User:SandraF (WMF)/CIDOC 2018 workshop

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Welcome to an introduction to the Wikimedia ecosystem for museums!

This page provides a (non-comprehensive) list of links, pointers and resources for this topic. It was compiled in September 2018, for a full-day workshop at the CIDOC 2018 conference, Heraklion, Sunday 30 September 2018, and can be repurposed and re-used by anyone.

Workshop introduction[edit]

Since almost a decade, museums and other cultural institutions around the world (GLAMs – Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) have been working together with volunteers from the Wikimedia movement (Wikipedia and its sister projects). Such GLAM-Wiki collaboration projects offer a way to reach broad audiences and to make collections available for enrichment and re-use. Wikipedia, the non-profit, free encyclopedia, is the most well-known platform of the Wikimedia ecosystem. But there is also a lot of potential in sharing museum collections via Wikipedia’s sister projects: the free media repository Wikimedia Commons, and via the free, multilingual knowledge base Wikidata.

The Wikimedia ecosystem[edit]

Wikimedia projects: more than Wikipedia[edit]

The family of Wikimedia projects

Vision of the Wikimedia Foundation

Free knowledge and copyright[edit]

The spectrum of Creative Commons licenses and copyright statuses (from public domain to copyrighted). Wikimedia projects only accept and present content with the licenses in the topmost green section (including public domain content), consistent with the Definition of Free Cultural Works.

The Wikimedia community[edit]

Statistics about the size of the Wikimedia community and its activity on Wikimedia projects:

Wikimedia movement affiliates[edit]

Wikimedia chapters as of 2017. Besides chapters, the Wikimedia movement also has a thematic organization and many user groups – see the overview at Wikimedia Movement Affiliates.

Museum-related and GLAM-Wiki activities on Wikimedia projects[edit]

Museums as Wikimedia community members - accounts and Conflict of Interest (COI)[edit]

Tips (see also the GLAM conflict of interest guide):

  • As a GLAM staff member, you must edit Wikimedia projects under a personal account – do not use an institutional account that is shared with others.
  • Conflict of Interest policy on Wikimedia projects. You must disclose that you are a paid employee of a cultural institution; you can do that by writing a short introduction or bio on your user page. Example of a nice user page of a GLAM staff member
  • Working with Wikimedia projects means being an active part of the Wikimedia community, learning about, and respecting its policies – just like academic publishing has its social habits and policies as well. Interact with other community members, and don't be afraid to ask questions!

Museums and Wikipedia[edit]

The five pillars of Wikipedia

First step: find your museum (and its collections) on Wikipedia

  • Let's look at the anatomy of that page, and the community activity around it. Its structure, its talk page, its history.
  • In how many languages does your museum have an article?
  • Are there also Wikipedia articles about items from your collections?

Is it OK to edit information about your museum on Wikipedia?

Tactics for activities on Wikipedia[edit]

  • Get in touch with your local chapter or user group to build a connection with your local Wikimedia communities
  • Edit-a-thons
  • Behind the scenes activities
  • Interns working on Wikimedia assignments
  • Education projects together with your local universities
  • Wikimedian in Residence

Examples of museums (and cultural organizations) active on Wikipedia[edit]

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art - organizes campaigns and activities of its own and in collaboration with Wikimedia community initiatives (e.g. Asian History Month). Has a Wikipedian in Residence.
  • Europeana works with the Wikimedia community through a variety of campaigns and activities and by connecting its data to Wikidata. A Wikimedia ambassador is employed by Europeana.
  • UNESCO also employs a Wikimedian in Residence who organizes a variety of cultural activities on Wikimedia projects and who promotes the use of open data and free licenses at UNESCO.

Measuring impact[edit]

Structured data and Linked Open Data for GLAMs in the Wikimedia ecosystem[edit]

General workflow for data and media partnerships on Wikimedia projects (mainly Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons). The workflow is explained in detail here, with links to resources and tools.

Museums and Wikidata[edit]

The basics of Wikidata: Wikidata in one page

Find your museum on Wikidata!

Querying Wikidata[edit]

Examples of museum (and GLAM) partnerships on Wikidata[edit]

Examples of community-driven GLAM and museum initiatives on Wikidata[edit]

Where is data from Wikidata re-used? Which services link to Wikidata?[edit]

Tools for interacting with (and editing) Wikidata[edit]

Extensive list of external tools:

Measuring activity and impact[edit]

Museums and Wikimedia Commons[edit]

Find your museum on Wikimedia Commons.

  • Does it have its own Commons category?
  • Does it have an Institution template?
  • Upload a file related to your collections, or improve the metadata for an existing file

From 2019: Structured Data on Wikimedia Commons

  • Files on Commons described with data (entities) from Wikidata in addition to strings in Wikitext
  • Multilinguality of Wikidata's entities can then be used in full
  • Improved and more refined APIs
    • Back-and-forth feedback ('roundtripping') of changes in metadata becomes possible

Examples of museum partnerships on Wikimedia Commons[edit]

Examples of community-driven GLAM and museum initiatives on Wikimedia Commons[edit]

Batch uploading to Wikimedia Commons[edit]

Wikimedia Commons' guide to batch uploading


  • Many larger-scale uploads to Commons are done with bots written by Wikimedia community members.
  • Pattypan - mainly for smaller-scale uploads; stand-alone software that takes Excel sheets as input. Can be used by people without bot-writing or programming skills and for collections without extensive XML export facilities or APIs
  • GLAMWiki Toolset - XML-based uploads, especially suitable for large batches (tens to hundreds of thousands of files). Is not actively maintained anymore and will not support structured data on Commons.

Measuring impact[edit]

Reading materials[edit]