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View from Flagstaff Hill of early Sydney with St James' Church (Fowles c1844)

What is Wikipedia?[edit]

The current logo with the new typeface, Linux Libertine

Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia - a free, not-for profit, tertiary source of information, built collaboratively by volunteers. The text of the English Wikipedia is currently equivalent to 2,032.7 volumes of the Encyclopædia Britannica.[1]

- be about something that is Notable;
- contain information that is Verifiable;
- be written with a Neutral Point of View;
- present No Original Research. That is, article contents and claims must be attributable.

  • Tabs

- read
- edit
- history

St James' Church, Sydney[edit]

St James' Church by S.T. Gill (1856)
John Degotardi (1823 - 1888) St James' Church from Hyde Park (c.1870)
The rector with the QRpedia code outside the Children's Chapel
Floral arrangement in the church
Detail of glass in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit

An introduction to Wikipedia: its purpose, mechanisms and context using the Featured Article St James' Church, Sydney as a case study and jumping off point. The article appeared on the main page of the encyclopaedia on St James' Day (25 July) 2014 when it was received 8580 page views. There are usually about 1500 page views per month.[2]

Related articles[edit]

Related images[edit]

Navigating Wikipedia[edit]


The encyclopaedia is full of blue and red links to other articles. Click on a blue link if you want to find out about something you do not know.


- Richard Hooker
- Chancel
- Epiphany

A red link is to an article that does not yet exist but probably should.




- Type in Phillip Micklem and you will automatically be redirected to Philip Micklem
- Type in Floury baker and you will automatically be redirected to Aleeta curvicosta
- Type in Passionfruit and you will automatically be redirected to Passiflora edulis


Many things have the same name and articles about them need to be disambiguated.


- Organ
- Rector
- Matilda

Article references[edit]

The references are the jewels of the encyclopaedia. They enable you to verify any claims and often to read the entire source in context of its original publication.


- Ref #17 Anglican History (1898)
- Ref #75 NLA image
- Ref #88 Horsburgh sermon

How does Wikipedia work?[edit]

Picture of the Year (2013)
Picture of the Day (20 July 2014)
Lockstitch in a sewing machine (a media file)

Users (editors)[edit]

Users' pages will introduce you to them and their motivations. Here are a few of the many.


- User:Wittylama, who created this wide variety of articles and was the first Wikipedian-in-Residence
- User: Amandajm, who is responsible for raising the standard of art and architecture articles such as Wells Cathedral and Leonardo da Vinci
- User:99of9, who wrote St John's, Ashfield and is responsible for this oft-used image of the Good Shepherd
- User:Casliber, works on the Banksia project which aims to produce Featured Articles on Banksia (such as Banksia dentata)
- User:StAnselm and User:Anglicanus, who are very helpful with things ecclesiastical and theological
- User:JJ Harrison, who takes wonderful photos of birds and plants
- User:Smuconlaw, who guides student groups to develop articles on Singaporean constitutional law
- User:Ealdgyth, who loves mediaeval history and User:Hchc2009, who likes castles.


The article's lead section is written in summary style. The articles in Wikipedia develop incrementally and collaboratively.


Look at the history of the article Windburn, which started as a redirect; developed a little in an early edit that distinguished windburn from sunburn; before being taken up by User:Jjron who clarified and referenced it and explained that windburn and sunburn were the same thing.

Collaboration, debate, disagreement, improvement[edit]


- The list of gifts in the Finlay-Robinson wedding article was deemed excessive and had to be summarised. See Earlier version with the list of gifts

- Matters of fact and accuracy are routinely debated. See a small part of the discussions about the church's dedication
- Additions that are not compliant with policy are reverted. The medical project has stringent policies and so this visualisation about ongoing research was removed from the references in the article on Dietary supplements

Breaking news[edit]

Global collaboration quickly develops into an article on Wikipedia that gives the event a history with references.



Yes, it happens, and is sometimes briefly persistent, but is usually quickly fixed.


- A version created on 13 June 2013 by ISP

- Another version created on 8 November 2013 by ISP ( The location of the editor is Wahroonga
- A further attempt at the same edit created on 27 April 2014 by ISP The location of this editor is Castle Hill

Wikipedia sub-projects[edit]

Calyptorhynchus funereus feeding on Banksia serrata in Rocky Cape National Park, Tasmania
Australian infantry small box respirators Ypres by Captain Frank Hurley (1917)




Article Quality[edit]

The final bars of the "Hallelujah" chorus from Handel's autograph score of Messiah (1741)
Page one of the unpublished autograph manuscript of Lieutenant William Bligh's voyage from the ship to Tofua and thence to Timor 28 April to 14 June 1789, showing the list of those involved in the Mutiny on the Bounty. (NLA MS 5393)
The first two and a half measures of Bach's BWV 565, played on the Flentrop organ at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (2006)

The quality is determined by the referencing in particular, but also by the writing (conciseness, clarity, tone, accuracy) and the layout (images, structure).


Stubs and Start class

- Warham Guild
- Sicilienne (Fauré)
- The Corso, Manly
- Tumor-associated macrophage

C class

- Flower
- Fallen woman

B class

- Wedding of Nora Robinson and Alexander Kirkman Finlay
- Military history of Australia during the Vietnam War

Good Articles

- Ontological argument
- Entertainment
- 1948 Ashes series

Featured Articles

- Elephant
- Augustine of Canterbury
- Choral symphony
- Messiah (Handel)

Images in Wikimedia Commons[edit]

Wikimedia Commons is the central media repository for the encyclopaedia. It is not to be confused with Creative Commons, which is an organisation that "provides copyright licences to facilitate sharing and reuse of creative content".[4]


- Eruption of coronial mass ejection on the sun (31 August 2012)
- Nave of the Cathedral Sainte-Cécile d'Albi (France)
- Flight video taken north of Hilleshögsdalar (near Helsingborg, Sweden)

Why does it matter?[edit]

Free culture[edit]

Wikipedia is part of the Free Culture Movement. The content of the encyclopaedia is free to use and re-use. That is, it is both gratis and libre. As "the world’s largest repository of human knowledge", it defends the "right to speak, share and create freely".[5]


- St James’ book
- ChoralWiki (Choral Public Domain Library)
- CSIRO releases images for free re-use
- Europeana The internet portal for digitised European cultural heritage, which, among other things, is helping institutions "make their digital content visible in Wikipedia articles"[6]
- Gallery of images from the Bundesarchive (German Federal Archive) excerpted from Commons Category of donated images.

Creative remix[edit]


Australian Census 2011 demographic map - Inner Sydney by SA1 Anglicans

- Statistics of Australia
- Birthplaces of Australians
- Australia - arrivals and departures
- Demographic maps of Australia
- Religious affiliation in Australia
- Anglicans

  • Google Translate provides an unexpected and surprising re-use of data. From Wikipedia's freely licensed natural language corpus Google Translate creates an average word length histogram for automatic language detection in order to “guess” what language is required by the user. It uses Wikipedia as its “natural language” reference.

Cultural partnerships[edit]

Interior of one of the Sydney punchbowls showing aborigines dancing (c1820)

There are many Wikipedians-in-Residence helping organisations such as Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums to develop a productive relationship with the Wikimedia community and enhance the mission of both organisations.[7][8]

Examples of relationship between Australian libraries and Wikipedia.

- Library of NSW Wikipedia project page
- Sample Trove entry with Wikipedia link
- List of newspapers in New South Wales
- List of newspaper titles in Trove and new titles coming
- Sydney punchbowls


Map Greco-Persian Wars
DNA chemical structure

Ways of knowing - words, pictures, music, engagement - Wikipedia.

Free access for the developing world and children[edit]

Wikipedia helping to break down the digital divide.


- Wikipedia Zero
- Open letter for free access from South Africa
- Writing Wikipedia by phone from Nepal
- USB key for Project Afripedia[9]

Secondary education[edit]

" is more important than ever for higher education to teach students to apply metacognitive skills — searching, retrieving, authenticating, critically evaluating and attributing material ..." [10]

University education[edit]

Utilising the results of student work and making it available.


- KLF2 (student work) and its article traffic statistics[11]
- Constitutional Law Project in Singapore

Knowledge production versus consumption[edit]

Wikipedia is one of many endeavours dedicated to producing and sharing knowledge rather than consuming it or locking it away.

Highly intelligent, thoughtful, insightful and caring young Jewish idealist clashes with a powerful, punitive and rather paranoid State. After having his intentions and motivations misunderstood by the administration, he is persecuted for “taking too many books out of the library”, threatened with 35 years jail, dies at age 26.