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CEE/Newsletter/September 2018/Contents/Serbia report

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Serbia report: Decentralization of GLAM activities[edit]

By Ivana Guslarević, Ivana Madžarević

Serbian Wikipedia enriched by another museum’s heritage[edit]

During August and September, the Wikipedian in Residence program took place in the Museum of Vrbas, which opened its door for an enthusiastic Wikipedian, in order to help her increase free content online based on the sources stored in this museum. The culture and history of the city of Vrbas, as well as the museum itself, are now represented on Serbian Wikipedia through 25 new and 7 improved articles, but also with almost 350 free images for wiki projects.

Cooperation between Wikimedia Serbia and the City Museum of Vrbas was encouraged by the Ministry of Culture and Information, with the initial support provided to the Wikimedia GLAM Program. After the representatives of the Museum of Vojvodina attended the first seminar at the Ministry, this provincial museum initiated the organizing of another GLAM seminar. The historian and curator Pavle Orbović, one of the most valuable participants in this seminar, was delegated to this two-day activity by the Vrbas City Museum. He quickly and easily mastered the basics of editing Wikipedia, but, more importantly, the importance of the presence of the institutions in Wikipedia, as well as the mission of spreading free knowledge about cultural heritage.

The idea of having the Wikimedian in Residence program in our museum was not only supported from the beginning, but was immediately considered as being realized

Oksana Mudri-Nedić, Wikipedian in residence and Pavle Orbović

"The first seminar that took place at the Museum of Vojvodina was very well organized and I found out everything related to copyright. However, the way of writing an article seemed a bit complicated, which was the reason for me to attend the advanced Wiki course in Belgrade. After this seminar, where I trained to write articles using visual editor, I realized that writing is much easier and faster. Also, it was immediately clear to me that we could conduct an internship program in our museum and that this would be a great move for the Museum in which I work."

Pavle Orbović, Museum in Vrbas

Wikipedian Oksana Mudri-Nedić worked for a month at the museum, uploaded images, wrote, improved and illustrated articles, but she says that all employees had given her immense help, and their enthusiasm and commitment to this project gave her even greater incentive to record the history of Vrbas.

Internship programs have been intensified this year and, after successful internship at the Museum of Yugoslavia, currently has a two-month internship at the Museum of Vojvodina, financed by the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia.

The Museum of Vojvodinian Slovaks became a part of the global GLAM program[edit]

The Museum of Vojvodinian Slovaks in Serbian city of Bački Petrovac became the newest partner of the global GLAM project (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) that aims to represent cultural and historical heritage on Wikipedia. With the help of an experienced Wikipedia editor and a GLAM volunteer from Wikimedia Serbia, this museum released 65 photographs for wiki projects in just five days.

The partnership was a result of the support of the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia and was initiated on a seminar in the Museum of Vojvodina which took place back in April. Director of the Museum of Vojvodinian Slovaks, Anka Seč-Pinćir attended the seminar and realized the potential of the presence of the museum’s collections on Wikipedia and helped organize the partnership.

It is important that the workers in cultural institutions understand that they need to share information

"The partnership with Wikimedia started spontaneously. I met the representatives of Wikimedia Serbia during a workshop in the Museum of Vojvodina where I got the thorough and useful information. Because the people were very open and professional and because Wikimedia is a global organization that stands behind many enormous online projects, we were happy to work together. So we planned the “introduction” to a partnership that will last for years. Soon after we started a 5 day project. The Wikipedian that stayed with us added information about our institution; more specifically he edited articles, uploaded photos of the items in the museum, old photos and paintings from the museum’s collections. Aside from that he went around Bački Petrovac and Kulpin where he also took photos of various sites, specific places and the environment."

Anka Seč-Pinćir, Museum of Vojvodinian Slovaks

Because this museum doesn’t have enough employees who would dedicate their time for the selection of the materials (and the metadata that goes with them) and their publishing on Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia Serbia sent a GLAM volunteer to Bački Petrovac so that a part of this job would be done efficiently. That's how Miloš Todorović, a former Wikipedian in residence and devoted GLAM volunteer, spent five days in this place in Vojvodina. In addition to uploading photos released by the museum, Miloš took 92 photos of cultural monuments and other sites in Bački Petrovac and Kulpin.

These results with such a narrow time limit show that the global GLAM project has another partner eager for a long-term collaboration that will further present the culture and history of Slovaks in Serbia on wiki projects.