GLAM/Newsletter/June 2014/Contents/USA report

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A GLAM Day Out! in Philadelphia; Local History at the Local Library

By Mary Mark Ockerbloom & Zell Faze

A GLAM Day Out! in Philadelphia

On Thursday, June 26, 2014, the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|Philadelphia, PA hosted a day-long event, A GLAM Day Out: Cultural Collaboration through Wikipedia. Thanks go to everyone who helped to make the day happen, especially Jeffery Guin, the Manager of Emerging Media at CHF. Guests speakers were Bob Skiba of John J. Wilcox Jr. LGBT Archives in Philadelphia, Dominic McDevitt-Parks of the National Archives, and Dorothy Howard of the Metropolitan New York Library Council. Dominic and Dorothy discussed institutional engagement in Wikipedia, in terms of content collaboration (Dominic) and metrics for evaluation (Dorothy).

The day's events also included tours of the Chemical Heritage Foundation museum, a Wikipedia editing workshop with Mary Mark Ockerbloom, a "Wiki Loves Pride" Edit-a-thon, and a reception to celebration the first year of the Wikipedian in Residence program at CHF.

Guest archivist Bob Skiba, LGBT archivist at the William Way LGBT Center in Philadelphia, talked about LGBT history in Philadelphia and about some very exciting initiatives. Over the next year there will be a number of LGBT-related exhibits at different galleries, libraries, and museums in the Philadelphia area including Constitution Center, the Mutter Museum, the Library Company of Philadelphia and more. The LGBT archives have also received a grant funding a substantial expansion, doubling their space and installing climate control and other features at the archives.

A dozen people attended the afternoon's "Wiki Loves Pride" editing event, creating 2 new articles and editing others. One of the new articles is for the Anna Crusis Women's Choir, the first feminist choir in the United States, which has been active in supporting LGBT rights and other social justice causes. Photographs relating to the forty-year history of the choir are being released as we obtain the appropriate permissions to cover their licensing.

Local History at the Local Library

On June 14, 2014 a local history Edit-a-thon was held at the C. Burr Artz library in Frederick, MD. Participants, who came from Frederick, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. worked on articles related to the long history of Frederick.

To kick off the event all participants were asked to meet in one of the libraries meeting rooms for a presentation introducing Wikipedia and explaining the basics of editing. There were a total of nine Wikipedias who came with three new Wikipedians people in attendance for the presentation. After the presentation there was a short Q&A session for the new Wikipedians in which many of the veteran Wikipedians were able to provide valuable advice and helpful explainations of items that the presentation itself had not covered in detail. The questions given by the new Wikipedians were excellent and some of them couldn't actually be answered by anyone in the room without doing some research.

Following the presentation and Q&A the group moved upstairs to the Maryland Room, which is the C. Burr Artz Library's archives, where they researched information about local history. The edit-a-thon resulted in registering two new Wikipedians, the creation of two new articles, the modification of about half a dozen articles, photos of a one of the only covered bridges in the state of Maryland were uploaded, and several of the participants even went to go get photos of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, which was down the street, after noticing that its article did not have a photo.

Overall a fun and productive event. Thanks to Frederick County Public Libraries for making this happen. At least one librarian changed their schedule in order to make sure that we would have the help we needed.

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