Khalili Collections and British Library
17th century equestrian portrait
One of the main outputs of the Khalili/Wikimedia UK partnership has been to create or improve an interconnected set of Wikipedia articles about the sacred textiles of Islam: Sitara (textile), Mahmal, Kiswah, and Islamic embroidery. In January I wrote a 1,274-word draft for a new article on this theme. This will be submitted to article space after some checking.
One new image was uploaded this month — a painting that was requested by a Wikipedia contributor — plus three cropped versions of previously-uploaded images.
Categorisation of the Khalili Collections bulk upload continues. A custom report shows the images that have no category tags (apart from the categories identifying them as from the relevant collection). In the last month, this number has decreased from 434 to 325. In other words, 109 objects were categorised in January according to their type or when or how they were made, in addition to the collection they are from.
By adding statements to Wikidata, I am gradually representing connections between Khalili Collections objects and other things. Right now, Wikidata knows of 385 depictions, 106 objects which exemplify a literary work and 14 patrons that art works were commissioned by or dedicated to.
I made a custom Wikidata query to support a course at the University of Edinburgh. This image grid shows objects in the Khalili Collection of Islamic Art from 650 to 1250, ordered by date, with links to Commons which has catalogue data for each object. Dr. Glaire Anderson, Senior Lecturer in Islamic Art, is leading a course on Art in the Age of the Caliphs, for which I (Martin Poulter) gave a guest lecture, and the dates of the image grid were chosen for relevance to that course. Dr. Anderson writes:
This is brilliant! Gorgeous images, and so helpful to have them displayed in chronological order as well, which will support their learning the period's visual culture and how it changes, and ranges. This will be wonderful for the students!
One of the useful inputs from the wider community is the number of foreign-language labels that are being added to Wikidata. I found a way to increase this: there are some sets of objects which all have the same English label, e.g. "Gold dinar". I wrote a custom query to identify where one of the set had been translated, but other objects with the same name hadn't been translated. For instance, one of the objects called "Gold dinar" had had its name translated into Arabic. My query then allows me to add that translated label to other objects that have the same English label. This took the total number of foreign language labels from 88 to 102, and can be run in future as more users add translations.
It has been a good start to the year at the British Library, with two big outputs released this month, detailed below.
New Media Writing Prize: Blogging on Wikidata & Queries
I blogged about the conclusion of the New Media Writing Prize. One of the topics covered was the excellent training I had attended with MartinPoulter last year, which helped frame the project and highlighted the linguistic nature of querying.
Posted below are links to a couple of the queries that came out of this project.
Winners of New Media Writing Prize (Authors)
Winners of New Media Writing Prize (Works)
Project Page Updates
The new British Library GLAM Project Page is live! It can be visited here, and covers the history of the Residency and previous projects, as well as providing an overview of what's to come.
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