Grants:PEG/Katie Filbert - Wikimedians in DC/GLAM-MCN outreach

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This submission to the Wikimedia Foundation Grants Program was funded in the fiscal year 2010-11. This is a grant to an individual.

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Legal name of chapter
Wikimedia DC
Grant contact name
Katie Filbert
Grant contact user-name or e-mail
Grant contact title (position)
Project lead name
Katie Filbert
Project lead user-name or e-mail
Project lead title (position), if any
Full project name
GLAM outreach and collaboration
Amount requested (in USD)
Provisional target start date
Provisional completion date


I seek to attend the MCN (Museum Computer Network) conference, to which I was invited to come speak and lead unconference sessions, to further the relationships between Wikimedians and the museum-tech community on a professional level, and explore further collaboration possibilities with the Smithsonian and other institutions.

There is an active Wikipedia meetup group in the Washington DC area, however there is no Wikimedia chapter that includes the DC area. Nonetheless, a small core group of Wikimedians are working on collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution. In August, we conducted a Wikipedia workshop for approximately 20 Smithsonian staff members from across the institution, teaching them how to contribute to Wikipedia. We are planning to conduct additional workshops and make this an ongoing partnership, as a one-time workshop is so likely to be successful to bring new contributors into Wikipedia.

As a core member of the DC Wikipedia meetup group, I seek to support the Smithsonian-Wikipedia collaboration, improving our relationships with individual key staff members who are active in the broader museum-technology community. As well, there is strong potential for collaboration other institutions in the Washington DC area, building on the momentum of "open government" and interest in open, collaborative projects including Wikipedia. Collaborations with the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress are in early stages of formation.

Ultimately, such GLAM activities shall be managed by a US or regional Wikimedia chapter. Washington, DC is not yet part of any existing chapter, though there are discussions of expanding the scope of the DC chapter. Even once DC is part of a chapter, it will take additional time before the fundraising infrastructure is in place that allows chapters to take a cut of the annual fundraiser (e.g. donations coming from Germany or France). Thus, at this time, it is necessary to seek support through the Wikimedia Foundation grant process.

Project scope[edit]

Travel to MCN (Museum Computer Network) conference in Austin, Texas, October 27-30, to participate, present "unconference" sessions on Wikipedia, and enhance relationships with key people in the museum-tech community, including Smithsonian Institution people who are attending the conference.

Project goal[edit]

At the Museum Computer Network conference, I will:

1) Lead an invited unconference session on how to access and reuse Wikipedia content, via the API (and integrate with OpenStreetMap data) to build web (and mobile?) applications. There is very strong interest within the museum-tech community for developing mobile applications, especially those with location-based focus. Examples are integrating Wikipedia content about the (Smithsonian) National Zoo / species and OSM map of the zoo, the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, and Arlington National Cemetery. It is important to demonstrate not only how to get content into Wikipedia, but also how to get content out and make use of it in various ways. (it's give and take, benefits for everyone)

2) (not definite, but likely) Organize an informal, unconference session/workshop on "how Wikipedia works and how to contribute", (together w/ Liam Wyatt?) using and improving on the format used for the workshop organized by DC-area Wikipedians for the Smithsonian in August. Workshop materials and best practices/lessons learned to be posted on

3) I can also talk about the FedFlix project -- an ongoing effort to digitize video in the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration. The video is being posted to the Internet Archive and I am working on getting some video copied over to Wikimedia Commons and see how it can be used on Wikipedia. By demonstrating the value and interest from the public (and Wikimedians) in using the materials, we hope that the National Archives and other public institutions will see the importance of and make digitization a higher priority. I can also talk about technical issue surrounding use of video in MediaWiki, and touch on technical developments.

Interactions throughout the entire conference are also an opportunity to make a "buzz" about Wikipedia and networking with Smithsonian and other key museum-tech people is very important.

Budget breakdown[edit]

  1. $35 - MCN membership
  2. $250 - conference registration as "emerging professional"
  3. $860 = $149 (conference hotel rate) x 5 (+ 15% tax)
  4. $355 = $71 X 5 (meals & expenses, per diem) gov rate
  5. $400 = airfare

Total: $1900

Non-financial requirements[edit]

Not absolutely necessary, but some copies of bookshelf materials would be helpful:

Fit to strategy[edit]

Improve understanding of how Wikipedia works within the museum-tech community, both from a technical and community perspective, and increase interest in GLAM-Wiki partnerships. Members of the museum-tech community are a natural fit, with similar missions to educate and a treasure-trove of subject matter knowledge, thus would be a natural fit and asset to recruit some into our community, increase participation and improve quality of our content.

Specifically, we wish to strengthen the Smithsonian-Wikimedia DC partnership, and use this partnership as a "pilot" project and formulate best practices that Wikimedians around the United States and beyond could use when deciding to pursue such collaborations.

Other benefits[edit]

Increase the *buzz* surrounding GLAM activities, among both the Wikipedia and museum-tech community through social media, the Signpost, and other channels, and build momentum towards expanding the Wikimedia NYC or forming a chapter in the Washington DC area in support of GLAM and other activities.

Measures of success[edit]

Some measures of success may include:

  • New people from the museum-tech community signed up on Wikipedia
  • Ongoing Smithsonian partnership, including additional workshops or one-on-one training
  • Work towards a "pilot" web or mobile application that integrates Wikipedia content, and transforms it into a useful format for a museum/gallery visitor (or Zoo or other such place)

Further information[edit]