GLAM/Newsletter/July 2014/Contents/UK report
Skye boat song, tanks, feminist film, surgery for skeptics and survey results
GLAM-Wiki 2013 Conference - survey
The memories of attending the GLAM-Wiki Conference in London last year may have faded for many of us, but a year after the conference we wanted to see what impact it had on the participants. For this reason we have run a 'long term effects' survey that was circulated to all the attendees and answered by 34 people. The full results can be seen here. Particularly inspiring is the 'Action' section, which shows what a great effect the event had on the participants. Enjoy reading the report!
Speed bonnie boat
...Like a bird on the wing, Onward, the sailors cry, Carry the lad that's born to be king, Over the sea to Skye
As part of the National Library of Scotland's GLAMWiki collaboration with Wikimedia UK, over 1000 images have now been made available from NLS collections on Wikimedia Commons. This release follows the Library's adoption of a more open digital content licensing policy, which came into effect this April. The new policy releases .jpg versions of out-of-copyright digital content onto a CC-0 license, along with all Library-generated metadata. Collections uploaded include photographs of the construction of the Forth Bridge and the collapse of the Tay Bridge, early 19th century sketches of Scottish locations from John Claude Nattes' and James Fittler's Scotia Depicta, nearly 200 19th century theatre posters and photographs from the Library's Weir Collection, and 700 files from the expansive Jacobite prints and broadsides collection (see below). This release represents the start of the Library's commitment to uploading content to Commons, and some 10,000 files have been identified for upload over the coming year.
Bonnie Prince Charlie in childhood
Bonnie Prince Charlie in armour
Bonnie Prince Charlie fleeing from Culloden, disguised as a woman
Images courtesy of the National Library of Scotland as part of an image release organised by Ally Crockford. Heading is from The Skye Boat Song
National Library of Scotland anniversary
Ally Crockford, the Wikimedian in Residence at the NLS, has completed her first year in post, making her the longest standing WIR in the UK. To celebrate... she wrote a great 12 month summary report - click here to enjoy. Congratulations Ally!
Big Beasts at the Tank Museum
The Tank Museum in Dorset has given us some complementary tickets for Wikimedians to attend on weekdays when things are usually quiet enough for tripods to be allowed. This section and its photographs by Mightyhansa who visited the museum this July.
I frequent museums regularly and have learnt what can and can't make a museum work; they have done a good job at the tank museum. The museum was well organised and laid out. Most of the exhibits were well labelled and easy to find, this was made even easier by the small platoon of volunteer/guides (almost exclusively retired men with a tanky glint in their eye!), who helped me locate a few exhibits I couldn't find. The size and scale of the place is not to be underestimated, those tanks are big beasts and there are a lot of them!
The main challenge with taking photos is indeed the spacing between the exhibits, which means one inevitably gets other exhibits and signage in the shot. I didn't have too many problems with the lighting, but it was a nice sunny day, which was useful when it streamed through the warehouse skylights. I did have to keep switching between using natural and artificial light for the photos. I am only an amateur photographer, with no formal training, which may have actually helped. It is my opinion that you can only take a photo of what is in front of you, in the conditions available. I don't see any of my pictures making it to 'photo of the month', but I feel it is possible to document most of the tank museum exhibits with some degree of success if you aren't too fussy about the odd wheel or turret either side of your subject.
KV1B, Russian Heavy Tank
German Panzerkampfwagen III
Valentine "Scissors" Bridgelayer
Swedish Infanterikanonvagn 91
Crossley Chevrolet Armoured Car
Notable exceptions include some of their cornerstone exhibits, which the museum has rewarded with a diorama or special setting. These include Little Willie, which is on a revolving pedestal surrounded by perspex (I'm not making it up!); their Mark I tank, which is splattered with mud as part of a WWI trench diorama; and other key WWI exhibits. I will try to detail this on the Wikimedia page as I go through my photos.
Also worth mentioning is that the museum was very much a live museum, there are several large warehouses and workshops, one of which has a public viewing gallery. While these setting aren't ideal for shooting exhibits, I saw several tanks being shunted around or driven about as they reorganised and I feel a more local Wiki-photographer might be able to take advantage of this. I didn't make any effort to meet any curator or management. Maybe an initial chat with them, with the right tone might yield some good photos of exhibits that are being moved and maintained (the machine and mechanics that maintain them are as impressive as the exhibits themselves).
Thanks again to Wikimedia UK and the Tank Museum for the opportunity, I'm looking forward to finishing the processing and uploading of to my photos and improving the content of the Wikimedia projects
Photographs in this month's tank gallery by Mightyhansa. Your photos of tanks could be here next month, if interested, Email Jonathan Cardy to see if we have a ticket left.
Feminist Film Edit-a-thon at the ICA
We had a full house of 18 attendees at London's ICA for our Feminist Film Edit-a-thon, but only three hours in which to train and create new content. We never have enough time, and there were the usual challenges of a mixed ability group, some struggling to create accounts and others wanting to explore the detail of referencing templates and the Wikipedia Citation tool for Google Books. An impressive 22 new articles have been created and many more expanded. And there has been an unusually high level of follow-up activity, probably due to many of the attendees being passionately involved in feminist film itself. We were fortunate to be very well-supported by the ICA and the University of Kent. And we've had great coverage from the F word, in particular highlighting the importance of demonstrating notability for new articles if you want to avoid deletion. Afterwards, there was a two-hour panel discussion chaired by Sarah Turner), then a showing of the seminal 1987 film, She Must Be Seeing Things (one of our 21 new articles, and a future "Did You Know..."), co-starring Lois Weaver, who was at our Live Art and Feminism edit-a-thon, exactly three months earlier. Small world.
Feminist film edit-a-thon
Jonathan Cardy talked to the London Skeptics July meeting and afterwards ran a Wikipedia surgery answering questions from several Wikipedia editors there, and invited the skeptics to the following Conway Hall edit-a-thon. This is one of a number of tests at moving away from new editor recruitment as that is the healthiest part of the lifecycle of an editor we are still getting thousands of new people each month to do their first five edits. The aim of surgeries is to help existing editors who are encountering problems or simply want to talk to more experienced editors.
As noted last month, The Natural History Museum has donated two Epson Expression Model 10000XL flat bed scanners, with Graphic Arts, USB2 and Firewire interfaces. These are now available to loan out to cultural institutions who wish to digitise and make available their collections.
GLAM Wikipedians are reminded that they and their editing-trainees can register for an ORCID identifier, to disambiguate themselves from others with similar names, and to associate their contributions with any academic or public outreach authorship. ORCIDs can then be displayed on user pages, and may also be added to articles about GLAM academics. See WP:ORCID, or contact Andy Mabbett, Wikipedian in Residence at ORCID, for details.
Breaking news: there was a great deal of GLAM activity at Wikimania (8-10 August). Watch for a bumper report, next month!