New Zealand report
News from Auckland Museum, the West Coast, and New Zealand's thesis repositories
Focus on West Auckland
is an area known for its historic ceramics industry. This Crown Lynn swan vase is one of the items from the museum's collections which were photographed and made widely available through a CC-BY license
Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira has been focusing on producing quality history articles for the suburbs and areas of Auckland, as a way to empower teachers and students before the start of the 2023 local history curriculum. This month a major milestone was reached when an article on West Auckland was published. Due to some quirks of local history, it was the only major area of the city without an article. The article details the natural history of the area, early Tāmaki Māori history and how the region developed during the colonial era.
Additionally, a new article was created for the Portages of New Zealand, te tōanga waka, the important waka (canoe) hauling passages that linked people across Aotearoa. These are especially important for the history of Auckland, where portages helped connect communities of the Kaipara, Manukau and Waitematā harbours. Work was also done on some of the species native to the West Auckland area, such as Veronica bishopiana.
A number of museum resources greatly helped sourcing the information on the page, including books and articles written by people associated with the museum. The museum's photography also helped to enrich West Auckland-related articles, such as the museum's collection photography, habitually released under a CC-BY license, and many archival works which have since become available in the public domain.
Online Cenotaph Wikidata project
Sergeant John Hinton
, who received the Victoria Cross
in World War II, was among the individuals who had their Online Cenotaph IDs linked in Wikidata
A major initiative of the Auckland War Memorial museum is Online Cenotaph, a living memorial compiling research about the people who served for Aotearoa New Zealand. Over the course of July, people who have English language Wikipedia articles (anyone in Category:New Zealand military personnel and Category:New Zealand people by war) were cross-referenced with their Online Cenotaph entries. Over 500 people had their Online Cenotaph IDs linked in Wikidata, doubling the number times this field has been used.
Linking Online Cenotaph IDs in Wikidata creates many opportunities to improve both the museum's database and Wikipedia in the future: resources such as CC-BY photographs and dates of birth can more easily be shared, and any differences can be investigated (such as differences in dates of birth and names), improving both resources. The project still has much more room for growth: personnel from World War II continue to be matched, and many service-people from countries other than New Zealand (such as soldiers from Pacific nations who served for New Zealand) can have their Online Cenotaph IDs linked.
Women in Red
A number of articles were made for Women in Red, including new articles for West Auckland home birth-advocate Vera Ellis-Crowther, filmmaker Tweedie Waititi, known for adapting Disney animated films into Reo Māori, and biographer Judy Siers. In the last two years, 30 articles on New Zealand women have been created as a part of the museum's focus on Women in Red.
West Coast Wikipedian at Large
Lake Ellery in South Westland
The has finished its first month on the West Coast of the South Island, with field trips to Punakaiki
, Lake Brunner
, and Karamea
was joined by two volunteers from Wellington who hiked 10 km to photograph native forest and crawl through three caves, encountering New Zealand's largest spider
, to create an article on the Fenian Track
. With one month to go, the team of 11 has uploaded over 500 photos, created 19 articles, improved 178, and added 58,000 words of text (dashboard stats TK). The project has been covered in local papers, on radio, and in two TV news spots. One TV crew filmed Giantflightlessbirds photographing mountains and editing Wikipedia beside a scenic lake
, although the camera did not pick up the hundreds of biting midges
he was being attacked by.
Articles from the project have appeared in three DYKs, and the featured video clip for one of them got 405,000 views. The next area to be tackled is Haast, after which the Wikipedian at Large will have travelled the entire 600 km length of the West Coast.
The New Zealand Theses project
Slides from 28 July presention of project
As introduced in This Month in GLAM in March
, User:Dr Thneed
as part of the has created a Cradle templete
, uploaded 66,000 New Zealand theses or dissertations from university repositories into Wikidata, and matched 6000 of them to authors. She has documented the project on YouTube
, including Histropedia timelines, the Mix'n'Match author catalogue, and how these can now be cited with CiteQ in Wikipedia articles. This is very likely the first ever attempt to place an entire country's academic thesis repository in Wikidata, and in the [thesis by institution dashboard
] New Zealand institutions now occupy nine of the top 20 places. Dr Thneed, who is supported by a grant from Wikimedia Aotearoa NZ, is continuing to run maintenance queries and clean data, and is developing a plan so the partner universities can arrange an annual upload to Wikidata of each year's new theses.
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