Happy Birthday Wikipedia!

Wikimedian in Residence, Sara Thomas
Wikimedian in Residence, Sara Thomas

Today is Wikipedia’s 15th birthday, and as Museums Galleries Scotland’s Wikimedian in Residence, I thought I’d pull together 15 highlights of the residency so far.

1) Helping to raise the profile of one of Glasgow working-class heroines by doubling the size of the article about Rent Striker and political activist Mary Barbour at the #notremoving editathon.

2) Training half of the curatorial staff of Glasgow Museums how to edit Wikipedia.

3) Partnering with the Showpeople community of Glasgow to add and expand articles about their culture, like this one, this one and this one.

4) Adding these pictures of eighteenth century graffiti taken at Braemar Castle to Wikimedia Commons, and them being seen by more people each month than visit the castle in person.

5) Newly-created articles about forgotten Quaker anti-slavery campaigners Eliza Wigham, Priscilla Bright McLaren, Jane Wigham, written by brand-new editors from a local Edinburgh history group, reaching the Did you know? section of the front page of Wikipedia.

6) Volunteers from the Glasgow School of Art archives creating 13 new articles about members of the GSoA honour roll, including Tina Gray and ‘Glasgow Girl’ Eleanor Allen Moore.

7) The revealing backstage photos of Kelvingrove Museum, Kelvin Hall and the Riverside Museum added to Wikimedia Commons as part of our Backstage Pass photography event, including

8) Getting articles translated into other language Wikis, including this articles in Scots Wiki about Paisley-born astronomer John Jackson.

9) Helping out at an editathon that contributed toward this commemorative plaque being unveiled commemorating the Surgeon’s Hall Riot of 4th November 1870, where a crowd tried to prevent the first female matriculated undergraduate students at any British university sitting an anatomy exam.

10) Adding a range of images to Wikimedia Commons from Paisley Museum and Art Galleries, including this detail of the Coats Observatory:

11) Training nearly 150 people how to edit Wikipedia.

12) Speaking to nearly 500 people at conferences and seminars about Wikipedia, open knowledge, and why it’s great for museums.

13) Getting to meet Oswald, the very famous Stirling Smith cat, who even has his own twitter account…

14) Organising regular Glasgow & Edinburgh meetups for Scottish wikimedians – sign up to the Scot-Wiki mailing list to find out more!

15) Helping to get more biographies of women on to Wikipedia with events like the National Galleries’ Modern Scottish Women Editathon coming up on the 23rd January…


Not bad for a year’s work, really…


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