Learning patterns/GLAM on Tour - connecting Wikipedians and cultural institutions on the local level
What problem does this solve?
Many GLAM contributors (GLAM = galleries, libraries, archives, museums) are well acquainted with their local cultural institutions – or even already in contact with employees. What is often lacking, however, are the specific events, convincing arguments, or additional volunteers required to make the digitized cultural objects owned by these institutions available for use in Wikimedia projects. This means that many good ideas and potentially successful collaborations between volunteers and cultural institutions remain unexplored.
What is the solution?
The GLAM on Tour project was launched in 2013 and helps connect Wikipedians and cultural institutions on the local level. Based on existing initiatives set up by many volunteer Wikipedia contributors, these events give employees at cultural institutions the opportunity to get to know their local Wikipedians.
Together with the selected institution, and with the support of Wikimedia Deutschland, volunteers organize events such as special tours for Wikipedians, scientific presentations on current exhibitions, photo excursions or writing workshops. Wikipedians can also offer introductory or editing workshops to employees at the institutions. Such events should help create and maintain personal ties between Wikipedia groups and cultural institutions, thus enabling long-term collaborations and contributing to the creation and dissemination of open content for Wikimedia projects.
Since 2013, a total of thirteen GLAM on Tour events have been held. See the individual project pages for more information:
- Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum - Ausstellung zu archäologischen Funden am Harzhorn
- Oberlausitzische Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften Görlitz - Bibliothek
- Oberlausitzische Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften - Umgebindehäuser Seifhennersdorf
- Bundeskunsthalle Bonn - Ausstellung Outer Space
- Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum - Ausstellung anlässlich des 100. Jahrestages des 1. Weltkriegs
- Museum Haus Hövener Brilon - Thema Bergbau im Sauerland
- Von der Heydt-Museum Wuppertal, Pissarro - Ausstellung
- Schloss Caputh - Fototour Wiki loves Monuments
- Technische Sammlungen Dresden und Verkehrsmuseum Dresden
- Landesmuseum Württemberg, Ausstellung “Wahre Schätze”
- Textilmuseum Ratingen, Ausstellung “Die Macht der Mode”
- Deutsches Museum Bonn
- Antikenmuseum und Abguss-Sammlung Heidelberg
- Step 1: Generating interest
Anyone who thinks of a cultural institution that would be a suitable GLAM on Tour location and contain interesting content for Wikimedia projects should either contact the institution first and get a feel for whether it would be interested in entering into a collaboration with the Wikimedia community. Otherwisethe initiator shouldfind out if other volunteers would be keen to get involved in the project. Therefore, the discussions pages of the GLAM portal and the GLAM on Tour Projektseite or the German-language GLAM mailing list can be of use in order to share ideas and ask if others would be interested in the topic or would want to help. Ideally, this initial inquiry should already include information on the chosen collection, the institution or location in order to generate interest in the potential project.
- Step 2: Writing a funding request
To secure funding for the event from Wikimedia Deutschland in advance, the organizer should now write a funding application and/or set up a project planning page. This page can be created easily at Wikipedia:Funding/Project planning. Full information on funding can be found at Wikipedia:Funding. This project planning page can feature a rough estimate of expenses and request help with organizing the event. The completed funding request is then sent to communitywikimedia.de for processing. Now, the organizer must wait for approval.
- Step 3: Developing the program
As soon as the funding request has been approved, the program can start to be developed. This generally means that the initiator of the event, now acting as a local Wikipedia coordinator, establishes closer contact with the selected cultural institution and with Wikimedia Deutschland. Together, we then schedule a suitable weekend for the event and agree on suitable activities, e.g. tours for volunteers, writing and photo workshops, excursions, or scientific presentations. We will also discuss logistical issues such as an Internet connection, accommodation, restaurant visits, etc. Through this collaborative effort, the full program of the GLAM on Tour event is gradually pieced together on the project page.
- Step 4: Creating the project page
Next, a project page must be set up. As far as possible, the structure of this page should resemble that of existing GLAM on Tour project pages, i.e. it should be divided into a front page, a second page for participant management and the program, and a documentation page presenting the results of the event. Museum employees can contribute ideas for Wikipedia articles or photographic work in advance, so that participants can consider beforehand which topics they would like to research and work on at the location. Through this collaborative effort, the program of the GLAM on Tour event is gradually pieced together on the project page (see example program in German).
- Step 5: Concrete organization
In the weeks leading up to the event, the volunteer coordinator makes all the important arrangements with the help of Wikimedia Deutschland and the cultural institution. The wider community is informed of the event via the Wikimedia blog, the Wikipedia Kurier online community newspaper, the GLAM mailing list, etc. Meanwhile, we strive to generate media interest through, for example, a joint press release. Additional preparation may include reserving restaurant tables, ordering courier services, preparing literature at the cultural institution, or producing name badges. These responsibilities are divided up and closely coordinated between the volunteer coordinator, Wikimedia Deutschland and the institution.
Finally, the event takes place. For two to three days, Wikimedia contributors can carry out research, take photographs, work on articles and talk with employees at the chosen cultural institution.
In the weeks following the event, the articles that were started during the event are gradually fleshed out. Any photos that were taken are uploaded to Commons and categorized. The resulting content is all recorded on the documentation page of the GLAM on Tour location, so that the results of the work remain documented and visible to all for a long time. This page is also a platform where event participants can leave feedback and media reports can be posted.
Output: GLAM on Tour events result in new, freely accessible articles and images for Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons.
Outcome: They also result in personal ties being formed between GLAM project volunteers and employees at the selected museum, library, archive or other cultural institution. These personal relationships make it easier to plan other potential joint projects as, following a GLAM on Tour event, volunteers now have a contact person that they can easily get in touch with regarding forthcoming exhibitions. The events are also a good way to generate interest among the media about collaborations between Wikimedia project volunteers and cultural institutions.
A one-day event that brings Wikipedia contributors together with a cultural institution is often a good way to initiate a mutual relationship. A Wikipedian Kultour offers an excellent framework for such an event, consisting of a guided tour and writing workshop, or a Wikipedia workshop, for example. The one-day format allows local Wikipedia contributors to gain a first impression of the institution and to make contacts with its employees. It also gives the institution the opportunity to gain a preliminary idea of whether to build on the KulTour concept and organize a larger GLAM on Tour event, or perhaps launch a different form of collaboration.
- Towards a succesful GLAM Partnership!
- How to involve cultural partner as active GLAM participants
- How to write an agreement with a GLAM or institution
- Wikipedian KulTour – the little sister of GLAM on Tour
- Coding da Vinci - the culture hackathon
- Wikiverse World Café - getting to know Wikimedia projects and volunteers
- ©©-Change your mind - a fun workshop for open licenses
Selected GLAM on Tour media reports:
- GLAM on Tour in Brilon, Haus Hövener: "Wikipedianer vor Ort" im Sauerlandkurier, 21.09.2014
- GLAM on Tour in Wuppertal, Von der Heydt-Museum: "Als freier Autor über Kunst schreiben" in Der Westen, 24.12.2014
- GLAM on Tour in Caputh, Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten: "Sonderführung für Wikipedia" im Berliner Tagesspiegel, 07.09.2015
- GLAM on Tour in Dresden, Technische Sammlungen und Verkehrsmuseum: "Dresdner Museen kooperieren mit Wikipedia", 01.03.2016