On September 27th and 28th in Bogotá people from many countries visited Colombia to learn, share and participate in the OpenConLatam 2019 that support the open science and open education. The Wikimedia Colombia and the GLAM team ran workshops for librarians and users about Wikipedia as platform for open science and we take this opportunity to strengthen our networks in activities like the do-a-thons on digital humanities, indigenous traditions and the librarian do-a-thon for open science.
In this event Wikimedia Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico participated.
This year Wikimedia Finland and our partner the Finnish Heritage Agency chose to work with a specific theme, The Sacred Place. The fire of the Notre Dame fresh in memory we complemented data about religious buildings. Looking back in time and across cultures, we also added nearly 5000 archaeological sites to Wikidata, but the competition was essentially open for any sentiments of places experienced as sacred. The competition resulted in 1658 photos from 66 photographers and 220 photos from 26 photographers to the rephotography series. The process opened discussions about safeguarding and respecting fragile cultural sites when data about them is openly available. The discussion also emphasised the need for cultural heritage vocabularies across countries and languages in the Nordic region.
Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari excursions
As part of Wiki Loves Monuments and Helsinki rephotography project we did two photo excursions to former closed military islands Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari. The islands belong to the same fortification system as the world heritage site Suomenlinna. Their fortification started in 1554 and increased after the Crimean war in 1854–1855 and in the First World War it was part of Krepost Sveaborg, the imperial Russian system of land and coastal fortifications constructed around Helsinki. After Finland gained its independence in 1917, weaponry of the Defence Forces was stored in Vallisaari until the 21st century. As closed islands with a very small human population, they become the most diverse nature destinations in the Helsinki metropolitan area.
The Finnish Defence Forces gave up the islands in 2008 and Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari were opened to the public in 2016 and now the islands are developed towards tourism. We have been photographing the islands in previous years and now we made a more focused effort to document the change in the islands with a guided tour on September 14th to Vallisaari and a picnic at Kuninkaansaari on September 28th with 15 people in total.
On September 22, wikimedians hold a stand and a workshop at the Champs Libres (Museum of Brittany and library of Rennes) for the European Heritage Days. Like the previous years, we shared the space with OpenStreetMap.
Voleunteers in Padang City continued to scan-a-thon more collection of Minangkabau Culture Documentation and Information Center. More than 7,780 images produced during five days of activities. The images then are being processed before they are uploaded to Wikimedia Commons gradually.
Wikimedia Italia organized the first edition of the "Wikimedia project for GLAMs" summer school, which was held in BASE Milano fro 9th to 13th of September. Sixteeen students followed a full week about Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons and Wikisource and their usese in partnerships with cultural institutions. An edit-a-thon was kept as workshop, here are the results and the project page (in italian).
Open cultural heritage; More libraries in Africa on Wikidata; Global MIL Week 2019 Feature Conference; Kulturhistoria som gymnasiearbete; Wiki Loves Monuments
The National Archives and Digisam organized an afternoon about open cultural heritage where representaitves for the Agency for Digital Government, an open data initiative involved in measuring air quality, Wikimedia Sverige and Digisam talked about different aspects of open data and the relation to cultural heritage. Axel Pettersson connected the cultural heritage to Wikidata and different tools developed to improve Wikidata and to reuse data in various ways.
In total, Wikidata now has items for ca 800 African libraries, which is why we are very excited about this upload – even though there is still a lot to do, it made a real improvement to the really bad coverage.
UNESCO's Global MIL Week 2019 Feature Conference took place 24–25 September in Gothenburg, Sweden. The theme was MIL Citizens: Informed, Engaged, Empowered. The participants included educators, librarians, journalists, scholars and other professionals interested in supporting and developing Media and Information Literacy initiatives all around the world. A Wikimedia Sverige staff member was also there to give a presentation about our collaboration with the National Library of Sweden around linked open data. We emphasized the role of the Wikimedia projects in developing citizens' information literacy and critical thinking skills, as they do not merely provide information but encourage active participation. The library collaboration context was especially interesting given the theme of the conference, as libraries have traditionally been on the forefront of providing information access and relevant education to the general public.
Kulturhistoria som gymnasiearbete
During September the fourth year of Cultural heritage as Secondary school project started as a collaboration between the Nordic Museum and Wikimedia Sverige. Around 30 students will participate and as part of their projects create or improve articles, upload images, add to Wikidata and learn more about the Wikimedia projects. The articles edited in last years project has so far had over 192 000 views.
Wiki Loves Monuments
2 650 images of archaeological monuments, protected buildings, working life museums and listed ships were uploaded through the Swedish part of Wiki Loves Monuments this year. Currently the jury is working hard on judging all the images in order to have a result ready before the end of October.
Oxford, Khalili Collections and Endangered Archives
I (Martin) gave a 1.5 hour presentation and discussion for 11 University of Oxford public relations staff, explaining how to get changes made to Wikipedia in accordance with the site's policies and terms. I also took part in the Berlin/Oxford Summer School on Open Research, delivering a two hour training workshop on Wikmedia platforms (including Wikipedia, Wikidata and Scholia) for open science. Due to a combination of factors, this workshop had to be rescheduled at the last minute, and so only two trainees were able to attend, but they got a very personal session in which we improved their work's representation on Wikidata. The slides have been shared in the event's Open Science Framework profile.
A staff member from the Rare Books department of the Bodleian requested a meeting to discuss how to raise awareness about this collection, and I suggested openly licensing the text of lay summaries they have already written.
I have been working on a final evaluative report for my two year project on search-and-discovery for libraries and museums, and separately on a paper about Wikimedia and universities. Both will be available in October.
Initial work has begun on this new partnership with the Khalili Collections, a superlative set of private collections that includes the world's largest private collection of Islamic art. This involves MartinPoulter in a volunteer capacity. Twenty-one images, crossing the eight collections, have been freely shared and added to Category:Khalili Collection on Commons, with a total of 1,000 to come in future. The partnership has been covered on the Museums Association web site.
I also met with a cataloguer from the British Library's Endangered Archives programme (official site) (Wikidata). They have a large collection of images of items (photographs, manuscripts, etc.) from archives in the Global South, especially Africa but also South America, Asia and Eastern Europe. The images are non-free but there is the possibility of describing the items on Wikidata. They have been using OpenRefine on the archive data so are getting Wikidata identifiers for South American personalities depicted in photographs. We had a long discussion and looked at examples of how photographs are modelled on Wikidata, and how the data can be seen in tools such as Reasonator.
On October 1-3, the Smithsonian Institution held their 2019 Digitization Conference at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Andrew Lih presented about Wikidata and his work with the Smithsonian on the Wiki Art Depiction Explorer and the Wikidata Game employing AI and machine learning with The Metropolitan Museum of Art (read full blog post).
If you are active in the international Wikimedia community, there is a good chance that you have participated in one of the movement’s annual campaigns: #1lib1ref, Wiki Loves Monuments, Art+Feminism, CEE Spring, Wikipedia Asian Month, Wiki Loves Africa and so many more short term or long term campaigns. These events inject energy, focus and new content onto Wikimedia projects and are often one of the first activities that helps a group of organizers to come together and form affiliates.
However, if you closely who runs most of the large campaigns in the movement, they frequently include very experienced organizers. These organizers have a very complex set of skills and experiences: understanding of our technical tools, a wide network of organizers in the Movement, understanding of general communications practices, deep insight into our onwiki communities and experience teaching new organizers. Folks with this complex of a wiki-resume are not a large group of people.
Yet at the same time new organizers and contributors to the Wikimedia movement often learn about the movement through campaigns, and more experienced organizers and contributors often “level up” their involvement becoming more deeply invested and learning new skills as they support campaigns. Quite simply campaigns strengthen the movement.
If the movement is serious about its 2030 direction – to become “the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge, and anyone who shares our vision will be able to join us” – then we need to design more intentional, directed approaches for inviting and supporting new contributors while collaborating better with partner institutions who share our Vision. In my mind, this means that more organizers in the movement need to be able to run content campaigns.
My colleague Satdeep Gill and I have been working the last few months to identify and document the major practices and tools used by campaign organizers in the movement, and with that documentation to draft a framework describing the activities involved in each campaign. With this framework, we hope to be able to write better documentation, better support and orient new campaign organizers, build tools more focused on key stages in campaigns, and, perhaps, one day, support a continuous calendar of campaigns that speak to the many motivations and kinds of content in the Wikimedia movement.
Yet, our framework is still a draft! As with many things in the Wikimedia movement, the expertise and experiences that people have developed running their own contests and campaigns are spread out throughout the movement. We need your help in refining what we have learned so far, to help us make the framework helpful!
This summer Wiki Education facilitated its first round of Wikidata training courses and an in-person workshop. As Wikidata gains traction in professional GLAM communities, Wiki Education hopes to support professionals who want to incorporate open data practices into their work. The results of these efforts have demonstrated not only support for participants' professional interests but also how their contributions can make Wikidata more representative and equitable for all. In creating these courses for the GLAM community and beyond, our staff at Wiki Education endeavored to design a dedicated, comprehensive, structured Wikidata course to train new editors how to edit Wikidata, regardless of linked data or Wikidata experience.
To create the curriculum, several community members were gracious enough to spend time with with us, helping us distill existing resources (tools, case studies, slides, and trainings), sharing best practices, and imparting pedagogical advice to help build a cohesive and digestible Wikidata curriculum for professional development courses. You can see the finished Wikidata training modules here, which are free and open to everyone.
38 newbies have participated in two paid online courses and one in-person workshop so far. During the workshop, which took place in New York City in July 2019, GLAM professionals (specifically librarians) expressed specific wants and needs they had about Wikidata that will help shape our future curricula. The first six-week long online courses flew by with participants making hundreds of edits. 13/14 of those online participants who took our end-of-course survey say they'll absolutely continue editing. We look forward to seeing how they will incorporate Wikidata into their professional lives. We currently have one course in progress and two starting later this month. To learn more, get involved, or stay updated, visit wikiedu.org/wikidata.
The Wikimedia Foundation is looking for a Senior Program Manager in GLAM and Culture. The role will be leading the GLAM team and focused on developing a strategy to support the international community of practice working on GLAM-Wiki. Please help us find someone who is qualified and can help us represent the global diversity of institutions and professionals working in the space. Please share the job listing widely. Or share, the our Tweets about it or LinkedIn Posting.