Wikipedians celebrate anniversary with US National Archives in Washington, D.C.
- Signpost writer Aude has been one of the organizers of the WikiXDC event and is also involved in the FedFlix digitization project at NARA.
On Saturday, January 22, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) hosted Wikipedians in Washington, D.C. for WikiXDC, to celebrate Wikipedia's 10th birthday. Approximately 80-90 people attended, including NARA staff, numerous experienced Wikipedians, as well as new editors and Wikipedia readers and fans.
The morning included a welcome by US Archivist David Ferriero, presentations by NARA staff talking about records management and various other aspects of what they do, and a behind-the-scenes tour. During the welcome, James Hare brought up the idea of the Wikimedia DC group bidding for Wikimania 2012, with warm reception to the idea including from Ferriero. NARA's Beth Cron gave an overview of their records management process, and as a case study, Martha Murphy discussed NARA's collections on the John F. Kennedy assassination and examined the Wikipedia article on the topic. Kitty Nicholson gave a talk on record conservation. Jill Reilly James discussed work on improving the search functionality for finding records, and demonstrated a new search prototype. She also talked about digitization efforts. Currently, there are approximately 153,000 items digitized and available online, out of millions of cubic square feet worth of boxes. They are interested in increasing the priority of digitization to improve public access. NARA also talked about their interest in working with Wikipedia volunteers, and facilitating easier access to NARA records. At some point, they would like to have a Wikipedian-in-Residence working with them.
Inner-depths of the National Archives
The afternoon featured lightning talks by Wikipedians and others, with the first session of the afternoon focusing on GLAM-Wiki topics. Thomas Gideon presented about the FedFlix and International Amateur Scanning League project for digitizing video from the National Archives holdings (see also the WikiProject FedFlix). Ed Summers presented on his Linkypedia tool for tracking outgoing links from Wikipedia to other websites. Harihar Shankar spoke about the Memento plugin for Firefox that helps access Wikipedia and other sites as they were at some date in the past. Sarah Stierch talked about Wikipedia:WikiProject Public art and her work on documenting public art around Washington, D.C.., sparking a good deal of interest from the audience to help photograph and map the artwork. Peter Meyer, a statistician at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, presented on Statipedia.
The second session of lightning talks focused on Wikipedia, more generally. Kat Walsh looked back at 10 moments in Wikipedia history, and User:Jyothis talked about the Malayalam Wikipedia and discussed about Indian language versions of Wikipedia. Sage Ross and PJ Tabit presented about the Wikipedia Ambassador Program and the role of Campus Ambassadors, discussing how it has worked so far and how they would like to see ideas translate to GLAM outreach efforts. User:Aude gave a brief overview of the collaboration between Wikimedians in DC and the Smithsonian Institution, including work with the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Archives of American Art.
The day wrapped up with celebration of Wikipedia's 10th birthday, featuring Wikipedia cupcakes donated by Georgetown Cupcake, followed by a session of Wiki-Trivia led by Kat Walsh and Phoebe Ayers. Socializing continued afterwards at a nearby pub, with discussion about Wikimedia DC's bid for Wikimania 2012 and moving forward with forming a chapter.
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