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Estonia report: GLAM & databases, Rightsstatements.org declarations in Estonian and new version of Ajapaik app

By Reosarevok & Vahur Puik (Original published in April 2018 This Month in GLAM newsletter)

Tartu Art Museum + Wikidata

"In the museum" (1994). Linocut by Peeter Allik. One of the most recent images from Tartu Art Museum, that has been added to Wikimedia Commons.

A collaboration project is taking place between Wikimedia Eesti and the Tartu Art Museum, as the first concerted effort in Estonia of the WikiProject sum of all paintings. The first stage of this project has now been completed: to use a bot to add information about all the paintings and watercolor paintings in the museum collection to Wikidata (the data itself was extracted from the Estonian museum database MuIS). The collaboration will continue in the next months with the upload of high quality images of as many of the out of copyright artworks in the collection as possible to Wikimedia Commons (+ with the works, where it is possible to get the permission from the artist), to make them available to the public in general and to Wikipedia article writers in particular.

The technical work (see code on Github) carried out for this project should also make further collaborations easier, since most if not all of the Estonian museums have their collection data in the MuIS database.

Biographical Database of Estonian Photographers


In 2017 the previous custom made platform for the Biographical Database of Estonian Photographers was abandoned as it had become technically obsolete and the data was migrated to Scandinavian platform KulturNav. More than a year ago basic entries on Wikidata had been created (see GLAMwiki Newsletter from January 2017) with links to old database that needed to be updated with KulturNav IDs. The matching was performed with Mix'n'match, with the goal of adding more biographical information about the photographers in the future. Having a good overview of (early) Estonian photographers in Wikidata is interesting in itself, and will no doubt prove useful in order to discover more photographs that are in the public domain and can thus be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons to illustrate Wikipedia articles.

Estonian translation of Rightsstatements.org declarations in public review


On March 27 the 4 week public review of the Estonian translation of Rightsstatements.org declarations describing the copyright status of digitized cultural heritage items was announced. Estonian is only the second language after German Rightsstatements declarations have been translated into, several other translations are on their way. Currently the copyright statuses of the cultural heritage items are very poorly recorded and marked in the Estonian public collections and public repositories serving the content, therefore it is also hard to identify out of copyright content that could be added to Wikimedia Commons. A lot of work has to be done to raise awareness about the intellectual property rights related to cultural heritage items also among the staff of GLAMs as often the ownership of the physical items is confused with the ownership of IP. Rightsstatements declarations is one the tools to also educate about the topic. Also several public online repositories for cultural heritage are undergoing development so we hope that Rightsstatements will also be implemented rather sooner than later...

New version of Ajapaik rephotography app

Schoolchildren testing Ajapaik rephotography app in Helsinki on March 1st. The old photo is displayed semi-transparently on top of the camera stream to make it more convenient to align historic view with current scenery.

Ajapaik – a crowdsourcing platform for geotagging and rephotographing old images – published its new version of android app for rephotography in the beginning of March. Ajapaik has mostly Estonian content (more than 125 000 historical images, mostly photographs, but also paintings, graphic art and even film stills) retrieved from the APIs of public cultural heritage repositories.

The translation of the app was moved to Translatewiki and the next plans are to integrate the app with other repositories, including Wikimedia Commons and to pilot test it with the Wiki Loves Monuments rephotography track in collaboration with Wikimedia Finland (see their newsletter).