Activities in Birmingham and Stafford; digitised books in London
By Andy Mabbett (
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
Drawing of Worcester Beacons, Colwall Oaks by Henry Harris Lines
, from the RBSA permanent collection
The first QRpedia code at the RBSA, on a bust of David Cox
On 4 November a backstage pass with editathon was held at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists gallery, facilitated by Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing), who has previously trained the gallery's staff and volunteers to edit Wikipedia. A small team of experienced and new Wikipedians were given access to the the society's small, but richly populated archives and wrote articles about a number of notable past Members and Associates of the Society and took photographs of objects and ephemera. At the end of the day, a number of QRpedia codes were deployed around the gallery. The gallery also donated a CD-ROM containing the digitised contents of the sketch book of Henry Harris Lines, which await uploading to Wikimedia Commons.
Staffordshire Archives and Heritage Service Wikipedian in Residence
Picture of a pre-1968 Staffordshire police helmet, in the collection of Staffordshire County Museum, and donated by them to Wikimedia Commons
Since 13 November, Andy Mabbett has been Wikipedian in Residence at Staffordshire Archives and Heritage Service, which manages Staffordshire County Museum, the Shire Hall Gallery in Stafford, and Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent Archives Service at the William Salt Library. The diverse list of articles improved as a result of the collaboration already include Tolpuddle Martyrs, the film Blanche Fury starring Stewart Granger, the Inspector Morse novel The Wench is Dead, and the George Bernard Shaw play Shakes versus Shav!
Nineteenth Century Books
Andrew Gray, the Wikipedian in Residence at the British Library, has been working with a collection of around 40,000 books made available by the British Library from a previous digitisation program. These are not yet widely available online due to their size, but can be uploaded on request to Commons or to Wikisource. All suggestions for new material are welcome - the collection appears particularly strong in local histories and travelogues.
The first book has been fully transcribed through Wikisource - A Journey in Khorassan and Central Asia, an 1890 travelogue by an English diplomat and his wife in eastern Persia and Russian Central Asia.
- From 5th to 9th November, Andrew Gray and Katie Chan ran a series of four workshops in Edinburgh for the University of Edinburgh, the National Library of Scotland, and EDINA. Around thirty librarians, academics and researchers attended the sessions.
- On 19 November, Andy ran a session on Wikipedia and its relevance to local government (including, of course, museums and libraries) at the HyperLocalWM unconference. He also wrote a piece advocating open licensing, for the unconference's own newspaper!
- On 20 November, Andy spoke about Wikipedia, and GLAM work, in an interview with Jamillah Knowles, for BBC Radio 5 Live's "Outriders". The thankfully pre-recorded interview was broadcast at 3am, but is also available as a podcast.