Wikipedia:GLAM/Khalili

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Video made by John Lubbock for Wikimedia UK

Wikimedia UK is partnering with the Khalili Collections to share a unique set of cultural content on Wikimedia platforms. The partnership was announced at Wikimania 2019 in Stockholm.

The Khalili Collections are eight collections of cultural treasures acquired by Professor Sir Nasser David Khalili over his career as a collector -each the largest and most comprehensive of its kind. They include:

The partnership involves:

  • Sharing more than 1,500 high-resolution images of items from across the eight collections;
  • Sharing short lay summaries of research by academic experts that relates to the collections.

User:MartinPoulter is acting as a Wikimedian In Residence for the project from February 2020 onwards.

The first Featured Picture to come out of the partnership (Mention in Signpost)

This is a highly significant partnership in a number of ways. It is globally the first GLAM-Wiki project with a private collection. The collections are mostly about art outside the European/ North American canons. The collected artworks are often the best technical and artistic examples of their era, and they have been digitised with high resolution. There are more than seventy volumes published about the collection, by leading academic experts, that give contextual essays as well as documenting the art works. This information is being used to improve overview articles such as Edo period, Meiji (era), Damascening, Japanese lacquerware, and to create artist biographies. At the outset of the project, Japanese decorative arts were poorly represented on English Wikipedia, with some outstanding artists having no biography, and no mention or art and culture in the Meiji (era) article. Wikimedia also suffered from a paucity of images related to Islam, compared to Christianity.

Progress reports in "This Month in GLAM"[edit]

Updates about the project will be posted on this page and in This Month in GLAM. If you translate or update an article using material from the collections, feel free to add a note here.

Key metrics[edit]

New articles created
  1. Khalili Collections B-Class article (DYK 26 October 2019)
  2. Khalili Collection of Kimono B-Class article (DYK 18 April 2020)
  3. Plácido Zuloaga Good article (DYK 18 June 2020) (Passed Good Article review 18 March 2021)
  4. Khalili Collection of Japanese Art Good article (DYK 28 May 2020) (Passed Good Article review 22 October 2020)
  5. List of collections of Japanese art List-Class article
  6. Khalili Imperial Garniture Good article (DYK 12 July 2020) (Passed Good Article review 15 July 2021)
  7. Yabu Meizan C-Class article (DYK 9 June 2020)
  8. Khalili Collection of Swedish Textiles B-Class article (DYK 31 August 2020)
  9. Khalili Collection of Spanish Metalwork B-Class article (DYK 15 October 2020)
  10. A volunteer has translated the entire Yabu Meizan article into Vietnamese, creating the first Vietnamese Wikipedia page with a Khalili Collections image.
  11. A volunteer has translated the lead of the Khalili Collection of Swedish Textiles article into Persian
  12. A different volunteer translated the lead of the Khalili Collection of Japanese Art article into Persian
  13. Khalili Collection of Enamels of the World Good article (DYK 10 November 2020) (Passed Good Article review 27 June 2021)
  14. A volunteer translated the full Plácido Zuloaga article into French
  15. A volunteer translated the full Khalili Collection of Japanese Art article into Malay
  16. Khalili Collection of Aramaic Documents Good article (DYK 12 January 2021) (Passed Good Article review 10 September 2021)
  17. A volunteer translated the Khalili Collection of Aramaic Documents article into Persian
  18. A volunteer translated a few paragraphs of Khalili Collection of Aramaic Documents into French
  19. A volunteer translated the Khalili Collection of Kimono article into Persian
  20. A volunteer translated a summary of the Khalili Collection of Spanish Metalwork article into Persian
  21. A volunteer translated a summary of the Khalili Collection of Enamels of the World article into Persian
  22. Khalili Collection of Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage Good article (DYK 16 March 2021) (Passed Good Article review 4 September 2021)
  23. A volunteer translated a summary of the Khalili Collection of Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage article into Arabic
  24. Sitara (textile) B-Class article (DYK 29 April 2021)
  25. Mahmal B-Class article (DYK 28 May 2021)
  26. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art C-Class article (DYK 3 June 2021)
  27. Anis Al-Hujjaj B-Class article (DYK 1 July 2021)
  28. A volunteer translated most of the Anis Al-Hujjaj article into Persian
  29. A volunteer translated the entire Sitara (textile) article into Arabic
  30. Muhammad Sadiq (photographer) B-Class article (DYK 15 September 2021)
  31. A volunteer translated the whole Khalili Collection of Islamic Art article into Italian.
Other articles substantially improved
  1. List of museums of Islamic art (threefold expansion)
  2. Meiji (era) (added sections on Art and Fashion)
  3. Edo period (added section on Fashion)
  4. Damascening (added section on Eibar, Spain)
  5. Shibata Zeshin
  6. Makuzu Kōzan
  7. Japanese lacquerware
  8. Imperial Household Artist (fivefold expansion)
  9. Japanese pottery and porcelain#Meiji era
  10. Japanese_art#Art_of_the_Prewar_period
  11. Namikawa Sōsuke (tenfold expansion from stub to B class - DYK 25 July 2020)
  12. Namikawa Yasuyuki (fivefold expansion - DYK 25 July 2020)
  13. Kawade Shibatarō (fivefold expansion - DYK 7 August 2020)
  14. Japonisme#Decorative_arts
  15. Swedish carpets and rugs (more than doubled in size)
  16. Vitreous enamel (added sections on Japan and on Islamic countries)
  17. Dala'il al-Khayrat (Added section on manuscripts)
  18. A volunteer has translated the article section on art of the Meiji era into Ukranian
  19. Kiswah (added section on Textiles of the Kaaba)
  20. Islamic embroidery (added section on Textiles of sacred sites)
  21. History of the Hajj (added subsections and re-wrote lead)

Many more articles — too many to list here — have been improved with images and/or additional facts and citations.

Images uploaded

I've created the dedicated account User:MartinPoulter (KC WIR) for uploads from March 2021 onwards. That account will be used for image uploads only, not for any article editing.

1,541 (Images uploaded as part of this effort usually have "Khalili Collection" as the first part of the filename).

These images are categorised into 629 Commons categories so far: see the full list (excluding hidden categories).

  • Reach of images: 31,592 views for February 2020; 41,479 for March 2020, around half a million for April 2020, nearly 600,000 for May 2020. Broke through 1.2 million per month in January 2021 and 1.3 million per month in February 2021. Just under 1.8 million in April 2021.
Wikidata items

So far 1,033 items created for objects in the Khalili Collections (not including the items for the collections themselves). Some items lack images because they are too recent for the original object to be out of copyright. Total 8,486 statements. (mean 8.4 statements per object)

Featured images[edit]

Featured images on English Wikipedia
Featured images on Commons
Featured images on Persian Wikipedia

A Composite Imaginary View of Japan was the picture of the day on French Wikipedia for 29 May, where it was shown to more than half a million people. This was also Commons Picture of the Day on July 11, which also made it Picture of the Day on 26 versions of Wikipedia and on Spanish Wikinews. Pages with the image were seen by around 900,000 people in total. It was also Picture of the Day on English Wikipedia for 1 November 2020.

The Japanese padded-silk panel was Commons Picture of the Day on 21 September 2020 and was seen by a similar number.

Did You Know?[edit]

These statements, images and links have appeared on English Wikipedia's front page where they were each seen by millions of people.

Did You Know... Image Date
that the Khalili Collections (manuscript folio shown) comprise some 35,000 works of art assembled by Nasser D. Khalili over five decades?
Manuscript folio of Shahnameh
Manuscript folio of Shahnameh
26 October 2019
that a collection of kimono (example pictured) assembled by Nasser Khalili covers four periods of Japanese history?
Kimono from the Khalili Collection
Kimono from the Khalili Collection
18 April 2020
that Nasser Khalili's 1,400-piece collection of Meiji-era Japanese art (object pictured) is equalled only by the Japanese imperial collection in size and quality?
Japanese incense burner in the Khalili Collection
Japanese incense burner in the Khalili Collection
28 May 2020
that Yabu Meizan's success as a porcelain artist (work pictured) inspired a rival workshop to sell imitations under his name?
Painted and gilded bowl by Yabu Meizan, c. 1910
Painted and gilded bowl by Yabu Meizan, c. 1910
09 June 2020
that Plácido Zuloaga trained more than two hundred artists to make damascened artworks (example pictured)?
Fonthill Casket, from the Khalili Collection of Spanish metalwork
Fonthill Casket, from the Khalili Collection of Spanish metalwork
18 June 2020
that on their display in Chicago in 1893, the vases of the Khalili Imperial Garniture (pictured) were described as "the largest examples of cloisonné enamel ever made"?
Khalili Imperial Garniture
Khalili Imperial Garniture
12 July 2020
that Namikawa Sōsuke (work pictured) and Namikawa Yasuyuki were the only two cloisonné artists to be appointed Imperial Household Artists?
Vases by Namikawa Sōsuke
Vases by Namikawa Sōsuke
25 July 2020
that Kawade Shibatarō co-developed the moriage ('piling-up') technique, which gives enamel artworks a three-dimensional effect? - 07 August 2020
that Nasser Khalili assembled the Khalili Collection of Swedish Textiles (item pictured) because he felt that art historians undervalued works by anonymous creators?
Swedish tapestry from the Khalili Collection
Swedish tapestry from the Khalili Collection
31 August 2020
that the Khalili Collection of Spanish Metalwork includes a Moroccan-style dagger (pictured) previously owned by King Alfonso XII of Spain?
Dagger and sheath from the Khalili Collection
Dagger and sheath from the Khalili Collection
15 October
that the Khalili Collection of Enamels of the World includes a throne table made for the 18th-century Qianlong Emperor? - 10 November 2020
that the Khalili Collection of Aramaic Documents (example pictured) includes the earliest known use of the name "Alexandros" to refer to Alexander the Great?
Aramaic document in the Khalili Collection
Aramaic document in the Khalili Collection
12 January 2021
that the Khalili Collection of Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage has a 16th-century manuscript (pictured) showing Alexander the Great praying at the Kaaba?
Folio depicting Alexander the Great at the Kaaba
Folio depicting Alexander the Great at the Kaaba
16 March 2021
that the basic design for the sitaras that decorate the Kaaba dates back to the 16th century? - 29 April 2021
that, on arriving at Mecca with a pilgrim caravan, the mahmal was given an elaborate fabric covering? - 28 May 2021
that the Khalili Collection of Islamic Art includes an exceptionally large 17th-century astrolabe (pictured) commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan?
Astrolabe in the Khalili Collection
Astrolabe in the Khalili Collection
3 June 2021
that a 17th-century illustrated manuscript of the Anis Al-Hujjaj shows pilgrims sailing from the Indian subcontinent to Arabia (pictured)?
Illustration from the Anis Al-Hujjaj
Illustration from the Anis Al-Hujjaj
1 July 2021
that Muhammad Sadiq's photographs were the first ever taken of the Islamic holy sites in Mecca and Medina? - 15 September 2021

On-wiki resources[edit]

The second Featured Picture to come from the partnership

The BaGLAMa stats tool is overestimating the image views for some months. Corrected numbers are below. These numbers do not include image hits on the front page, for example when an image is used in a DYK.

Month Views
May 2021 1,886,107

Wikidata[edit]

Coverage[edit]

Effect of the COVID-19 lockdown[edit]

The original intent was that I would visit Khalili Foundation properties at least monthly to talk to staff and examine/ inform attitudes towards Wikimedia. That has not been possible, and some of the issues are best discussed face-to-face, thus this limits the ability of the project to effect cultural change. So we are preparing a report/ presentation to deliver remotely if necessary, using the impressive statistics of what the project has achieved to convince people that Wikimedia is crucially relevant to their work.

I was going to consult collection catalogues and exhibition catalogues during visits to London. So instead I have been sent books in the post. I made a first visit to London in May 2021 and used the opportunity to start consult publications. Bulk image uploads, which would also have been the basis of a data set in Wikidata, were delayed. Just before the lockdown, we did a batch upload of kimono images to refine the process. The lockdown disrupted staff access to the server with the images on it, so we could not do large bulk uploads. For a while I was getting images from the Khalili Collections web site, plus some via email, and manually uploading them as needed.