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Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Rapid Fund/Dr. Bir/Bihar Bengalee Association GLAM (ID: 21974356)/Final Report

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Rapid Fund Final Report

Report Status: Under review

Due date: 2024-05-31T00:00:00Z

Funding program: Rapid Fund, Wikimedia Community Fund

Report type: Final

Application

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General information

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  • Title of Proposal: Dr. Bir/Bihar Bengalee Association GLAM
  • Username of Applicant: Dr. Bir
  • Name of Organization: N/A
  • Amount awarded: 4090.35
  • Amount spent: 3665.9 USD, 306256.9 INR

Part 1 Understanding your work

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1. Briefly describe how your proposed activities and strategies were implemented

We initially framed these four-steps strategies to run the digitization project.

  1. Purchase of scanner: - # Purchase of scanner: - A CZUR Professional Document ET18-Pro scanner was bought with active help from Subodh (CIS-A2K) at the end of January 2023.
  2. Training of a Wikimedian-in-Residence: - Mr. Apurba Bir, a Kolkata based person, was trained for the digitization work in two phases as a prospective Wikimedian-in-Residence (WiR). The first phase of training happened in Kolkata to give him the general idea about the features and the ways to handle the sophisticated equipment and the second phase was conducted in Patna with the original physical copies of the Behar Herald.
  3. Digitization of the newspapers: The WiR scanned the newspaper and post-processed in Patna and Munger in different phases, where I visited frequently to overview the process. In this process, the WiR scanned around 28,000 pages in a year and a half,
  4. Upload on Wikimedia Commons: The WiR had uploaded the scanned materials in a hired cloud space on Dropbox for my eyes. I have checked each files remotely, gave him feedback and uploaded around 27,000 pages on Wikimedia Commons till now. During the process, I had learned to use different free and open user-friendly softwares to convert images to lossless high quality PDFs and Pattypan for hassle-free batch uploading of the files on Wikimedia Commons.

2. Were there any strategies or approaches that you felt were effective in achieving your goals? Please describe these strategies and approaches.

It was the rapport and close relationship with the host organization, which were crucial for the digitization process. They were always ready for the WiR to provide him the working condition for the scanning even with their huge constraints. They were also accommodative towards me for any kind of help needed or if asked for meetings. Without their active help, this project would not have been successful.

3. Please use this space to upload media and other files that help tell your story and impact.


Field to type in URLs.

An issue of Behar Herald publishing news about a 21 days political fast of Mahatma Gandhi in 1943.

Here are a few links:

4. To what extent do you agree with the following statements regarding the work carried out with the support of this Fund? You can choose “not applicable” if your work does not relate to these goals.

Our efforts during the Fund period have helped to...
A. Bring in participants from underrepresented groups Agree
B. Create a more inclusive and connected culture in our community Agree
C. Develop content about underrepresented topics/groups Agree
D. Develop content from underrepresented perspectives Strongly agree
E. Encourage the retention of editors Neither agree nor disagree
F. Encourage the retention of organizers Agree

5. Is there anything else you would like to share about how your efforts helped to bring in participants and/or build out content, particularly for underrepresented groups?

“Since inception, democracy and secularism have been the motto of the weekly, with representation to all minorities to use the weekly as their forum for rights.

The test of democracy lies in the sense of securities that a minority feels in any society. No minority can expect, consistent with values of democracy and secularism, any special treatment or favour. Likewise no minority must ever be denied rights and securities that the Constitution guarantees.” - See charter of Behar Herald (archived)

This digitization process has helped bring forward a range of reference materials, analytical and critical journalistic writings, news articles related to under-represented and minority communities of the region alongside mainstream national and international topics. Many forgotten but remarkable events, political issues, culturally and socially relevant news, impact of government policies and initiatives towards constitutional rights of minorities etc. are preserved in the newspaper year after year for several decades. These historically relevant topics were washed out due to archival negligence but thanks to this digitization process, future generations of researchers can access some part of that history through the free and open Wikimedia sites and hopefully take such initiatives to preserve such history in coming days.

Part 2: Your main learning

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6. In your application, you outlined your learning priorities. What did you learn about these areas during this period?

Through this project, I have experienced the technicalities of the entire process including digitization, post-processing and scanning. I have also understood the strengths and limitations of the scanner used, and the relevance of co-ordination among different stakeholders. This project has also helped me gather experience to work with a grass-root organization with limited resources and high constraints. The project has also given me more determination to archive such dilapidated materials as soon as possible on emergency basis before they are destroyed and lost forever.

7. Did anything unexpected or surprising happen when implementing your activities?This can include both positive and negative situations. What did you learn from those experiences?

There were a few unexpected situations which happened during the project.

  • The scanner was not available with different vendors until January 2023, which wasted much of our time to complete the project.
  • The WiR faced some initial practical issues like handling varying sized copies of the newspaper bound in a hardbound cover, which made the scanning extremely difficult because of the practical limitations of scan area.
  • It was also very difficult to count the number of pages from the uploaded PDFs as there was no available tool for that purpose.

8. How do you hope to use this learning? For instance, do you have any new priorities, ideas for activities, or goals for the future?

This was the biggest digitization project which has been undertaken by our community and affiliate in West Bengal so far. The huge experience, which we have gathered during the process, will be utilized in our future similar projects to archive the history and culture of the region. There are already some interests shown by different organizations to digitize their contents similarly. For example, Bengalee Association, Bihar is now thinking about archiving their another publication named ‘Sanchita’. The ‘Shillong Bangiya Sahitya Parishat’, an under-represented Bangla community in Meghalaya, are also ready to collaborate with us for similar digitization and archiving project for their publications.

9. Documentation of resources: Use this space to upload any documents that would be useful to share with others (e.g. communications material, training material, presentations).


Here is an additional field to type in URLs.

N/A

Part 3: Metrics

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10a. Open Metrics reporting

In your application, you defined some open metrics and targets (goals). You will see a table like the one below with your metric in the title and the target you set in your proposal automatically filled in. Use the tables to report the result. Use the comments column to describe any aspects of this result that you find relevant. If the results were different from the initial target (goals) then you can explain why and what you learned from this. You can also provide any qualitative analysis regarding these results. In the last column please describe the tools and methodology used to collect this data and any difficulties you might have had.

Open Metrics Summary
Open Metrics Description Target Results Comments Methodology
Number of pages to be digitized This is an approximate number measured during cataloging of BEHAR HERLAD 45000 28000 The numbers measured during cataloguing was approximate and was calculated by projection of actual counts. The actual numbers are far lesser than that. N/A
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

10b. Core Metrics reporting

In your application, you defined targets for some core metrics and targets (goals). You will see a table like the one below with each core metric in the title and the target you set in your proposal automatically filled in. Use the tables to report the result. Use the comments column to describe any aspects of this result that you find relevant. If the results were different from the initial target (goals) then you can explain why and what you learned from this. You can also provide any qualitative analysis regarding these results. In the last column please describe the tools and methodology used to collect this data and any difficulties you might have had. Note: a table will appear for each Wikimedia project content contribution you defined in your proposal.

Core Metrics Summary
Core metrics Description Target Results Comments Methodology
Number of participants *Wikimedian-in-Residence:1
  • Bihar Bengalee Association :2
  • West Bengal Wikimedians User Group :1
  • Grantee:1
5 6 *Wikimedian-in-Residence:1
  • Bihar Bengalee Association :3
  • West Bengal Wikimedians User Group :1
*Grantee:1
Number of editors *Wikimedian-in-Residence:1
  • West Bengal Wikimedians User Group :1
  • Grantee:1
3 2 * West Bengal Wikimedians User Group :1
  • Grantee:1
Number of organizers *Bihar Bengalee Association :1
  • West Bengal Wikimedians User Group :1
  • Grantee:1
3 5 * Bihar Bengalee Association :3
  • West Bengal Wikimedians User Group :1
  • Grantee:1
Number of new content contributions per Wikimedia project
Wikimedia Project Description Target Results Comments Methodology
Wikimedia Commons Approximate number of Uploaded pages. 45000 26995 The numbers measured during cataloguing was approximate and was calculated by projection of actual counts. The actual numbers are far lesser than that. https://quarry.wmcloud.org/query/82331
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

12. Did you have any difficulties collecting data to measure your results? This could include things like a lack of time or resources, or the expertise in your team to collect this data. It could also include difficulties with particular data collection tools.

Yes

12a. State what difficulties you had.

There is no available user-friendly tool to count number of pages from uploaded PDFs on Wikimedia Commons.

12b. How do you hope to overcome these challenges in the future? Do you have any recommendations for the Foundation to support you in addressing these challenges?

A SQL query on Quarry was developed by Mahir256 to serve the purpose.

13. Use this space to upload any documents and provide links to any tools you have used that would be useful to understand your data collection (e.g., surveys you have carried out, communications material, training material, program and event dashboard link, project page on Meta).


Here is an additional field to type in URLs.

N/A

14. Have you shared these results with other Wikimedian communities (either affiliates, user groups, volunteers, etc., different to yours)? This can include things such as data and direct outcomes, lessons you have learned, or information on how to run or recreate your programs.

Yes

14a. If yes or partially, please describe how you have already shared them and if you would like to do more sharing, and if so how.

The relevant files and category on Wikimedia Commons were already shared with the affiliate. I am planning to write a brief report in the next GLAM newsletter and submit a Diff blog soon.

Part 4: Financial reporting and compliance

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15. & 14a. Please state the total amount spent in your local currency.

306256.9 INR

16. Please state the total amount spent in USD.

3665.9 USD

17. Please report the funds received and spending in the currency of your fund.

17a. Upload a financial report file.


17b. Please provide a link to your financial reporting document.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1W0kt_knA5bivEzskHFpCJ6FV5h9vhPvW/edit#gid=382762817

As required in the fund agreement, please report any deviations from your fund proposal here. Note that, among other things, any changes must be consistent with our WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement.

17c. If you have not already done so in your budget report, please provide information on changes in the budget in relation to your original proposal.

N/A

18. Do you have any unspent funds from the Fund?

Yes

18a. Please list the amount and currency you did not use and explain why.

I still have INR 28,743.10 as unspent money with me. This is because our estimation of total number of pages to be scanned did not exactly match with the actual number of pages. which happened to be lower than the estimation, which in turn reduced the cost of the project.

18b. What are you planning to do with the underspent funds?

B. Propose to use them to partially or fully fund a new/future grant request with PO approval

18c. Please provide details of hope to spend these funds.

I will submit a rapid fund application in the upcoming cycle, where I am planning to digitize more public domain and copyright free materials.

19. Are you in compliance with the terms outlined in the fund agreement?

Yes

20. Are you in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations as outlined in the grant agreement?

Yes

21. Are you in compliance with provisions of the United States Internal Revenue Code (“Code”), and with relevant tax laws and regulations restricting the use of the Funds as outlined in the grant agreement? In summary, this is to confirm that the funds were used in alignment with the WMF mission and for charitable/nonprofit/educational purposes.

Yes

22. If you have additional recommendations or reflections that don’t fit into the above sections, please write them here.

I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Bidyut Pal, present editor of Behar Herald; Mr. Sunirmal Das and Dr. Dilip Kumar Sinha from the Bengalee Association, Bihar for all their cordial help and kindness. I would also like to thank Subodh (CIS-A2K) to hep us search and procure the scanner from a Pune based vendor and Bodhisattwa for his technical supports.

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