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GLAMs collaborating with Wikipedia
The GLAM–Wiki initiative (galleries, libraries, archives, museums with Wikipedia) helps cultural institutions share their resources with the world through high-impact collaboration alongside experienced Wikipedia editors. It is an unparalleled opportunity for the custodians of our cultural heritage to present their collections to new audiences.
Wikipedia gets millions of page views per day, has more than 250 language versions, and includes more than 20 million articles. Its content is created and maintained by thousands of dedicated volunteer "Wikipedians" around the globe. Everyone from academic researchers to amateur genealogists to young students uses Wikipedia to find information and resources. By 2015, Wikipedia is projected to serve 1 billion people with over 50 million articles.
The Wikipedia community is eager to help institutions improve online articles about their collections. A Wikipedian in Residence can be assigned to a specific cultural institution to help plan and coordinate ways that they can broaden their presence on Wikipedia. Activities organized by Wikipedians in Residence are broad and varied, and could include direct content improvement in partnership with curators, coordination of image or multimedia donations, organizing visits/events (e.g. behind the scenes tours for Wikipedians), and organizing challenges and competitions that promote article improvement.
These mutually beneficial relationships facilitate the sharing of resources between GLAMs and Wikipedia as part of a long-term ongoing collaboration.
GLAM editors should be mindful of the conflict of interest guideline, and should not use their editing privileges to promote the institution, but rather to bring the institution's resources into Wikipedia, in order to further Wikipedia's mission of providing articles summarizing accepted knowledge to the public.
British Museum, London
In 2010, Liam Wyatt served as the first Wikipedian in Residence at the British Museum. His one-month residency developed the basis for the international GLAM–Wiki initiative by bringing together curators and local Wikipedians to edit and add content about iconic British Museum objects such as the Rosetta Stone and the Hoxne Hoard.
Wikipedia is an incredible place to reach hungry learners and join a community of dedicated researchers who care deeply about making knowledge accessible to everyone.
Smithsonian Archives of American Art
Sarah Stierch, museum studies masters student and Wikipedian, taught on-location and online about the archival process and research materials at the Archives of American Art during her residency. She developed an e-volunteer program with Wikipedia, attracting 39 participants from around the world. After a behind the scenes tour to learn about the archival process from museum staff, regional Wikipedians participated in an "edit-a-thon" and created new articles using Smithsonian resources.
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
The world's largest children's museum has the longest-serving Wikipedian in Residence, Lori Phillips, who started in August 2010. Her innovative cross-generational Wikipedia programs established best practices and pilot projects. She implemented a QRpedia QR Code project that showcases notable objects in the museum, such as the Broad Ripple Park carousel and Bucky the Tyrannosaurus rex. By scanning a code with a smartphone, a visitor can learn more about an object through its Wikipedia page, and in multiple languages.
Museums have the knowledge and the documentation, and Wikipedia has a global reach and a circulation far beyond anything any museum could achieve on its own.
National Archives and Records Administration
NARA has worked with Wikipedian in Residence Dominic McDevitt-Parks to make the vast US Government holdings more accessible. He coordinated the upload of over 13,423 images from NARA, including works by Ansel Adams. These images have been used in Wikimedia projects in hundreds of languages. NARA also hosted several "scan-a-thon" events where DC-based Wikipedians digitize archived collections.
Museu Picasso, Barcelona
Àlex Hinojo served as Wikipedian in Residence at the Picasso Museum in 2011. Among other outreach projects for staff and volunteers, he spent one month with the museum librarian and a curator to improve the Catalan Wikipedia article about Pablo Picasso's Las Meninas, a series of 58 works by the artist. This featured article is now a highly regarded online resource about the work.
Like what you see? If you have questions or simply want to get in touch, email glamwikimedia.org.