Posted on Monday December 4, 2017

Working with Wikimedia

Helping Europeana’s partners connect their collections to the world’s most accessed educational resource - Wikimedia.

Wikimedia is the volunteer community and network behind the world's most accessed educational websites - Wikipedia, Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons.

We’ve been working with the Wikimedia volunteer community for a while now. Our partnership projects include crowdsourcing competitions associated with the Europeana1914-1918, Europeana Fashion, Europeana 1989, and Europeana 280 campaigns.

What can Europeana do for its partners?

Wikimedia has extensive documentation and case studies for cultural partnerships relating to events and activities and digitising and sharing collections.

We can help you connecting your collections and share expertise with Wikimedia in several ways:

  • Image sharing. Uploading individual, or sets, of multimedia to Wikimedia Commons. Europeana developed the GLAMwiki Toolset mass upload software for this purpose - which won the gold prize for Open software at the 2015 MUSE awards.
  • ‘Editathons’ and ‘transcribathons’.With any specific collection, exhibition, acquisition, or digitisation - especially of high quality public domain materials - there will be associated promotional and outreach activities. Europeana can assist in organising events with Wikimedians to use this new material either in an online, or onsite event.
  • Technical workshops. We can help you connect vocabularies and authority-control IDs to Wikidata, or advise on copyright policies to align with the principles of the Europeana Public Domain Charter which Wikimedia also follows.
  • Online competitions. Europeana has previously organised the largest Wikidata-focused competition (supporting Europeana 280) and a competition to showcase portfolios of diverse activities using Europeana materials (Europeana 1914-1918).
  • Embedding improvements. We can help feed the improvements (things like corrections, translations and geocodes) that Wikimedia volunteers make to your collection data back to you.
  • Introductions. There are groups of volunteer Wikimedians all around the world - some have official charity organisations, some have never met in person. We can put you in touch with the right people to begin a working relationship.
  • Practical advice and training. Wikimedia software, editorial policies, and community norms are complex. We can introduce you to it all so you can learn how to edit Wikipedia and avoid common pitfalls.

Recent Wikimedia activities

Current Campaign: Migration

Supporting the current Europeana Migration campaign, Europeana is offering dedicated resources to partner institutions wishing to integrate a Wikimedia component into their work. Europeana will also be connecting its internal Migration Vocabulary project to Wikidata - taking advantage of the existing concept translation, ontology, and external authority-control connections in Wikidata to increase the usability and findability of all Europeana Migration material.

In contrast to the previous two major campaigns (Europeana 1914-1918, and Europeana 280) this will not be a simultaneous continent-wide competition but a tailored response to the needs of each partner, in their own timeframe.

We can help partners by supporting any of these activities:

  1. If you’re hosting an event, like a collection day, you could expand on it by having some Wikimedia-related activities going on at the same time:
    • Have an ‘editathon’ for local Wikipedians going on in another part of the venue. (A private tour of the museum is often a good 'thank you' and enticement for the volunteer Wikipedians for this).
    • Ask local Wikipedians to work with curators/staff to improve/begin Wikipedia articles in applicable languages where the museum has the expertise and academic resources.
    • Conduct semi-formal and/or personalised Wiki-training of staff so that they can feel confident in contributing in the future.
    • Work with the general public attending your collection day event to scan/photograph the items they bring so they can be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons (which has specific and sometimes different technical/copyright requirements to Europeana).
  2. If you’re not hosting an overarching event, you can still get involved with some Wikimedia activities. Here are some ideas of how Europeana could support you:
    • Help you run a ’DataThon’ meeting to map your collection's metadata to Wikidata, learning about each other's metadata needs in the process.
    • If your building is an historic one, together, we could run a photography event/tour for local Wikimedians, take their own photographs, and then upload to Wikimedia Commons to improve the visual record of the site/building.
    • Support the creation of a Wikipedian-in-Residence position at the museum, and help to advertise for that role. Funding, duties, time period would depend on the circumstances and needs of the institution.
    • Support a mass upload of multimedia (and/or its metadata) from your collections to Wikimedia Commons and/or Wikidata.

Get in touch now to discuss how we can help you!

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