From May 15th until June 30th 2023, the Wikimedians of Albanian Language User Group organized the Wiki Photowalk initiative to expand the multimedia material available on Wikimedia Commons for Wikipedia articles in the Albanian language.
This initiative brought together a group of enthusiastic photographers to enhance the visual representation of diverse and picturesque landscapes, landmarks, historical sites, and culture in Albania and Kosovo.
During the Photowalk, participants went on exciting trips and trails, capturing breathtaking moments to explore landscapes, national parks, and scenic coastal, town, and river areas. Some of the photographs also captured and highlighted the diverse flora and fauna.
For this event, 4 photographers participated and uploaded their pictures to Wikimedia Commons, contributing to increasing the number of free accessible multimedia materials. These images will serve to enrich the Albanian Wikipedia articles. All of them uploaded 353 pictures.
This year, the participants prioritized the photographic places, objects, towns, flowers, and birds that are underrepresented or lacking images on Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia articles.
Here are some pictures from the event:
International Refugee Day Edit-a-thon, 2023
The International Refugee Day Edit-a-thon took place on 20-30th June 2023. This edit-a-thon served as an opportunity to get together and make an impact by increasing the number of articles on the Albanian language Wikipedia regarding refugees and emigration.
By expanding Albanian Wikipedia's refugee-related topics, we tried to provide our community with valuable information and raised awareness within our community. We invited our community to participate in International Refugee Week to contribute to inclusive knowledge.
Two users contributed to this edit-a-thon translating and editing 13 articles with the 10-day framework.
We have a public Telegram channel (language used mostly Albanian) if you want to join and discuss Wikimedia projects.
If you want to see more about our activities, you can:
New uploads in Commons (National Academy of History)
We are working on the documentary collections of the historian "Enrique J. Fitte", who collected signatures from famous people (1500-1910). The collection is about 940 documents of which we already digitized 900, and uploaded 23. We expect to upload 600 of them in September. Files can be found here.
This presentation gave an introduction to Wikipedia and covered topics such as how Wikipedia is being used in classrooms, its reliability, how anyone can easily add sources to improve Wikipedia.
The hot topic of AI was also covered, and we showed how AI tools are using Wikipedia as a source of information and the new Wikipedia ChatGPT plug in to help stop AI creating fake information.
Library & Information Week is managed by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), and the events this year broadly focused around information sources and how AI could disrupt information literacy and understanding.
This month we signed a GLAM-Wiki partnership with Casa de Oswaldo Cruz (COC), a center for research, teaching, documentation, and communication. It is part of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), a federal institution, and it is located in Rio de Janeiro. The main issues of both COC and Fiocruz are health and science in Brazil and they hold the collections of Oswaldo Cruz, a Brazilian physician and scientist who was a pioneer bacteriologist, epidemiologist and public health officer. He headed sanitation and vaccination campaigns against yellow fever, bubonic plague and smallpox.
As we announced in our report of March, Pará is the Brazilian state chosen for the project Wiki Loves Pará. This is an one-year-effort for filling the gap of information on cultural, historical, and natural heritage about Pará on Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia in Portuguese. And we would like to present our second GLAM partner in Pará State: Instituto Nova Amazônia (INÃ), an institute in the city of Bragança that works for sustainable, economic and equal development of traditional and at-risk local communities.
In early July, we organized an edit-a-thon during the Electronic Language International Festival 2023 to engage contemporary artists with Wikipedia in English, because it is the common language of the participants. Michaela Blanc, from the international project Art+Feminism, delivered the workshop to 15 people from various countries.
In order to organize a good list of people who attended the editions of International Festival of the Electronic Language and to understand who has article in Wikipedia, FILE's team provided a list of almost 1,500 names with several metadata, and we uploaded this information to Wikidata.
The collection gathers more than 1,400 pages of Books of notes of the municipal notary. The papers were digitized in the 1990s and the photos were restricted to local access at the computer where they were stored. With the availability on Wiki, they are now free for the whole world and they will help in research on black enslaved people in our country. The books are already organized on WikiSource, so the community may help in this intense and meticulous work of transcription.
The former Montepio Geral de Economia dos Servidores do Estado (MonGeral) is the first official social security institution in Brazil, founded on January 10th 1835. In that year, Brazil was a young country ("born" in 1822) ruled by a Trina Regency because the Emperor, Pedro de Alcântara, was only a child. So the documentary collection of Minutes of MonGeral from 1835 to 1977 registers the creation and the development of social security in Brazil.
In August 16th (UTC 2:00), Carolina Mattos will present the project "Portable Museum" during Wikimania 2023 and answer all the questions about this amazing project. See the program here.
> > What is Portable Museum project about?
Digitization is still a severe barrier for small cultural institutions in marginalized areas when it comes to heritage digital preservation and online visibility. To try to solve this, the art historian and curator Carolina Matos partnered up once again with Goethe-Institut São Paulo, Instituto Moreira Salles and Wiki Movimento Brasil through the Museu Portátil - “portable museum” - project, aimed to bring low cost equipment and capacity building trainings and materials for cultural institutions willing to digitize and share their collections online.
New milestone reached: already 500 portraits of geographers uploaded on Commons
Last April, volunteers from Lorraine crossed the 500 portraits milestone in a project to make available on Commons, Wikidata and Wikipedia hundreds of exceptional portraits of geographers through a partnership with the City of Saint Dié des Vosges.
In 1990, Saint-Dié-des-Vosges launched an International Festival of Geography, a unique event attracting around 50.000 visitors every year. One year leater, the prix Vautrin-Lud (known as the “Nobel prize of geography”) was created, cementing Saint-Dié-des-Vosges's status as the “capital of geography”. Over the years, thousands of pictures were taken during the festival.
That collection is an extremely valuable contribution to the documentation (and illustration) of the recent history of geography. Geographers are seldom seen in the mainstream media, and are therefore less frequently targeted by amateur or professional photographers.
Since about 2007, Wikimedians have been covering the festival regularly, which has allowed them to greatly enrich Wikimedia's contents pertaining to geographers, but many portraits were still missing on Wikimedia projects.
In 2022, a new collaboration with the City of Saint-Dié-des-Vosges has made available many more early pictures for the period 1990-2007. The City has authorized access to the festival archives and a selection of more than 500 portraits has been digitized and uploaded on Commons. 68% of them have already been inserted into Wikipedia pages (or Wikidata items) in 38 languages (ar, arz, az, bg, bn, ca, cs, cy, da, de, el, en, eo, es, eu, fa, fi, fr, he, hu, hy, it, ko, la, lb, no, oc, pl, pt, ro, ru, sl, sq, sv, tr, tt, uk, vi).
Creating & advocating access to India's museum collections through an Open Knowledge Fellowship
The Heritage Lab launched the first Open Knowledge Fellowship with the objective of creating (and expanding) representation of India's art and museum collections on Wikimedia projects. In a span of a few months, 4 Fellows added 513K words, and 1.86K references to new and existing articles which have garnered 1.27 million views already (July 2023). They also added 626 images of collections to Wikimedia Commons and enriched Wikidata for 532 collection items, as seen on the campaign dashboard. Later, they conducted outreach activities to familiarize their independent social-communities of the museum collections they worked with. Read our fellowship blog here. Want to join us as a future-fellow / host-institution / or Editorial Committee member? Let us know!
Wikibase instance for a museum, first ever in India
Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE) has started to engage with a cultural and heritage organization named Research Institute of World's Ancient Traditions Cultures and Heritage (RIWATCH), which is located in the village of Khinjili near the town of Roing at Lower Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh in the north-eastern part of India. The organization owns and maintains a small ethnographic museum in its campus to collect and preserve artefacts used by different indigenous people of Arunachal Pradesh and north-east India at large. The aim of this engagement was to create a Wikibase instance for RIWATCH museum, where the data about the museum collections will be stored, which can be a back-end database needed to create a virtual museum, a future ambition of the museum authority. A Wikibase instance has been setup and implemented on Wikibase cloud for the museum recently, making it first such Wikibase instance, ever created for any organization or institution in India, to the best of our knowledge. Check out March 2022 and May 2022 newsletters to learn about the ongoing GLAM partnership among RIWATCH, CIS-A2K and West Bengal Wikimedians User Group which provided a background for negotiation between RIWATCH and WMDE.
Videos and filmmakers of Africa, Open Churches Photochallenge and Wiki goes Caribbean meet-up in Dutch National Archive
Some Togo documentaries recently released on Wikimedia Commons (HM)
Recently, the African Studies Center Leiden donated a number of movies on Africa to Wikimedia Commons. Three of them answer the following questions:
How hard is it on you if you are forced to marry yet another extra wife? Just after your favourite wife died? Local leader Mr. Mbambim of Togo, Africa, explained this in person, in a 1973 movie made by Dutch law professor van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal.
"Nobody wants a toad in their courtyard! Why was I deposed? I don't know." A disappointed North Togolese ex-leader complained to van Rouveroy and his spouse Els in 1979.
Does a married girl who is pregnant by her lover have to stay with her husband, to whom she was once promised in a family bargain? (Spoiler alert: No.) A local judge in Togo came to a righteous conclusion in 1980, applying French colonial and indigenous customary law, as shown in a movie by the same professor.
E. van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal: Mbambim, a Lineage-Head. Togo, 1973. 22 minutes.
E. van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal: A Toad In The Courtyard. Togo, 1979. 23 minutes.
E. van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal: À la Recherche de la Justice. Togo, 1980. 52 minutes.
Filmmakers of Africa (HM)
West Africa has by now an impressive tradition of film making, for instance in francophone Senegal since the late 1960s with pioneer Djibril Diop Mambéty (1945-1998). Because of the language barrier, their filmmakers are little known in the Anglo-Saxon world. At ASC we are currently supplying enhanced English translations of their French Wikipedia biographies, starting with Januário Afonso (São Tomé, born 1963), Gahité Fofana (Guinea, born 1965), and Bouna Medoune Seye (Senegal, 1956-2017).
Open Churches Photochallenge (MvL)
In June 2023, The Open Kerken Photochallenge (Open Churches) was held. This month long event was aimed a encouraging the documentation and sharing of images of churches and religious sites on Wikimedia Commons. Participants were invited to explore, photograph, and contribute their captures to the platform, making these mesmerizing architectural wonders accessible to a worldwide audience. Starting point of the challenge was a Dutch event called Open Kerken Dag, in which all the churches in the Netherlands open their doors to the general public. The event lasted till June 30. A total of 141 participants uploaded 3317 photographs of both the interior and exterior of Dutch churches. 91 participants were new editors. The event was organised by Romaine as lead organiser, together with the organisation Open Kerken Nederland, with support from Wikimedia Nederland.
By actively participating in the Open Kerken Challenge, contributors played a pivotal role in preserving cultural heritage. The initiative celebrated the architectural splendor, intricate artwork, and spiritual importance of these sacred spaces, ensuring their enduring legacy for future generations. For more information about the challenge, see the projectpage on Commons (in Dutch).
Wiki goes Caribbean meet-up in Dutch National Archive (MvL)
The Dutch National Archives hosted a meet-up for the "Wiki Goes Caribbean" project, aimed at exploring and enriching Wikipedia articles related to former Dutch Caribbean cultural heritage. The event took place at the Archives' premises in Den Haag and saw the participation of 7 dedicated individuals passionate about preserving and promoting the vibrant history and culture of the former Dutch Caribbean region. They edited Dutch, English and Papiamentu Wikipedia as well as making improvements to Commons category structures.
The attendees expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded individuals and to contribute to a platform as influential as Wikipedia. They felt empowered to continue their involvement in preserving cultural heritage through Wikipedia. For more information about the Wiki goes Caribbean project, see the project page on Dutch Wikipedia.
EU GLAM Coordinators; WikiMatejko; Polona; internship program
On July 11, 2023, the meeting of European GLAM-Wiki coordinators took place. Kamila Neuman, together with Michelle van Lanschot from Wikimedia Netherlands and Giovanna Fontenelle from Wikimedia Foundation, organized the fifth meeting, which aims to facilitate knowledge and experience exchange in the field of collaborations with cultural institutions in Europe. The main theme of the meeting was addressing knowledge equity in the GLAM sector. Kelly Foster, representing the Whose Knowledge campaign and a board member of Wikimedia UK, spoke about Wikimedia projects focused on restoring knowledge about marginalized communities, particularly those based on skin color or origin.
When we examine the narratives built on art collection holdings, it becomes evident that different communities have been marginalized, and their voices systematically excluded from historical records, cultural heritage, and institutional collections. This exclusion often stems from historical structures of power, discrimination, and biases.
Therefore, one of the main goals of the Wikimedia Movement Strategy for 2030 is to focus on knowledge and communities that have been overlooked and excluded by structures of power and privilege.
Preparations for WikiMatejko editing project with MNK
Preparations are underway for the WikiMatejko editing project, related to the Jan Matejko exhibition at The National Museum in Krakow. The team of Museum's employees, along with the Wikipedian in Resident and the intern from Open Culture WMPL, is developing the narrative for the event. Together, we are considering how to expand the content through objects and historical-biographical threads to promote knowledge about the artist and his work. In September, we will invite volunteers to the opening event of the project, scheduled for October 14, 2023.
Continuation of the wikiresidency at Polona
With the beginning of August, the wikiresidency at the National Library in Warsaw will continue. We are very excited about this because it is one of the longest-running wikiresidencies among all the GLAM-Wiki collaborations with Polish cultural institutions. We would like to remind you that Wojciech Szczęsny has been the Wikimedian in Residence at Polona for 3 years now. Polona is the largest Polish digital library, housing around 3.7 million items, and it was created by the National Library. It primarily contains collections from the National Library and 20 other institutions.
As part of the collaboration, the Wikimedian in Residence uploaded a record-breaking number of almost 800,000 illustrations, which enrich many articles on Wikipedia, including those about Stanisław Wyspiański and Aleksander Fredro. The monthly number of file views is approximately 1.5-2.3 million. The wikiresidency also resulted in over 20,000 edits on Wikimedia Commons and over 10,000 edits on Wikipedia.
In the new reading rooms of the National Library in Warsaw, the exhibition "Hrabia Fredro" will be ongoing throughout August. This is a unique opportunity to see not only manuscripts, graphics, photographs, and documents related to Aleksander Fredro stored in the National Library but also personal memorabilia preserved by the writer's family, such as medals, seals, and even his own armchair.
Continuation of Practice in Culture Program
In July, we are also continuing our collaboration with the National Centre for Culture as part of the Practice in Culture Program. This means that the Open Culture area at Wikimedia Poland will be supported by two interns who will delve into the details of Wikimedia projects and GLAM-Wiki collaborations for a period of three months.
Kamila Neuman, the Open Culture Manager, expressed her excitement about the continuation of the internship program within the framework of the Practice in Culture Program: The experience gained from the previous spring internships showed the value of investing time and energy in working with young people. They contribute to the Association's work significantly, but what is particularly important is that they immerse themselves in Wikimedia projects and engage in enhancing the quality of free knowledge about culture and art.
Wikipedian in residence at Society for Culture, Art and International Cooperation Adligat
Wikimedia Serbia, in cooperation with the Society for Art, Culture and International Cooperation Adligat, realized the Wikipedian In Residence project from June 1st to July 31st. Thanks to this project, 12 new articles were written, 2 were improved and 38 articles were illustrated. Almost 1,400 files have been uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons, which is the largest number of files released in this project to date.
The "Adligat" Society consists of the Lazić Library, the Museum of Serbian Literature, the Museum of Books and Travel and the House of Legates. The Lazić Library has existed since 1882 and is the longest-lasting Serbian family library. The Museum of Serbian Literature presents various materials about Serbian writers, literary works, literary criticism, etc. The Museum of Books and Travel presents in a unique way the development and importance of books throughout history and through different parts of the world. The House of Legacies consists of more than 30 legacies of notable families and individuals.
Wikipedian in residence, Jelena Latov Papić, wrote 12 new articles during this project, 2 were improved, while 38 were illustrated. The largest number of files compared to previous projects, as many as 1,375 files have been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons! Among these files, there are also 5 significant catalogs and documents. These files provide a unique insight into historical diplomatic visits and important moments in the history of Yugoslavia, photographs of notable people and their legates, and a collection of photographs from Egypt is especially noteworthy.
Etnographic Museum Al Qasr, Western Desert, Egypt
Traditional Indonesian dance performed during Tito's visit to Jakarta in 1958-1959
Golden Mummies, Bahariya Oasis, Egypt
Islamic City of Balat (Balat Old City), Dakhhla Oasis in Egypt
The main activity this month has been continued rewriting and improvement of articles relating to cultural diversity. The article on Cultural diversity, in particular, reads differently to how it did a month ago and has reached a higher quality level. I have also written about each painting in the Khalili Falnama, for an article that is presently in draft.
On Wikidata, I am gradually adding details of paintings in the Khalili Collection of Islamic Art. This month I added fifteen paintings in the Shahnamah of Prince Murad Bakhsh. So, for example, if we ask Wikidata about the character Afrasiab, it tells us that Khalili Collections MSS 466 26a and MSS 145 342b are paintings that depict him.
In the past month many outlets reported that the Khalili Collections are among the institutions contributing images to the forthcoming Assassin's Creed Mirage computer game to educate players about the setting of 9th century Baghdad. This is now reflected in the article about the game, as well the articles on Khalili Collections and Khalili Collection of Islamic Art.
A review earlier this year raised the issue that some images uploaded from the Khalili Collection of Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage might not be free content. The Khalili Collections are happy to share them freely, but the original material might not be out of copyright. This is my fault for not checking carefully enough when uploading. I have now done that thorough review, and requested deletion for seven images. The other 250 images from the collection are fine to stay. There were no new image uploads this month.
The Wikimedia Research team released a tool, WikiNav, that illustrates user pathways into and out of Wikipedia articles. It gives interesting visualisations of how articles created by this project join with the rest of Wikipedia to form a web of knowledge. Looking at the article on the Khalili Collections, it shows that readers are coming to this via articles such as Bactrian language and Astrolabe. For the article about the exhibition Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam it shows that readers of this article followed links to articles about the British Museum, Nasser Khalili, and Khalili Collection of Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage.
Not my own work, but worth noting, is that a volunteer improved the article Book of Roads and Kingdoms on English Wikipedia and got it through Did You Know review. It was linked from the front page of Wikipedia on 23 July, getting more than 23,000 views over two days. The article's lead image, and another image in the gallery, are from the Khalili Collections.
GLAMorgan reports 4,699,823 image views for the month of July.
WikiWednesday Salon; New York Botanical Garden; Meetup San Diego
The crossing paths of Living Heritage and Wikimedia are explored at Wikimania's opening session on 17 August. Dr. Kirk Siang Yeo, the Senior Director of Heritage Policy at the National Heritage Board (NHB) of Singapore, shares his insights and experiences on how to safeguard and promote intangible cultural heritage in the digital age. He will discuss the challenges and opportunities for collaboration and innovation in the field of intangible cultural heritage, and how to engage and empower communities in the research and promotion of their cultural heritage.
Following the spotlight presentation, Susanna Ånäs and Alan Ang will present Wiki Loves Living Heritage in a session that is part of the Bazaar series. They are events that are meant to bring people together to be inspired by each others' projects and to start collaborating with one another.
Photo contests around the world
The photo competition Wiki Loves Living Heritage in Singapore was arranged in partnership with the National Heritage Board of Singapore and the National Youth Achievement Award. It invited everyone from Singapore to participate in sharing the tangible and intangible heritage of Singapore on Wikimedia Commons. The top 10 contestants will get their work featured during Wikimania 2023, and the winning 3 images will be selected by community voting during the event. At the closing ceremony on 19 August, the winners of the photography competition will be announced and all the top contestants will be presented with their plaques and certificates. See the images in the Wikimedia Commons category.
In India, the photography contest Living Heritage through your lens is organized by Contact Base, a social enterprise working across India with a mission to foster inclusive and sustainable development using culture-based approaches, for the protection of rights of women, children and indigenous people.
Local photo contests are ongoing also at least in Belgium, Finland, and Austria. Documentation projects such as Wir machen blau! created in collaboration between Wikimedia Austria and the Austrian Commission for UNESCO show how to combine photographic documentation, writing articles and being together.
A completely different documentation activity is proofreading works of oral literature. The West Bengal Wikipedia's User Group are running a contest which has now resulted in the completion of proofreading Gopichandra's. It is one of the many folk songs related to a king Gopichandra, who is said to rule the eastern part of Bengal region around 11th century AD. This particular song was collected from Chittagong region in early 20th century from manuscripts attributed to a poet named Bhabanidas and was edited by Dinesh Chandra Sen and Basanta Ranjan Roy. Thanks to the efforts of User:Nettime Sujata, the entire text has been transcribed and proofread on Bengali Wikisource with around 2500 footnotes added by the editors.
If you run projects related to living heritage anywhere in the world, please register them on the website!
It's all based on data
Living heritage inventories maintained by the national authorities contributing to the UNESCO Lists and registers of Intangible Cultural Heritage are the backbone of Wiki Loves Living Heritage. Wikimedians and the focal points are coming together around the world to gradually include basic information about the heritage elements to Wikidata.
When the data is on Wikidata, it can be used to power lists of elements on wiki pages, create intelligent upload links or translation launchpads, for example. We captured the state of the data imported to Wikidata at the moment.
For the gray countries, we have not identified an inventory. For light blue we have, but they have not been added to Wikidata, usually because we do not have enough verified information. The countries in darker blue have at least one inventory in Wikidata. The yellow bubbles show additionally the amounts of heritage elements that have been added. Spain has by far the most inventories: Thanks to User:Olea, we have 38 inventories in our records, out of which 23 have been added to Wikidata, and collectively they have 1890 records in Wikidata.
The second graph show the increase of articles about living heritage over the course of the project. The more we identify items as living heritage the more Wikipedia articles are in the scope. Some of the articles may exist already and others are created during the project.
French Wikipedia has the most articles about living heritage. Turkish Wikipedia has seen a tremendous boost earlier this year, and currently the Armenian Wikipedia’s articles on living heritage are increasing fastest.
Mastodon is a free and open-source, self-hosted, and federated social network service. The network consists of independent, but linked services (nodes/servers/instances) that communicate with each other. The rules for tolerating different content and behavior vary between the nodes. Wiki Loves Living Heritage joined the wikis.world service created for the Wikimedia community.
Transkribus, an AI-driven handwritten text recognition (HTR) engine, is now available as a third text recognition engine on 14 Wikisources. Given enough ground truth i.e. scanned images and the corresponding transcribed text, Transkribus is capable of creating an HTR model for any language. More details on Diff.
Needs assessment survey for Wikisource Loves Manuscripts (WiLMa) Learning Partners Network was publicly launched on 24th July 2024 and closed on 2nd August 2023 with a total of 119 survey respondents from around the world. More details about the network will be shared on project page on Meta-Wiki.