Wikipedia:Meetup/Boulder/December 2013

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Meet us inside the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History.
We have a triceratops skull!
Media related to Wikimedians at the CUMNH 2013 at Wikimedia Commons

Join us on December 14 for an exclusive backstage tour at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History! After visiting the museum's public areas, we'll go behind the scenes with museum staff to see some of the museum's four million natural history objects, including the invertebrate collections manager. Afterwards, we'll discuss how Wikipedia can help the museum reach out to the online, global community of natural history enthusiasts, and how the museum can help improve Wikipedia articles by contributing images, videos, information and expertise.



  • 2pm: Meet and walk around the museum itself. Current exhibits include: fossils, beetles, moccasins and pottery!
  • 3pm: We'll go behind the scenes to the invertebrate (non-insect) collection space!
    • We should take some photographs of the collection itself, to illustrate pages like natural history museum.
    • The museum staff and I are planning specific invertebrate groups, species and collections to highlight. If you have suggestions, please add them here!
    • The collections manager is really interested in making more photographs of the collections publicly available and reusable.
  • 5pm: We'll head over to Norlin Library, a short walk across campus, or to my lab in the same building.
    • We could talk about how Wikipedia could benefit from the museum, what it would need, and maybe discuss plans with the invertebrate collections manager about future collaborations between Wikipedia and the museum.
    • BUT if you'd rather edit Wikipedia articles, upload your images, or chat about Wikipedia, that'd be great too!
    • If the event goes well, we could try to organize a similar tour with other sections of the museum: vertebrates, entomology, paleontology, anthropology, diatoms and plants. We'd love your feedback on what worked, what didn't, and what could have been better.
  • 6pm: Head out for dinner?

Articles to improve[edit]

Specimens we looked at[edit]

Related work[edit]



  • Gaurav (talk) 21:35, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm very positive I can make it. This sounds really neat. Ender and Peter 00:08, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
  • -— Isarra 18:07, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
  • gribeco (talk) 04:10, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Can't make it?[edit]

Your suggestions?[edit]

  • WP:BB!
  • Here's some feedback I got after the event:
    • Better equipment would have been nice: a proper light box, a separate light source (maybe just a small desk lamp?),
    • It was a tad overwhelming to have so many specimens to photograph and play around with, but the flipside to that is that this sets us up neatly for the next event: everybody who came now knows exactly what to expect, and would be willing to come back to take more photographs of the same specimens.
    • A list of species beforehand would be nice, since we'd then know which species we needed better images for.
    • Some of the images (especially those of the building and collections) will be uploaded soon; pictures of shells will take more postprocessing and will take longer.
    • Most of the photographs taken had the label with them, so we'll know which species they belong to. However, if we get really confused, we can double-check the images against the teaching collection, or even against the research collection if necessary.
    • What's next? There was much interest to repeat this event for the invertebrate collections. We could also ask people at the entomology and vertebrate collections. Neil below suggested our next trip should be to the Norlin Library special collections, and if we get a ton of photos out of this thing -- and I think we might! -- then it'll be much easier to convince them that this is something worth doing.

Norlin special collections[edit]

A local treasure is the Rosetta Disk at the CU Boulder Norlin library special collections section:

But these days we would need a special event to get to actually open it up and look inside at the amazing miniaturized compendium of languages inside. So that's where I want to do a special event. But not in the Fall when I'm too busy. In the spring!.... ★NealMcB★ (talk) 22:24, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Let's do this! It'd make a nice January or February event. -- Gaurav (talk) 19:55, 21 November 2013 (UTC)