One of the things that worked last year was theming events around notable anniversaries, with the aim of improving Wikipedia articles before they get visited by lots of people who want to know what the anniversary is about. There have been a number of suggestions for possible events, and our first this year was about Chaplin's iconic film The Tramp which was released 100 years ago in April. We created a number of new pages and improved some previously created pages. By placing a banner on the talk page these have been indexed here. Although Chaplin lived until 1977, his earlier films are in the public domain, thanks to how US copyright law works. This editathon went well with new editors getting a taste for Wikipedia as we started articles on some of the other early American actors who co-starred in Chaplin's films. Wikimedians also got a chance to go on the Cinema Museum guided tour. During this we learnt exactly why the Cinema Museum was such an appropriate place to mark this centenary. Chaplin had a strong connection to the locality. The Museum is located in the administration block of the former Lambeth Workhouse, where Chaplin stayed as a child. Opposite the Museum is the building where newly arriving men were assessed and deloused, and we can only imagine the impact this had on the formative mind of the young Chaplin and the extent to which it enabled him to create his film persona of The Tramp. This was the second event we have done at the Cinema Museum (See Cinema Museum Back Stage Pass, October 2014) and it has proved to be a very popular venue. As a museum it contains a broad range of artefacts constituting the material culture of the venues where the public gathered to view the burgeoning film industry since it developed in the 1890s. While some of us were creating or developing pages, there was also the opportunity to photograph some of their collection which directly related to Chaplin.
Two quotes from our attendees:
"Excellent venue which created lovely sociable atmosphere. I loved the tour and guides."
How likely are you to continue editing Wikipedia? "Very likely. Especially if we can meet at such lovely venues."
On the last day of the month, Andy, who was in Tunisia of the WikiArabia conference (report next time), gave a talk, "Wikipedia and Chemistry - how you can help", to chemistry students at the University of Tunis El Manar, then met with Tunisian members of the RSC, to discuss potential collaboration between them, local Wikipedians, and the society.
Andy Mabbett is also Wikimedian in Residence at Thinktank Museum in Birmingham. An editathon was held there on 7 March, and was attended by Wikipedians from as far away as Manchester and Southampton. Among the articles written were Murray's Hypocycloidal Engine (third oldest working engine in the world - the oldest is also at Thinktank), Woolrich Electrical Generator (the first electrical generator used in an industrial process) and Helen Kerly (one of only two female, civilian, pilots to receive a commendation in World war II). For a more complete list of articles worked on, see the Thinktank project diary.
The upload of donated images continues.
Sara Thomas' four month residency secondment to Glasgow Museums has now passed the half way point. After the end of May, she'll be moving to Museums Galleries Scotland to work nationally. The first Wiki working group meeting for curators took place on 24 Feb, where nine curators were trained to edit Wikipedia. The next meeting will take place in early April. Discussions are ongoing with regard to securing an image release. An editathon focusing on Scottish Fairground culture, in association with the Showpeople community, will take place on 7 May at the Riverside Museum. Sign up details are on the event page.
Sara, Ally (Edinburgh), and Jason (Wales) have reached a consensus that the appropriate collective noun for Wikimedians should be "a chaos".
Tim Riley led an editathon at the Royal Opera House training a group of students from their student ambassador program. Rachel Beaumont of the Royal Opera House wrote it up as a blogpost.
April 10th; at the National Library of Wales: Welsh Photographers Editathon. This event will focus on creating and improving articles about Welsh photographers, their lives, their careers and their photographs. The event ties in with the launch of a major exhibition on the life and work of w:en:Philip Jones Griffiths to be held at The National Library of Wales later this year. The event will be hosted by the Wikipedian in Residence Jason Evans and William Troughton the NLW Visual Images Librarian together with experienced Wikipedians. It will begin at 10am with introductions and training before editing begins!
April 23rd; at the National Library of Wales: WWI Gallipoli Edit-a-thon. Welsh regiments played a huge part in the Gallipoli Campaign. To mark the centenary of the beginning of the campaign on the 25th of April 1915 This event will focus on creating and improving articles about the Welsh regiments involved, the battles, the soldiers and their achievements. The event will be hosted by the Wikipedian in Residence Jason Evans together with experienced Wikipedians. It will begin at 10am with introductions and training before editing begins!
Our highlight in Yorkshire has been the fantastic Art+Feminism Edit-a-thon at the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield. The event attracted 19 participants, and led to the creation of 12 new biographies of female artists and the improvement of 14 other articles. The event got coverage in the UK's Independent newspaper and on Leeds Student Radio in their Arts show (including an interview with Pat Hadley).
The collaboration with Harrogate Museums has continued with the training of one of their volunteers in order to set up a partnership with a Wikipedia Editor keen on Egyptology. The discussion of this has been taking place on the Museum's GLAM Directory talk page. Though Harrogate's donation (71 images) is relatively small. Their team have been keen to learn that this should lead to more than a million views on Wikipedia in the next year. An informal post about this Forecast:A million pairs of eyes has been useful for the Harrogate team to feedback to their managers and for encouraging other museums to overcome their hesitations.