The GLAM at USP Museum of Veterinary Anatomy: a history of learnings and improvements
An example of the featured images of this GLAM initiative.
A GLAM initiative sometimes carries with it not only the stories of a whole process of approaching, partnering, matching inventories and uploading content on Commons, but it can also be confused with the history of learnings and improvements of a whole group and individuals that are part of the Wikimedia movement. This seems to be the case with the GLAM initiative that involved the USP Museum of Veterinary Anatomy, a museum open to the public at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science (FMVZ) at the University of São Paulo (USP).
The initiative dates back to 2016, when after a series of preliminary meetings, the so-called “Wikimedia in Brazil” user group (currently “Wiki Movimento Brasil” group) participated in the launch and dissemination of this GLAM together with RIDC NeuroMat, a Brazilian research center dedicated to integrating mathematical modeling and theoretical neuroscience. At that time, we reported in the August Newsletter: GLAM initiative with the Museum of Veterinary Anatomy will load hundreds of valuable images.
At the time, it was one of the first GLAM initiatives led by the group and was rich in challenges and learnings. The first one deals with the collection inventory itself, which was in need of a real restructuring and, so, that made us adopt the tactic of upload the collection monthly split into small sets, which allowed us to control more precisely the quality of the information as the inventory was being checked and restructured.
Throughout the process, we tested some mass-upload tools, and our best results were due Pattypan, a desktop uploader that enables a high amount of flexibility when proper, detailed image descriptions are important for the images' reuse on Wikimedia projects. We were glad in even help in bug reporting for that tool, just like we did for the most recent Pattypan release until now.
A spin-off material related to this GLAM initiative was a handout on the use of Wikipedia in Veterinary academic courses
Throughout almost two years, more than 600 files were uploaded from the museum's collection, from which we exclude only a few images related to the human anatomy due to image rights issues. Talking about the nonhuman animals, however, we were able to illustrate some very specific articles such as the hippopotamus Teteia (a long-lived individual that died of a rare type of cancer), the orca named Nandu (Samoa and Tilikum's "Brazilian" brother) and the famous Cacareco rhinoceros, a female black rhinoceros that became famous as a candidate for the 1958 São Paulo city council elections with the intention of protesting against political corruption. Electoral officials did not accept Cacareco's candidacy, but she eventually won 100,000 votes, more than any other party in that same election. Cacareco's candidacy inspired the Rhinoceros Party of Canada, nominally led by the rhinoceros Cornelius the First.
The widespread use of images only in March 2019 resulted in over 6,000,000 views.
In addition to the uploads themselves, we were careful to create some unique contents related to the images, such as several articles on anatomical preservation techniques, such as Diafanização, for instance. Some of them were created during some edit-a-thons we did, just like this one.
A main spin-off was a movie on the exhibition "Por Dentro do Cérebro", at the University of São Paulo.
Another spin-off material related to this GLAM initiative was a handout on the use of Wikipedia in Veterinary academic courses, - it was inspired by the work developed by the Wiki Education Foundation.
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