Welcome to the Smithsonian Institution WikiProject on the English Wikipedia! We are a group dedicated to improving Wikipedia's coverage of topics related to the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum and research complex. Among its business units the Smithsonian contains multiple examples of all four of the letters in GLAM: 19 galleries and museums, 20 branch libraries, over a dozen archival repositories, a zoo, and roughly 6,000 staff members caring for its collections and sharing it its mission, "the increase and diffusion of knowledge."
Smithsonian Institution Building, or Castle
The project's goals include editing, enhancing and creating new articles or content related to:
- Notable artifacts, artworks, documents, or other records within the Smithsonian's collections
- Notable people such as artists, scientists, historic figures, and notable women and diverse populations who have significant presence within the Smithsonian's collections
- Smithsonian Institution personnel, including leadership, curators, scientists, and other notable staff members
- Smithsonian Institution affiliates, programs, events, functions, and charities
- Notable animals displayed (alive or dead), such as those in the collections of the National Museum of Natural History or the National Zoo, provided the animal has a name (example: Cher Ami)
- Smithsonian Institution museums and research centers
- NEW! A Wikidata project targeting artists and artworks for the Sum of All Paintings project, type specimen in the National Museum of Natural History collection, and women represented in the Smithsonian's collections as part of its Women's History Initiative. Read more here.
Wikimedians at the June 26, 2010 Meeting with Smithsonian Representatives
This relationship officially began on June 26, 2010 as part of the 10th DC meetup, when members of the Wikimedia DC Chapter met with representatives of the National Museum of the American Indian and other Smithsonian units, who were overwhelmingly receptive to the idea of potential collaboration. Soon after the initial contact, a training and information session was organized for 30 Smithsonian staff members. Attendees ranged from technical staff to curators, all of whom were instructed on registration, best practices for editing, and understanding conflict of interest.
Due to the diversity, complexity, size, and decentralized nature of the Smithsonian Institution, it was difficult to immediately define and scope any specific projects that could successfully encompass the entire Institution. However, relationships and discussions between Smithsonian staff and DC area Wikimedians continued to develop after the momentum of this initial push.
On April 11, 2011, Sarah Stierch and Katie Filbert presented a 5 minute lightning talk about GLAM/SI to an audience that included hundreds of Smithsonian staff. Following discussions after the presentation, Stierch agreed to join the Archives of American Art as the Smithsonian Institution's first Wikipedian in Residence from June to September 2011 (see GLAM/AAA project page). She presented a series of brown bag lunch workshops for Smithsonian staff and helped plan the Institution's first Backstage Pass & edit-a-thon at the Archives of American Art.
Stierch continued her involvement by becoming Wikipedian in Residence for the Smithsonian Institution Archives from March to June 2012 (see GLAM/SIA project page), where she helped plan two edit-a-thons and coordinated content donations to Wikimedia commons.
While unit-by-unit collaboration by a dedicated Wikipedian in Residence has proven a successful model for working with the Smithsonian so far, there are other opportunities for both online and real life collaboration that have yet to be unexplored. This central GLAM/SI project exists in order to help facilitate and organize formal and informal opportunities for collaboration with Smithsonian staff, and to provide a location for communication, sharing of ideas, and requests for assistance with Smithsonian resources.
In 2018, Wikimedia DC Member, Andrew Lih, taught a series of Wikidata workshops to staff across the Smithsonian which were well-received. Smithsonian staff spend a lot of time and resources on their data, so there is a clear benefit for both parties. Also in 2018, the Smithsonian kicked off an Open Data Pilot targeting Wikidata to contribute data about artists and artworks, scientific type specimen and collectors, and women represented in the Smithsonian's collections as part of its Women's History Initiative.
Smithsonian Institution Archives Edit-a-Thon, March 30, 2012
Visit the project pages for more detailed descriptions of activity and outcomes
- Smithsonian Institution, 2013 (pan-Institutional) - Hosted Wikipedian in Residence Dominic McDevitt-Parks for the summer of 2013, with support from the Office of the Secretary, the Archives of American Art, and the Office of the Chief Information Officer.
- Archives of American Art, 2011 - Hosted Wikipedian in Residence Sarah Stierch from June - September 2011, and continue to have active Wikipedians working among the Archives' staff. Visit the Archives of American Art Project Page for a list of ongoing articles in need of editing, or contact user Sarasays for more information about volunteer opportunities and access to archival resources.
At the initial meeting with the Smithsonian, Wikipedians proposed a number of cooperative activities between the Smithsonian and the Community (See the original proposal at Wikimedia Outreach). While progress has been made in hosting Wikipedians in Residence, and in conducting staff workshops and edit-a-thons, a number of these ideas are still relevant and have yet to come to fruition:
- Ongoing or regular meet-ups at the Smithsonian for in-person development of high-importance Smithsonian collection content
- Wiki-Academies where Wikipedians provide training opportunities for Smithsonian staff who wish to learn more about the Wikipedia community
- Smithsonian staff workshops with Wikipedians to increase their awareness and use of Smithsonian resources in article-writing
- Volunteer Support
- Continued cultivation and recruitment of new Wikipedians in Residence — onsite special guest Wikipedians who can:
- Connect Wikipedians with Smithsonian staff for collaborations
- Analyze and manage content on Wikipedia to best benefit the missions of both the Smithsonian and the Wikipedia community
- Coordinate competitions or edit-a-thons to improve Smithsonian-related content on Wikipedia
- Improved access to Smithsonian resources, such as libraries and archives,allowing volunteers to conduct research for Wikipedia content
- Content Development
- Wikipedian organization and development of Smithsonian-related content on Wikipedia
- Clearer identification and attribution of media from, by the Smithsonian Institution on Wikimedia sites
- Image restoration and development for Wikimedia and Smithsonian shared use
- The sharing of Smithsonian media on Commons, such as images, animations and sounds, with Wikipedia to increase visibility of collections and use of materials
Additions to this list are welcome and encouraged!
- Be GLAMorous: Join WikiProject GLAM/SI (video), by Katie Filbert and Sarah Stierch. UStream recording of a live presentation about the GLAM/SI initiative given at the "Ignite Smithsonian" event on April 18, 2011.
- Linkypedia - As of August 16 2010, the main si.edu site has 216 links to it, currently working on getting other Museum centric stats
This section is for interesting phenomena observed related to Smithsonian articles