Wikipedia:Wikipedia Loves Libraries/Open Access to Mass History Week

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Open Access to Mass History 2013 is a planned series of edit-a-thons at Massachusetts institutions during Open Access Week, October 21st - 27th, broadly themed around Massachusetts history.


For Participants[edit]

Do you want to learn more about Massachusetts history, or do you already know how great Massachusetts is and want to share that with the world? Do you want to learn more about creating and editing Wikipedia articles, or are you an experienced Wikipedian who wants to share your know-how with others? Are you interested in a behind-the-scenes tour at fascinating archives and special collections around Massachusetts? If so, join us!


Simply choose a place, date, time, and subject focus from our list below. All members of the public and levels of experience welcome.


Please sign up on the Wikipedia page for the event you will attend so that we know how many to expect. If you would like to, create your Wikipedia account ahead of time, or we will help you at the Edit-a-thon. On the day of, you will just need to bring a laptop and power supply.

Date Time Place Focus and Details Facilitators
Tuesday, 10/22 9am - 2pm Center for the History of Medicine
Countway Library, Harvard Medical School
History of Medicine Adam Hyland
Tuesday, 10/22 2pm - 6:30pm Massachusetts Historical Society Philanthropists and 19th c. Boston Adam Hyland
Wednesday, 10/23 12pm - 5pm Snell Library, Northeastern University Social Justice History in Boston Ryan Malloy
Wednesday, 10/23 12pm - 5pm Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University Massachusetts Women's History Maia
Wednesday, 10/23 5pm - 9pm Cambridge Public Library Cambridge Local History Anne Britton
Thursday, 10/24 9am - 2pm Whittemore Library, Framingham State University Massachusetts Education and Normal Schools

For Hosts[edit]

The Plan[edit]

We hope to have, by the end of September, at least 5 "official" hosts committed to dates and times throughout the week, so that this will truly be a week-long celebration. In addition, we hope that these planning materials will still be useful to institutions that cannot commit to a physical event, but can encourage online participation.

What We Can Provide[edit]

  • A template Wikipedia event page with suggested schedule and advice on outreach to local Wikipedians and other members of the public.
    • Here is the template -- we are using the naming convention of "Meetup/Institution_OAMass13". We are happy to create a skeleton page for you, so contact the organizers if you need help.
  • Documentation and advice specific to creating articles in special collections, archives, and other GLAM institutions:
  • For our official and committed hosts, we should be able to connect you with at least one experienced Wikipedia editor to give a short tutorial and know-how during your edit-a-thon.
    • Please note: all hosts are welcome! However, we would like to have "official" hosts firmed up by the last week of September. If you can't commit that far ahead of time, we can't promise you'll have enough time to advertise, pull in a Wikipedia editor, and have high attendance. Which is still totally OK -- bringing together a few of your staff and members of the public to explore Wikipedia is still a good outcome.
  • A flyer template to which you can add your own name and print out and hang around town.
  • Some cool Wikipedia swag.

What You Will Provide[edit]

The Luce and Lunder Edit-a-thon at the Smithsonian American Art Museum provides an excellent template for thinking about what your edit-a-thon can look like and what it can accomplish.

You will need to provide at least:

  • WiFi
  • 5 hours
  • Two lists
  • Two people

And in more detail, you should plan on:

  • At least half a day (5 hours) OR a full day for the event
  • Open and stable WiFi
  • A behind-the-scenes tour of your collections and facilities, with your expert curators, archivists, conservators, and other subject matter experts to explain the importance of your special collections to Massachusetts history.
  • A staff person (or persons) to coordinate and participate in the edit-a-thon (this can be the same person as your tour leader, or a different person)
  • A list of suggested new topics: generally discrete factual topics like people, places, events, or organizations is easier to start. Again see the Luce and Lunder Edit-a-thon for an example To Do List of articles to create or flesh out.
  • A list of secondary sources on your suggested topics: links to blog posts, newspaper articles, finding aids, and other sources.
  • Coffee and snacks are not technically necessary, but always welcome

Here is a sample schedule for a half-day event:

  • Welcome and behind-the-scenes tour: 1.5 hours
  • Brief tutorial from Wikipedia editor: .5 hours
  • Edit away!: 2.5 hours
  • Wrap-up, including collecting your results: .5 hours

Who Are These "We" People?[edit]

Please feel free to contact us with questions! You can contact the Wikimedia GLAM folks directly through the Wikipedia Loves Libraries participation form, or email your local librarian organizers Amanda Rust (Northeastern University Libraries) or Amanda Strauss (Schlesinger Libraries).