Medals, maps and multilingual marvels
Royal Society of Chemistry
The Royal Society of Chemistry's Robert Boyle Prize for Analytical Science medal, 2014. image taken by Wikimedian in Residence, Andy Mabbett
Andy Mabbett's residency at the Royal Society of Chemistry is ongoing. Highlights in November included the making of images of RSC award medals and the creation of Wikidata entries for each of the RSC's medals and awards. The tagging of the recipients' Wikidata items is ongoing. The collaboration with Catalan Wikipedians and chemists based in Catalonia, to translate key chemistry articles from English (see last month), continued. Andy also started a blog aimed at non-Wikipedians. See the project diary for other news.
- mechanical curator
The British Library released a million images scanned from old books. This collection was first loaded onto Flickr so that crowdsourcing could take place.
In particular Wikimedians and Open Street Map worked with the British Library on a project to find maps and floor plans among the million with the ambition to find 10,000 amongst the million files.
Approximately 10% of the million images were checked in an event on the 31st October and another 75% in the month of November. By the 9th December almost 95% of the million images had been checked and nearly 22,000 images identified. Subsequent steps will include geotagging and uploading to Wikimedia Commons
Three National Libraries cooperate on open content
A meeting was organised between three national libraries: the National Library of Scotland, the British Library and the National Library of Wales on 6 November 2014 to discuss cooperating on open information projects.
The Natural History Museum has donated two high tech scanners to Wikimedia UK for us to lend out to museums, archives and others who can make good use of them.
- One Welsh local authority requested more info for use in county archives. Discussions are ongoing.
3 venue editathon WW1 & Dissent
On the 22 November, a three venue editathon was held on WWI and Dissent, starting in Birmingham and Senate House Library, London and moving on to Kansas City.
Aside from new and improved articles using access to material at the Libraries, we were also able to show someone from a relevant magazine how to upload images:
Women's Peace Crusade poster.jpg
Women's Peace Crusade poster
- It's GLAM up North! By PatHadley
One hundred and fifty accredited museums! Ranging from tiny, volunteer-run collections in village halls, to national scientific and and industrial museums; Yorkshire has an over abundance of GLAMwiki potential. Now, nearly six months into a regional GLAMwiki project, I (PatHadley) am beginning to uncover some of the treasures in the county's collections and help museums through the various challenges to digital openness and working with Wikimedia.
Though the initial results may look small, they are hopefully signs of much bigger things to come. Firstly, there has been a great response from one of Yorkshire's smallest museums: Shandy Hall. This former vicarage in the village of Coxwold was the home of the innovative writer Laurence Sterne and has begun releasing images of the site and high-quality scans of artwork related to Sterne's life (in this Commons Category). This has already led to several images making their way onto English Wikipedia on Sterne's biography and the articles on his key books: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman and A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy. There are plans for many more images to be released and the curators have set up a Wikipedia training session with English Literature students from Northumbria University to help improve content related to Sterne. There are also factual resources on the Sterneana pages of the Laurence Sterne Trust (who run Shandy Hall) that can help Wikipedians improve this related content.
- First uploads from Shandy Hall
Sterne and Grisette by Abraham Solomon
Old Kitchen fire at Shandy Hall
Tristram Shandy First edition spines
West entrance of Shandy Hall in snow
A new directory for GLAMwiki?
One pilot scheme in the project has grown out of a talk at Wikimania. This is an attempt to create a uniform directory of pages for GLAMs involved in GLAMwiki in order to provide an easy-to-navigate place for GLAM professionals and Wikipedians who may find the sprawling plethora of GLAM project pages confusing. This proposal got a very positive reception at Wikimania and staff at the three best presented directory pages (National Media Museum, Shandy Hall, York Museums Trust have been thrilled at the clear representation of their work. It is hoped that a directory of global GLAMwiki projects can be built in this way and that the discussion pages on each directory page can become a useful space for Wikimedians to engage with GLAM staff.
Fifty thousand open images
The most dramatic victory so far has been that the host institution, York Museums Trust, has embraced open licensing as a whole. This means that the entire collection catalogue of 160,000 objects is now online. 50,000 of these objects are accompanied by free-to-use images on en:CC-BY-SA or en:Public Domain licenses.
Two of the galleries in this article show a handful of the best images that have already been transferred to Commons. It is hoped that this is the first of many transfers and there are plans to use the GLAMwiki Toolset to perform mass uploads.
So what's next? More of the same! Big museums such as the National Media Museum are in discussions about licensing and their image archives. At the other the end of the spectrum, I am working with York Museums Trust's digital team to provide small sites such as the Stewart Museum with the capacity to photograph some of their key objects and improve their digital openness. Wikimedians are encouraged to get in touch (on Wiki or by email) if they have ideas for the project or ways in which Yorkshire's museums can strengthen particular gaps on Wikimedia sites.
- More highlights from YMT's online collections
Preserved hair from a Roman coffin found in the 1870s during excavations on the site of York Railway Station.
A medieval stained glass roundel of a King
The Yorkshire Network Project is coordinated by PatHadley as the Regional Wikimedia Ambassador. It is hosted by York Museums Trust and funded by Wikimedia UK as part of the global GLAMwiki project
Science Museum Late
- A night in the Science Museum by Roberta Wedge
One of the photos taken at the event
On the last Wednesday of every month, the Science Museum throws open its doors for an adults-only evening called a Late. WMUK collaborated with them for the event themed around the Information Age on 26 November, when close to 4000 mostly 22 to 35 year olds got to engage with multiple Wiki projects. We had dozens of WMUK volunteers helping these visitors record their voice for Wikiproject Spoken Wikipedia and upload their photos of the new gallery to Wikimedia Commons. These Lates are known for drinking and thinking: at the more serious end of the spectrum, visitors listened to one of the founders of Wikiproject Medicine, and at the more lighthearted end, they crowdsourced found poetry. In between, volunteers circulated, asking them to complete our brief questionnaire. "What would life be like without Wikipedia?"
Welsh language site Cymdeithas Edward Llwyd is trialling the use of images from Commons to illustrate its 'Species Dictionary'. This can be viewed here. Type in 'Buwch' and view the ladybirds.
Fae has created a tool which logs usage of images and other stats for GLAM bulk uploads and other sets. You may view some examples.
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