Castles, Cats, Organs & Art Schools: Wikimedian in Residence update


By RichDysonPhoto (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons
Organ Console in Kelvingrove Museum. By RichDysonPhoto (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Since I last blogged here back in June, life as a Wikimedian in Residence has been busy!  I’ve trained over 70 people to use Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, and made contact with a whole host of organisations.  I’ve run events across the country, talked to a lot of people about the benefits of open knowledge for museums, and my diary is still filling up…

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my job is the opportunity to go out and meet people, and to see how enthused our sector’s staff are about their collections.  It’s talking about how we might use Wiki resources to open those collections up and reach new audiences.  And being able to play a part in showcasing Scotland’s rich cultural heritage to the world.

We ran an editathon recently at the Glasgow School of Art archives, drawing on material from the archives to create new Wikipedia articles about notable members of the Honour Roll.  We created 12 new articles, and these are already being integrated into the encyclopedia.  At Braemar Castle we took pictures of some of the more unusual pieces in the castle collection, and uploaded them to Wikimedia Commons.  At Glasgow Museums we took a group of Wiki volunteers on a “Backstage Pass” tour, taking photographs of some of the more unusual and lesser-seen parts of Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Kelvin Hall, and the Riverside Museum.  At Stirling Smith Museum I trained a group of staff how to edit Wikipedia, so that they’ll be able to update the encyclopedia about items held in their collection. (I also got to meet Oswald the museum cat…)

All of these organisations have incredible stories to tell, and collections which deserve to be seen by a wider audience.  Working with Wikipedia is no different to any other type of outreach – and if you’d like to know more about how that could work at your organisation, just drop me a line:

Eighteenth century graffiti in the Dining Room, Braemar Castle. By Mcmeekinbraemar (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons

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