GLAM/Newsletter/July 2013/Single

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No letup from Libraries

Dulcie Deamer in leopardskin costume (1924)

Australia's libraries continue to add content, collaborate and play host. Last month Wikimedia Australia was at State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW), State Library of Queensland (SLQ), and the library of Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

Ongoing contributions from the State Library of NSW

Content added by trained staff at SLNSW is a credit to their organisation and to ours. For example, Wikipedia now has an article on Nita Kibble (born 1879), their first woman librarian.

Inside History Q&A

Early in July, the magazine Inside History ran a Q&A for its readers to answer their questions about Wikipedia. The evening session, hosted on Facebook, was a collaboration between the Library and Wikimedia Australia (WMAU). WMAU was represented on-site by and supported online by Chapter members Chuq, 99of9, John Vandenberg and Wittylama. Readers of the magazine now have a better understanding of Wikipedia and the publication wants to work with us again.

Inside History is a good reference for Wikipedia as it is a citable journal whose content can assist us in contributing Australian content. For example, the magazine is used as a reference in Hossein Valamanesh; List of memorials to the Great Famine; Dulcie Deamer and Sydney Trocadero.

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, 25 March 1937

Queensland State Library pitches in

Meanwhile, SLQ launched its "Pitch in" program in which SLQ staff work with digital volunteers on Flickr Commons, Trove, Wikisource and Historypin. Here is their Wikisource page. In some cases, SLQ is also providing their own transcriptions, obtained in the old fashioned way. Their transcriptions are uploaded into Wikisource, and need people to review them carefully. For example: George Green - 2nd Light Horse Regiment Gallipoli Volume 1

QUT Library presentation

At QUT, the Library along with the QUT Information Studies Group and ALIA Queensland invited the local library community to hear Wittylama speak about Wikipedia in a talk entitled "Everything you wanted to know about Wikipedia but were too afraid to ask." An enthusiastic crowd of approximately 70 academic and public librarians attended the session.


Wikimedia Italia meets the National Central Library of Florence

Wikimedia Italia board members Aubrey and CristianCantoro, together with librarian Susanna Giaccai, met in Florence the staff of the National Central Libary of Florence. The discussion was about several ongoing projects and collaborations:

  • the synchronization of links between Italian Wikipedia and BNCF Thesaurus, now 7554 Wikipedia pages link to corresponding entries in the New Italian Thesaurus. The Thesaurus entries have also a Wikipedia link in them and we are working with BNCF digital librarians to improve the coverage to the whole Thesaurus (40000+ entries).
  • an authorization for Wiki Loves Monuments
  • discussion about potential Wikipedian-in-Residence
  • potential uploads of dataset within Wikidata

Wikimedia Italia will thus sign a partnership agreement with the National Central Libary of Florence, for the following 3 years, to develop and support further projects. A full report is available here (in italian).

Wikimedia Italia meets ICCU

Wikimedia Italia member Sannita met in Rome the Director Rosa Caffo and several managers of the Central Institute for the Union Catalog of Italian libraries. The discussion was about establishing a link in order to set up several projects and collaborations:

  • improve the number of authors' name record identifiers ingested in Wikidata and imported thorugh VIAF from the National union catalogue of Italian libraries: SBN
  • the use of data from an official directory of Italian Libraries managed by the Central Institute for the Union Catalog of Italian libraries
  • other potential uploads of contents within Wikimedia projects
  • other potential projects, such as training courses about Wikimedia projects (what they are, how to edit them...)
  • discussion about potential Wikipedian-in-Residence

There is a discussion ongoing between Wikimedia Italia and ICCU about a draft agreement about all the points stated above.

Salaborsa Library, Bologna

Editathon WMI 4 maggio 2013 1

On 8 June an introductory workshop on Wikipedia for library patrons is held in Salaborsa Library, the main public library in Bologna. It is the last of a series of three events held from April, aiming to give a general presentation of Wikipedia to increase patrons information literacy skills. The series is composed by two introductory workshops and an editathon on women’s biographies. A Wikimedia Italian Chapter public presentation will take place in the library in October.

Cassero LGBT Center

On 28 June, the international Gay Pride day, a presentation on Wikimedia movement and LGBT portals on Wikipedia is given at the Cassero LGBT Center Library in Bologna. This library is the main documentation center in Italy for LGBT issues and can be considered the core of a lively local and national LGBT community.

Wikipedia workshops in libraries of Tuscany

Susanna Giaccai is holding some Wikipedia workshops in Tuscan libraries:

  • 3-06-13. Scandicci (FI): Introductory workshop on Wikipedia articles editing
  • 3-06-13 Bagno a Ripoli (FI) Meeting with library patrons
  • 5/12-06-13 Borgo San Lorenzo (FI) Introductory workshop on Wikipedia articles editing for librarians

Revamping the National Library Service (SBN)

Since more than 30 years, Italy has SBN (Servizio Bibliotecario Nazionale, i.e. National Library Service), a network of libraries promoted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities in cooperation with Regions and Universities. SBN is coordinated by the ICCU (Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico, i.e. Central Institute for the United Catalog).

Following a public announcement by ICCU regarding budget cuts, the participants in the discussion list of librarians and wikipedians took action to create awareness on the issue and to discuss about the future of the institution and the catalog (open data, relationship with wikidata, etc.).

The participants subscribed a joint statement, published on several blogs, and actively participated in the meeting organized by the AIB (Associazione Italiana Biblioteche, i.e. National Libraries Association) on June 20th, called "Revamping the National Library Service (SBN)".

71,860 entries in the Italian version of Wikipedia have been enriched with authors' name record identifiers from the international authority file VIAF

Thanks to the invaluable help of Max Klein, Wikipedian in Residence at OCLC, 71,860 entries in the Italian version of Wikipedia have been enriched with authors' name record identifiers from the international authority file VIAF (on 10 July the total number of VIAF identifiers imported in Wikidata is: 388,759). Besides, about 1,400 items in Wikidata and the same number of entries in the Italian version of Wikipedia have been enriched with authors' name records identifiers from the national union catalogue SBN. The latter have been imported in Wikidata and in the Italian version of Wikipedia from a subset of about 45,000 Italian authority records delivered to VIAF by ICCU: Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico, a department of MiBAC, Italy's Ministry of Cultural Heritage's which manages the National union catalogue of Italian libraries: SBN. Both VIAF and SBN authors' name record identifiers are displayed in the top right hand corner of Wikipedia entries, where they are introduced by the tag Controllo di autorità. Record identifiers also work as hyperlinks which enable readers to navigate to the relative record in the VIAF database interface or to the relative record in the SBN catalogue interface. From the authority record in the SBN catalogue they can also navigate to bibliographic records of their works. See for example the Wikipedia entry of Alessandro Manzoni.

Wiki Loves Monuments meeting in Mexico City; Volunteers of Puebla and Fotofestin gets in the contest

Final photo of the meeting of WLM 2013. (Photo: Claudio Briones)

Wiki Loves Monuments is warming now in Mexico. Trying to increase the participation and the reach of the contest, Wikimedia Mexico decides to make an alliance with Fotofestín, an annual universitary photograph contest leaded by Ariana Oropeza and Claudio Briones and made by a strong community of volunteers. Due to the expertise of fotofestin in the volunteering topics and the organization of contests, their help will be make a more bigger WLM.

Past July 27th we have the first Wiki Loves Monuments México meeting in Ciudad Universitaria of UNAM, and that was the opportunity for assign tasks and responsibilities to all the new team. There is much excitement in the team because of the activities we will have in WLM.

And for this year we will have the first program of activities in the state of Puebla, including promote the competition, finding sponsors and photo tours, thanks to the work of José Flores and Astrolabio agency.

IPC Athletic World Championships

Writing a Paralympic history in Spain

A report on the accomplishments related to the CPE access

A project started by LauraHale has been started in cooperation with the Comité_Paralímpico_Español (CPE) to write a history of the Paralympic movement in Spain, and to cover current news in the movement. The project is modeled after the Australian GLAM project and builds off the initial success with the IPC Alpine World Championships in February. Efforts are being focused on English, Simple English and Spanish Wikipedia, Commons, and English and Spanish Wikinews.

One of the first major projects was to interview several members of the Spanish Paralympic team competing at the IPC Athletics World Championship held in Lyon, France in July. Four interviews were conducted for English Wikinews, and articles about 15 athletes were improved or created on English and Simple English Wikipedia. The Wikipedia articles serve to provide a research tool in advance of the interviews. Head shots were also taken of some competitors for use on their articles. As the interviewer spoke English and the athletes spoke Spanish, there were some issues with reviewing. Articles published include Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete David Casinos, Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete Elena Congost Mohedano, Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete Alberto Suárez Laso and Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic track and field athlete Gustavo Nieves Campello. To provide guidance for people doing similar interviews in the future, Wikinews contributors created several instructional guides including a one page guide to original sport reporting on English English Wikinews, a one page guide to conducting multilingual interviews, and a guide to getting photo essays published. If you can provide translation and localization assistance, please let English Wikinews or The Wikinewsie Group know.

Outside of the IPC Athletics World Championship, efforts have been made to create articles about every notable Spanish Paralympian. On Simple English Wikipedia, all articles have been created based on the records on the CPE website. As this process has been underway, some issues have been found and reported to the CPE regarding problems with their records. Work is underway to translate some of the Simple English Wikipedia articles to English Wikipedia. Most articles about Spanish Paralympic athletes from Aragon, Catalan, Galacia and Extremadura have been created on local Wikipedia projects about athletes from the relevant region. Plans are underway to hopefully expand these articles and increase the quality of the articles outside Simple English Wikipedia.

By the end of the project, there is a hope that a comprehensive history of the Paralympic movement in Spain will be created in several languages told through Wikipedia articles and Wikinews articles in several languages. This history should also provide a related history of the history of disabilities in Spain.

Art Nouveau & Rosalind Franklin

Open Culture

Pontefract Museum - courtesy Wiki Loves Art Nouveau

The collections trust very kindly gave us a free stand at their OpenCulture2013 exhibition on the 2nd/3rd of July 2013. This was a great opportunity for us to talk to attendees at OpenCulture2013, some of them were already committed to the idea of free culture, but who needed someone who could tell them what Wikipedia can do with mass releases of images. Or indeed just show them how to edit an article or add an image to an article.

In actuality it gave us the opportunity to talk to a range of museum professionals, from those who weren't sure if we'd be interested in their little museum, to those who only see us as a threat to their sale of images; and we did get to show one curator how to upload images.

Subsequent results include an upload of Art Nouveau images from Wiki Loves Art Nouveau.

Rosalind Franklin

Wikimedia UK in conjunction the Royal Society the MRC used the Welcome trust's library to commemorate Rosalind Franklin's birthday by running an editathon on the 25th July. There were about two dozen participants of whom the great majority were women. The target was to redress Wikipedia's lack of coverage of female scientists.

editors at Rosalind Franklin day

22,000 high quality photographs for Art History enthusiasts

22,000 high resolution photographs of works of art from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art are being uploaded, starting with art from the Ancient world. Discussion and testing started back in March 2013; you can read about the project at batch uploading.

The photographs are described using the basic metadata information from the LACMA catalogue. The top level hierarchical category for the artworks is Collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

If you are interested in working on the Wikipedias, these images are high resolution photographs of artworks that will engage readers when illustrating articles, and are representative of a wide range of art topics, from early Egyptian pottery through to Modernism in the 19th Century.

An archive with many stories to tell

Mónica Hasenberg, owner of the photo archive Hasenberg-Quaretti

The last editing marathon that took place in Buenos Aires was celebrated on July 20th and it was called Memorial Edit-a-thon. It took place in what used to be a "black site" (clandestine detention facility) during the last military dictatorship in Argentina. Now the Space for Memory and Human Rights works in that facility. Both this organization and Wikimedia Argentina organized the event, which had an amazing turnout and brought together people from very different backgrounds. Among the attendees was Mónica Hasenberg, a photographer that dedicated most of her career to political activism. She owns a photographic archive of 45,000 photographs, that depict many moments of Human Right protests in Argentina. After the event, the staff of WM-AR spoke with her about the meaning of registering moments, preserve and share them with the community.

The story behind the Hasenberg-Quaretti Archive

When did you start to keep organized the work you and your husband were doing as photographers?

My husband and I worked for different clients, as contractors, but always keeping the rights of the images for ourselves. Back then, archives didn't have the value they are given today. We had a lot of negative stripes kept in envelopes, with only the title of the article they were done for and no further sorting code. Drawers filled with negative stripes. I don't remember when was it that I started to organize the archive. We moved a lot back then and we lost a lot of material. I had some training in archives and one day I realized the value of the pictures we had. I bought folders and archiving material and set to work. This was by the end of the military dictatorship, in the first semester of 1983. During the late 70s, the only job my husband had was for Familia Cristiana, a magazine produced by nuns who practiced Liberation Theology. This group was very strongly related to Madres de Plaza de Mayo. Those were difficult years, since we couldn't go around saying we worked for that magazine. I call those years the "internal exile", we confined ourselves to our home and didn't join any working union. If you look into the archive, there are no photos of the repression that was going on in the streets: we had to protect ourselves and couldn't expose ourselves like that. We had a low profile. And for many, many years, even long after the dictatorship was over, I didn't show the pictures to anybody.

The archive, in its analog form
Entries on paper.

The return of a democratic government, by the end of 1983, found Mónica and her husband working for Movimiento Todos por la Patria, a political movement that published a magazine called "Entre Todos". Democracy was, however, still very weak. In 1989 the Movement Mónica and her husband worked for attacked the military barracks of La Tablada, something completely unexpected by anyone, even the couple. "I panicked. We had pictures of everyone involved in the attack, and we didn't know what was going to happen. The photos we had were dangerous for the activists. We decided to throw away some of that, a friend took a box full of photos, and we lived a moment of horrible fear for some months", she recounts. The efforts of the couple was still divided between hiding the work and registering and classifying the photos. Today the Hasenberg-Quaretti Archive (as it was later called) has many folders, that sometimes refer to clients (Work Unions, Ministry of Education, etc) and others refer to different topics (Education, Work, Immigrants, Churches, etc).

Yours and your husband's work was always linked to political activism. What does it mean to work for a social cause from a photographer's point of view?

In the 80s, photography was very expensive. Nowadays, having seen the September 11 attacks while they were taking place is characteristic of our era. When we worked, it was very expensive. We only did black and white prints. Printing itself was very expensive. That is why 90% of our archive has never been printed before. Not long ago, I digitalized a photo of a protest that I remember attending as an activist, not to take photos. It was at 10 am at the Court Building. We were demanding the appearance of Paula Logares, one of the first recovered grandchildren. She was, back then, under tutelage of dictators. I don't remember what day it was, or event he year, but my kids were young (I had them on '78 and '81). One of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, Perla Wasserman, grabbed my arm and said "What are you doing here? Get out, it's dangerous!", and she draw me out. I didn't remember taking pictures, but I have four images of that day.

It was a hard time to keep a photographic archive, not only because of high costs, but specially because of the dangers it involved. This is how Mónica makes a difference between taking part in a protest as an activist and doing so as a photographer: in her memory, she is sometimes one and other times, the other, but her archive has surprised her in this since more than once.

What is the meaning of a photographic archive

There's great value in preserving a moment for posterity.

Yes. Photography is a vice for me. I think I have gained a deep understanding of what an archive is. When I find pictures that I didn't even remember having shot, the desire to digitalize this work is even bigger, because I can tell many stories are still hidden in there. There are Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, whose names I don't know, but they are all portrayed in the archive. This amazing thing happened to me recently. A year ago I found out a former classmate of mine had been a victim of the military dictatorship and is still missing today. That is why, in September 2012 I organized a showing about her. I couldn't find the family to make them part. One of those days, another classmate of ours was at home looking at the photos I had. Suddenly, she found the mother of this missing woman. She was a Mother of Plaza de Mayo and I took a picture of her during a protest. We found her because of the archive. This was very moving for me. That is why Human Rights is a personal cause for me. I have professional photos of the most varied topics. But my archive is known for Human Rights, it is very strongly related to my role as an activist. These photos were hidden for many years.

Some of the prints from the Hasenberg-Quaretti archive.

We could agree that archives are alive, and they tell a story.

Yes, of course. Every society has to learn from its history, and from Humanity as a whole. Nothing is alien. What happens to us has happened to othes or could happen in the future. The fact that today we are able to speak about gender violence in Argentina, that we have a law that protects women in this respect, is the result of a learning process. How do we learn? Taking History into account. Photography, and any other means of registering, is the first and foremost learning tool. Photos in the '80s were not digitally edited. A photo of someone repressing is not lying: it's what it is. We have a history that we need to spread, so it does not ever happen again.

Mónica holding a giant print of her archive.

Today technologies also allow us to build knowledge societies, where wisdom is spread.

I completely agree with those tools. Causing certain information to be built from different viewpoints is very meaningful. In social psychology, Pichón-Rivière argues that each person contributes a different viewpoint from their own subjectivity on the same topic. The call for the Memorial Edit-a-thon was very interesting for me, because it allows to socialize the construction of a collective narrative, in a shared event.

Mónica became first interested in Wikipedia, how it works and how it is written, after turning to the Free Encyclopedia to provide information about the photos she shared on Facebook. It was her activism for Human Rights that brought her to the Memorial Edit-a-thon. We in Wikimedia Argentina are sharing the story of her vast photographic archive with hopes of finding funds to digitalize her negatives. Mónica stated that she is more than willing to upload all the photos she has on Wikimedia Commons, so they can be used and shared in any intellectual production. We hope that this new collaborator joins our projects and keeps walking by our side in this path.

Read this story in Spanish here.

Media Importer; File of the Day

Open Access Media Importer

The following represents a selection of the 498 files files that have been uploaded by the Open Access Media Importer this month, bringing the total to almost 13,000. If you can think of wiki pages where these files could be useful, please put them in there or let us know.

Open Access File of the Day

The following files have been featured as Open Access File of the Day this month:

Wiki Loves Monuments is coming


In 2010 started Wiki Loves Monuments in the Netherlands as photo contest, as successor to Wiki Loves Art in the Netherlands, with the goal to let people participate in making our cultural heritage visible for the public. This was a success and a year later we did it again in 18 European countries at the same time. In 2012 we went global with the contest held in 35 countries.

The 2011 edition was 168,208 entries and more than 5000 people participating, recognized as the largest photography competition in the world by the Guinness World Records. The international team is working on the recognition for the 2012 edition.

In the mean while the preparations are ongoing. Many parts of the contest are getting refreshed, like the websites, new source code for the upload campaigns and new monument lists are created. This year we will cover 10 to 25 more countries and 15 more languages.

Wikipedia has as goal to collect the knowledge of mankind, but also due language difficulties it is hard to collect all the knowledge from countries with much people who do not know a lingua franca language. Smaller languages have it more difficult in projects like Wiki Loves Monuments, but also with other outreach projects. The worldwide Wikimedia movement should reach out to the smaller languages in our world, both to the users active there as to GLAM institutions. In this way we are better able to document the heritage of the whole world. Every country, language and culture has a history with monuments, buildings and objects that tell something about their origin, history and who they are. It tells is where we came from.

Let's picture that!

Read more about Wiki Loves Monuments


August's GLAM events

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21 22
Third meeting of Wiki Loves Monuments Volunteers. Mexican Club of Photography, Mexico City.
Press conference of Wiki Loves Monuments in Mexico City. Telmex Hub.

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