The GLAM team held two days of office hours in January to talk about Project Grants. We were joined by Marti Johnson, Lead Program Officer in the Community Resources team, who answered questions from potential applicants. Projects Grants accepts community organizing proposals until February 10 and technical and research proposals until March 16. The GLAM team is available to provide feedback on proposals in the week of February 15. Email glamwikimedia.org to book a meeting.
Digital Public Library of America makes an impact in 2020
Images from DPLA partners (in order): Houston County Public Library System (Georgia), Boston Public Library, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library (Ohio), Denver Public Library, and US National Wildlife Research Center.
In 2020, the Wikimedia Foundation partnered with the Digital Public Library of America on a project with a tremendous impact. DPLA is a national aggregator of cultural heritage metadata for over 4,000 contributing institutions across the United States. With a grant from the Sloan Foundation, DPLA hired Dominic Byrd McDevitt and embarked on a pilot project to provide a technical pipeline for upload of public domain digital assets from cultural institutions across the United States to Wikimedia Commons.
By the numbers, the DPLA project was one of the largest and most successful GLAM contributions to Wikimedia projects so far. Taken as a whole, the project uploaded over 1.25 million media files to Wikimedia Commons, constituting more than 650,000 distinct items from over 200 individual institutions—making it the single largest bulk upload to Wikimedia Commons ever. Indeed, across a single 8-day span in November 2020, DPLA uploaded almost 500,000 files, meaning this single surge of uploads would itself have been one of the top-5 bulk uploads. The following table quantifies the scale of the upload along several metrics (source).
In addition to the number of files themselves, DPLA's project was also successful in generating access for the files through usage in Wikipedia. DPLA undertook an outreach program to provide participating institutions with training in Wikipedia editing. Through January 2021, DPLA images had been used in approximately 900 pages on over 70 Wikimedia wikis, with a total of over 13 million page views (see BaGLAMa).
Expanding the program
DPLA is continuing its Wikimedia program into 2021, and planning to expand its upload efforts while focusing on new developing the digital asset pipeline in new ways. With many images from existing partners not yet uploaded, and more partners expected to join the project in 2021, DPLA will be tapping into a pool of many more millions of media files waiting to be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. As this work continues, it will also explore data synchronization, so that changes made by institutions to their metadata for uploaded images can be updated on Commons. This will be part of a larger effort to migrate its uploads to use Structured Data on Commons statements for metadata where possible.
Black History Month
February is Black History Month in the United States and Canada. Black History Month is an annual observance that originated in the United States as a way of remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. If you’d like us to amplify your event, email diffwikimedia.org to have it shared in this roundup of Wikimedia events, or use the hashtag #WikiBlackHistory.
Black History Month is also observed in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Netherlands in October.