Grants:IdeaLab/Akan gold weights - Berlin project

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Akan gold weights - Berlin project
Co-operation project between the "Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz" and the "Wikimedia Deutschland".(see description)
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created on19:04, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

Grants:IdeaLab/Akan gold weights - Berlin collection
see entry;
completion of a work (from 1920s/1930s) analogue to other museums of the world (for instance New York, Toulouse, San Salvador)

(Copied from above link I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 22:10, 2 February 2017 (UTC)):

An detailled (picture-)documentation of the collection of Akan gold weights in the Berlin Museums is overdue. In the time after the the First World War it gaves concernant to the Berlin collection only one single publication with direct relation. (1968, see below). A similar project it had given already in France (Museum de Toulouse) or in UK with The British National Archives. According to historical sources are present more as 1000 single figures in the museum archives. A presentation in the Wikimedia Commons and the Wikipedias shall make it accessible world-wide.

What is your solution?[edit]

see entry; photography and categorization

Co-operation project between the "Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz" and the "Wikimedia Fundation - Deutschland".

- professional photographic presentation of the objects of the collection of figurative gold weights of the Akan (Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire), collected by the former "Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin" = later "Staatliche Museen zu Berlin" = later "Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin" = contemporary "Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz"
- The collection consists of (at least) 1000 single objects which are particularly taken over from private property, particularly souvenirs of German missionaries (1914 were all German missionaries interned and expelled from the West African areas with British or French sovereignty) or also from the "Deutsche Westafrika-Expedition" (Leo Frobenius) of 1912.
- Aim of the project shall be a detailed documentation and if possible interpretations of the single objects of this collection in the frame of the Wikimedia (necessary are especially a picture (photo) and the real weight of a corresponding piece)
- Background to this project: Photographic pictures of the objects of the Berlin collections are very rarely in the literature and if at all, than only of elder origin. All objects consist of metal ("yellow cast"), so that it could be work in each case non-destructively.

Target financing[edit]

- A financing is sought analogous to similar projects of the Swiss and French Wikimedia with French museums (primarily Museum de Toulouse) for the creation of pictures of West Africvan gold weights and their publication on the Wikimedia Commons.
- necessary financing: photographer's mission
- necessary financing: possible demandings of the museum
- further financing: compensation of expenditures
- possible costs for the rent (use) of a laboratory scale and possible transport costs
- possible costs emerging from matters of negociation

Realisation by[edit]

- Contacting and attainment of a willingness and an agreement at the museum to a co-operation on non-commercial basis
- Negotiation of services and return-services by the mission of a "Wikimedia-Ambassador" (maybe the help at the creation of an online-catalogue..?)
- Possible negotiations for an agreement with further possible co-operation partners for the target project, for instance with the Universities in Berlin and their institutes related to a scientific documentation and interpretation of the Berlin collection on basis of a dissertation or similarly. Maybe the common signature of a "Memorandum of Understanding".
- Permissions of the museum for a visual presentation and for a weighting of single objects (insofar the latter is nessessary) inside of Museum-own rooms at presence of museum personnel
- Financing see above
- Time and motivation of all co-workers

Hitherto groundwork[edit]


- Wikimedia Commons:Akan gold weights

What we need. Project collaborators![edit]

Motivated campaigners in each concerning. Especially

a) Photography expert with mobile photography equipment
b) person(s) interested in culture history, open for topics concerning to West Africa, ideally experts for ghana and/or West Africa
c) ideally: person who can operate with laboratory scales
d) ideally: person who is feeling able for conduct of negotiations
e) persons with dwelling in Berlin or environs
f) persons with German language knowledges


g) emerging from negociations, maybe a data bank expert for catalogue creation

But also each other interested person for this topic is welcome.

Who will you be doing outreach with?[edit]

  • Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Wikimedia Deutschland


Get Involved[edit]

About the idea creator[edit]

- since 2006 on the Wikimedia Commons on the matter "Ghana" (user.Katharinaiv)
- 51 y.o., studied chemist and accountant, Ghana expert since the 1990s
- contact: email ""



  • Pragmatic and realistic projct that sustainably increases access to sources. X:: black ::X (talk) 17:53, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
  • without getting into details, looks interesting Anthere (talk)
  • Support Support This will bring more images to Commons.—M@sssly 07:14, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

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