After 12 weeks of learning , the first Main Cohort of the Wikipedia in African Libraries came to an end on 4th May (for the English speakers) and 5th May (for the French speakers). In groups of 5, participants presented the plans they had for future engagement and continuity with various Wikimedia projects.
To support the participants in the course, we enlisted the help of experienced Wikipedians to facilitate the live sessions over 5 sections each dealing with a crucial aspect of engagement with Wikipedia. This was supplemented with a weekly office hour and support through peer WhatsApp groups. At the end of it, we were able to register 311 editors who created 528 articles and contributed 1756 images.
Although emphasis was based on developing skills and confidence on interacting and editing with Wikipedia in their local context, we encouraged participants to contribute images of the various information institutions they are associated with as well as historical images from their collections.
Below are some of the images contributed by participants :
The Hamu Mukasa Library, Mukono, Uganda
Madibeng Library, South Africa
Patidar Samaj Building housing the National Library of Uganda
Gweru Memorial Library, Zimbabwe
Kyambogo University Central Library, Uganda
AfLIA pre-conference Wikipedia day
As part of the 4th AfLIA conference and 6th African Libraries Summit, AfLIA had a pre-conference day dedicated to the realities of Wikipedia for information workers in Africa on Monday 24th May. We had virtual parallel sessions in both English and French and they were free for all to attend.
Starting at 1000GMT and spanning 5 hours, over 100 attendees interacted with various presenters on the topics shown in the poster (right).The topics for the sessions were chosen basing on the factors that are considered challenges to African Librarians interacting with Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects i.e
Limited understanding of the relationship and mission alignment between Wikipedia/the world of free knowledge and Libraries
Dealing with local languages in the Wiki-world
Unreliable electricity supply and expensive internet connections
Understanding the community that is Wikimedia
The day was concluded with an office hour for the upcoming 1Lib1Ref and the African Librarians Week
African Librarians Week 2021
For the second time running, African Librarians under AfLIA as a collective came together to contribute to the global #1Lib1Ref campaign. Between 17th-24th May, 2021, AfLIA launched the second African Librarians Week, where African library and information professionals concertedly provided reliable and factual information to the world through Wikipedia as part of the global #1Lib1Ref campaign.
The week-long virtual campaign engaged the African library community to help fill key gaps in African content on Wikipedia by adding missing references to articles about Africa on the online encyclopedia. This year, we focused on the theme; “Learning in Africa“ - as Africans we recognize that learning takes place within classroom walls and within community created systems and networks that pass on information from one generation to another. The theme encompasses.
At the time of writing this, at least 4,200 references have been added with at least 483 articles created by 241 editors.
Wikimedia Argentina and the Education and Heritage Office of Santa Fe City agreed to release under free licenses an important collection of historical photographs kept by the City Museum. During April 30th and May 3rd, we developed a series of webinars and workshops in order to socialize this collection's history and the importance of open knowledge towards archives. We also offered two workshops on conservation and restoration of photographs and audiovisual formats, aimed not only for professionals working in Santa Fe City
but also for the general public. This resulted on more than 370 on-live participants, plus 2000 views once the webinar was published.
Wikipedia and Museums
We carried out 12 Wikipedia training sessions along with +20 museums from all over the country and 1 important organization that gathers argentinian museum directors (ADiMRA). This resulted on 29 new editors that improved different contents related to Museums on Wikipedia. Furthermore, to celebrate Museum International Day, we allied with the National Culture Ministry to launch an online conference between the research areas of four national Museums and start conversations on how these knowledge could improve Wikipedia's related articles. In adittion to the 600 people that sintonized this webinar, this event was strategically important in order to strengthen ties with the Culture Ministry for further activities on improving and/or releasing content.
Librarians adding references
As on every year, Wikimedia Argentina takes part of #1bib1ref regional campaign by encouraging librarians to add references on Wikipedia articles. By far, 44 librarians had joined the campaing resulting on 259 articles improved. Wikimedia Argentina shared useful resources like webinars and tutorials with the librarian's community.
The competition was held on May 3-18; the museum staff wrote articles about their museums, museum persons, and exhibits, and the other participants translated articles from the presented lists.
Forty-one participants took part in the competition. Four online training courses explaining the details of wiki editing were held for about 20 new participants.
During the 15 days of the competition, 283 articles were edited with a total volume of 2,526,245 bytes.
The results will be summarized two weeks after the end of the competition. The participants will receive certificates, and the top five editors will receive rewards from the ICOM National Committee of Armenian Museums
Librarians unite across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand for 1Lib1Ref
Librarians make Wikipedia a better place 1650 times over
Librarians and library professionals across Australia and New Zealand added 1650 new citations to Wikipedia in just three weeks.
For the first time, Wikimedia Australia partnered with Wikmedia Aotearoa New Zealand on a regional campaign, co-hosting six drop-in sessions over the three weeks of the campaign from 15 May until 6 June 2021.
Established in 2016, #1Lib1Ref imagines a world where every librarian and/or library professional added just one citation to Wikipedia. It’s now run twice per year.
Around 50 librarians attended the online sessions (as well a surprise drop-in flamenco guitar player and a child who showed us his toys) who were trained in the basics of Wikipedia and how to add a citation by Wikipedians Siobhan Leachman, Ann Reynolds, Kerry Raymond and Caddie Brain as well as Mike Dickison who facilitated an online LIANZA Webinar.
Additional live and online events were also held at the University of Melbourne, Yarra Plenty Regional Library, University of Newcastle Library, Charles Sturt University Library in Wagga Wagga and the State Library of Queensland. Congratulations to the staff for their work.
Sydneysiders masked up and dug deep into Sydney's archives during City of Sydney’s recent ‘Picture This’ edit-a-thon at Darling Square Library.
Guided by City Historians Dr Lisa Murray and Laila Ellmoos and supported by Wikipedia editors Toby Hudson and Ann Reynolds, participants learnt to upload public domain images to Wikimedia Commons and then add them to Wikipedia pages on everything from Sydney mayors to Sydney suburbs.
The City archives holds materials from as early as 1842 when the Municipal Council of Sydney was established, with online access now available for over one million items.
Wiki Loves Bahia is a bold initiative from Wiki Movimento Brasil to bring more knowledge from the Bahia state on Wikimedia projects throughout 2021. Bahia is one of the largest Brazilian states and one of the poorest. Yet, we're still missing a lot of knowledge from the state on Wikimedia - and on the internet. That's why Wiki Loves Bahia intends to show to the world the state's culture, history, nature and more!
Wiki Loves Bahia was launched at the end of May through a live stream with local experts who pointed out the gap in the representation of Bahia in Wikimedia projects, the importance of sharing situated knowledge and educational uses of Wikimedia platforms. You can find the video on WMB's YouTube channel here.
Amidst the pandemic, all activities are happening online. WMB is working on mobilizing local cultural and education institutions and active wikimedians to support the project. The project aims to improve the quality of information about the state of Bahia on Wikimedia platforms, in addition to encouraging cooperation between the wiki community and institutions of culture and education in Bahia.
Wikiconcurso Casa Brasileira
After two months of contributions from more than 600 subscribed people, the Wikiconcurso Casa Brasileira has come to an end on May 15th with more than 320 new Wikipedia entries created and 660 other improved. The articles list were curated with the support of a research group from the Museu Paulista, achieving more than 1.000 entries related to the main subject: the Brazilian House.
This is the second wikicontest organized as a dissemination activity for the GLAM-Wiki Museu Paulista. To support the participants and outreach both the museum's research on the Brazilian House and their objects collections now available on Wikimedia Commons, Wiki Movimento Brasil held monthly edit-a-thons with thematic webinars on the theme, along with editing tutorials for new users.
You can find in the images below the winners list and some numbers achieved during the contest:
Wiki Movimento Brasil signed up a new GLAM partnership with the Electronic Language International Festival (FILE), named GLAM-Wiki FILE, in April and we'll start to upload on Wikimedia projects new metadata and files from their collection. This GLAM-Wiki will be dedicated to uplodas from FILE's events, widely known for its festivals in which artists explore new performative technologies, videos, animation and games.
Museu da Pessoa
Another recent partnership set by Wiki Movimento Brasil is with the Museu da Pessoa. Their collection contains around 60 thousand photos, documents and other media files that portrays personal life stories of volunteers. The institution is pioneer initiative in Brazil, setting a virtual and collaborative museum. Soon, we'll start uploading their collections also on Wikimedia projects.
In order to continue to enrich the articles on the history of the borders of Côte d'Ivoire and the route of the colonists, Wikimedia CIV in collaboration with the Contemporary Museum Adama Toungara of Abobo organized for five hours the contribution workshop linked to the 130 years of Côte d'Ivoire project.
Participants and activities
During the workshop, we had recorded
1 new contributor and
7 former contributors.
For this first workshop, we had targeted the articles concerning the Sud-Comoé region because it is from there that the colonists began their route through Côte d'Ivoire.
After the completion of the proofread competition held in collaboration with Two Centuries of Indian Print (TCIP) project of the British Library on Bengali Wikisource, which was reported in the last GLAM newsletter, West Bengal Wikimedians User Group started the third iteration of Rabimas proofread competition which focuses on works written by Rabindranath Tagore. TCIP extended their support by uploading 4 books written by Tagore on Wikimedia Commons, which were scanned under their project. Later on, a python script was developed by Mahir256 to easily download books scanned by TCIP which were stored on the BL website as IIIF manifest and convert them to PDF files. This script is readily being used by volunteers to download from the TCIP collections and convert the books into PDF and later upload them to Wikimedia Commons eventually. Till now, more than 50 public domain books have been uploaded in total. The detailed on-wiki documentation of the collaboration can be found here.
Binodini Dasi playing the role of Bilasini Karfarmar in the play Bibaha Bibhrat
Wikimedia Indonesia organized #1lib1ref online campaign for the first time in 2021. This campaign invited librarians and Wikimedians in Indonesia to participate in adding one reference to Wikipedia articles. Since the campaign started, nine participants have added references to more than 100 pages in Wikimedia projects. Their contributions were tracked by using a special hashtag where the participants should put it in the edit summary: #1lib1refID. This hashtag will differentiate contributions from global participants and Indonesian participants, where participators will place #1lib1ref only in their edit summaries.
For more detailed summary, click this link to view statistics from Indonesian participants.
Online talk show with Wikimedia Nederland
On May 22, 2021, Wikimedia Indonesia cordially invited the Wikimedia Nederland Executive Director Sandra Rientjes and Board Member for Cultural Cooperation Lizzy Jongma to an online talk show. This event talked about how they engaged with GLAMs in the Netherlands and how we can take their examples to approach local GLAMs for a successful collaboration.
Started at 19:00 Indonesia local time (or 14:00 CEST), the event opened by Rachmat and Biyanto as event moderators. Lasted in one hour, there were audiences engaged with the speakers by asking questions, mainly asking how they can contribute or get contents of Indonesia from GLAMs in the Netherlands to assist them in writing Wikipedia articles. The closure of this talk show invited Indonesian and Dutch Wikipedians to an upcoming online meetup that will be held by Wikimedia Indonesia and Wikimedia Nederland.
WikiMarcheGlam is an open cultural network project promoted by AIB Marche in collaboration with MAB Marche and Wikimedia Italia, as part of GLAM projects, that involves experts from Marche (a central italian region), interested in producing and sharing content issued with open licenses on Wikimedia platforms, whether they are digital natives or converted from original papers.
The project was created:
to promote knowledge of Wikimedia open platforms within the network of public and private entities dealing with cultural topics;
to disseminate the use of free wiki tools;
to increase the number of Wikipedian collaborators;
to provide basic training for a group of librarians, archivists and operators;
to increase the content of Marche’s cultural heritage in the Wikipedia and on other wiki platforms;
to identify of the Marche area items to be reviewed/created
to sharing the digital resources present on cultural institutions in Marche region, related to texts or images that are useful to upload in Commons.
We already made activities and workshop on Wikimedia Commons, OpenStreetMap, Vikidia, WikiVoyage and Wikidata, with the aim of training those interested in the eventual activation of a sub-project.
Conference on the Directive (EU) 2019/790 on Copyright
On 16th April 2021 Wikimedia Italy organized an online conference in collaboration with the National Central Library of Florence and Creative Commons Italy with the title "Directive (EU) 2019/790 on Copyright: what prospects for museums, archives and libraries in the digital single market?". The main theme of this conference was sharing and reusing digital reproductions of cultural heritage and the participants were representatives of the central institutions of the Italian State, cultural institutions and national and foreign companies.
Starting with the European Copyright Directive, the conference was a moment to discuss the opportunities that the opening up of heritage can offer to the cultural sector, public bodies, businesses and citizens. Enhancing the accessibility and reuse of digital content, particularly in this historic period, is an opportunity for the revival of Italian culture and cultural heritage, an opportunity for a sector penalized more than others by the pandemic.
AperiDatathon for Wikidata Contest
On 11th May 2021 we held a joint online event with ICOM (International Council of Museums) to talk about the International Museums Day, celebrated on eighteenth of May and the Wikidata competition promoted by Wikimedia Italy, France, Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The competition invited users to improve the completeness and the quality of the data relating to the museums on Wikidata.
Alongside to the competition, volunteers were also asked to contribute for example by improving and completing an existing article, inserting appropriate images and image galleries, inserting links to art collections on museums webarchives and portals, updating info boxes or inserting Wikidata info boxes into Wikipedia articles. Or, for more experienced users to create a completely new article. They could consult the geographic museums map and explore museums with no article, and write about a cultural institution or translate an existing article in a different language. And all this was explained during the AperiDatathon.
As a first step in this cooperation, we have created Wikidata entries for artwork the National Gallery of Kosovo holds. Wikidata is the database of free data, a sister project of Wikipedia. These entries can be now used to easily develop new projects beyond just Wikimedia projects.
Established in 1979, the National Gallery of Kosovo holds works by hundreds of Kosovo, ex-Yugoslav and world artists. The entries created on Wikidata will now allow this artwork to be connected to their authors and other significant artwork by the same authors.
The next phases of the collaboration are the placement of a Wikimedian-in-Residence at the Gallery and holding the first edit-a-thon with the art students of the University of Prishtina.
The Wikimedian-in-Residence will lay the foundation for a more lasting partnership between the Albanian Wikipedia community and the National Gallery of Kosovo. It will promote understanding of Wikimedia among the staff of the Gallery, and will work towards digitizing, compiling, and organizing resources that can be shared with the Wikipedia community worldwide as the collection of the Gallery contains many art pieces of well-known international artists.
Edit-a-thons held with the art students of the University of Prishtina will allow creation of various articles on Wikipedia and improvement of existing ones related to the work the Gallery holds. Edit-a-thons are a great opportunity to bring together communities and create interest for both Wikimedia and the National Gallery of Kosovo.
WoALUG welcomes cooperation with all GLAM institutions.
We have a public Telegram channel (language used mostly Albanian) if you want to join and discuss about Wikimedia projects related stuff. You don't need to be a member to be part of this channel.
If you want to see more about our activities you canː
Over 15,000 images available from Elsinga Collection - Regionaal Archief Alkmaar
In November 2019, during the Wiki Techstorm, participants started writing a script for upload of the Elsinga Collection of Regionaal Archief Alkmaar to Wikimedia Commons. Due to technical challenges, this did not succeed easily. We are happy to report that through the efforts of volunteers over 15,000 images of photographer Joop Elsinga are now available at Wikimedia Commons. About Joop Elsinga:
An Alkmaar (municipal) photographer in heart and soul- (by Regionaal Archief Alkmaar)
Photographer Joop Elsinga (1944) began working for the municipality of Alkmaar in 1967 as an (assistant) supervisor during the construction of various apartment buildings and schools. He then moved on to the Department for the Preservation of Monuments where he remained until his retirement, almost forty years later, as restoration supervisor. In this function he was involved in various projects on historical and iconic monuments such as the Accijnstorentje, De Waag, the Stadhuistoren and the Grote Kerk. Since Joop has been a keen photographer since his youth, the municipality of Alkmaar asked him soon after his appointment to take photographs for them as well.
Of course Joop grabbed this opportunity with both hands. Eventually this resulted in an oeuvre of thousands of photographs and slides of everything that has anything to do with architecture in the city. The vast majority of this extensive collection has been incorporated into the Regionaal Archief Alkmaar and is published, including descriptions, via the digital image bank of this archive. Besides being a professional photographer, Joop has always continued to photograph out of pure hobby. For decades, and until today, he has been very active in Fotoclub Alkmaar, the successor of Fotogroep De Waag. Joop Elsinga, an Alkmaar (city) photographer in heart and soul!
1.9 million records on slavery and slave trade digitally accessible
On 23 April the theme page on the history of slavery was launched. For anyone looking for sources such as archives, scans and search aids about the history of slavery, this theme page is a valuable source of information.
The theme page is the end result of an extensive project of the Metamorfoze programme in cooperation with the National Archives and the KB. Since 2013 they have worked together with nine heritage institutions from the Netherlands, England, Guyana and Suriname to digitise no less than 1.9 million records on the subject of slavery and the slave trade. After eight years of preservation and digitisation work, the archives are now available for everyone to study - with the help of the theme page.
The collection comprises of material from the archives of the West-Indische Compagnie, the Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie slave trade company, the Sociëteit van Berbice, the Sociëteit van Suriname, and the archive of the board of the Nederlandse Bezittingen ter Kuste van Guinea. Even the archive left in Guyana was brought to the Netherlands to be preserved and digitized. UNESCO has listed the archives of the West-Indische Compagnie and the Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie as world heritage, and they are currently being stored in the National Archive and the Zeeuws Archive respectively.
In total, more than 1.9 million restored and digitised records from the archives of the West India Company, the Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie and the Sociëteit van Suriname are involved. The archives contain documents such as ship's logs, plantation lists and letters. Much of the material has not been studied before.
Auckland Museum’sWikipedia in Residence project came to an end this month. User:Prosperosity started at their Museum in January, and the project, funded by Wikicite, aimed to make the Museum’s research, published in the Records of the Auckland Museum and Institute, more widely accessible. Over five months 49 articles were created, 273 articles were edited, 882 references were added and 12 items were uploaded to Commons.link As well as this every article of the Records has been added to Wikidata and a start was made on uploading issues of the Records to Commons.
Two events were also held as part of this project. A meetup at the Museum Library on 9 May, which focused on the Women in Red project, and a workshop on 21 May for staff from the local Auckland GLAM sector about how GLAMs can work with Wikipedia for their mutual benefit. There were also workshops held for Museum staff and a monthly staff meetup has started. A case study was prepared looking at how Museum collections can be better integrated with Wikipedia, and some how to/instruction documents will be made available shortly.
A big thanks to Wikicite for funding this project! This has given us the opportunity to make the Museum's research more accessible, as well as growing our engagement with the local Wikimedia community and we're hoping to build on the momentum and goodwill that this project has enabled, both within the Museum, the local GLAM sector and Wikipedia editing community, by continuing to host regular meetups in the Museum library.
Aotearoa NZ History Curriculum Project funded
Auckland Museum was also successful in its application for a WMF Research grant examining the use of Wikipedia with the upcoming compulsory history curriculum. The project will research teachers attitudes towards the use Wikipedia, as both a resource and a means for students to learn the application of historical method, in their teaching of the upcoming compulsory Aotearoa New Zealand history curriculum. We're really excited about the potential of Wikipedia to complement our on-site education programme and will keep the community informed as this work progresses.
Wikisource in New Zealand
There is only a small Wikisource community in Aotearoa, although User:Beeswaxcandle, one of the project's few admins, is based here. As part of the West Coast Task Force, Giantflightlessbirds decided to have volunteers transcribe some of the collections of the Westland District Library, and it turned out a reasonable number of New Zealand works have been scanned by Google, the Internet Archive, or the Hathi Trust over the years and were ready to import into Wikisource. Giantflightlessbirds blogged about the process of scanning, and Beeswaxcandle while visiting Hokitika gave a presentation to local GLAM representatives, written up here. Several keen volunteers have begun proofreading West Coast-related documents, and some of these have been accessioned as ebooks into the Overdrive collection of a South Island library consortium, where they've now been borrowed dozens of times. These were works that were previously rare or fragile and not available for loan. Giantflightlessbirds gave a presentation on Wikisource to a South Island librarian audience at a weekend workshop in Tūranga on May 15, and will be running a hands-on workshop for librarians at New Zealand's national conference in November.
On Friday the 22 May 2021 Ambrosia10 presented on #1Lib1Ref to a small selection of staff at Te Papa, explaining how to add or improve citations in English Wikipedia. Several experienced New Zealand editors have also been supporting the Wikimedia Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand user group joint effort holding "drop in" Zoom calls to assist new editors contributing to #1Lib1Ref. A few dauys later Giantflightlessbirds ran a Zoom workshop for 20 at the invitation of LIANZA, the librarians' professional association, which was recorded for YouTube.
In 2021 we are continuing the collaboration according to the agreement with the Museum of Natural History of North Macedonia, signed last year. During this collaboration, 120 new articles were created, regarding insects that are native to North Macedonia.
GLAM Macedonia has further extended the cooperation agreement with Writers Association of Macedonia. The mission of this partnership is to fill Wikipedia in Macedonian Language with missing articles about Macedonian writers and poets, as well as taking photos of Macedonian writers in the course of the summer of 2021.
At GLAM Macedonia, we are beginning a new collaboration with the Nacional Park of Galichica, and we are currently in the process of preparing an agreement and a memorandum for collaboration. The goal of this new partnership will be to enrich Wikipedia in Macedonian Language with articles about the rich endemic flora and fauna in Galichica.
Additionally, in the course of this new partnership, and in collaboration with the Nacional Park Galichica, this year GLAM Macedonia will organise the first GLAM Wiki Camp.
Development of activities with the Jewish Digital Library
In cooperation with the Jewish Digital Library, an edit-a-thon was held from May 3 to 9, during which 70 new articles were written, 3 articles were supplemented, and 14 editors participated.
During this event, many important topics for the culture of Jews in Serbia and around the world were covered. As far as 70 articles were written about synagogues throughout the region, famous Jews from all over the world, Jewish culture and religion.
We are satisfied with the achieved results and the diversification of the topics of our activities.
International Musem Day edit-a-thon
On the occasion of International Museum Day, an edit-a-thon was organized from May 17 to 23. During this one-week activity, 12 editors wrote 60 new articles, while 1 article was supplemented. Biographies of famous artists, works of art, and museums throughout Serbia and the world have been written.
One new cooperation on a way
A Memorandum of Cooperation was signed with the Museum of the Rudnik-Takovo Region. This officially marked the beginning of joint activities.
On May 3 an editathon about the Muixeranga took place at the Valencian Museum of Ethnology. The activity was part of the Wikiproject:Muixeranga as a result of the collaboration between the Valencian Museum of Ethnology, Amical Wikimedia, Wikimedia Spain and the Coordinating Federation of Muixerangues on the occasion of the temporary exhibition "Muixerangues al cel" that the museum opened on March 24 on the muixeranguer world.
The aim of this project is to make visible and disseminate the Muixeranga as a manifestation of Valencian popular culture. Its implementation is divided into two parts: the first is dedicated to editing articles on Wikipedia, both in Catalan and Spanish, improving existing ones or creating new ones. The second part, in the form of a photographic contest, is designed to contribute graphic materials to Wikimedia Commons and thus make visible the different groups, figures, costumes, etc. of the entire Valencian community.
The event, which took place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the museum's library, was open to both in-person and virtual participation. Ten people were involved and a total of 32 articles were edited, of which 20 were new, and among them 18 were in Catalan and 14 in Spanish.
Working with UN Human Rights; Aftermath to the fiddler competition; Music manuscripts from the 18th century; Digital visions; Should museums work with Wikipedia?; Wikidata project with museums has results
It was a good contact that also led to a continuation of the story when it was revealed that a memorial stone was erected on the site in 1946. In the uploads from the Swedish Performing Arts Agency, there are later recordings with Carl Gustaf Färje who played cowhorn at Måstäpp (the place for the feast) on Sunday 2 July 1946 when the memorial stone was erected. C.G. Färje was not attending the competition 1906 as he was born ten years later, but there were perhaps some other musicians and people who witnessed both of these historical events - it may be something to look further into next time!
Music manuscripts from the 18th century
Another highlight from the collections of the Swedish Performing Arts Agency are the digitized manuscripts by Johan Helmich Roman, a composer who lived between 1694 and 1758 and is sometimes called "the father of Swedish music". We have started uploading them to Wikimedia Commons, and they can be found in this category. Over a hundred music books have been uploaded so far. After uploading them as djvu files, which are easy to download and read, we are also going to upload the individual scans of every page. They have very high quality and resolution, so they will provide added value to researchers who want to take a really close look at every ink stain.
In May the Council of Central Museums hosted a workshop to update and take their visions and goals for digitization further. Participation from Wikimedia Sverige made sure they had important issues like free licenses, structured metadata and free knowledge in their minds at all time and included that on their way forward.
Should museums work with Wikipedia?
At the May edition of the National Heritage Boardmuseum panel discussion all three panelists, Klas Grinell (Göteborgs University/Göteborgs museer och konsthall), Anna Jansson (Nationalmuseum) and Carl Heath (Rise), agreed on that museums should do more to share their collections on Wikipedia and the Wikimedia platforms. The question came up as a report by Aron Ambrosiani (Wikipedian and digital guru at the Nordic Museum) showed that material and collections shared on Wikimedia Commons and used on Wikipedia gives a significant increase in the number of views they get. The discussion about Wikipedia is available on youtube (starting at around 12 minutes), if your Swedish is still working after the 2019 Wikimania.
Wikidata project with museums has results
Wikimedia Sverige has been working together with two museums, the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm and the National Historical Museums, to improve their Wikidata skills and Wikidatafy their authority databases. There are already tangible results of their work: the museum staff requested that a new property be created, National Historical Museums of Sweden agent ID, and have so far added it to over 2,300 items.
Under the lead of WMCH, the support of ICOM International and together with Wikimedia Austria, Germany, France and Italy we supported IMD2021 campaign with this year's theme "The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine". One more time we launched a successful Wikidata Contest with a different category structure and approach, fully managed by Wikimedia Austria, including the central handling of the prices. 432 users participated in the Wikidata contest this year (181 newly registered) vs. 243 total participants in 2020, approx. 17'000 Wikidata items were edited within two weeks from May 3 to 18, 2021. If you are interested in the project, the winners and the statistical details find more information under the links below:
For this year's edition, we have worked towards a concept to implement the learnings of last year especially regarding the better and more efficient collaboration with the participating chapters. For this purpose we defined clear roles and responsibilities of the involved parties, streamlined decision and working processes.
ICOM International is an important collaboration partner for advancing in our mission to making cultural heritage and knowledge freely accessible to the world. We share the same values and therefore, WMCH focused on strengthening this partnership by involving their team in the beginning of the project and connecting their communication manager with ours in order to coordinate all communication activities as well as aligning the social media campaigns. ICOM International announced our cooperation with the start of our banner campaign beginning of May, 2021. The joint communication efforts directly impacted the visibility of the project in the world and generated many collaboration requests in the cultural sector on one hand but also vandalism on the project page and spam on the other hand. We gained valuable insights this year, which will help us in our future plans for scaling and developing this project further.
Zurich Tanzt Edit-a-thon
When everything comes together: The Swiss Archive of the Performing Arts is part of our GLAM Wiki Network in Switzerland and they participated in the online event at the Solothurner Filmtage earlier this year (see GLAM report Feb 2021), meeting Who writes his_tory and the organizers of the Film festival. They liked the format and concept to cooperate with different parties sharing their knowledge and contributing to the Wikimedia projects, the direct contact with Swiss Women Filmmakers, Festival organizers, Wikimedia community members and the WMCH staff. Out of this experience this edit-a-thon with a similar set-up was launched and marks the beginning of further collaboration.
In cooperation with Wikimedia CH and Who writes his_tory? the SAPA Foundation (Swiss Archive of the Performing Arts) that collects documents and objects of importance to the history of the performing arts and makes them accessible to a wider audience, organized its first Wikipedia edit-a-thon on May 30, 2021, as part of the Zurich tanzt Festival, where contributions to the independent dance scene in Zurich were written and edited. SAPA provided a lot of material on the protagonists of the Zurich dance film role (1979 to 2000). These archival holdings were presented during the festival program on May 17, 2021. Find more information on the project page (German only).
In-Person Edit-a-thon at the City Library of Biel
As mentioned in previous reports, WMCH celebrates 50 years of Swiss women's suffrage and launched a diverse program. On May 29, 2021 the first in-person workshop was organized with the focus on writing articles about 'Frauenbewegungen - Mouvements féministes' Biel-Bienne. In collaboration with WMCH the edit-a-thon was organized by the Biel Frauenstreik collective, and is part of a Wikimedia project that celebrates the women of Biel that fought for the rights of women and the social movements they created to further their cause in Biel and in Switzerland. The workshop was conducted bilingual in German and French.
The ETH-Library is the largest public scientific and technical library in Switzerland. It serves as a central university library for ETH Zurich and a national centre for scientific and technical information. The ETH-Library is cooperating with Wikimedia CH since many years and is one of the most active partners and major contributors to our projects. So far the ETH-Library has uploaded over 55'000 images on Wikimedia Commons and continues to digitize and organize Wikipedia workshops. Their newest project is very ambitious with the goal of having a Wikipedia article with a portrait picture for all historical, emeritus and active ETH professors by 2030, when they will celebrate 175 years of ETH Zurich. For this purpose, the ETH team has started to digitize and upload portrait pictures of their professors from their archival holdings and actively asking their professors to submit a portrait picture under a free license. On May 15, 2021 in cooperation with Wikimedia CH, Nicole Graf, Head of the ETH Image Archive with the support of Diego Haettenschwiler, active Wikipedian and Member of Wikimedia CH organized the first online edit-a-thon to support this project.
In commemoration of the annual International Museum Day on 18th May, Wikimedia Community User Group Uganda held a 2 day training session between 21 and 22 May 2021.
With a target audience of museum curators and workers, we were hosted by the Uganda Society Library.
British Library, Khalili Collections, University of Edinburgh Library
May was the third month of my residency. We were pleased to see some connections come to fruition, such as the Urban Tree Festival, and ongoing bookings for the upcoming Wikipedia Wednesdays series for British Library staff.
We are delighted to welcome our new placement student, Dominic Kane, an MA student from the Digital Humanities course at UCL. Dominic will be with us throughout June, assisting with the India Office Records project.
We were also happy to assist the Endangered Archives Project with their hosting of two interns in early May. Hope.rc and 77Hudsoj did great work bringing previously uncovered heritage to light through their edits.
IFLA’s Wikidata office hours ran throughout June and we were pleased to see contributions and support from a wide range of users and experts, given to an international audience.
Work continues on preparing uploads for the India Office Records Wikisource contributions, including useful conversations and action regarding the potentially harmful content therein.
We hosted the Urban Tree Festival Wikithon, which was a thoroughly enjoyable event. As of 25th May, the statistics were very encouraging, with 11 editors contributing at least 12 articles, editing 48, adding over 12k words and a number of images to Commons.
The Library’s internal Wikipedia speakers will begin in early June.
A new article about the mahmal (a tradition associated with Hajj pilgrimage) was published and passed Did You Know review, as did an article about the Khalili Collection of Islamic Art. This brings the total number of new articles produced by the project to 26, and the number of articles through DYK to 17. There were no new image uploads this month, but a bulk upload of around 700 images of Islamic art is in preparation. For the first time, I was able to go to London to meet with Sir David Khalili and some staff and to consult some publications. This was a chance to demonstrate in person how the Wikidata and Commons representations of the collection offered new ways for the public to explore it, including Histropedia timelines and Wikidata maps.
University of Edinburgh Library
In May we welcomed our Wikimedia intern, Josh Jackson, who will be working with us over the summer to explore how the Library can better engage with Wikimedia projects. A more detailed report will follow in August.
Hackathon outputs, data roundtripping and Asian American heritage
On May 27, Wikidata Lab XXIX (by Wiki Movement Brazil User Group) was held around the topic of data roundtripping with GLAM institutions and Wikidata. Richard Knipel and Andrew Lih spoke about experiences of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in implementing its own data roundtripping practices and was joined by Susanna Ånäs and Éder Porto as discussants.
They covered work previously discussed at Wikimania, WikidataCon and museum conferences such as MuseWeb 21 and Museum Computer Network. A good summary of data roundtripping by Sandra Fauconnier can also be found in a 2019 piece on the Diff blog.
The Wikidata Lab discussion highlighted some new observations for 2021:
The Met has not only contributed images and metadata under its Open Access initiative, it has also brought Wikidata content into its own TMS collections management system, directly storing Q numbers in its database to precisely link its metadata to Wikidata. The fields from the Met API that now link to external databases such as Wikidata include:
Object ID - QID
Constituent/artist - QID and Getty ULAN
Depiction/keywords - QID and Getty AAT/ULAN
This unambiguous link between the Met's metadata and Wikidata provides the foundation for a number of exciting future projects with the Wikimedia community. The presentation concluded with an example of how the data flows have been a virtuous cycle, especially with AI and image recognition projects related to depiction information.
Wikidata Knowledge Graphs without SPARQL
The recent Wikimedia Hackathon resulted in a number of useful upgrades to the PAWS system on Wikimedia Cloud. Read more about them in this month's Special Report.
The Wikidata Graph Browser project described below is an example of a rapid prototyping project performed on the PAWS system during the Wikimedia Hackathon by User:Fuzheado.
Wikidata Graph Browser is a project to provide a friendly graphical user interface for Wikidata knowledge graph creation and browsing. It utilizes the Jupyter Notebook widget system so users can craft Wikidata queries interactively, without needing to learn any SPARQL or Python code. It is available on Github for anyone to try out on the Wikimedia Cloud PAWS service, or by using MyBinder as an execution environment. (Click to launch on MyBinder)
One of the most compelling uses of Wikidata is the creation of knowledge graphs – two-dimensional, graphical visualizations showing linkages and connections among Wikidata items. For GLAM institutions, they can provide insights into collections data by displaying relationships among clusters of information.
The Wikidata Query engine already provides a "Graph" option that performs well across a wide variety of web browsers (and even mobile), bringing Wikidata's connections to life. Early work in advancing knowledge graphs in the GLAM domain was done by Martin Poulter, Wikimedian In Residence at Oxford University. His 2019 blog post "Making Wikidata Visible" showed a technique of explicitly listing all the nodes/items in Wikidata that were of interest.
However, there are a number of challenges in in creating useful and compelling knowledge graphs:
The operator needs to know at least basic SPARQL language code in order to return meaningful visualizations, even if they are copying an example.
The operator needs to know advanced SPARQL code if they want to do anything beyond a basic visualizations.
Even with knowledge of SPARQL, many labor intensive cycles of trial-and-error are required to find compelling insights. There is currently no software systems to support this.
In 2020, Andrew Lih (User:Fuzheado) worked on a tool to help illustrate collections data as the Wikimedia strategist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He developed Knowledge Grapher as a front-end user interface to create knowledge graphs with lists of Wikidata items or article names. The tool also has special modes to browse artists or film makers specifically.
The Wikimedia Hackathon 2021, provided an opportunity to implement a solution as an interactive Jupyter Notebook in the Wikimedia PAWS system. This would help create a more general approach for creating graphs, allowing users to add any number of "facets" to the knowledge graph – artists, GLAM institutions, artwork type, depiction information or genre, among others.
Such an interface could then generate SPARQL code for the Wikidata Query engine, while hiding these complexities from the user. Instead, the operator could focus on exploration and discovery within the data set.
Wikidata Graph Browser (run with MyBinder or visit the Github repository) was designed to provide a fast, point-and-click interface for browsing Wikidata knowledge graphs, utilizing the Jupyter Notebook graphical "ipywidgets" system in Python.
The interface starts up by loading three "facets" which can filter or cluster items for Wikidata Query to render as a graph. By default, any clicking on the interface prepares the query, and will only render a graph when the user selects "Live view" to be "On."
Users can add any number of facets by clicking on the "Add" button or delete facets with "Remove." The "Reset" button will zero out all facets and remove the knowledge graph.
In the current prototype, the facets consist of Wikidata properties oriented towards browsing artworks, seeded with content derived from The Metropolitan Museum of art's collection, but relevant to many art museums because of the wide ranging and encyclopedic nature of The Met's holdings:
instance of (P31)
The list of choices for collection/institution contain more than 200 popular world-class institutions and collections. The other facets have lists of Wikidata's most used items, including more than 4,000 artists and 1,200 depicted themes. All of these are loaded from CSV spreadsheet files for speed, as live Wikidata queries would be prohibitively slow.
After "Live view" is turned on, any click on any list item will immediately bring up the graph in the space below. The response time is immediate, allowing a user to browse graphs within seconds, depending on the complexity of the search.
The interface currently has no safeguards. Therefore, the user has to manage how reasonable their requests are. Trying to show a graph of all paintings, across all institutions that depict a "woman" will likely bring back a flood of items and cause an extreme slowdown in the web browser. As a result, care must be taken to ask for rational or reasonable visualizations. Fortunately, the user can immediately click on other interface elements (or the "Reset" button) to abandon a query that is too lengthy or taxing, causing no long term harm to the browsing session.
Filtering and clustering
The user can also choose to use the facet to filter the query, cluster like-items together around an item for that facet, or both filter and cluster at the same time. Users are encouraged to experiment with settings that achieve the desired result.
A good first test query would be to select three facets:
collection/institution (P195) - Met Museum - Filter
instance of (P31) - photograph - Filter
depiction (P180) - tree - Filter and Cluster
The user can try adding more institutions (or clicking on "Any" to show them all) or changing the "instance of" to paintings or prints. Multiple selections in a list are allowed by Control-clicking (Windows) or Command-clicking (Mac).
Developing this prototype in a Jupyter Notebook environment provides unmatched speed in going from concept to implementation. (The slight downside is that running the tool requires a rather heavyweight container to run Python on the backend, requiring a relatively long startup time when loading.)
In terms of future features and developments, please do feel free to contact the developer, or file an "Issue" at the Github repository. Some ideas already being discussed include:
There is currently no way to save the state of the interface, or even capture the existing query as it was sent to Wikidata Query. It is fairly simple to be able to save the SPARQL code for later use, but saving the interface state in some way so others can replicate it, or re-load it, would be ideal.
The facets are currently ordered for a particular reason, but it would be nice to be able to re-sort them for different needs. For example, they are almost all sorted by "popularity" or "frequency" as indicated by a number next to the facet. The artists are sorted by the number of wiki links that exist for their Wikidata entry, and depiction items are sorted by frequency. A button to sort them alphabetically would be useful here.
One can imagine uses for the tool beyond artworks and museums. Facets don't need to be artists or depiction information, and could instead be biographical info, geodata or publication info. A whole set of parameters could be defined to browse film, literature, sports, fashion or any number of domains. This could quite easily be handled by defining a much longer list of facets. But a more scalable way may be to allow anyone to customize the interface (see next item).
With the current system, configuration parameters are loaded from files - a primary YAML configuration file provides general parameters and one CSV file is defined for each facet. This was done for simplicity and speed. However, one path forward is to load the configuration not from a local file but from a URL, perhaps from a page on-wiki. Other tools in the Wikimedia sphere have used this method of storing a YAML configuration file on wiki, and reading the configuration from there (such as Huggle).
In addition, the possible values for facets could be customized or generated more dynamically. Instead of being loaded from a CSV file, facets could also be loaded from a wiki page, possibly as a table, or perhaps from Commons in the Data namespace. If this configuration was read from a wiki page, one could ostensibly use a tool like Listeria to generate the table from a SPARQL query, allowing people to collaborate on configuring the tool.
On May 26, the Wikimedia Foundation and the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) co-hosted a virtual event on the topic of increasing representation of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in the news, Wikipedia, and across the information landscape. Panelists included:
Andrew Lih, Wikimedian at Large, Smithsonian Institution (@fuzheado)
Lori Matsukawa, former KING TV news anchor, NBC Seattle
Jareen Imam, founding member Women Do News, Director of Social News Gathering, NBC News (@JareenAI)
Anusha Alikhan (moderator), Senior Director Communications, Wikimedia Foundation (@AnushaA100)
More information can be found at the following links, including the Youtube video of the event:
PAWS (https://paws.wmcloud.org) is an often-overlooked coding and development system geared towards those starting out with programming or automated wiki tasks. But it's not just for beginners: it is a full-fledged computing environment being used by dozens of folks for large scale GLAM tasks. Anyone with a Wikimedia login can log into PAWS to try running some basic bot code or just to familiarize themselves with coding tools.
PAWS itself is simply a Wikimedia-specific instance of Jupyter Notebooks, a popular "literate" or "interactive" programming environment useful for experimenting with code. The benefit of running on Wikimedia infrastructure is fast access to servers and data while being automatically authenticated for database actions after logging in.
PAWS is also a general one-click computing container, so it can run a variety of different open source packages. Some of the important innovations that resulted from the Hackathon for GLAM Wiki users:
OpenRefine - OpenRefine is used for reconciliation and data cleaning, primarily to see how a data set matches (or not) Wikidata's items. Of main interest to GLAM folks: you can now run OpenRefine on the Wikimedia cloud servers, via PAWs, instead of downloading it to a local computer and installing it. This is useful for folks who cannot install software on locked-down institutional computers, or those who want to do training for OpenRefine and have been hampered by installation woes for individual users. Having folks login to PAWS and run OpenRefine in the same turnkey environment and version is a huge plus. Another benefit of having this in the cloud: after running a reconciliation session in OpenRefine on PAWS, you can share your working data with others with a public link. If you are logged in to PAWS you can choose OpenRefine from the "New" menu, or you can access it with this link:
SPARQL kernel - If you've ever run a series of Wikidata SPARQL queries but wanted to save them or show a progression of several queries, PAWS can now save SPARQL queries in a Jupyter notebook format. You can make a new SPARQL notebook from the New menu. A sample can be seen here:
JupyterLab - PAWS has a more advanced JupyterLab mode that is more sophisticated in handling multiple files and extensions. By default, PAWS loads up the classic "notebook" view but thanks to the work at the Hackathon, PAWS can now run JupyterLab, and is useful if you're working with multiple files. PAWS starts up in classic notebook mode, but you can visit this URL to run it in JupyterLab mode:
PAWS notebooks as apps - A PAWS notebook can interactively show how code can make Wikipedia/Wikidata edits. But you can also develop a usable app with a point-and-click user interface in PAWS. Thanks to the work of User:Chicocvenancio and User:Yuvipanda, the extension Voilá is now available in PAWS, which allows you to execute a fully functioning standalone app on Wikimedia servers, run under your account.
R and RStudio - PAWS has previously been limited to the notebooks using the Python programming language, but during the hackathon support for R was added. R is a programming language focused on statistical computing and graphics which a be powerful tools when one needs to do data analysis and visualization. In addition to using R in classic notebooks PAWS now also comes with RStudio, an "integrated development environment" which allows you to work with multiply files, tools to debug your code, built-in tutorials, and much more. To get started with R in RStudio, use the link below:
Those working with GLAM know the gap between bots and the tools that have been developed for non-coding data wranglers to upload images to Wikimedia Commons or data to Wikidata. Sometimes these tools get outdated. For the bots, on the other hand, there are not that many that can create them, and this skill requirement becomes a barrier for non-coders to accomplish reasonable results. Jupyter notebooks are coding done in the wiki way. With them, you can achieve almost anything that the bots can do, but you can build upon notebooks that others have done, copy and steal code from others and see the results in real time. They are called notebooks because you can scribble text between the chunks of code, and use the notebooks for explaining what the code does.
My idea going to the hackathon was to be able to reconcile tens of thousands of geographic items to data already in Wikidata. I wanted to find items that are located in the same place and only after that start to compare their names in different languages and other properties. There are many tools that could be tweaked to do that, but the data in Wikidata for my items was so heterogenous that I should be able switch between different approaches. So I started to create a notebook for reconciling based on geographic data. It's just a start. The notebook is not working yet, but I have a sense that it will work! I am eager to learn myself and together with others, and create a library of recipes we can exchange with one another to do the things we need. The story continues... – Susanna Ånäs
Jayanta Nath shared about some of the Wikisource related activities organized by CIS-A2K in the last year such as Wikisource Proofreadathon. He also shared CIS-A2K's plan to hire a developer, with whom they plan to maintain and improve certain Wikisource related tools.
User:KCVelaga shared an update on their WikiCite Project Grant which focused on Wikidata-Wikisource integration and now they are testing on a few Wikisources. They also shared a bot that they are planning to deploy to add Wikidata Item number to Wikisource Index Pages based on the Wikisource main pages that are connected with Wikidata.
As a part of Grants Strategy Relaunch 2020-21, the Community Resources team is setting up regional committees. The primary role of these committees is to be strategic thought partners, using their understanding of the complexities of any region to make funding decisions for grant applications. They will also provide knowledge and expertise to applicants to support successful movement activities.
A hopeful conversation about the next GLAM-Wiki conference
João Peschanski of the Wikimedia Movimento Brasil user group shared his vision for the next GLAM-Wiki conference. João hoped it could be a global onsite conference with online access in 2022, to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Brazilian Independence. He stressed the importance of accessibility, with meaningful attendance from home, and distributed local gatherings. He also acknowledged the uncertainty around in-person organizing, due to the impacts of Covid-19, but wanted to "balance utopia and realism."
João proposed that the conference be co-organized by Wikimedia Movimento Brasil and their museum partner, Museu do Ipiranga, in São Paulo. João shared the video "Um Museu Paratodas, todes e todos - part. esp. Chico Buarque" ("A Museum For All"). In this clip, with world famous singer Chico Buarque (grandson of a former director of the museum, one of the most important critical intellectuals in Brazil, Sérgio Buarque), Commons-uploaded images by Militão Augusto de Azevedo (who produced 12,000 portraits, including some of the first images of African Brazilian, in the late 19th century) are remixed with images from musicians from the University of São Paulo and of the Museu do Ipiranga. The song is about hope and Brazilian culture; it is called "Paratodos" (for all).
A major goal for the conference is to "onboard more people from the Global South to Open GLAM and increase the diversity of the community and knowledge on Wikimedia." João wants to "re-imagine Culture & GLAM-Wiki from the margins."
The two office hours sessions were attended by representatives from more than 20 affiliates and user groups, from the Middle East, the Pacific, Latin America, the United States, Northern and Western Europe, and Central and Eastern Europe. João was commended for starting the conversation and there was strong support for Wikimedia Movimento Brasil as an organizer. The attendees also endorsed the emphasis on a Global South perspective on culture. Building on João's ideas, other participants suggested that the conference invite participants from aligned organizations and create space for communal problem-solving.
The Foundation's Senior Program Officer for Conference & Events Grants, Chen Almog, noted that there is no authorization for international travel right now. She also shared that, during Covid-19, event organizers have been having smaller, local gatherings to tackle local and regional questions, followed by an international remote gathering to bring this together in a wider perspective. Chen has noticed that, at a time when we have lost in-person connection with our communities, organizers are focusing more internally, finding local partners and working with new target audiences. There has also been more experimentation with aspects like professional facilitation, simultaneous translation, pre-recorded sessions, and new platforms for socializing. She encouraged everyone to embrace the flexibility and experiment. The attendees were interested in more advice about remote organizing and Chen shared the following resources:
Attendees also discussed the challenges of remote organizing, particularly in parts of the Global South, where there is a disproportionately high cost for digital access. While remote organizing can work well for established groups, it is more challenging to invite new people into the movement.
Susanna Ånäs, from AvoinGLAM in Helsinki, shared the good news that Hack4OpenGLAM 2021 has been funded by the Foundation and will take place at the Creative Commons Summit, 20–24 September, 2021. She was interested in collaboratively planning the two conferences.
Tas Elias, the Foundation's Brand Collaborations Lead, shared an idea for pre-recorded museum walkthroughs for the entertainment track of Wikimania. Don't forget that the Wikimania Submissions deadline is June 18th, with a dedicated track for GLAM and Education discussion.
During the month of May, two traising sessions have been organised by the WWH UG as part of the group's capacity building program. These sessions are related to QuickStatement and Listeria. Videos are available on Youtube and on Commons: