Wikipedia talk:GLAM/Smithsonian Institution

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WikiProject Smithsonian Institution-related (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of WikiProject Smithsonian Institution-related, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the Smithsonian Institution and related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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Article development and general Institution resource access[edit]

In my opinion, one of the most valuable things that Wikipedians can offer to any cultural institution is the development of articles related to their primary purpose and the increased access to their internet available resources through Wikipedia-community-rules-appropriate external linking. This should include the use of their resources for appropriate referencing, further reading when the source goes above and beyond the depth of the article, and general linking to primary source material, such as photographs, archival documents, etc., and bibliographic and other topic appropriate research tools. This can be facilitated through:

  1. Institute sponsored activities, which bring users together for group editing and offer facilities and resources to the community
  2. Coordination of a list of articles such as which the institution thinks ought to be covered, but are not already created
  3. sponsorship of a Wikipedian in residence who can communicate the Institutes needs to the community and can make productive edits on the Institution's part

Sadads (talk) 14:02, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

With regards to #3, I know the SI specifically has expressed interest in having their curators do this sort of thing. I believe WM DC would be a great resource to sit down and teach those curators how to edit. There is a distinct method to how to bring Wikipedia to academic/cultural professionals -- we have some experience from the NIH Wikimedia Academy. I am more than happy to volunteer for this task, and if this goes well, I think there is also the possibility of cross-referencing some of our work with the Public Policy Initiative, at least insofar as the subject matter crosses over (perhaps in the American History museum, for instance). That may sound a little strange, but this sort of thing is very much along the lines of what they are doing, but targeted towards a different audience. If it is possible to make these two audiences cross over and mingle (public policy, and curator) then we can utilize this resource as well. SWATJester Son of the Defender 07:05, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Some suggestions and comments[edit]

I am going to levy my suggestions here so that the project page can stay clear for the developement of SI interaction. Here are some thoughts I have about interactions with SI. Both WP and SI have strong points and weak points. One of the strong points of SI is that it has tens of millions of items but a significant weakness is that it can only display about 2-3% of its inventory at any given time. WP is accessible to all in the world via the internet and can provide the museum a way to get visibility on some of the items that may not be visible in one of the museums. Also in the case of WP anyone can have a hand in ensuring its up to date but this same positive can also be a drawback. Just brainstorming here:

  • I stated the above because we should be prepared to discuss the positives and negatives of WP and SI and how the 2 working together will be beneficial to the other.
  • We could create or expand a category for articles relating to SI. Another option could be a Wikiproject banner on the talk page and or task forces under the various wikiprojects.
  • WP is also a good medium for storing public domain images and could offer assistance with image restoration assistance. There are several volunteers that are very good at restoring historic images.
  • WP offers a good way for SI to request additional information regarding items via the articles talk pages or the GLAM SI page you created so if for example they wanted an image, they could post an image request and see if anyone has one.
  • We could also tie in to some of the various wikiprojects such as BIO, Milhist, US, etc.
  • The British Museum project has been experimenting with the use of an article priority to gauge the importance of the various articles in WP relating to the BM. That might be useful here as well after more details are flushed out.
  • As another user stated SI could also provide a place for wikipedians to meet and develop articles in relation to SI.
  • SI could provide assistance, expertise and resources to develop SI related articles.

--Kumioko (talk) 15:21, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Hi guys, I previously met with the Smithsonian American Art Museum's director, and we worked out a plan that would release a large number of their digital collection under CC-BY-SA on Commons, in exchange for getting good quality information on the articles and image pages, complete with descriptions, accessions numbers, etc. They would love to do this sort of thing, but their biggest problem is that they lack volunteers to do it. Unfortunately, as best I know the plan got lost in a personnel shuffle once things were turned over to the WMF. However, if we are willing to handle this as a Wikimedia DC, I would be willing to reengage with discussion wherever I can. The biggest thing for me is that I do not want us to look like amateur-hour by stepping on the WMF's toes, or by dropping the ball on our end, or by approaching GLAMs for outreach on things that have already been negotiated in the past. If we can all agree that these are things to avoid doing, and that we should use the institutional memory of the entire WMF community (i.e., myself for my prior work, people like David Gerard, Gerard Meisjin (I know I spelled that wrong, but eh) or Mathias Schindler, or Lennart Guldbranson (again, spelling)) we can make this work. SWATJester Son of the Defender 07:02, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

The WMF has actually in the last year or so decided not to pursue GLAM projects itself in a direct centralized way, and instead focus on the goal of enabling local communities to do so, and so I would consider this very much within the orbit of groups like Wikimedia DC.--Pharos (talk) 17:07, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
That works for me as well. The DC area has an extremely active cadre of volunteer editors and oddly and cooncidentally a very strong concentration of expereinced editors. I have also been constructing a WP banner for SI which can be viewed here User:Kumioko/Sandbox 10. I was thinking of adding some "task forces" based on the Museum the artifact would reside in but I wasn't sure all that was necessary since there are multiple museums dealing with Air and Space, Art and History. For example I think it would be sufficient to simply have Air & Space, American history, Natural history and Arts and culture. Of course these are just examples and could be changed. For know though the basic core template is created. --Kumioko (talk) 17:24, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
In followup to my previous post I also don't want us to look like a bunch of chumps. So with that said has anyone got some finalized ideas of what questions the SI is likely to ask or what questions we want to ask them? In regards to your previous post about prior dealings between SI, WMF and other editors I think we should try and determine before we arrive what ever came out of that so we don't reinvent the wheel. I als believe that we should wait until after the meetup before creating a WP for SI but if things seem to go well I personally believe that there are more than enough topics related to SI, the various artificts and museums to warrant its own project and potentially a future portal. --Kumioko (talk) 17:29, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
I have some personal experience with GLAM-Wikimedia relations in NYC, and have been in contact with a wide range of other Wikimedians involved in these issues as well. As said, I'm going to be working with User:Sadads on a kind of action plan for the meeting.--Pharos (talk) 17:41, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Thats good to hear, thanks to the both of you for taking the initiative and the lead on this. As several have stated before we here in DC have a huge array of possibilities for collaboration in the DC area (NIH, LOC, SI, Archives, Navy and Marine Corps museums, DANFS, etc) and if we do this right and act appropriately we have the opportunity to gain access to huge amounts of information for WP. --Kumioko (talk) 17:47, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
On the project stuff, we will probably operate as a sub project of GLAM, just because it puts us in the center of a community of users who have done similar outreach/activites. I will clean up the WP template tonight, but lets not start setting up the assessment stuff until we figure out what the SI wants from us and what we plan to do with the SI. Sadads (talk) 17:54, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
I agree on the assessment stuff and feel free to work on the template. I created it with a very vague idea of what was taking place and you and Pharos have a better understanding as you are the ones who have done much of the work thusfar. Let me know if you need any help with it. One question though and excuse the ignorance here but what does GLAM stand for? --Kumioko (talk) 18:06, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
methinks: "Something-starting-with-a-G Libraries and Museums" Sadads (talk) 19:12, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Ahh that makes sense. I bet the G is Galleries. --Kumioko (talk) 19:35, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
It's "Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums". For the amazing story of how this basically Australian acronym has rocked the Wikimedia world, please see meta:GLAM.--Pharos (talk) 17:50, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
I am sure this has already been discussed and its a little off topic but perhaps once we have completed this endeavor we could explore doing a sort of WikiGLAMDC conference and invite the various organizations in the area to meet such as the NIH, LOC, SI, Archives, Navy and Marine Corps museums, DANFS, etc rather than approach each one individually. The Defense imagery and various branches of the military could also be good sources of info. I have already gotten info from the USMC and Navy in the past and they have both told me bluntly that if they have it we can have it and the USMC told me if I provide the CD's they'll fill them full of images (I already have about 10, 000 but thats only a fraction of what they actually have).--Kumioko (talk) 18:06, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
I think the beauty of what is going on here with the SI, is that they want to be part of the action, so right now we can run test programs, whereas a broader meetup requires much more commitment and resources on our part. Sadads (talk) 18:44, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Current categories relating to the SI[edit]

After reviewing the categories and articles related to the Smithsonian institute I have found the following:

So in general it appears that the list of articles tagged as related to SI is currently pretty limited. I do not think we should need to tag every species of plant and bug on display at the SI museum but in my opinion we probably should have a category for Smithsonian Insitute Exhibits and include the the larger pieces such as the Airplanes, major topics such as the hope diamond, maybe certain fossils (again not all), and the like. Perhaps broke down by museum such as category:Dulles Air and Space museum exhibits --Kumioko (talk) 15:44, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

The categories defintely need some serious work, and I think your idea about a project tag like they are doing with the BM sounds great. It would be a first big step towards figuring out what we have, and then reclassifying it into the appropriate organizational categories. The new interface for the Assessment chart system will also make that much, much easier. Sadads (talk) 15:53, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Training at the SI[edit]

Per Swatjesters suggestion in the first section, WikiMedia could offer training and development courses for SI staff about the proper use and application of Wikipedia in relation to cultural institutions. The activities with the NIH provide a workshop that could provide a model for such activities. Sadads (talk) 16:27, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

The NIH had some good learning lessons, and is a good place to start, but I think a model would need to be tailored to the SI to be successful. Although, we have the benefit of SI having a more willing crowd than those at NIH, I think. I get the impression there are many SI curators who WANT to be doing Wikipedia pages, and just don't know how, but will take the time to learn; as opposed to the NIH crowd, where not all of them saw the benefits. SWATJester Son of the Defender 05:40, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Category questions[edit]

I have so far added the new artifacts on display cat to about 50 articles and due to that have increased the number of SI related page views from 100, 000 to 330, 000. I am going to create a separate category for Animals soon for the animals at the zoo and some other named animals such as the Pandas at the zoo and Sergeant Stubby. I have run across a few issues that I would like to discuss though.

  1. Some items on display are the sole survivors so I went ahead and added the category to those few (there are about 5 or 6 so far) who are on display and are the only remaining of their kind. This has come up in the Wikiproject Aviation page so in fairness I wanted to also mention it here.
  2. I have run across several objects such as some paintings, famous named diamonds, etc that have been but are not currently on display at the SI. My question is should I create a category to capture these objects? Something like X (were X is equal to the object type such as Paintings, Jewels or Aircraft) that have been displayed in the Smithsonian Institution. This would be for objects that have been, but are not currently displayed in the Smithsonian and does not belong to their collection. --Kumioko (talk) 21:45, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Signpost article and Outreach Wiki blurb[edit]

Hey all, if you want to spotcheck the article at Signpost and the blurb I added at the [1] for this weekends meeting please do so. Sadads (talk) 11:25, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Made some minor copyedits, but the blurb looks great. Thanks for taking initiative. --Aude (talk) 17:55, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Named animals at the Zoo and other named artifacts[edit]

I have run into a couple more issues with the Smithsonian articles that I would like to request some clarification on.

  1. We currently have articles for some of the named animals at the zoo and my question is should others have articles as well if the Animal is a specific named animal and multiple sources are available. For example: Haloko, Mandara, Kigali, and other named Gorillas, etc. All of them have info available on multiple sources and as far as I can tell do not have articles. I believe that if the animal has an actual name and that named animal is identified specifically in sources we could probably add an article for it. Just my opinion.
  2. There are numerous pieces of Art, Jewelry, etc that do not yet have articles. My intention is not to create an article for every sketch, rock and stone but if the item is a named Diamond then we would probably be ok to have it as an article. In the case of the paintings and named artwork there pretty much all notable in some way so I think that there is little debate here but I wanted to post it here anyway.
  3. I recommend starting a page for SI articles that have not yet been created. This will allow us in both identifying which ones we are missing (likely to be quite a few initially) and will allow us to see as new ones are created. Does anyone have input on this suggestion? --Kumioko (talk) 01:52, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
  1. Named animals are relevant articles because they are directly related.
  2. &3 Named objects with scholarship are relevant, therefore should probably be put on a list of articles that need to be created. If you want to start one that would be awesome.
Sadads (talk) 17:51, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Ill start building the page. I already got about 20 or thirty but Im sure there are plenty more. --Kumioko (talk) 19:46, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
I look forward to this page, sounds like a great idea.--Pharos (talk) 23:55, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
I created the page and linked it to the GLAM/SI page. Its just a bare page for now but we can add to it as we find articles that need to be created. --Kumioko (talk) 02:48, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Zoo-related content would be especially neat. FYI - OpenStreetMap has done some mapping at the Zoo, and needs to follow-up to get it finished. It would be great to see good Wikipedia content and integrate it with the map/data. --Aude (talk) 17:57, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

What are the rules and policy for attaching or linking the openstreetmap of the zoo to the Zoo article? --Kumioko (talk) 18:04, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
OpenStreetMap has similar licensing as Wikipedia (CC-BY-SA / Open Database License) [2]. It's fine to include maps, though it would be nice to take the OSM data and make a custom map of the zoo. I'd be interested in doing that. --Aude (talk) 20:47, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Maybe we should contact Wikipedia:WikiProject Zoo about these, and standards for format, notability, etc.--Pharos (talk) 03:49, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea. I figure at the last we could probablu create a list of named animals at the national zoo or something. --Kumioko (talk) 20:27, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
We can put links to them and find a contact at WP:GLAM/SI/WikiProject Embassy I took the liberty of making the page.Sadads (talk) 21:04, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Good idea thanks.--Kumioko (talk) 21:10, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

SI related article banner[edit]

I just wanted to start a discussion on how liberal we want to be about the SI related talk page banner. With the categories we are being fairly specific. For example even though the SR71 is on display it would not get the SI Category because there are several around. My question is would it be appropriate to place the SI related banner on the talk page of the SR71 article. This is just one example. Other examples would be unnamed animals at the National zoo such as zebras or objects on display such as minerals, fossils or other more generically defined items on display at the museums. I just want to raise this before we get too far along so we are all on the same page. --Kumioko (talk) 02:33, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

The SR71 should probably not be in the list, because we have no way of specifying which SR71 is SI-related. However, once collaboration begins, the SI curators may wish to edit some of these broader pages, that don't neccessarily fit this "SI-related category" directly. I think when that happens we will need a template akin to Template:GOCE or Template:EducationalAssignment or we will need to decide that even those fall within the direct scope of the project. Wow, that is a concept: Direct vs. Indirect scope. Direct functions explicitly within the subject matter whereas indirect is related to the articles written by Wikipedians, volunteers and employees as part of the collaboration. Sadads (talk) 17:57, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
I like the Direct vs. Indirect scope concept, and find myself in agreement with the Template:EducationalAssignment analogy.--Pharos (talk) 23:54, 29 June 2010 (UTC)


I've been of the opinion that I would like to see Wikimedia NYC expand its scope to include DC and Boston as a regional chapter.

With this outreach initiative with the Smithsonian, the public policy initiative and other activities, I think we ought to think about proceeding with either expanding Wikimedia NYC or what would be needed to establish Wikimedia DC.

The chapters system seem to be the way that resources get distributed to the community.

Thoughts? --Aude (talk) 17:51, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

My opinion is that we could begin as a regional chapter of NYC but working towards the goal of establishing a DC chapter to include the Baltimore - Richmond areas. Since NYC is relatively close and has a solid base of active members it would be good to use them as a foundation. Since we here in DC also have a solid pool of members and active participants with a very large number of public resources (battlefields, museums, monuments, archives, libraries, etc) we certainly have the resources to be successful ourselves. IMHO. --Kumioko (talk) 18:02, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
For right now, User:Pharos has agreed to support the expansion of legal support from their end to cover us ( Which means that we could sign an agreement with SI using Wikimedia NYC as our legal parent). But my thought is that regular events with the SI will help us solidify as an org. I mentioned to some of the SI staff that regular use of some of their meeting space may make our plans to organize into a regular org more effective. She responded that she would keep it in mind, but first we have to prove that our activities benefit the SI enough so that kind of support from the SI is warranted. Lets concentrate on organizing the first couple SI events, let NYC help us through these first couple events and then come back to the issue when we have a little broader support from the SI. Sadads (talk) 18:12, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree, kinda what I said, only you have a better way of saying it..:-) --Kumioko (talk) 19:35, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Yep, you had it, just giving my 2 cents. Sadads (talk) 19:39, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Sounds like a good plan :) --Aude (talk) 20:48, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Wikimedia NYC would be quite glad to help in any way we can for the present, with the eventual goal I guess of consolidating as a kind of decentralized "Wikimedia East Coast".--Pharos (talk) 02:21, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

New look[edit]

Could we develop a variation on a table of contents, that way it is easier to navigate about. I agree, that the standard one wouldn't look good in the new format. Sadads (talk) 19:36, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Ill work on that. I tried a couple things but I couldn't make it work. Headin home at the moment but Ill work on it some more tonight at home. --Kumioko (talk) 20:27, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
How about tabs? Sadads (talk) 15:29, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
I tried some more stuff last night but I couldn't quite get it to work. What would you want on the tabs? --Kumioko (talk) 15:32, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Main, Members, Statistics, Articles to be created, Project? That sound good? That would make the front page smaller and more manageable. Sadads (talk) 15:40, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Ok, most of those are pretty obvious but whats the differnce between the Main page and the project page? --Kumioko (talk) 15:43, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Events maybe? I was thinking where we plan Wiki-Academies and workshops, and other events. Sadads (talk) 15:53, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Templates should probably be in there too. Sadads (talk) 15:56, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
OK give me a couple hours to get that built. --Kumioko (talk) 16:32, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── How's that? --Kumioko (talk) 17:08, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Good, we can migrate stuff later, if we need to. Sadads (talk) 17:43, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Some more extra info[edit]

I have been looking around at some of the different Wikiprojects to get ideas for ours and here are some good ones that I found. There are going to be a lot of tie ins with other wikiprojects such as Aviation, Milhist, Biography, etc and I think once we get things a little more ironed out we should start coordinating with some of these other Wikiprojects as well if we havent already started doing that. Also, I found several things that I think might be useful to our project that others are already doing. Here are a few examples:

  1. Milhist has an Academy page with some good info here Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Academy and a good portion of this relates to what we are doing so some colaboration there would be a good thing. I also anticipate that the SI is going to want the training rather short notice so we should be ready and know what we want to show them. Have we ironed out yet what classes we are going to give them.
  2. Milhist has a showcase page that lists all their featured content. We don't have much yet but this might be a good idea for the future.
  3. Rather than articles for creation I recommend changing this to Open tasks, its more general and I think will be a better way to manage the tasks in the project.
  4. Perhaps a News or Events page to show both goings on at the Museums such as special exhibits or Expos and also news in WP that relates to the project
  5. As we get more developed we may want to break into subgroups similar to the Milhist. Some examples are (by Museum, Air and Space, Biography, Natural Sciences and Art and architecture). --Kumioko (talk) 17:57, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
We can begin talking it up on Project talkpages, or ask project we think will be important to haves some ambassadors volunteer for the SI. The ambassador might be better because we will get a little more extra manpower. Maybe a tab title "WikiProject Embassy"?
  1. I was thinking running a class along the model of the New York Public Library presentations clicking through links and showing people how to interact on the page itself. And yes we need to iron that out soon, that way we can respond with quick reflexes. That will probably be a task for me this weekend.
  2. Showcase would be good, how about a Products of Collaboration section like WP:GLAM/BM?
  3. Sounds good, is there a way to get a google news feed integrated? Does SI have a feed? - I will look into these this weekend
  4. Splitting will come naturally after we figure out what big swaths we have, for right now (until we get mucho membership) a combination of the general volunteer group and the embassies (see first section) would be enough. Sadads (talk) 18:52, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Made the Embassy concept at WP:GLAM/SI/WikiProject Embassy. I will create an invitation template for projects. Sadads (talk) 21:06, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Invitation template up, rough draft of class outline at User:Sadads/SI class, Sadads (talk) 17:34, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Articles displayed at or on temporary loan[edit]

I have been running into a number of articles lately that were displayed or loaned to the SI, but dont belong to it. One example is the Tiffany Yellow Diamond. I was thinking a category that says something like, Category:Displayed at the Smithsonian Institution. Does anyone else have any ideas? --Kumioko (talk) 03:42, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

I would say that if it has a long term exhibition at the Museum, then add it, if it is only going to be there for 6 months, then it probably doesn't fall into our scope - their curators wouldn't specialize in it.Sadads (talk) 17:33, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
That being said, if it was a short term display, but relatively famous, it might be worth having categorized as having been loaned to the museum for record-keeping/historical purposes (the category, I mean, not the item).SWATJester Son of the Defender 21:08, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Non-unique but rare aircraft[edit]

There are a number of aircraft on display at the Smithsonian that aren't totally unique, but are quite rare and historically valuable. It seems to me like this project should also start thinking about how to work with pages like those in Category:Lists of surviving aircraft.--Pharos (talk) 22:57, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

I volunteer to help a bit getting info about very early aircraft and inventors online. I do not work at the Smithsonian but I'm in DC and this area is relevant to my research. I have connections at the Air and Space Museum. Unfortunately I missed the June 2010 meetup but I am usually around and look forward to future meetings or contacts. Econterms (talk) 15:13, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Potential new category[edit]

I have been thinking about how to capture the artists (to include musicians in my opinion) with works on display at the SI. Would anyone object to a category something like Category:Artists with works at the Smithsonian Institution? I think this category is a bit long but cant think of how to abbreviate it. The same could also be applied to inventors such as the wright brothers. There are currently a lot of articles with this type of scope that we cannot easily capture. --Kumioko (talk) 19:19, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

I am not so sure, that has the potential to take in almost every major artist and inventor and notable figure in the last 500 years. We would need to severely limit the scope of the category to artists who the Smithsonian has substantial holdings of. I think these types of articles would best fall into the indirect scope concept: once we work on them with the project, then they enter a separate category which says that it has been part of the collaboration, not necessarily part of directly related content. Or maybe a combination of severally limited category and indirect scope may be appropriate. I think we should focus more on developing articles on the artifacts themselves, and let curators direct us to other content they think needs to be developed. Sadads (talk) 19:24, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Thats probably a good point about the volume of articles and I agree that we would need to limit the scope if we did that. I was thinking just the major ones but then how do you define that...its so subjective. --Kumioko (talk) 19:38, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Any news from the Museum[edit]

Any news from the museum yet BTW? On that note I think we have made a lot of improvement in categorizing and identifying what we have thats SI related and are on the path to whats missing article wise. Not sure about image content though since I usually don't deal with imagery. I think most of the articles haev the applicable cats and talk page banner now its just a matter of assessing and priorizing which it appears we are both doing. We have a decent project page with some organization and a few members on the team. So we are definately on the right path in my opinion. --Kumioko (talk) 19:38, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Haven't heard anything back from Effie since last week, I will e-mail her again tonight, pointing to how much we have organized in the past week, methinks. Sadads (talk) 19:46, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
I would say if we don't here something from them we could just continue to build on what we have expanding existing articles and identifying and creating missing content. Eventually they will be enticed by the value. --Kumioko (talk) 19:56, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Okay,I will give it a few more days. Sadads (talk) 20:57, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

First workshop session[edit]

Effie just sent me an e-mail saying that she would like to put a date out for the first workshop. As discussed at the first meeting, it will probably need to be a weekday. I recommend the first week of August, that gives us three full weeks to plan, also I cannot attend the week of July 26-30 due to a trip I am going on. However, the end of next week is not totally unrealistic anyway. Thursday maybe? Anyone else have any thoughts?

See the Events tab at Wikipedia:GLAM/SI/Events and my draft class. Sadads (talk) 22:07, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

As a full-time student, my schedule is wide open on weekdays. Mon–Thu first week of August are all find with me.—Perceval 22:46, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm also available during the day, and available that week. But three weeks preparation time, for a self-guided group, to do a really good workshop, seems extremely optimistic to me. I'd much rather push this back to (say) late September, and absolutely get it right (as best we can).
Which raises some fundamental questions:
  • How many hours does SI propose that the workshop be? What space (meeting rooms) are available? How large is the expected audience, and of what composition? (PR staff, upper management, curators, administrative?)
  • Is the primary objective familiarization with Wikipedia? Convincing people within SI that it's worth getting involved and/or figuring out the best way to do that? Learning how to edit? Two or three of these? (They are very different matters - the first can be done in a single group, lecture-style; the second is far more interactive; and the third is best done in small groups, and will require a lot of instructors, plus a lot of bandwidth.)
I speak from some experience here, being part of a team (organized by the Wikimedia Foundation) that did a full-day workshop, including some training at the end, for the National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda. That project included a full rehearsal (run-through) in San Francisco, and lots and lots of coordination between the NIH and the Foundation. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 01:34, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Original thought it is a couple hours, in the afternoon/evening. Using the model of the New York Public Library courses, I believe this would be simple enough. I am going to make sure that it is a small group, no more than 20 or 30. Basically it ought to be a crash course in basic policies, and helping people edit once or twice on their own laptops, create User accounts and making sure that they can get to the GLAM/SI page for help. Alot of editing will happen afterwards and be helped by editors online. The Smithsonian is already convinced that it needs to edit, and the people that we will be getting early will be either: a) interns who will be required to edit or b)curators that just need a little bit of a nudge into the community. If you take a look at WP:GLAM/SI/Events/Workshop_outline, you will see how this could be effective. Eventually larger scale events will happen, but this one will (hopefully) have a high User/student ratio and a pretty good tested script.Sadads (talk) 01:52, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
My participation entirely depends on my work schedule, which unfortunately I learn pretty much on a week-by-week basis. It's less likely I'll be able to help in the evenings. Set up a time that works for y'all and I'll see if I can come :) Other than my work I'm here all summer... Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 02:01, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Same here; I'll try to juggle my work schedule around once we have a particular date/time selected. Kirill [talk] [prof] 04:50, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I'd absolutely need it to be no earlier than second half August, as I have the rest of this month blocked off for studying for the bar exam. In addition, I'll be out of town for the first week or two in August, I think I return the 9th. Also, John Broughton raises good points. I'd prefer a September date as well. SWATJester Son of the Defender 04:53, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I think a start-small approach is a good one. As to drafts of workshop materials, you might want to incorporate more parts of User:DGG/PTS as a model, as that is a more recent presentation that was written for a more professional audience.--Pharos (talk) 03:50, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Everyone is pushing for a little more time, so how about the later half of August that way the students that are going back to school don't have to drive back? (Like myself) I will work with your new draft Pharos.Sadads (talk) 11:02, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

So, something like:

  • No more than 30 people from SI, and probably fewer than that (maybe aim for 20) - start small, minimize risk.
  • Three hours for the workshop, with a five minute (stretch) break at the halfway point.
  • Last half of August - and the sooner we pick a date and time and place, the better. If SI can propose something for us to consider, we can try for quick closure on this.
  • Two to three presenters.
  • Workshop will cover a lot of ground, so *briefly* on a lot of stuff. [Warning: we should try to avoid a massive "data dump", aka PowerPoint presentation, and aim for high quality information with plenty of time for interaction. People don't like to be "talked to" for long periods of time - they could have just watched a video.]
  • Location needs to support up to thirty people on-line simultaneously.
  • Full rehearsal a couple of days prior to the scheduled workshop would be ideal. We owe that to the SI people who are taking time off from their regular job. And this is a "don't screw up" opportunity - it's highly undesirable to rely primarily on our good intentions ("we're all volunteers, so they shouldn't complain") to justify whatever quality this workshop turns out to be.
  • We need two to three presenters, plus some people to assist during the workshop when SI folks try their hand at editing. The problem is that we may not want 20 SI folks and 8 Wikipedians if six of the 8 are just going to sit around except for the editing period (last hour? last 30 minues?). Maybe it would be good if volunteers for editing would show up at the half-way point?
  • In the best of all worlds, SI would identify participants at least two weeks before the workshop, and the participants would be contacted by volunteers to help them set up user accounts - setting up user accounts (5 to 10 minutes) isn't the best use of limited time at a workshop. Even better would be to have SI participants pick an article to edit at the meeting, and to identify source documents that they want use to improve articles, and bring these if off-line.
  • It would be great if SI could tape the presentation, so (if it's not too bad) they can show it others.

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 13:51, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Largely agree, the session will work off the outline provided and be interactive, most likely allowing questions to the topic throughout the period. I am going to let Effie help pick the date, so I will give her some options. However, I think the presentation should operate through scripted wiki-links, not necessarily powerpoint. We want them to be familiar with what working with Wiki and Wikipedia stuff, not with the evil All-present Microsoft . :) Not sure if we need a full team rehearsal, maybe just a team meeting over coffee maybe? I will see how long Effie wants to make the workshop, but three hours may be long if we are doing late Afternoon. We are mostly catering to who and what types of interest they want. And yes, if we can identify the participants a week out, that would make it easier earlier. Sadads (talk) 14:46, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
i agree, and suggest User:Pharos/PTS; User:DGG/NYCTC also. duh, i see you anticipated that. but i don't see the harm in 6 wikpedians sitting in the back (maybe they'll learn something). Accotink2 (talk) 01:18, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
SI examples? Henry F. Hollis; Curtis Peebles; William Henry Holmes; Spirit of St. Louis; Vin Fiz Flyer; Spanish Inquisition Necklace; Hope Diamond; Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond; Ivy League nude posture photos Accotink2 (talk) 01:41, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Hi everyone. I *just* moved to DC from the Midwest, so things have been and are a bit hectic for me. I am able to get together the first week of August right now (unless I get a job). I haven't really had time to sit down and do much Wiki work due to my move, so bear with me if I'm not totally updated on everything right this second. I do want to be involved though, and I look forward to getting together! Missvain (talk) 03:02, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I sent an e-mail yesterday to Effie suggesting the third week of August. We will see what we get back from her today. 11:13, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Tentative dates are August 13 and 19. We are waiting on room reservations, Sadads (talk) 14:56, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Final time and information up at Wikipedia:GLAM/SI/Events please sign up and help us update and discuss the Workshop Outline. Sadads (talk) 19:34, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Articles for creation page[edit]

Do we have a method of crossing completed stuff of from the page? Do we also have a list of easily accessible resources that can be drawn upon to work on these articles? SWATJester Son of the Defender 04:49, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

I would assume that we would just remove created articles, unless there's some reason why we need to keep track of formerly needed ones. Kirill [talk] [prof] 03:40, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

To Possibly Add To the List[edit]

I don't know who is maintaining the list, but I would like to throw in a few ideas.

  • Kevin Gover, 2nd (and current) Director of the National Museum of the American Indian
  • Smithsonian Museum Support Center - currently this redirects to the Smithsonian Libraries page, but the MSC has much more than an SI library.
  • Smithsonian Cultural Resources Center - collections, conservation, library, and other supports for NMAI

Is there a better place to provide suggestions for the WP:GLAM/SI articles list? Taoboy49 (talk) 19:03, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

You are more than welcome to add them on yourself, I will take care of this patch Sadads (talk) 19:44, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Great ideas Taoboy49. I created "Smithsonian Museum Support Center" stub and have started work to expand it, removing redirect to Smithsonian Libraries. I hope this page will continue to grow, as the MSC is a really fascinating piece of the Institution. --Sarasays (talk) 18:48, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Please review first Article from User:Taoboy49[edit]

Hey all, one of our Smithsonian Employees has written a fairly extensive article on Ernest Spybuck, please, when you get a chance, review it and help us polish it up! Sadads (talk) 19:14, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

One thing that I would be interested in doing is adding a photo of Spybuck that I know must be in our Photo Archives. I would also like to put up some images of one or two of Spybuck paintings, which I'm sure we also have. This brings me to a big question that I have regarding the whole project. I understand that all media in Wikipedia falls under the most unrestricitve Creative Commons rights or Public Domain. Will the Smithsonian be alright with us putting up media with these rights applied? If so, how do we approach this? If I were to put up some Spybuck paintings, I would want them to be at a decent resolution, to enable the reader to appreciate the cultural details that make his work notable.Taoboy49 (talk) 20:18, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
If you check out Talk:Ernest Spybuck David Fuchs has already begun discussing this, lets try to keep this conversation there. Sadads (talk) 20:32, 30 August 2010 (UTC)


I'd be curious to know if the SI is willing to let us have photographs of some of the coins in the National Numismatic collection. Yes, there are photographs on the website, but it is unclear if they were taken by Federal employees and they'd never survive a deletion debate. I'd welcome both ordinary circulation coins from the past and also the rarities such as the 1913 Liberty Head nickel, the 1804 dollar and similar.--Wehwalt (talk) 19:41, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

We are currently looking at getting some mass uploads of SI images to the commons, based on the ones identified by the Smithsonian to be uncontroversially free use. Also, it is important to note that the Smithsonian employees don't necessarily do Federal work depending on which funding the project is from (grant, donation, or federal), that further complicates issues. Many of the images (especially olders ones) are released under "No known copyright", so that may be of use to you. I will have User:Multichill comment on this as well, he is going to head up our work on the image uploading, Sadads (talk) 19:53, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Found some interesting images at maybe you can search around for something that is utilitarian, Sadads (talk) 23:41, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
A possible solution would be to allow some of us to go and do a photo op, using WP editors, possibly under supervision of SI personnel to take good photos of some of the items under debate for free use. --Kumioko (talk) 23:57, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
I would be delighted to do that, personally, and I live 15 miles from DC.--Wehwalt (talk) 00:28, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology[edit]

Hello, what is copyright status of Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology? Website: Is it copyrighted or public domain? If it is free, which volumes are public domain?

--Snek01 (talk) 22:05, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Good question, sending an e-mail to our contact. It seems to me that some of them would be in the public domain, because they are printed by the Government Printing office, such as this one (see page 4) and this one (again page 4) therefore fall under the Public domain United States Government publication. Others have copyright restrictions on the copyright page (cant find an example, but I saw one when I was browsing) and some do not have any comment either way like this one which I think would go back to their very case-by-case copyright policy found here where many things are released under "no known copyright" or are a mix of public domain and copyrighted third party material. I will get back to you as soon as I can, Sadads (talk) 23:12, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

--Digitaleffie I got in touch with Smithsonian Scholarly Publications manager and she gave me the status on the zoo publications. It is often a "mixed bag" at the Smithsonian because we have a combination of trust and federal employees and funds, and to further complicate things, there are sometimes terms associated with donations. I hope this helps and sorry for the delay in getting back to you. From Ginger Strader at Smithsonian Scholarly Publications; "The Contributions Series publications are available for reuse without permission (an appropriate credit should be included), but many of the publications contain some elements that are indeed protected by copyright or owned by individuals and entities other than (or in addition to) Smithsonian. Fair use applies (for personal, educational, or noncommercial purposes), but any other use must comply with terms or restrictions that may be applicable, including requesting permission from the appropriate rights holder for reproduction or use. Items that are owned by other entities or individuals are credited in the publications." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Digitaleffie (talkcontribs) 13:31, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

OK, that is not a very useful answer. Some things that may be useful:

  • A list of volumes, that are copyrighted. Or at least start a list with few examples.
  • In every volume there is some author with address mentioned. Usually such address is "Smithsonian Institution". Is such information that an author is from the Smithsonian Institution anyhow useful in identifying copyright?
  • Can you at least confirm the information that no publication made by Smithsonian have been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office? Then we can have all pre-1990 volumes public domain (unless other reason occur).
  • Do you know at least one volume that is public domain? Do you know at least one pre-1990 volume that is copyrighted? Some real information would help answer my question. --Snek01 (talk) 14:18, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
In general, yes I agree we need something in the way of concrete examples, or clear cases. This language for use is a little frustrating, I will work on finding some clarification. Sadads (talk) 14:40, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

{Images from Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology}Category at Commons has been started with information about licenses. Those free images are public domain either under {{PD-US-no notice}} or {{PD-US-1978-89}} depending on volume (with possibilities of exceptions). --Snek01 (talk) 23:57, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Signpost article[edit]

"WikiProject Report" would like to focus on WikiProject Smithsonian Institution for a Signpost article. This is an excellent opportunity to draw attention to your efforts and attract new members to the project. Would you be willing to participate in an interview? If so, here are the questions for the interview. Just add your response below each question and feel free to skip any questions that you don't feel comfortable answering. Have a great day. -Mabeenot (talk) 23:42, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Alexis Rockman article[edit]

I propose we do a collaboration on the Alexis Rockman article, perhaps get it to featured status? The Smithsonian American Art Museum has an exhibition opening in mid-November, featuring Rockman's work. I don't know how quick we could get a featured article, but it would be totally awesome to achieve that and get the article on the Main Page on November 19th. --Aude (talk) 18:40, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

I like that idea, but I don't know how much time I can commit to editing it. Maybe we should pass around a talkpage notification and make it official! Sadads (talk) 21:29, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm doing some work on the article. Plan to reach out to folks at SAAM and visit the Smithonian Archives of American Art. The Brooklyn Museum would also be a good place to contact, in trying to gather references and get input / review of the article as it gets improved. --Aude (talk) 19:01, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I will contact everyone's talk pages later today and ask them to participate in the article. Also, I will send you an e-mail cc'ed with a contact from the Smithsonian Archives of American Art from the workshop stuff. Sadads (talk) 19:22, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
I went and made a few quick changes. I added persondata and an infobox. I will try and do some more later. --Kumioko (talk) 19:31, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Awesome!!! Thanks for the edits and replies :) --Aude (talk) 19:39, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
E-mail sent. Sadads (talk) 19:45, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Talk:Alexis_Rockman#Timeline - ambitious but feasible. --Aude (talk) 22:30, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Not sure how far we will get with the article (certainly not meeting the timeline), but still working on the article and seeking input. --Aude (talk) 23:33, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Invitation to help with WikiProject United States[edit]

WikiProject United States logo.svg

Hello, GLAM/Smithsonian Institution! We are looking for editors to join WikiProject United States, an outreach effort which aims to support development of United States related articles in Wikipedia. We thought you might be interested, and hope that you will join us. Thanks!!!

--Kumioko (talk) 15:36, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Images from the Smithsonian Institution[edit]

I've asked a question at the commons village pump, which may interest members of this project. It is currently available live at: Commons:Village_pump#Images_from_the_Smithsonian_Institution Cheers SmartSE (talk) 15:41, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Zoo mapping party + wiki photo safari![edit]

As the weather is getting warm, I think it's time we re-engage more on WP:GLAM/SI and perhaps organize some fun activity in the great outdoors! Back in Sept 2009, the local OpenStreetMap group held a mapping party (a.k.a. meetup / mapping event) at the National Zoo. The zoo has a good amount of detail but there are still plenty of gaps and opportunity to fill in more details. So, I propose we have another zoo mapping party + wiki photo safari at the Zoo. It would be awesome to get Wikipedians involved (plus some OSM regulars would come too).

A parallel activity could be a Wikipedia contribution drive on relevant topics, such as about the pandas, the National Zoological Park, or even just species that are at the zoo, and getting more photographs would also be helpful. (ones we take and maybe SI would contribute some?)

Thoughts? would people be interested? We could do this, perhaps in June? maybe early June before it gets too hot, and while the days are long. Cheers. --Aude (talk) 17:03, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

NASM Lindbergh Chair[edit]

I just started the list article Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History and I am wondering if anybody at this project knows where I can find a complete chronological list of the people who have held this one-year fellowship. The new article has a lot of missing years. Binksternet (talk) 13:11, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Nomination as a United States Wikipedians' Collaboration of the Month candidate[edit]

The Hope Diamond, an article within the scope of this project, has been nominated to be a future United States Wikipedians' Collaboration of the Month. All editors interested in improving this article are encouraged to participate. You can vote for this or other articles article of the Month here. --Kumioko (talk) 19:34, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Joint project with WikiProject United States[edit]

I am going to add this as a joint Project under WikiProject United States. I'm not sure what happened with this project. It was a great idea and had a lot of potential but it seems to have fizzled out except for the American art task force.--Kumioko (talk) 19:54, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

I added this to the Joint projects list of WikiProject United States[edit]

I hope its ok with the project but I added three of the GLAM US related projects to the Joint projects listing of WikiProject United States today. These are teh NARA, Smithsonian and Archives of American Art. Doing this will allow the articles and projects additional visibility and will allow them to be covered by the bots and things running on the articles in the WikiProject United States' scope. --Kumioko (talk) 18:11, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

G. Wayne Clough[edit]

I figured I'd drop by and let you all know that I've nominated G. Wayne Clough for GA. If you can improve the article (presumably by expanding on his contributions as Secretary of the Smithsonian, or otherwise) or if you would like to serve as the article's reviewer, I'd appreciate the help. Thanks :) Disavian (talk) 18:12, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Let's move project pages and categories to standard names[edit]

– The categories and pages associated with this project should be moved to a standard name for the project (presumably "WikiProject Smithsonian Institution"). I'm placing the request on the project talk page as I assume that's where the most people with an opinion on this move request will see it. Other notes: {{WikiProject Smithsonian Institution}} will need to be updated when this change is made. I've never moved a WikiProject before so I'm not sure if there are other steps involved. Disavian (talk) 09:12, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree and even thought that when they were created. --Kumioko (talk) 16:41, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, they're created, I'm just proposing that we rename everything, dropping the "-related" from the categories and GLAM/SI to WikiProject Smithsonian. Disavian (talk) 05:10, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Hmm, I have no opinion on the "related" articles (by quality and importance), but I would keep the SI pages and subpages for consistency with other GLAM project pages. I would also keep "Category:Wikipedia-Smithsonian Institution collaboration", as this title is consistent with (almost, still working on this...) all other GLAM collaboration categories. My focus right now is eliminating abbreviations from GLAM project pages and subpages (changing British Museum pages from "BM" to "British Museum", etc.) I would argue that most non-Wikipedians, and even some Wikipedians, are less familiar with the inner-workings and maintenance of a WikiProject. --Another Believer (Talk) 15:33, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
That seems fair to me... I'd be happy just getting rid of the "-related" and keeping the rest as-is. Disavian (talk) 05:54, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Updating these pages in preparation for Wikimania 2012[edit]

A number of Smithsonian staff and DC Wikimedians will be actively participating in Wikimania 2012, and I am hoping that we can direct interested people to these GLAM/SI pages to find out more about opportunities to collaborate with the Smithsonian. However, when I read the pages a great deal of the content seems focused on the 2010 meetings and not the subsequent relationships and residences; nor are there many links to the relevant GLAM resources that have been created since. I am going to do my best to try and get things a little bit more updated and spruce up this space with some new images, but it would be GREAT if others could join me in giving these pages a bit of TLC as well. Hope to meet up with many of you in a couple weeks! Sarasays (talk) 16:06, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Much appreciated. I'm quite busy but will see what I can do or if anyone else can help out. Cheers. --Aude (talk) 22:35, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Will see what I can do ... finally added info to the Smithsonian Archives article from last editathon ... :) Djembayz (talk) 01:35, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
I figured you would be swamped with work right now Aude! Thanks to you both, I will be working on it myself today and this weekend too.--Sarasays (talk) 14:43, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Proposal for United States A-Class review process[edit]

There is a proposal at WikiProject United States to start an A-Class review process for United States related articles. Please stop by and join the discussion. Kumioko (talk) 01:57, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Opposition to page move?[edit]

Is there any opposition to moving these pages to reflect the full name of the organization (Smithsonian Institution)? I think abbreviations should be reserved for redirects, and that way (when browsing categories or project pages) readers know which institution is being referred to. --Another Believer (Talk) 17:34, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

That sounds logical. I had a proposal to rename the project a few sections above, but nobody really responded to it. Disavian (talk) 18:16, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Conflict of interest determination/discussion[edit]

I have searched around, not a ton, but a fair amount, and not found a great deal of discussion about whether or not this project is advisable under Wikipedia's Conflict of Interest guidelines. Is there such a discussion and if so, can it or a summary of it be more prominently displayed, even on the main page for this project? My reading of the COI guidelines suggests several lines of reasoning according to which a project like this would be disallowed. This is in no way to knock the Smithsonian, which is itself a very (though not entirely, and this is important) NPOV organization, but it is to suggest that the line between "organizations like the Smithsonian for whom it's OK to sponsor editing of their Wikipedia pages" and "organizations not like the Smithsonian" seems to me very hard to draw. Just in the US and close to the Smithsonian in type, there are quite a few museums (e.g., the Museum of the Confederacy) about which we might argue that employees or interns inherently may not have an NPOV; there is also the general issue of structural bias which is referenced many times in the COI discussions: it does not look objective to have employees or even volunteers/interns of an organization doing Wikipedia editing for them. I was quite surprised to see an actual advertisement within Wikipedia for a "Wikipedian in Residence" whose internship/job appears to be to generate and edit Wikipedia pages from within the Smithsonian itself. Looking back on the history of COI discussions, it would seem much easier to draw the line at "institutions and individuals should not edit Wikipedia pages about themselves" rather than trying to distinguish among different kinds of institutions and individuals. Given the public nature of this project I assume this is an old issue, but I'd like to be able to read its history, as I find myself kind of confused by it. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Wichitalineman (talk) 02:11, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

this project is fundamentally in the best interest of wikimedia. it is the future; it sets the standard. the COI guideline is about individual conduct, not organizations. the SI does not sponsor this project; but SI editors collaborate with non-SI editors. you are in fact knocking the SI. whenever other institutions come forward, we will collaborate with them. volunteers/interns do not edit for them; rather, as a volunteer i edit for whoever is nice to me (which disqualifies most wikipedians). they have the references, we go to them to use them. it was the SI that had the references to do she blinded me with science. that was not an ad: an ad is when jimmy wales is on the banner begging; that was an attempt to beg someone to get some work done, not generate or edit pages from within SI. easy line drawing is a chimera, and delusion. the quality of the edit is much more important than who did it, but there is so little ability to know quality when we see it, we'd rather engage in rulemaking. SI has the quality. SI is not editing their own pages, we do it for them, and i don't have a COI statement: i am nobody's pawn, Senator Dodd. if you go to the bookshelf [3] you will see the history of presentations about GLAM collaboration at SI, or sara snyder's presentation at wikimania. if you want more history, you'll have to come to a meetup. Slowking4Farmbrough's revenge†@1₭ 03:45, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
I am asking to be referred to any discussion at the editor level or above of this issue. You've given an argument in favor of the project, which may or may not be valid and/or accepted by the community; my point was either to be directed to a hashing-out of the discussion, or to open one. You are simply wrong in your statement about the COI guidelines--a huge part of them, maybe even the bulk of them, is specifically directed at the relationship between individual editors and institutions with which they may be connected, not even employed. Here's just one quote from many on the Guidelines page that makes this clear: "Adding material that appears to advance the interests or promote the visibility of an article's author, the author's family, employer, clients, associates or business, places the author in a conflict of interest." Also note that the tag associated with a COI editor is {{Connected contributor}}--the connection is the specific problem, and a "Wikipedian in Residence" certainly sounds connected. I am accusing nobody of being a pawn; I am asking whether it's appropriate for institutions to be having "Wikipedians in Residence" who actively edit pages in any way connected with that institution (current guidelines are clear that associates should post on the Talk pages and not the main entries if at all possible). Considering that one of the prior controversies was about associates who may have been nothing but volunteers editing pages for the Catholic Church, and another about the US Congress, unless you want to say I am knocking them too, you are mistaken in understanding my concern. there is simply no doubt that structural connections between individuals and institutions are the main definition of COI: it's not about bad/interested edits, it's about having connections at all. I do not at all think that having institutions monitor and edit their own webpages, even through interns, is a "standard" or "future" that is healthy for Wikipedia.
To be as clear as possible, my issue is not with the GLAM project as such--it sounds great--but the concept of a "Wikipedian in Residence," if that person is to have any direct or even indirect [other than on Talk pages] role in editing pages about the institution with which they are connected. If Slowking4Farmbrough's revenge†@1₭ is in fact not associated with Smithsonian, as he/she appears to be saying, then my question is not about his/her participation. The "Wikipedian in Residence" posting appears to be pointing toward an effort to edit/create pages from inside SI, and I do think that would be a clear violation of COI guidelines as they are written and as they are intended to be implemented. Wichitalineman (talk) 19:47, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
The short answer is that COI is just a guideline, thus unless the COI hurts Wikipedia, COI editing is completely appropriate. The long answer is that the community has aknowledged the common ends of knowledge gatekeepers like cultural institutions and Wikipedia. Also, presedent suggests that these partnerships work well: see . Also, I can vouch that Slowking4 is not a representative of the SI, Sadads (talk) 22:10, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
i would like to apologize Wichitalineman, for being way too sharp with you, (you hit a personal peeve). rephrasing my earlier answer:
we don't really discuss policy here; rather, we list our things to do, then meet and do them, and then list our things we did. if you go to the video from wikimania, you will see a good discussion of this wikipedian in residence; if you go to the bookshelf, you will see the many tutorial slidedecks where we train at each meetup about COI issues. we mainly try to explain policy if it comes up, that is hard enough. a discussion of existence would occur at MfD, and would be very divisive. projects are given wide latitude for collaboration. not even the Wikipedia:GLAM/GibraltarpediA was deleted.
i don't understand your questioning of this. we list call for papers here; we list scholarships for travel to wikimania here; we even had a bonus check, study banner ad by SciencePo; why not career path jobs too?
now as to the peeve: i don't think COI or paid editing is a big problem (and yes i know all about the PR scandals). i think rather that the ideological COI within wikipedia is far worse. this COI is perceived by outsiders, hence the gibe by Dodd during SOPA, that we are all dupes and pawns of internet companies. i am so revolted by that ad hominem, that i don't want to go anywhere near an inquisitorial line of questioning. but the solution to the inevitable "shaping" is partnership. if the professionals can bring a sense of professionalism here, that is a good thing; and if we can bring a sense of open culture to the institutions that is a good thing also. the "wikipedia solution" of endless pages of policy and rules is profoundly wrong-headed. i don't think your line of questioning is productive. otoh, a structural analysis study of wikipedia would make for interesting reading. sifting through the data is possible Slowking4Farmbrough's revenge†@1₭ 15:38, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I am a bit late to this conversation! I wrote the Smithsonian's Wikipedian-in-Residence recruitment notice. First of all, I would like to say that I am glad that Wichitalineman has a healthy suspicion of an institution paying a Wikimedia contributor for his/her expertise, as in the case of a Wikipedian in Residence. I am also glad to try and be more transparent in our project documentation as he suggests. His reasonable skepticism and commitment to NPOV are one of the reasons that the encyclopedia (and the community behind it) are so great.
The first thing I'd like people to know about the history of the WikiProject Smithsonian: Wikipedians reached out to staff members at the Smithsonian first. Smithsonian staff did not devise the WikiProject as a way to promote ourselves. Rather, volunteers from the nascent Wikimedia DC chapter came to us, back in 2010. They wanted to train Smithsonian staff about how Wikipedia works, brainstorm ways we could collaborate, wanted to team up to improve coverage about the many articles related to the Smithsonian's immense collections. Ever since then, Smithsonian staff members like myself have been acting as advocates for Wikipedia--and its core values--to peers and colleagues. Believe it or not, there are still professionals in the GLAM world who don't "get" why Wikipedia is valuable and worth collaborating with.
Our WIR starts next week, and I look forward to him introducing himself to you and helping address these very issues in the WikiProject pages that you call out. His main job will not, in fact, be to edit articles per se, but to teach and train staff, act as a liaison to the community, and help us empower editors with greater access to free content. As we have also seen in many examples cited in GLAMwiki case studies, when both the WIR and the institution he or she works with respect the 5 pillars, everybody wins. The encyclopedia becomes richer and more authoritative, you see thousands of new images on Commons, and the museums, libraries, and archives are able to reach a broader audience with their educational content. I would like to thank Sadads and Slowking4 for their support and understanding of the project. I would be happy to discuss this further, or answer any questions that come up, here or on my talk page. Thanks, Sarasays (talk) 18:24, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
I appreciate this response very much, and I am glad that my skepticism is being taken in the spirit in which it is intended. I'll admit I'm kind of dumbstruck to learn that the Wikimedia DC chapter reached out to you, and that they actively encourage Smithsonian staff to contribute to pages about the Smithsonian's holdings, and that is the issue at bottom that concerns me most--that the WIR is there to help employees of an institution edit pages about itself. I don't think it's about NPOV, but much more about COI, and that the COI guidelines are most helpfully understood as being about the appearance of editors not having an interest in the pages they edit. As I have always read the COI guidelines, I would never have imagined the Wikimedia foundation ever to encourage formally the employees of any institution to edit pages, no matter how innocent and NPOV those actions may appear and may be.
Given the degree to which the ship has apparently sailed on this--to my surprise, having come at this from the COI and not the WiR or GLAM end of things, I wonder if you have ideas about how we might carve out reasonable exceptions to the COI policy that would conform to the project as you and the Wikimedia representatives see fit. If we start with the most narrow example--"it's OK for museum employees to edit the pages about the museum for which they work"--would that capture it? "Museums and cultural institutions?" "Museums, libraries, and cultural institutions"? I have trouble seeing how and where to draw this line. I can think of museums alone that make it problematic: the Museum of the Confederacy and the Museum of Creation Science, for example. If a principled exception to COI can't be articulated, though, we risk instituting value judgments at a very high level (some museums can and some museums can't edit pages about themselves), in ways that Wikipedia readers are not going to follow or understand. People come to this project assuming that interested parties do not directly edit the pages that concern them. I believe some kind of bright line is absolutely necessary for Wikipedia's reputation and role in the world, and I'd like to know how that bright line is now understood in the contexts you've provided. Wichitalineman (talk) 16:49, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Thinking more about it: suppose pages involved in GLAM were specially tagged with "this content may have been [or "was"] provided by the institution that holds the item." That would give Wikipedia readers ample, accurate information about the COI exception. But I believe it would make them wonder about the objectivity of the page, and the project--and the fact that (in my opinion) publicly drawing attention to this project might cause readers to question Wikipedia's neutrality is a cause for serious concern. If we are now relying on the fact that readers don't know it's happening, that is bad news. And I don't like the idea of Wikipedia pages being stamped "official" in some sense because the institution has a role in writing pages--as soon as we get outside of the US and museum contexts, this just seems like it leads into very worrisome conflicts.Wichitalineman (talk) 16:55, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Suggestion to remove this project from the WPUS template[edit]

A user that is not affiliated to GLAM or WikiProject United States has started a discussion at Template talk:WikiProject United States#Suggestion to remove GLAM projects from WPUS template to remove all of the GLAM projects from the WPUS template. Since the user notified WikiProject United States but not this one I wanted to let you know. Kumioko (talk) 16:59, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

Discussion at WP:PUI/2013 December 19[edit]

You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia:Possibly unfree files/2013 December 19#File:James Hampton The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly.tif. Gyrofrog (talk) 23:23, 19 December 2013 (UTC) -- Gyrofrog (talk) 23:23, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Image request[edit]

Hi, I was just helping out at an edit-a-thon at London Zoo and one of the new editors user:Flakkarin was working on the biography of Helen Frances James. She found these images: Smithsonian staff-page pic, USGS page but we weren't sure whether they counted as Public Domain US government creations and were uncomfortable being too bold with images of a living person. Could someone try and help get an image and help user:Flakkarin add it to the article? Thanks PatHadley (talk) 12:36, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

I would bet that the one from the Smithsonian is in-house at the Smithsonian and is part of administrative operations, so would not fall under the exceptions to Government PD copyright that contractors and certain types of grant money create in the Smithsonian. Thus, a claim to US GOV PD would not be a problem, I would imagine, likely being the product of a US government employee performing their official duties. On the other hand the USGS image looks like an image taken out of the context of the work environment, thus might be a privately produced image and thus would fall under the copyright of the producer attached in a way that interferes with our free image concerns. What are your thoughts @Sarasays: or others? Sadads (talk) 16:13, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi all. My colleague Uncommon fritillary did pretty extensive investigation into the rights of the Smithsonian image, and she was told by our Office of General Counsel that this image was not produced by NMNH Imagining, and is not PD; in fact, she was told that "many staff photographs on the departmental pages are supplied by the staff members themselves," which mean the rights lie elsewhere. However, the good news it that we may be able to contact Helen James directly and ask her for a photo. I will follow up with @Uncommon fritillary: and see if these wheels have already been set in motion. I appreciate your patience and am (once again) am so grateful to the Wikimedia community for being so knowledgeable and respectful around matters of copyright law. --Sarasays (talk) 14:47, 28 January 2014 (UTC)