GLAM/U.S. GLAM Coordinator final report

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See also: Mid-Year Report.

In all of the forward thinking sections - lay out challenges, describe how the solutions will be devised [recommend a group / point to institutions interested in doing the thinking.] Phrase the problem in a way the foundation can solve - identify a potential grantee / group of volunteers. Describe how putting money into it will provide the solution. Make outcomes of this past year actionable—something we can do. In order to fund things, we need the grantees and opportunities in place.


For the year of 2012, Lori Byrd Phillips served as the US Cultural Partnerships Coordinator in order to build the infrastructure needed to support interest in Wikimedia partnerships among cultural institutions in the United States. The ultimate goal for the year was to empower cultural partnerships in the US to become self-sustaining beginning in 2013. This Final Report will assesses the progress made toward the stated goals (priorities) of the position, as well as the challenges currently facing GLAM in the US, and suggestions for actionable steps moving forward.

(Additional details about the goals of this position can be found in the Wikimedia Foundation blog announcement.)


(1) Connecting Wikipedians with GLAMs[edit]

Establishing a system for connecting local Wikipedians with interested cultural institutions.
  • Established a baseline of relationships among Wikimedians and GLAM sector staff (~25 participants total, including both GLAM people and Wikimedians)
  • Laid out a basic structure for introductory wiki pages, and a one-page brochure, to introduce GLAM personnel to the benefits of working with Wikipedia
  • Created opportunity for GLAM staff and Wikimedians to explore bulk upload together
"Connect" page

(2) Establishing a self-service model for GLAMs[edit]

Building capacity to scale volunteer efforts with a self-service model for institutions.

(3) Developing outreach and educational materials[edit]

Developing resources that facilitate cultural professionals contributing expertise to Wikimedia projects.

(4) Promoting development of technical tools for GLAMs[edit]

Identifying missing tools and liaising with technical volunteers to promote creation and improvement.

GLAMs require technical tools supporting several kinds of tasks:

  • Tracking readership and access of specific Wikipedia and Wikimedia pages
  • Tracking volunteer engagement in Wikimedia content related to the GLAM’s holdings and mission
  • Supporting volunteer Wikimedians in incorporating resources and knowledge from GLAMs into Wikimedia projects
  • Supporting GLAM staff in contributing to Wikimedia projects (VIAFbot, mass upload tools, citation or template generators for citing GLAM resources …)

Throughout this year I did my best to ensure that the appropriate parties were working together, and not duplicating efforts, on GLAM-related tool development. The two relevant groups include the GLAM-Wiki Toolset Project team, including representatives from Europeana and Wikimedia chapters, and the Wikimedia Foundation’s Analytics Team. Early in the year, both of these teams were just beginning to articulate the scope of their work in regards to GLAM needs, which meant that I was tasked with maintaining the momentum created through Liam Wyatt’s work towards GLAM tools requirements begun in 2011.

In February I met with Rob Stein, then Deputy Director of Research, Technology, and Engagement at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, to create a list of GLAM analytics needs and rationales. These were shared with the Analytics Team and the GLAM-Wiki Toolset team.

(5) Encouraging self-sustainability[edit]

Developing a model for partnerships with cultural institutions that becomes self-sustaining by 2013.
  • GLAM-Wiki US Consortium
    • List indications that key people in GLAM institutions that have engaged with Wikipedia have open lines of communication with one another
  • GLAM Bootcamp
  • Open GLAM Initiative

Outreach opportunities[edit]

The core method for dispersing these new resources to GLAM professionals, and effectively activating the Portal, Bookshelf, Consortium, and Blog, was through outreach at professional conferences, internal staff workshops, and publications.

From the Mid-Year Report:

Participation in two major professional conferences, the American Association of Museums (AAM) and MuseumNext, provided the impetus for a “watershed moment” in the perception of GLAM-Wiki among museum professionals. These events were a turning point in regards to museum professionals broadly accepting Wikipedia as a viable platform for their institutions. At MuseumNext, speakers were repeatedly singing the praises of Wikipedia as the external platform that institutions should be better incorporating into their digital strategies. It was the first time that cultural professionals were telling each other to connect with Wikipedia; the Wikimedians no longer needed to convince them of “why,” but instead were being asked to explain “how.”

Libraries and Archives continued in outreach as well, particularly with the establishment of a Wikipedian in Residence at the Online Computer Library Center and a Wiki Loves Libraries workshop at Wikimania. Additionally, Wikipedia was strongly represented at the Society of American Archivists in August 2012, and the Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, made a strong case for the ongoing collaboration between cultural institutions and Wikipedia at the closing plenary at Wikimania.

Since December 2011, the list of contacts from cultural organizations interested in GLAM-Wiki has expanded from 24 individuals to over 100. Likewise, the list of formal GLAM partnerships in the US has doubled, going from 12 established cooperations to 24. Some of these new and emerging partnerships include The Getty, OCLC, Biodiversity Heritage Library, Ford Presidential Library, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Motherhood, the Minnesota Historical Society, w:The Henry Ford, the Indiana Historical Society, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to name a few.[1]

The following includes Lori’s work as GLAM Coordinator, and only represents a selection of instances of GLAM-Wiki outreach completed by other Wikipedians and GLAM professionals in the US in 2012.

American Association of Museums[edit]

From TMIG (to trim down):

From April 29 until May 2, 2012, five Wikipedians in Residence gathered in Minneapolis at the American Association of Museums Annual Meeting and Expo. Lori Phillips, Àlex Hinojo, Liam Wyatt, and Sarah Stierch took part in both a virtual and in-person panel Wikipedia and the Museum: Lessons from Wikipedians in Residence. The session described the context of GLAM-WIKI and Wikipedians in Residence, types of outreach events, methods for connecting with the Wikimedia community, and resources for helping museums get started in a cooperation with Wikimedia. Additionally,Dominic McDevitt-Parks led a Marketplace of Ideas question and answer session about how to implement Wikipedia in cultural institutions.

The American Association of Museums (AAM) is the largest museum conference in the United States, serving thousands of museum professionals from around the world through over 150 sessions and workshops on major themes in museum theory and best practice. The AAM Annual Meeting is considered to be the largest gathering of museum professionals in the world, attracting more than 5,000 attendees from the US and abroad. Our participation at AAM offered us an unprecedented chance to illustrate to institutional decision makers - the curators, the exhibit designers, and the museum directors- that Wikipedia is a serious tool that will help them further their missions.

The Virtual Session brought together about fifty cultural professionals and Wikipedians from all over the United States, Canada, and beyond. The in-person session was also attended by around fifty conference participants. During this, the main activity that we prepared for at AAM, the question and answer session went over time and enthusiasm among participants was extremely high.

Throughout the conference, it was clear that museum professionals were interested in more fully engaging with the Wikipedia community. On day one, two sessions independent of us included Wikipedians in Residence and GLAM-Wiki as models for digital collaboration. Wikipedia was also discussed in a session on the future of museum ethics within the context of transparency and openness.

Lessons from Wikipedians in Residence: Online Session: Report: Wikimedia blog: New Media Consortium blog:


Program: “QRpedia” Report: Blog:

Association of Midwest Museums, Indianapolis[edit]

“Wikipedia in the Museum: What, Why, How”

Museum Computer Network, Seattle[edit]

(Neal to share thoughts on Wikimedia Tech workshop).

“Wikimedia Tech Workshop: Bridging the Gap:” “So now what? Next steps in GLAM-Wiki collaboration:” Slides: Notes: Ignite:MCN, “Embracing the Bazaar.”

Additional Outreach[edit]

  • Skype lecture with Andrew Lih’s students
  • Indiana Historical Bureau lecture
  • Wikimania: GLAM Night Out: The GLAM-Wiki US consortium was launched at an event cosponsored by Consumer Reports and OCLC -- two entities that had recently embarked on an exploration of the potential of Wikipedia. This event brought more than 250 Wikimania participants together for a reception, followed by an introduction of the GLAM-Wiki US concept by Lori Byrd Phillips, Pete Forsyth, and Andrew Lih, and finally a panel discussion among experts in financial conflicts of interest in medical information (including OKFN Wikipedian in Residence Daniel Mietchen). The event broadly introduced the value of partnering with like-minded organizations to Wikimedians, and sparked enthusiastic discussions and questions for the panelists that went beyond the allotted time.
  • Wikimania: Wiki Loves Libraries


AAM on Open Authority / Wikipedia IUPUI magazine interview - TCM and Wikipedia Technology in the Arts blog Know Your Own Bone: Open Authority & Wikipedia included in multiple posts Blogging for Wikimedia; assisting with Monmouthpedia post. Midea / NMC blogging for Wikimedia Library of Congress blog Reprograme - Wikipedia article American Historical Association

Additional coordination[edit]

Beyond outreach, a significant portion of my work involved connecting with other Wikimedians, Wikimedia Foundation staff, GLAM professionals, and institutions who wanted to take next steps in coordinating GLAM efforts. This included both internal advocating for GLAM within the Wikipedia community and other Foundation initiatives, as well as external coordination and assistance with expressions of interest from GLAM professionals.


GLAMcamp London[edit]

GLAM Assistance[edit]

Shelley Bernstein / Brooklyn Museum assistance Elaine Rosa / Indiana Historical Society Joy Rose / Museum of Motherhood Bob Corrigan / Encyclopedia of Life Martin Kalfatovich / Biodiversity Heritage Library (Grant letter of support) Molly Huber / MNopedia, Minnesota Historical Society (Grant letter of support) Alex Bortolot, Minneapolis Institute of Art (hosted for research trip in Indianapolis)


Dario: Discussion on expert contributors / GLAM Jami: US Education Program Daria: GLAM-Wiki Conference advising to WM:UK Lane: WikiProject Medicine and overlap with GLAM Mel Chua: Open Education / Hacking and GLAM overlap Old Weather (Asaf: Ongoing) (WALRUS IRC Meetings: Ongoing)



  1. A list of US-based GLAM WikiProjects can be found at WP:GLAM/Projects.