Wikipedia:Meetup/NARA 4

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
National Archives
National Archives ExtravaSCANza.png
Who should come? You should. Really.

Please join us for the National Archives ExtravaSCANza, January 4–7. The object of the event will be to scan historical documents of interest to Wikipedians, to help improve the quality of our content and provide access for those Wikipedians who cannot physically visit the National Archives. At the same time, we are assisting the National Archives in its digitization efforts, and all documents scanned will be added to NARA's online catalog by staff. See Wikipedia:Meetup/NARA 1 and Wikipedia:Meetup/NARA 2 for background on prior events.

This time, we will be doing things a little differently. We will forgo presentations, tours, or lunch and instead meet directly in the research room. With themed days, we will be less physically scattered within the building and more interested in the subject matter, which will lead to more fun and productive activity. It also means less being talked at and more time for informal socializing around the scanning tables. We will probably go out to dinner or a bar afterward, if there is interest.

The event is designed to be open-ended. Come whenever you can during the specified times, and don't feel like you need to arrive when it starts on a given day or stay until it ends. Important: if you are coming on a weekday and do not have a researcher card, you must come at least 15 minutes before 5 p.m., when registration closes, or you will not be able to enter the research room. Sign up below!

Why scanning?[edit]

Wikipedians scanning at the National Archives!

Scanning documents is the library/archives equivalent of the photo scavenger hunts like Wiki Loves Monuments and Wiki Takes events (e.g. Wikis Take Manhattan). It's fun because you get to handle unique historical documents, and the images you upload will be useful for the Wikimedia projects. They might be digitally restored, end up in articles, or even inspire a new article or expansion.

The activity requires very little knowledge of Wikipedia to participate; you could even scan images for an event and then give the files to someone else to upload. And it is also mutually beneficial for the institution, which likely has a backlog of documents to digitize but lacks the staff resources. This is a very attractive event for institutions because they will be able to immediately see the outcome and the value added by Wikimedians in the form of the tally of scanned documents.


The ExtravaSCANza begins on Wednesday, January 4 and runs until Saturday, January 7. Wikimedians and non-Wikimedians of all skill levels are invited to participate and help promote access to our cultural heritage. The scanning will take place from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. There is no program of events; simply come at any time during any day(s) and join the table with scanners and Wikipedians in the research room. We meet in the Still Pictures Research Room on the fifth floor. There will be signs to guide you.


Wednesday, January 4

Suffragette banner. One of the banners, the women who picketed the White House . . . - NARA - 533769.tif

Thursday, January 5

Photograph of President Juan Antonio Rios of Chile, with military officers and dignitaries, outside George... - NARA - 199229.tif

Friday, January 6

Arizona (BB39) Port Bow, Underway - NARA - 5900075 - 1930.jpg

Saturday, January 7

5 p.m. – 9 p.m. 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Still Picture Research Room at College Park, Maryland
Spaceflight Women's suffrage

Women's history is an important and often neglected area on Wikipedia. The National Archives preserves many of the records of the struggle, from protests to portraits.


The records housed by NARA touch on a wide swathe of global history, and many can help shed light on cultures and histories outside of the United States which do not have easy access to its facilities. Here, as an example, we will draw on records from agencies as diverse as the Central Intelligence Agency and the Bureau of Public Roads to paint a picture of Chile.


Articles about battleships hold a particular fascination for many Wikipedians. NARA has a large number of undigitized records of the Bureau of Ships (RG 19), representing battleships from all over the world, which will surely be of interest to editors.


National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, Maryland. College Park is about 25 minutes from central DC, 35 minutes from Arlington, Virginia and 45 minutes from Baltimore.

The building is not within walking distance of the College Park Metro station. If you are planning on taking public transportation, see the instructions below.

Once you get here

The National Archives is a large building with its own campus and free on-site parking. You will drive into the main entrance and there will be a security checkpoint. The guard will ask for ID and may inquire about your reason for visiting; you may tell them that you are here for a public event and/or research. If coming by bus or shuttle, you will be dropped off within this first checkpoint. There is one entrance to the building, where you will again have to show ID and go through an X-ray machine. After going through security, you will need to go to the registration area to the right to get your researcher card, if needed; important: if you are coming on a weekday and will need a new card, you must come at least 15 minutes before 5 p.m., when registration closes, or you will not be able to enter the research room. Once you have your card, proceed to the research rooms, and head directly to the Still Pictures Research Room on the 5th floor.

What to bring
  • In order to get inside the building, you must bring a current photo ID; don't forget your researcher card if you have one already.
  • Laptops, if you have them. There are public computers, but laptops make it easier to sit together, and are necessary to work with scanners.
  • Scanners, if you have them. (Do not bring a scanner with any type of auto-feeder. You will not be able to take it into the research rooms.)
  • Cameras, if you have them.


The themes above are just proposals. They were selected in order to be of interest to a wide variety of potential attendees and of use to Wikipedia. However, feel free to suggest alternatives here.

Sign up[edit]

Have you ever had to miss a meetup because you were busy or out of town on the day it was scheduled? Now you get four chances to attend! Sign up for any day(s) you want. Feel free to come to all four if you're a true Wikipediholic.


  1. Dominic·t 00:23, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
  2. I'll be there either Wed/Thurs, who knows maybe both! --Aude (talk) 04:12, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
  3. oops conflict with free concert busboys. Slowking4†@1₭ 16:25, 3 January 2012 (UTC)


  1. Dominic·t 00:23, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
  2. I'll be there either Wed/Thurs, who knows maybe both! --Aude (talk) 04:12, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
  3. i will try to swing by, see how the parking clears out. Slowking4†@1₭ 20:54, 3 January 2012 (UTC)


  1. Dominic·t 00:23, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
  2. Sure, if you'll be there, I'll come. Djembayz


  1. Dominic·t 00:23, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
  2. Saturday is good. :) --Aude (talk) 04:12, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
  3. Probable. Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:27, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
  4. Djembayz Ships! Whoo-hoo! Djembayz (talk) 17:23, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
  5. Thanks for organizing! Econterms (talk) 00:59, 7 January 2012 (UTC)