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:
- Islamic Art (700-2000)
- Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage (700-2000)
- Aramaic Documents (535 BC-324 BC)
- Japanese Art of the Meiji Period (1868-1912)
- Japanese Kimono (1700-2000)
- Swedish Textiles (1700-1900)
- Spanish Damascened Metalwork (1850-1900)
- Enamels of the World (1700-2000)
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.
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"
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.
- New articles created
- Khalili Collections (DYK 26 October 2019)
- Khalili Collection of Kimono (DYK 18 April 2020)
- Plácido Zuloaga (DYK 18 June 2020) (Passed Good Article review 18 March 2021)
- Khalili Collection of Japanese Art (DYK 28 May 2020) (Passed Good Article review 22 October 2020)
- List of collections of Japanese art
- Khalili Imperial Garniture (DYK 12 July 2020) (Passed Good Article review 15 July 2021)
- Yabu Meizan (DYK 9 June 2020)
- Khalili Collection of Swedish Textiles (DYK 31 August 2020)
- Khalili Collection of Spanish Metalwork (DYK 15 October 2020)
- A volunteer has translated the entire Yabu Meizan article into Vietnamese, creating the first Vietnamese Wikipedia page with a Khalili Collections image.
- A volunteer has translated the lead of the Khalili Collection of Swedish Textiles article into Persian
- A different volunteer translated the lead of the Khalili Collection of Japanese Art article into Persian
- Khalili Collection of Enamels of the World (DYK 10 November 2020) (Passed Good Article review 27 June 2021)
- A volunteer translated the full Plácido Zuloaga article into French
- A volunteer translated the full Khalili Collection of Japanese Art article into Malay
- Khalili Collection of Aramaic Documents (DYK 12 January 2021) (Passed Good Article review 10 September 2021)
- A volunteer translated the Khalili Collection of Aramaic Documents article into Persian
- A volunteer translated a few paragraphs of Khalili Collection of Aramaic Documents into French
- A volunteer translated the Khalili Collection of Kimono article into Persian
- A volunteer translated a summary of the Khalili Collection of Spanish Metalwork article into Persian
- A volunteer translated a summary of the Khalili Collection of Enamels of the World article into Persian
- Khalili Collection of Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage (DYK 16 March 2021) (Passed Good Article review 4 September 2021)
- A volunteer translated a summary of the Khalili Collection of Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage article into Arabic
- Sitara (textile) (DYK 29 April 2021)
- Mahmal (DYK 28 May 2021)
- Khalili Collection of Islamic Art (DYK 3 June 2021)
- Anis Al-Hujjaj (DYK 1 July 2021)
- A volunteer translated most of the Anis Al-Hujjaj article into Persian
- A volunteer translated the entire Sitara (textile) article into Arabic
- Muhammad Sadiq (photographer) (DYK 15 September 2021)
- A volunteer translated the whole Khalili Collection of Islamic Art article into Italian.
- Other articles substantially improved
- List of museums of Islamic art (threefold expansion)
- Meiji (era) (added sections on Art and Fashion)
- Edo period (added section on Fashion)
- Damascening (added section on Eibar, Spain)
- Shibata Zeshin
- Makuzu Kōzan
- Japanese lacquerware
- Imperial Household Artist (fivefold expansion)
- Japanese pottery and porcelain#Meiji era
- Namikawa Sōsuke (tenfold expansion from stub to B class - DYK 25 July 2020)
- Namikawa Yasuyuki (fivefold expansion - DYK 25 July 2020)
- Kawade Shibatarō (fivefold expansion - DYK 7 August 2020)
- Swedish carpets and rugs (more than doubled in size)
- Vitreous enamel (added sections on Japan and on Islamic countries)
- Dala'il al-Khayrat (Added section on manuscripts)
- A volunteer has translated the article section on art of the Meiji era into Ukranian
- Kiswah (added section on Textiles of the Kaaba)
- Islamic embroidery (added section on Textiles of sacred sites)
- 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).
923 images from the Khalili Collection of Islamic Art (some images in this category existed before this project)
124 images from the Khalili Collection of Japanese Art
34 images from the collection of Kimono
108 images from the collection of Enamels of the World
27 images from the collection of Aramaic documents
47 images from the collection of Swedish textiles
32 images from the collection of Spanish damascened metalwork (Many works in this collection are too recent to count as free content.)
246 images from the collection of Hajj and the arts of Pilgrimage (one image in this category existed before)
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 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?
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?||26 October 2019|
|that a collection of kimono (example pictured) assembled by Nasser Khalili covers four periods of Japanese history?||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?||28 May 2020|
|that Yabu Meizan's success as a porcelain artist (work pictured) inspired a rival workshop to sell imitations under his name?||09 June 2020|
|that Plácido Zuloaga trained more than two hundred artists to make damascened artworks (example pictured)?||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"?||12 July 2020|
|that Namikawa Sōsuke (work pictured) and Namikawa Yasuyuki were the only two cloisonné artists to be appointed Imperial Household Artists?||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?||31 August 2020|
|that the Khalili Collection of Spanish Metalwork includes a Moroccan-style dagger (pictured) previously owned by King Alfonso XII of Spain?||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?||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?||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?||3 June 2021|
|that a 17th-century illustrated manuscript of the Anis Al-Hujjaj shows pilgrims sailing from the Indian subcontinent to Arabia (pictured)?||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|
- Commons Category: commons:Category:Khalili Collections
- Commons institution page: commons:Institution:Khalili Collections
- Commons permissions template: commons:Template:Khalili collection
- Navigational template: Template:Nasser Khalili
- The category has been added to the BaGLAMa2 stats tool. Stats for January 2020 show zero hits, but that is an error with the stats tool.
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.
- Links from Commons to the Khalili Collections web site
- Links from English Wikipedia to the Khalili Collections web site
- View stats graph for Khalili Collections articles
- Wikidata queries about the collections: wikidata:User:MartinPoulter/queries/khalili
- Database query for recent changes to Wikidata items about KC objects
- Khalili Collections in Reasonator
- Khalili Collections in Crotos:
- Mention in the Wikimedia UK impact report, March 2021
- Sir David spoke about the partnership in an online event held 25 February 2021. "For Wikipedia [...], we gave them one photograph for each collection to use on the home page, and, funnily enough, after covering seven of the collections, they had about 25 million viewers. That shows you how powerful digitisation can be. [...] That is the future: if you want to make available the collection of an institution, digitisation and sharing bring democratisation into it at the same time." (around 14:40 in the video onwards)
- Mention in "Teaching matters" blog post at Edinburgh University by Dr. Glaire Anderson and Ewan McAndrew, 14 January 2021
- "Wikimedia UK launches partnership with Khalili Collections", Museums Association, 12 September 2019
- "Around the world in 35,000 objects – and a handful of clicks" Apollo Magazine, 11 October 2019
Effect of the COVID-19 lockdown
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.