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Czech Republic report: 2017 Edit-a-thon in the Research Library in Olomouc

By Jan Kameníček
Photos: Wikimedia Commons
At the Study Room of Historical Collections

The 2017 Edit-a-thon in the Research Library in Olomouc, the Czech Republic, was held on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 September 2017 on the occasion of the European Heritage Days. Its aim was to write or expand Wikipedia articles on the topics recommended by the library. The event, supported by the association Wikimedia Czech Republic, took place in the library for the second time (see the 2016 report) and it seems it could become a traditional annual event.

Work and excursions
At the Red Church, a library store

Thirteen Wikipedians from various regions of the Czech Republic took part in the event. Ten of them arrived in person and three more contributed on-line. The work on the recommended topics was interspersed with several excursions in the library. On Friday the participants were shown round the main library building, where they were informed about the principles of acquiring books and other items and about the way of archiving periodicals. Then they visited the Digitalization Department, where they could see how old books and periodicals are scanned and preserved in the electronic form using various types of scanners, including the robotic scanner DL-mini. On Saturday they visited the Study Room of Historical Collections where they admired some of the rare manuscripts and prints preserved in the library. Another interesting experience was the visit of the so called Red Church, which is a Gothic-Revival building, a former evangelic church, nowadays used as a library store completely filled with piles of books.

At the archive of periodicals

When working on the recommended topics, the Wikipedians could use the library sources. As a result 30 new articles were written and many others expanded, adding 140 thousand bytes (about 16 thousand words) to the Czech Wikipedia. The new articles included for example Vila Františky Lipčíkové (about a cubistic building in Olomouc), Turnerská tělocvična v Olomouci (about a former gymnasium of the German Turner movement), Lili Gödlová-Brandhuberová (about an Olomouc artist), Židovský hřbitov v Olomouci (about the Jewish cemetery in the city) and others. One participant, who is active on Czech and also Serbian Wikipedia, wrote an article about the Czechoslovak soldier František Dastich both in Czech and in Serbian. Besides that 121 files (including one video) were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and 45 thousand bytes (including 17 new items) were added to Wikidata in connection with the edit-a-thon.


The edit-a-thon was valued as very useful by the Olomouc librarians again and Wikimedia Czech Republic was offered to continue with this event every year. Librarian Lukáš Sochor informed about it very positively at the conference Knihovny současnosti 2017 (Libraries of Today 2017), where it was presented as one of good ways of cooperation of a library with Wikimedia projects. As a result Wikimedia Czech Republic was contacted by the Moravian-Silesian Research Library in Ostrava, which expressed a wish of cooperation. One of the edit-a-thon participants was inspired by the event and plans to organize a similar event in his city (Zlín) soon.