On February 2nd 2021, Wikimedia Belgium, the Royal Library of Belgium and meemoo - The Flemish Institute for Archives organised Public Domain day Belgium 2021. Like previous editions, it provided an opportunity for the heritage sector to exchange best practices and their efforts related to making public domain works accessible. It was also the launch event for the Public Domain Tool and like every year included the Wiki Loves Heritage photography contest award ceremony.
The Public Domain Tool
On Belgium's sixth edition of Public Domain Day, meemoo launched the Public Domain Tool. Making Public Domain collections available is not only a policy issue, but also a practical one. For many heritage institutions, determining the rights status of their collections is a labor intensive process. By leveraging both data from the heritage institutions as well as data from Wikidata, the Public Domain Tool allows you to semi-automatically determine the rights situation of collections. Furthermore, it allows heritage institutions to give back to the Wikidata community by, through the tool, contributing missing data on Wikidata.
The Jakob Smits Museum is a small museum in the Campine region of Belgium. It had already released reproductions of the works in their collections by the artist Jakob Smits. During 2020 they worked together with meemoo to make available the works of the rest of their collection: work by artists from the 'Mol school' who followed Jakob Smits to come paint in the Campine region: Paula Rompa-Zenke (1869-1942), Pierre-Jacques Dierckx (1855-1947), Richard Fehdmer (1860-1945), Franz Meerts (1836-1896), Ernest Midy (1877-1938), Henri Houben (1858-1931), Frans Courtens (1854-1943), Emiel Walravens (1879-1914), Corneel Van Leemputten (1841-1902), Alfons De Clercq (1868-1945), Albert Sohie (1873-1927), Edgard Farasyn (1858-1938), Emil Oelieden (1875-1934), Charles Claessen (1864-1938), Adolphe Hamesse (1849-1925), Dolf Van Roy (1858-1934) and Joseph Bouuaert (1881-1948). Excepting a few works for which no quality reproduction was available, they have now, as the first heritage institution in Belgium, effectively released their entire public domain collection on Wikimedia platforms.
The Royal Museum for Fine Arts Ghent released images of work by Arie Van de Giessen (1896-1950), Armand Apol (1879-1950), Edmond Van de Vyvere (1880-1950), Jozef De Coene (1875-1950) and Anna De Weert (1867-1950). The Royal Library of Belgium also uploaded work by Armand Apol, as well as the sculptors an medaillists Oscar Berchmans (1869 -1950), Jacques Marin (1877-1950) and Pierre Theunis (1883-1950). The Cluster Culture of the city of Bruges presented their work uploading a collection of archaeological finds from the city's historical center and demonstrated how writing Wikidata queries allows him to achieve visualisations of the data which on the city's own website would require development costs. Mu.ZEE presented how they edited and added Wikidata items and uploaded reproductions of work by the artists James Ensor (1860-1949), Léon Spilliaert (1881-1946), Frits Van den Berghe (1883-1939) and Jules Schmalzigaug (1882-1917). The Flemish Architectural Institute showed how in their project Persistent Architecture, they uploaded images and data from the archive of Engetrim and Jos De Bee. Their project Wiki Women Design helps close the Wikipedia gender gap for Belgian designers and architects. The Photomuseum of Antwerp uploaded images by the work of Ferdinand Buyle (1872-1950) and Charles Gaspar (1871-1950).
Wiki Loves Heritage Belgium 2020
Wikimedia Belgium was able to show some very nice results of their annual Wiki Loves Heritage photography contest. Amongst the submissions where mainly pictures of built heritage but also of moveable and immaterial heritage.
Heading 2021 with new (and renewed!) GLAM-Wiki projects
New round of dissemination activities with Museu Paulista
We're glad to announce that Wiki Movimento Brasil renewed for 2021 a partnership with the Museu Paulista in which we'll work on new open innovation products as gamified apps and a round-trip technology with a third party data collections management system, and on dissemination events and activities. Throughout the year, we'll have the second edition of a Wikicontest related to the museum's collection on Portuguese Wikipedia, six thematic edit-a-thons and 3 Wikidata Labs focused on the collections metadata. And of course, we'll keep uploading the museum's collection on Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons (at least 1500 images and 4000 metadata), besides improving and creating Wikipedia entries.
We'll work mainly on the theme of the "Brazilian House" and its expressions through architecture, material culture, social dynamics and interpreters of the house.
You can check out what we did under this ambitious partnership with a museum that is currently closed for renovations on this Medium article we wrote for OpenGLAM.
Wiki Loves Bahia is the new WMB initiative in the area
Did you know that Bahia is among the five largest and most populous states in Brazil? Did you also know that Bahia is the state that has more borders in the country? In order to make open knowledge "cross the lines", the Wiki Movement Brazil User Group launched the Wiki Loves Bahia initiative.
The main goal of Wiki Loves Bahia is to enable local galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM's) employees and public servants to contribute to the wiki projects, in addition to promoting events, such as photographic campaigns, wikicontests and education programs.
This initiative has a considerable cultural, educational and social value both for Bahia and for Brazil, since, although the state attracts a significant number of tourists every year, counting with two World Heritage Sites in its territory, it scores one the lowest Income, Inequality and Human Development (HDI) Index of the country. It is also poorly represented on our projects!
Musica Brasilis is a music score repository with more than 6 thousands items under public domain. Over the last couple of months, we designed the GLAM portal and aligned the details for the upload flow with the Musica Brasilis team.
We have recently uploaded a first music score batch from this partnership for testing. There are now 5 files from the prestigious Brazilian composers Carlos Gomes and other 5 from Alberto Nepomuceno available on Commons here. Enjoy!
Día del dominio público para bibliotecas, archivos y museos
El primero de enero de cada año se celebra el día del dominio público, que es el día cuando se agotan los plazos de protección del derecho de autor y las obras pueden ser copiadas, distribuidas, modificadas, adaptadas e incluso usadas con fines comerciales. Desde Wikimedia Colombia te queremos presentar algunas de las cosas que podrías hacer con las obras que pasan a dominio público e invitamos a bibliotecas, archivos y museos a que revisen en sus colecciones cuáles de sus obras pasan a dominio público. Lee el texto completo en el sitio web de Wikimedia Colombia
Public domain day for GLAM
The first of January of every year we celebrate the Public domain day, the day when the copyright is over and the works can be copyed, shared, modified, adapted and even used with commercial proposes. From Wikimedia Colombia we want to show you some activities with public domain works and we want to invite to libraries, archives and museums to check in their collections to identify what is in public domain now. Read more at Wikimedia Colombia in Spanish
AvoinGLAM has been a working group at Open Knowledge Finland since 2012. Starting from the beginning of 2021, the Wikimedia, Open Knowledge and Creative Commons chapters in Finland have joined forces to work on OpenGLAM. They will continue to use the name AvoinGLAM for their activities. The GLAM-Wiki team at Wikimedia Finland – Tove Ørsted, Kimberli Mäkäräinen, Kaj Arnö and Susanna Ånäs – have identified three main areas of interest for our GLAM-Wiki work.
First, we would like to support GLAMs by helping them to learn how to take advantage of the open ecosystem, focusing on case studies and learning. We would like to work together with them to think of new ways to creatively use open cultural heritage. Furthermore, we are especially interested in addressing questions of knowledge equity.
Secondly, cultural and linguistic diversity is very important to us. This not only includes engaging language communities to produce content or finding ways to assist language revitalization, but also learning how to approach sensitive traditional knowledge online and on Wikimedia projects.
Third, we will promote open access to cultural heritage and help advance global efforts in our local activities.
The campaign is coming to his end. This year Wikimedia France received the support of 8 library associations (ABF, ADBGV, ABES, ADBS, ABD, ADBU, Enssib, AAF). This support has allowed a wider and deeper dissemination of the message to French librarians. New libraries participated in the January edition and others are expected to participate for the second part in May.
The Bordeaux Montaigne University did a workshop on Zoom on January 21st. During the campaign, 8 people from this university added more than 500 references (more than they did last year). Congrats!
We have given Wikipedia training to 10 cultural agents of the Rémut (National Network of Technical Museums and Collections). It is a learning path over 3 sessions of 2:30 h. This new format has been tested to discuss all the themes in depth (movement, community, contribution...) in order to allow learners to feel more comfortable contributing to Wikipedia.
We also gave a one-day Wikipedia training to 9 agents from the Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de la Sorbonne. «BIS» staff will learn this week about contributing to Wikidata and Openrefine.
What's next ?
An other Wikipedia training will be given next week to 10 others members of the Rémut network.
We exchanged with the managers of the Musée d'art et d'histoire de Meudon who are interested in Wikimedia projects for the dissemination of their collection and the enrichment of Wikipedia.
Wikidata and archaeology vocabulary
On Friday, January 29th the french network for archaeology FRANTIQ held his first online alignment workshop. The aim was to give a new impetus to the project started en 2017 and carry on with the alignement of the thesaurus PACTOLS with Wikidata by using Mix N’Match. Some of the contributors where new, some wanted to refresh one’s memory and the others to contribute in a collaborative way in a stimulating atmosphere. At this time 66 % of the vocabulary has been processed and in return some of the Wikidata ID have been integrated to the PACTOLS.
On the jubilee of Wikipedia, on January 15, the #1Lib1Ref reference editing campaign started, which will last until February 5. This year, we are participating in cooperation with the University Library Svetozar Markovic, the Library of the City of Belgrade, and the Wikimedia Community of Republika Srpska. An online reference editing workshop was held, and 12,632 references were entered during January, which placed us at the very top of the Wiki communities, both globally and at the level of the CEE competition.
An #1Lib1RefCEE Office hour was held for the organizers of the #1Lib1Ref campaign in the region of Central and Eastern Europe in cooperation with the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Poland on January 20.
A Memorandum of Cooperation was signed with the Jewish Digital Library. The potential for collaboration is huge given the size of the Jewish Digital Library and the amount of content under CC licenses. In the following period, we will work on the preparation of joint activities.
Wikipedian in residence at Belgrade city library
The fourth month of the Wikipedian in residence in cooperation with the Belgrade City Library, took place at the Periodicals Department. In four months, 862 files were digitized, including numerous books and magazines, 101 articles were written, while 257 articles were ilustrated.
The Illustrated War Chronicle from 1912
The Illustrated War Chronicle from 1913
Serbian army in 1913
Serbian folk costumes
The front page of the first issue of the magazine Vez from January 1927.
Advertising of the insurance company Serbia from 1939
In a report (in Swedish) from Riksförbundet Sveriges museer (the Swedish Museums Association) about the number of visits to museums in 2020 they are reporting a record number of digital visits as a contrast to the number of physical visits dropping by half due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of physical visit to the museums in 2020 was 8.4M, but the number of digital visits was 216.1M combined by different channels like the museum's web pages, digital tours, posts in social media and other outlets. The number that really stands out, and the connection to this newsletter is that of the 216.1M visits, 174.7M was views of material contributed to the Wikimedia platforms, and mainly of images contributed to Wikimedia Commons.
Protests & Suffragettes - Wikipedia work in 2020; Khalili Collections
During 2020 the Protests and Suffragettes project team continued our work as knowledge activists, adding information on Scottish women's activism to Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and changing global landscape, we hosted three successful Wikipedia Workshops for beginners and continuing editors online using Zoom (between June - September). In our workshops, we were well supported by Dr Sara Thomas, Scotland Programme Coordinator, Wikimedia UK.
We continue to learn how best to facilitate online meetings as technology advances and improves, for example by using breakout rooms. We have also worked to increase engagement and retain new editors. In particular, we have found by explaining simple discrete tasks (like adding Info Boxes, categories, and wikilinks) that new editors can learn and implement during the relatively short time available in a workshop session, attendees left with both a feeling of accomplishment and a skill they could (and did continue to) apply outwith the original session. We have also worked to organise our project's archival research and share it during these sessions, so that workshop attendees can choose from a list of articles to improve for which references are already available.
Beyond our Wikipedia Workshops, the Protests and Suffragettes team has added numerous images to the commons, including several of our original artworks (modified to be used as 'We Can Edit' video conference backgrounds) and newly recovered images of female activists for use with particular articles. Members of the team have also written, updated, and improved a wide selection of articles.
Work in the Khalili Collections project has continued on drafts of concepts relating to the Hajj and to the Khalili Collection of Islamic Art. The Khalili Collection of Aramaic Documents article was included on the English Wikipedia front page on 12 January as a Did You Know. Some volunteers on the Persian Wikipedia have been translating Khalili-related articles, summarising six of the collections so far, including an extensive translation for Khalili Collection of Kimono. Another volunteer translated a few paragraphs of Khalili Collection of Aramaic Documents into French. Martin has been copying image captions from the French, Persian, Vietnamese and Malay uses of images into their Commons pages. In summary, the project has so far created 21 new articles (11 by Martin, 10 by volunteers) with a further 5 new articles in draft.
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.