibit. As it is a quite newbie technology, even more for a local museum, curators decided to clearly teach how to use it. It is one of the keys of the success.
The exhibition will be evolving with the contributions made by the public via the museum's Facebook page, where you can vote wich of the possible artworks you want to see exposed. You can also upload your own creations (paintings, photography , video, objects, text) to show how each person lives the relationship with the sea. Contributions from visitors may also be voted through Facebook. The public has an important role in the exhibition because, somehow, they can play the role of curators. There is a planed edit-a-thon on June to improve and translate the Wikipedia articles related to the exhibit, where some other local associations and institutions will get involved.
We've got a huge response from the press, even national press, not usual at all for a small local museum. You can read some of the press news here, and some images of the exhibit at Wikimedia Commons here.
Emerging illustrators internship helping Wikimedia Commons. First results!
The Escola de la Llotja is an art and design school located in Barcelona, where several important painters as Picasso studied. Llotja and Amical Viquipèdia started a pioneering partnership in which 6 illustration students are doing their final degree internship at Amical, creating images that are being incorporated under free licenses to Wikimedia Commons to illustrate some Wikipedia articles. We already talked about it some months ago, but now you can see some of the illustrations already uploaded here.
It is an opportunity for them to work in a real context, public and very visible, while contributing to a public good that is being built collaboratively and is useful for many people.
The project aims to be a global precedent for involving other art and design schools with Wikimedia related projects · More than thirty articles are already illustrated in several languages thanks to this agreement of collaboration.
How we are doing it
At the beginning, we identified and listed some entries with missing images, and the emerging illustrators of La Llotja are helping us with the task of creating professional and informative images according to the encyclopedic context which they are be published. Among which there are, for example, outstanding figures of the twentieth century and fictional characters. Also noteworthy illustrations teaching on the drying of the Mediterranean during the Messinian made with scientific advice.
Wikipedia has a strict criteria for the inclusion of images and media files, in order to keep open its contents: works might be public domain or free licensed (CC-BY-SA), which may be freely reproduced for any purpose (also commercial) and which they can freely create derivative works to improve them or adapt them. That's why many Wikipedia entries have no image, because many topics do not have a related free image. One purpose of this collaboration is to begin to fill this gap. Members of Amical Viquipèdia with the participation of Catalan Wikipedians identified articles with missing images difficult to achieve if not creating them again.
All works arising as a result of this project will be exhibited on May 10 in Barcelona. We wait for you at Llotja Sant Andreu at 19:30 pm in a ceremony attended by all participants and organizers!!
Following the exhibition of "Joan Miró. The Ladder of Escape" which opened in Bacelona on October 15, 2011, a collaboration between the Fundació Joan Miró (Joan Miró Foundation) in Barcelona and the Catalan Wikipedia was proposed. The exhibition was open to the public in Barcelona from October 16, 2011 and March 18, 2012. Before it was shown at the Tate in London and later traveled to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.
The project intended to stick QR codes alongside some of the most prominent artworks of the exhibition. These codes linked to Wikipedia articles. These QRpedia codes identify the language of the phone and can therefore present the article -in the user's preferred language- on Wikipedia, improving visitor's experience.
On 14 September there was an edit-a-thon at the Fundació Joan Miró as a special contribution to the project, to launch this project.
This project was an example of a new way to visit museums and access to culture. As the mobile Internet is here, the desire to immediately satisfy our curiosity is also here. Visitors to museums do not wait to get home to read what the main features of an artistic movement or expand what he meant an artist to paint a particular job. QRpedia allows access to knowledge in their language, anytime, anywhere and for free.
The Value of FreeKnowledge-Wikipedia Workshop and debate at CCCB
The 25th of April the CCCB, Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona, did a special "Whole day" on Wikipedia and free Knowledge, co-organized by Amical Wikipedia.
During the morning we did a 4 hours Wikipedia workshop and during the afternoon we saw The truth in numbers film and we did a debate.
In the afternoon, after the documentary, there was a debate that featured Luis Ángel Fernández Hermana, Marc Garriga, Vincent Puig and Karma Peiró in which raised the question that gave title to the session: What is the value of knowledge. The talk started with a video, where several children were trying to find out what devices so strange to them as a Gameboy, a floppy disk or a floppy 3.5 ". The video was used to introduce also the importance of understanding technology, which is what is allowing access to all knowledge that is being drafted. But it also served to raise another issue: the knowledge disappears when is no longer useful, as noted by Marc Garriga.
Vincent Puig was the first to say that knowledge can not be separated from technology and that the Wikipedia is not the first case of amateur collaboration. Luis Angel Fernandez Hermana spoke of two types of knowledge that we acquire through normal educational channels and you reach the courtyard of the school: a personal and transferable knowledge that only we can decide when to transmit the record to the network. That is when this knowledge becomes a social fact.
But there is another kind of knowledge. Free knowledge, according to Puig, is attached to free software, and must be understood as a social and cultural activity. It is knowledge that allows us to be freer and develop ourselves as a society. However, this knowledge is not available to everyone because it is linked to the provision of new technologies. Hence the importance of Wikipedia, which gives access to metadata, the process of creating information. And, therefore, allows knowledge to be criticized and doubted.
The main challenge, however, is to process all the information produced to generate knowledge that there are important knowledge networks, which are different from social networks (Luis Angel Fernandez Hermana).
This month we did several Wikipedia Workshop for museum professionals and educators. Some of them, like the one's at MACBA and CCCB in Barcelona, where inhouse private activities for museum professionals
"PhotosNormandie" is an unofficial group of World War II enthusiasts and especially the D-Day and the Battle of Normandy (1944). They work to describe a lot of historical photographs about these moments, with a lot of details and a real expertise. They can find the military unit of a man, and sometimes the name, for example.
This group work since 5 years and is active on Flickr. They describe mostly photographs from NARA and have now more than 3,000 pictures with very interesting captions. We met the leader of the group, Patrick Peccatte, and after a very interesting discussion, the group decided to change their license and offer their descriptions under a CC-BY-SA license. We can now upload all the photographs on Wikimedia Commons (or matching with the photographs from NARA already present) and invite people to translate the captions in several languages (few are in English but the most part is in French). The group is interested in continuing his work maybe directly on Wikimedia Commons, and if possible with the help of NARA, because of the good relationships between NARA and the wikimedians.
After a workshop in February by Carol Ann, some students in tourism have work in April about the article of the Musée des Augustins, a fine arts museum in Toulouse. About ten students worked with the librarians of the museum to improve the quality of the article. The article grew 40,000 octets and presents now the collections and a short presentation of the main objects of the museum. We experiment this kind of collaboration (museum + students at work) with this institution and it is very instructive.
Meeting with an association of curators
On April 19 and 20, Adrienne was invited in Aix-en-Provence to work with an association of museum curators from the South of France about the opening of content and cultural data. During two days, the challenge was to work on four scenarios with four institutions, to help them to work with opening vision and to share their content. 70 people were present and worked during these two days. We made a lot of very nice contacts and many opportunities to do partnerships, especially with mobile projects.
OpenGlam : legal workshop about Public Domain and Cultural data and content
On April 27, Wikimedia France and the Open Knowledge Foundation organized a workshop in the Centre Pompidou to work about Public Domain and cultural content. The objective is to work with all the people interested in openning more and more the institutions and the Ministry, with the same mind than for open-data.
We invited some lawyers, people from institutions we worked with, and people from the ministry of Culture. Other people interested were welcome too. We were more than 30 people during four hours to work about specific french problems: a special status for the cultural data and content, which excludes them for opendata initiatives, and other specific laws and cultural problems.
This workshop was a real success. We have to work to clarify the result, and the group will meet again at the end of May to write a set of recommendations for the future Ministry of Culture, to sustain and improve free sharing of cultural content.
The very first Edit-a-thon for the Teylers Museum was started off with an energizing talk by Bert Sliggers, curator of both the paleontological collection and the mineral collection. Whilest most of us Wikipedians in attendance had been busily working on biographical and architectural articles for the Teylers challenge, we soon discovered that some juicy stories are locked into stained bits of paper in the Teylers archives and their accompanying collections of rocks and bones. Bert Sliggers has spent years retracing the purchases of Martin van Marum for the young museum. He was able to inform us that Van Marum purchased over 60 collections from various sources and was an internationally recognized expert on minerals, but was considerably less familiar with paleontology. By matching handwriting on letters in the archives to stained bits of paper once attached to the artifacts, the history of various objects and various "rocks and bones" deals can be retraced.
After the inspiring lecture and glimpse of the behind-the-scenes mineral cabinets, Wikipedians were offered the use of several old and new reference books, while the head of digitization took notes of all the requests by Wikipedians for photos.
The tip of the Mont Blanc
One story that kept coming up will be the subject of a whole exhibition this summer: the collection relating to Saussure's expedition up the Mont Blanc. Whereas I previously felt that "the top of the Mont Blanc" looked particularly unphotogenic in its display case, the passionate description of the purchase and subsequent popularity of this particular piece of granite has convinced me that Lodewijk's article is definitely of encyclopedic value and I can't wait to see the exhibition, which will include a modern impression of what the expedition members brought with them (before the age of backpacks, Saussure brought a whole bed with him, among other things).
During the edit-a-thon the 100th Teylers-related article was created, making a total of 76 articles that have been created since the start of the challenge in January. Also a new museum map was made to accompany a new "navbox" template for the articles directly related to the museum rooms.
Long Nights; Wikipedia Academy; Wikipedia meets Museums, GLAM coordinator; Wikipedian in residence vacancy; Open GLAM workshop
The preparations continued for a Wikimedia stand in the Naturkundemuseum Berlin during the Long Night of Sciences on June 2, and a number of articles have been identified, for which QRpedia codes shall be installed in the museum's Mineral Hall:
Improvements and further translations of these articles are most welcome, as are requests for materials from the museum to be used in there.
A second presentation on June 2 in Berlin will be given at the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (German Archaeological Institute). There, Wikipedians will provide specific information about archaeological themes in Wikipedia and also about themes like the "Wikipedian in Residence" and the "Wikipedia trifft..." (Wikipedia meets...) conferences, especialy the upcoming conferences "Wikipedia trifft Museen" (Wikipedia meets Museums) and "Wikipedia trifft Archäologie" (Wikipedia meets Archaeology).
Preparations for the Long Night of Sciences in Jena on June 1 also include considerations of QRpedia codes in the Phyletic Museum.
Research papers submitted to the Wikipedia Academy are currently under review, and the program is taking shape. One of the tutorials will be on GLAM tools.
Wikipedia meets Museums
A conference bringing together Wikimedia and museums is currently being planned for October 19-21 in Kassel.
The OpenGLAM workshop in Berlin was a follow-up to the London workshop in November 2011 and the first German OpenGLAM workshop. In about four hours, multiple topics related to the legal aspects of the GLAM sector were discussed. Some of them were related to copyright, some others to database rights in the EU, some to the international interaction of copyrights and on the legal implications of releasing content or metadata on the internet.
Daniel Dietrich - Open Knowledge Foundation
A warmly welcoming speech was held by Joris Pekel, Daniel Dietrich and Dr. Jutta Weber. After a short introduction, Daniel Dietrich presented on the OKFN. He outlined the current situation about connecting cultural institutions with the digital world and pointed out the EU’s PSI directive, “which deals with the way public sector bodies should enhance re-use of their information resources”. His most remarkable statement was: “Data do not feature a self-worth - it’s all about their re-use”.
He told us about a variety of tools, projects and features, most of which are included in his presentation.
Jutta Weber - Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin
Dr. Jutta Weber of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin allowed us to look at the mechanisms at the Staatsbibliothek and understand their effort entering the digital realm.
Approaching a wider audience by releasing content and data with a free licence via the internet is targeted at scientists and other researchers: the interest of the Staatsbibliothek is to provide information in a way that enables and encourages this group of re-users to create new content and rely on digitised material.
Ms Weber presented a "circle of re-use" in libraries: The author creates literary works, his estate is committed to a library, the library adds these works to their catalogue, an editor is issuing an edition, a publisher is releasing a publication, this publication is added to a library’s catalogue, scientists are accessing this knowledge and create new works - the circle starts anew.
After her presentation she pointed out several questions, which remained unanswered, yet are important for the GLAM sector:
What part shall publishers play in the future of the cultural sector?
Who uses institutional content and for what purpose? Is there a proper way to get feedback on use cases?
How do scientists and researchers interact in order to prevent overlapping work?
What are the pros & cons of providing commercial and non-commercial licenced content in the cultural sector?
How does the actual process of releasing data and content work?
Paul Kimpel gave us insights into the legal aspects of releasing metadata. In Germany the term metadata has a different meaning in the cultural sector: Metadata is usally understood as the technical data of a digital file, excluding its description for example. Releasing metadata under CC-0 is highly problematic for descriptions that are copyrighted but don’t feature the necessary authorisation by the original author. Institutions assume that re-users comply with licences, which is not the case - another benefit of using CC-0.
The proper legal status of a work is hard to identify in a large number of cases. Lacking records, missing information or restrictions to donations limit the amount of content that can be released under a free licence. Many donors provide content to an institution as long as it is not commercially re-used or demand a stake of the income that is generated - sometimes even for public domain content. It is important to take this into consideration when accepting a donation as a cultural institution, as Paul Kimpel pointed out.
Content that was created with public funds is usually not free in Germany. Legal restrictions, financial interests and other reasons disable a free use of this material.
The expectation on cultural institutions is to manage a refunding through the commercialisation of their content. This expectation leads to certain logic of action, involving that not all content will be commercially re-used. Cultural institutions which are benefiting from public funds should be aware of how they can deliver free content and metadata back to the public. Creating own metadata collections is redundant if looking at large databases, for instance. Yet, current approaches are not sufficiently providing mechanisms for collaborative work with institutional metadata. Enforcing this process is useful, progessive and sustainable: people can provide and add information, while the original record remains unharmed.
John Weitzmann - Creative Commons
John Weitzmann of Creative Commons (the organisation, not the licence) was presenting on their licences, use cases and prospects for the upcoming Creative Commons 4.0. Most people in the cultural sector have heard about the variety of Creative Commons licences and asked more detailed questions about the pros and cons for commercial and non-commercial licences. I had the impression that commercial re-use found a broader acceptance based on its benefit to new projects and the fact that tax Euros are already paying the cultural sector. Mr Weitzmann pointed out that Creative Commons is just providing the licence - they are not responsible for their actual use, nor for the projects, institutions and individuals using them.
Mathias Schindler - Wikimedia Deutschland
Mathias Schindler of WMDE introduced the audience to Wikimedia’s projects and their benefit for GLAM cooperation and presented on Wikidata. Mathias referred to the cooperation between WMDE and the Bundesarchiv as one example of a GLAM cooperation in the Wiki world.
Wikidata offers structured data and is developed by a team of 18 people. Authority control becomes increasingly important in the cultural sector, especially for smaller institutions. Projects like the BEACON file format provide a great way to integrate institutional authority control in the Wiki world. VIAF, DDB and GND are interesting to Wikimedia’s projects, because they can change how metadata is used and re-used, as Mathias explained.
Mathias suggested some approaches for cultural partnerships which you can find in his presentation.
Paul Keller - Europeana
Europeana is favouring CC-0 and the possible commercial use for metadata, because it is more flexible, accessible and easy to use than other restrictive CC licences. Nonetheless the institution may decide if they want to provide all metadata or just a selection or none under the terms of CC-0.
German institutions have concerns about cultural cooperation and are afraid of moving into the digital sphere. These concerns are related to a close connection with their collections and a fear of losing content and metadata by releasing them under a free licence or into the public domain. Sadly, I missed the actual workshop element of this meeting - it felt more like a panel discussion involving only few speakers from the audience.
In the past, German institutions experienced that actual advantages of cooperation are rather small and encountered promises that were not held. We learned that even large institutions like Europeana or Creative Commons don’t currently provide the best solutions for each and every problem. For the Wiki Community this can be a chance to advance into German GLAMs.
The OpenGLAM blog features a post on the OpenGLAM legal workshop in Berlin as well.
North Queensland was the focus of Wikimedia outreach this month, as part of a partnership between Wikimedia Australia and the State Library of Queensland that continues to provide Wiki training to regional Queensland. Ruth Gardiner, Troy Keith, John Vandenberg and Chris Watkins spent a week in Townsville and Ingham running three training workshops for librarians, Local Studies historians and writers. Last month Liam Wyatt and whiteghost.ink were training in Tambo & Quilpie. Workshops are being held at Hervey Bay, Gympie, Hughenden and Charters Towers in the next two months.
The North Queensland workshops included attendees from Toowoomba (near Brisbane), Charters Towers (134 kilometres inland) and Far North Queensland. Each person created a draft article and uploaded one or more image. In the morning sessions the content is uploaded and the draft and DYK processes are explained. During lunch the Wikimedia contributors join the workshop virtually to review and improve the draft articles. After lunch we review the ongoing improvements and discuss how articles improve by collaboration in real time. Participants leave with a manual, a certificate, and a support network to help them continue to work on their chosen topic with the goal that it will be favourably reviewed by Wikipedia community. 28 drafts were created during the workshops this month, with 11 published a fornight after the first session. Two drafts were published during sessions, and many more were published within 24 hrs.
The culural sector in Hinchinbrook and Cassowary Coast are considering holding their own Wiki workshops to support each other as they develop their Wiki skills. As the participants at these workshops were predominately women (five men attended), and all but one were editing Wikimedia projects for the first time, the sessions provide an opportunity to introduce new users who can help address the gender gap.
On Wednesday, March 28th, some 60 people arrived at the National Library of Israel to attend a 4-hours Edit-a-thon. As in previous GLAM-IL events, our GLAM team has extended the invitation to not only Wikipedians, but also to people from sister open-source projects and the general public interested in Wikipedia, the library or both.
"If You Build it -- They Will Come"
About 80 people signed up to the marathon [20 Wikipedians and 60 from the public], among other things, due to a central notice that was visible in every page in the Hebrew wikipedia four days prior to the event. The central notice was linked to an informative "landing page", that was friendly enough to non-wiki users. Besides those 80 people who actually signed up, our GLAM-IL mailing box received numerous additional emails from people who were very much interested in attending such an event, but could not do so, and asked to be informed of and included in future events.
This is the first time we were able to offer the public a direct and simple line of communication with us, and it was exciting to get this much responses and feedback from the public. This in itself has exceeded our expectations and that was before the evening even began.
"What's on the GLAM-Menu, Please?"
We gathered at 17:00 and, after a short on-site sign up, all the newcomers gathered in the National Library's Music Hall. After greetings from Oren Weinberg, Director General of the Library, Ido Ivri, the Digital Programs Manager and the GLAM:NLI contact person, and yours truly, the evening officially opened with a basic lecture about how to edit in wikipedia by our Wikipedian-in-Residence, Daniel-Tzvi Framowitz.
At about 18:15 the Edit-a-thon itself began. First, we've divided the crowd into small groups - one-two newcomers with an experienced Wikipedian, and each group chose a task from a list. About 25 new wiki-accounts were created and each team began working on its chosen task - some edited existing articles and some created new articles. The articles were all in the scope of the project - mostly from the Schwadron portrait collection, but also from the Eran Laor Map collection and the National Library's Manuscripts collection. NLI librarians and staff members joined us in order to assist Wikipedians with access to the Library's various resources needed to expand the chosen articles.
Editing in small groups
Editing in small groups
Courtesy of our welcoming hosts at the National Library, at about 19:30 hot pizzas & soft drinks arrived. Everyone was so wrapped up editing articles that it took a few minutes to convince everyone to leave their computers and take a short break. Finally, everyone came around and we all enjoyed a few minutes of break, hot pizzas and a joy of being together on a GLAM mission. :)
By 20:00, everyone was back at their computers, working incessantly on their articles. We were also pleased to host Julia, a visiting Wikipedian from Poland, who was able to join us and even contributed a translation of one or two articles into Polish!
At about 21:00 the edit-a-thon ended, and we left the library with a taste for more and an official invitation to come back whenever we can.
After the Event
About a week after the event, we have used our new and expanding GLAM-IL mailing list and WM-IL blog and posted a report [in addition to posting in the community], inviting people to share their experiences and thoughts about the event. It was a good way of keeping in touch specifically with new Wikipedians from the public, as well as share the results of the evening with those who could not make it to this specific event.
We have taken the opportunity to thank those who came and help make the event a success --
Editing in small groups
Editing in small groups
Editing in small groups
Editing in small groups
Editing in small groups
Editing in small groups
It was also a good opportunity to thank the people who helped this event come to life. Here are some of them --
Thoughts and ideas for future events [especially events with multiple participants]
Have a special page for the marathon with a clear and short list of articles [20-25 items] to focus on during the marathon.
Encourage Wikipedians to offer topics to focus on, and invite participants to choose their topic(s) in advance.
Have certain basic resources available at the beginning, instead of waiting for participants to ask for the resources they need - it will save valuable time and is possible if previous points are done.
Instruct all experienced Wikipedians to do a few things with newcomers, such as --
make sure each one opens an account and experience editing first-hand.
make sure they introduce themselves in their user pages, maybe even saying the user has been opened during a GLAM event. It will encourage them to edit their user page later and help the community get to know who they are.
make sure each group signs up on the list of articles marathon page - writing the name and username besides the article you work on - that way you'll know who the users are and which article were edited during the marathon.
instruct newcomers to use a categories & templates related to your project. It will be easier to follow the work being done throughout the project and get statistics.
make sure newcomers leave the marathon having a contact info of a real person to talk to, if they have questions [they will :)].
make sure you follow-up - use a special barn-star for the event, add people to a national mailing list and send a report with pictures [it's nice to have pics to remember the event].
Two new Wikipedian-in-Residence Positions
Two new GLAM-IL projects are coming together these days - one with the Israel State Archive and the second with the University of Haifa's academic library. Both projects will offer a Wikipedian-in-Residence position for about 6 months.
As GLAM is expanding in Israel, we have decided that in accordance with the spirit of wiki-transparency, these positions will be opened for all members of the community to apply. WM-IL does not have any employees and does not usually hire Wikipedians. Though WM-IL has already had two WIR positions in the past, this would be the first time a paid position is offered to all community members openly, and so the two job description will be available at the WM-IL blog at the beginning of May.
Hopefully, by the next report we would be able to give a brief report presenting the two new projects as well as announce the two new WIRs.
Wikipedian in Residence at the Swedish National Heritage Board
Wikipedian in Residence at the Swedish National Heritage Board
The Swedish National Heritage Board is now seeking one Wikipedian in Residence and one Wikipedian developer in Residence. The positions are paid and this is a continuation of the cooperation between Wikimedia Sverige and the Swedish National Heritage Board.
More than 60 personal archive funds were examined and more than 50 documents from these were considered useful and worth scanning, mainly portraits of prominent people in Bulgarian history and cultural life like writers and poets, actors and opera vocalists, religious figures and military people. Some of the images allowed cropping of multiple portraits, thus leading to a total number of 83 uploads that illustrated 59 articles in the Bulgarian Wikipedia and 36 articles in other languages. Six new articles were created for the period and at least six others are about to come.
The Director of BASA arranged for a visit of NARA's Chief Digital Strategist Pamela Wright on July, 3rd in Sofia. GLAM people from the whole region are welcome to attend, too.
The project, which combines the efforts of several Wikipedians in Bulgaria and the staff of the Environmental, Educational and Research Centre at Sofia Zoo, will result in the creation of bilingual information plates for the Sofia Zoo exhibition, containing QR codes to Wikipedia articles, as well as properly attributed freely licensed content from Wikimedia Commons like photos and maps of species distributions. The collaboration also implies the creation of a large number of missing articles for the exhibited species, as well as improvements to the existing ones.
The first challenge in front of the team members was the creation of a pilot set of five plates in the end of April that have to be installed in the Zoo until May 8th, when an official delegation from the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria is scheduled.
An interesting opportunity opened up for a new GLAM initiative in Bulgaria with the National Museum of Natural History. It will be a subject of future discussions and arrangements.
Journal meets Wikipedia; presentations at OA and Wikimedia conferences