Grants:Project/Effie Kapsalis/Smithsonian Wikimedian-in-Residence for Gender Representation/Midpoint

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This Project Grant midpoint report has been submitted by the grantee, and is currently being reviewed by WMF staff. If you would like to add comments, responses, or questions about this grant report, you can create a discussion page at this redlink.

Welcome to this project's midpoint report! This report shares progress and learning from the grantee's first 3 months.


In a few short sentences or bullet points, give the main highlights of what happened with your project so far.

  • Hosted two edit-a-thons, one with the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and one with the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. A third edit-a-thon for Ada Lovelace Day at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is planned for October 8th.
  • Added 238 images of American women suffragists to Wikimedia Commons from the National Portrait Gallery, Votes for Women exhibit.
  1. Sojourner Truth image has been viewed 209,135 times
  2. Image view totals for batch: 322,974
  • Added 11,442 words about American women to Wikipedia at our events and created partnerships with Whose Knowledge, 500 Women Scientists, and WikiProject Women in Red.

Methods and activities[edit]

How have you setup your project, and what work has been completed so far?

Describe how you've setup your experiment or pilot, sharing your key focuses so far and including links to any background research or past learning that has guided your decisions. List and describe the activities you've undertaken as part of your project to this point.

In the first half of the grant term we have focused on developing relationships across the Smithsonian’s museums, research centers, libraries and archives, as well as with external partners, to plan our first three edit-a-thons. Our Wikimedian in Residence, Kelly Doyle, has traveled to Washington, D.C. twice to lead edit-a-thons, meet with staff, and develop relationships for future events and pilot programs.

To date, two edit-a-thons have been hosted with a third planned for October. She has helped plan a Wikidata training session (conducted by Andrew Lih) and will host a Wikipedia training session for Smithsonian Affiliates in October. We have jointly presented about the American Women’s History Initiative (AWHI) and our mid-term results at Wikimania and will present on a panel internally about the same in December.

Our key focus in the first six months has been establishing Wikimedia contributions as a valuable component for learning and knowledge dissemination for the AWHI.

We’ve also established a framework for reporting the impact of these events to Smithsonian partners, senior leadership and key external stakeholders.

Midpoint outcomes[edit]

What are the results of your project or any experiments you’ve worked on so far?

Please discuss anything you have created or changed (organized, built, grown, etc) as a result of your project to date.

We have successfully hosted two edit-a-thons with internal Smithsonian units with external support from Wikimedia District of Columbia. We partnered with Whose Knowledge on their VisibleWikiWomen photo challenge and released images about women in the American suffrage movement in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery. These 238 images have been viewed a total of 322,974 times. As a result of our events, image releases, and other media we created within the first six months of this project we have generated 470,961 views.

A third edit-a-thon is planned for October 8th at the National Air and Space Museum for Ada Lovelace Day. This event will include videos streaming on NASM’s social media platforms, streaming on NASA’s platforms, a podcast episode, and remarks from the Director of NASM, Dr. Ellen Stofan. All of our events have focused on American women’s history topics and generated Wikimedia content solely about women’s history.

The Smithsonian’s Provost now includes messaging in his reports to the Smithsonian Board of Regents, as well as at the board meetings of the Smithsonian’s individual units. The Provost included an image of the Votes for Women edit-a-thon volunteers with high-level statistics in an internal newsletter for over 6500 Smithsonian staff, volunteers and interns.

The next six months of this grant term will focus on creating and testing four micro-crowdsourcing with internal units and external partners.


Please take some time to update the table in your project finances page. Check that you’ve listed all approved and actual expenditures as instructed. If there are differences between the planned and actual use of funds, please use the column provided there to explain them.

Then, answer the following question here: Have you spent your funds according to plan so far? Please briefly describe any major changes to budget or expenditures that you anticipate for the second half of your project.



The best thing about trying something new is that you learn from it. We want to follow in your footsteps and learn along with you, and we want to know that you are taking enough risks to learn something really interesting! Please use the below sections to describe what is working and what you plan to change for the second half of your project.

What are the challenges[edit]

What challenges or obstacles have you encountered? What will you do differently going forward? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • Getting information out to the Smithsonian’s distributed network
  • Establishing a process for capturing input from the nine incoming AWHI curators at various units

What is working well[edit]

What have you found works best so far? To help spread successful strategies so that they can be of use to others in the movement, rather than writing lots of text here, we'd like you to share your finding in the form of a link to a learning pattern.

Next steps and opportunities[edit]

What are the next steps and opportunities you’ll be focusing on for the second half of your project? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • Focus on piloting and testing four microcrowdsourcing practices
  • Building new partnerships with internal units and external organizations
  • Continued image releases from Smithsonian units, with an increased focus on women in science
  • Developing a sustained funding model for two Wikipedian-in-Residents; one focusing on on-the-ground and online volunteer coordination and a second focused batch importing Smithsonian data to Wikidata.

Grantee reflection[edit]

We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on how the experience of being an grantee has been so far. What is one thing that surprised you, or that you particularly enjoyed from the past 3 months?

  • We have particularly enjoyed learning from each event and fine tuning our approach for future edit-a-thons and Wikimedia oriented trainings
  • Partnership building has been a theme of the first half of the grant term and it has allowed us the opportunity to collaborate with new units for each event
  • We have been excited by seeing the impact one image release can make, in this case the Sojourner Truth image, and how it has created space for future image releases of notable women from our collections.
  • Working with AWHI curators to develop worklists about notable women for Wikipedia articles in the first half of the grant term will aid the work we want to accomplish in the second half.
  • As we look to the next six months, our focus will narrow to micro-crowdsourcing tasks with new partners.