Walters Museum uploads 19,000 photos to Wikimedia Commons
The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, has donated more than 19,000 freely-licensed images of artworks to Wikimedia Commons. The Walters' collection includes ancient art, medieval art and manuscripts, decorative objects, Asian art and Old Master and 19th-century paintings. The images and their associated information will join our collection of more than 12 million freely usable media files, which serves as the repository for the 285 language editions of Wikipedia.
"The Walters has gone above and beyond throughout this collaboration with the GLAM-Wiki community, working alongside Wikipedians to serve as a model for our mass image upload process," said Lori Byrd Phillips, U.S. Cultural Partnerships Coordinator for the Wikimedia Foundation. "The release of these images will not only improve articles in Wikipedia, but will also have the potential to be used freely throughout the web."
The 205-year-old Congressional Cemetery in Washington is now the world's largest outdoor encyclopedia of American history. Visitors may tour the grounds and by scanning a QR (for Quick Response) code with their smartphones call up an article from Wikipedia, for example, on the life of John Philip Sousa. Sixty QR codes on the grounds link to articles on people ranging from Congressman Henry Clay, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, David Herold, who was convicted and hung for his part in Abraham Lincoln's assassination, and Leonard Matlovich, America's first openly gay serviceman.
The Congressional Cemetery is a privately owned National Historic Landmark that has been closely tied to Congress over its history, but
is now supported mainly by individual donations. It is home to the distinctive Latrobe Cenotaphs, 165 stone memorials, erected for congressmen who died in office before 1876. It also served as one of the most fashionable cemeteries in Washington, housing burials of Washington mayors, socialites, entrepreneurs, visiting Native American diplomats, many cabinet members, a signer of the Declaration of
Independence and a Supreme Court Justice. Mary Ann Hall, who ran her brothel a few blocks from the Capitol, has one of the most lavish and beautiful monuments in the cemetery.
Rebecca Roberts, Program Director at Congressional Cemetery said “since its founding in 1807, Congressional Cemetery was always intended to be a place of recreation, learning, and imagination, not simply a burial ground for the dead. The QR codes project is the twenty-first century way to encourage a nineteenth century ideal of the cemetery as an appealing and interesting place to visit.”
A tour will be given during Wikimania, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 6, 2012.
This month has involved much preparation for Wikimania 2012, taking place this year in Washington D.C. Because Washington D.C. is such a strong cultural center and the seat of many important GLAM partnerships, the GLAM-Wiki community in the United States is eager to showcase the vibrant GLAM collaborations and promote further networking among GLAM professionals and Wikipedians from around the world.
In addition to the Google Open Reception at the Library of Congress, there will also be a Wikipedia Loves Libraries workshop on Wednesday afternoon and a GLAM Night Out (RSVP required) event at the Newseum on Thursday evening. The Wikipedia Loves Libraries workshop and meeting will include a behind the scenes look at Wikipedia for local librarians, as well as a meeting to build momentum for the successful Wikipedia Loves Libraries initiative. GLAM Night Out is a networking event and media panel hosted by Consumer Reports and the GLAM-Wiki US community.
There is a GLAM track for sessions during Wikimania. Please see the schedule and sign up for those that interest you.
GLAM-Wiki US Consortium
US Cultural Partnerships Coordinator Lori Phillips has begun to facilitate a discussion surrounding the establishment of a GLAM-Wiki US Consortium, which will be launched during Wikimania. This is the first step in a more formalized entity that will allow the US GLAM-Wiki community to be self-sufficient in current and future partnerships and projects. GLAM professionals will be highly involved as they work together with Wikipedians to establish an infrastructure that will be useful and relevant to all those who have interest in GLAM-Wiki partnerships, allowing "GLAMS to help GLAMs" in support of one another's ideas and partnerships. Please join in the discussion on the proposal's talk page or on the North American Cultural Partnerships mailing list.
By Max Klein
"VIAF integration into Wikipedia" was the cry I kept on hearing repetitively when I first joined OCLC as Wikipedian in Residence. It took a moment to realize though that I was hearing the sentiment so often because it was both Wikipedians and Librarians alike that were advocating for the integration.
Now the collaboration to edit 250,000 Wikipedia pages is growing closer. With data and permissions obtained from OCLC and VIAF, Wikipedia community approval is all that remains. After a warm reception at the Wikipedia Village Pump, the next step of the process commences – sitewide Request for Comment. It’s requested, so you may as well comment on this Authority control integration proposal.
Kansas City National Archives
The National Archives at Kansas City hosted not only its first Wikipedia event, but the first Wikipedia meetup of any kind in Kansas City, on Saturday, June 16. The event consisted of an exhibit tour, a presentation given over video conference from DC by Dominic, and time spent in the research room on scanning, transcription, researching/editing articles, or tagging. Attendees included both long-time Wikipedians and new faces (one of which may now be hooked). Archivist Elizabeth Burnes and Exhibit Specialist Dee Harris blogged about their experiences for NARA, writing: "The meetup was a great success! Project results include: 53 scanned images from the Missouri River Basin Commission, 190 transcribed vessel licenses, numerous keyword-tagged images within NARA’s Online Public Access system, and a transcribed admiralty court case." As a result, there may be future events at the National Archives at Kansas City.