Wiki Loves Living Heritage/FAQ for safeguarding organizations

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FAQ for safeguarding organizations[edit]

What’s in it for us?[edit]

Take the opportunity to connect with the local Wikimedia community. Together you can raise awareness of the heritage elements in your region online. You can learn new skills that allow you to contribute to the Wikimedia projects: articles on Wikipedia, media on Wikimedia Commons and data on Wikidata.

We already have the ICH Inventory online in our country. Why would we join the Wiki campaign? What would be the value of having our elements presented via Wiki Loves Living Heritage?[edit]

  • Wikipedia ranks among the most visited websites in the world. The visibility and awareness of the heritage elements increases and drives traffic to the institutional website.
  • An entry in Wikidata makes a heritage element visible in internet searches. This is especially important for searches in the native languages. Wikidata supports entries in almost 700 languages.
  • It is possible to connect with a variety of volunteer networks to collaborate on documentation efforts by connecting with the Wikimedia ecosystem. It provides collaboration opportunities to create further activities together with the Wikimedia community.
  • Wikipedia articles can be written in or translated into more than 300 languages
  • Knowledge about the heritage elements is enriched with cultural heritage institutions contributing their materials to Wikimedia projects or Wikimedia editors collecting information from a variety of sources. This is an opportunity to gather and safeguard dispersed information about the heritage elements.
  • The enriched data from Wikidata or the openly available images from Wikimedia Commons can be freely used in your website and repository.
  • The data can be turned into helpful tools, such as media upload interfaces or translation dashboards. They can be used in activities contributing to Wikimedia projects, also to track contributions and showing the impact of the activity.
  • Data and materials provided during the Wiki Loves Living Heritage campaign will permanently contribute to Wikimedia projects.
  • Wikimedia platforms provide safeguarding opportunities for language preservation.

How can I work together with Wikimedia community members in my country?[edit]

  • We will make available a variety of ways to connect between the different chapters and user groups. The public contact page lists organizations on both sides, and event calendars for activities in Wikimedia and around Living Heritage celebrations are shared online.
  • See the steps in joining the activities in the Organizers page.
  • Meet with the local Wikimedia community and find out how to work together by combining projects that are already ongoing on both sides.

This project provides learning opportunities for your organization or the heritage communities for taking charge or sharing materials regarding the heritage elements. Case studies and learning materials are shared on the Ideas for activities page.

How much work does it take to import an inventory and its elements to Wikidata?[edit]

  • It is beneficial to build a relationship with the Wikimedia community to plan importing the inventory together. The local community can help get started to take advantage of the Wikimedia projects. They are connected to the global community for further assistance. Working together is also an opportunity to become part of the Wikimedia community and learn to master using Wikimedia projects oneself.
  • The first step is to make the data available as public domain open data. With this in mind, the information should not disclose any sensitive data either personally or culturally. The permission can be granted to the database or only to the dataset made available through this project. It is possible to share only some of the elements or aspects. Creative Commons CC0 waiver is used to grant this permission.
  • The data needs to be in a spreadsheet format, or csv in order to be imported to Wikidata. The group of Wikimedians either locally or in the global project coordination can help import the data. They can possibly also assist in getting the data into a spreadsheet format.
  • Your expertise will be needed in the process to identify which existing items in Wikidata correspond to the items in the inventory, and help decide if they can be merged.
  • The individual pieces of information per heritage element are kept to a minimum to allow the online presence but not to demand sharing information excessively.
  • This is the information about an inventory and an element we need to display them:

Information requested about a national inventory[edit]

  • Inventory title in English and in all available languages *
  • Descriptive sentence in English and in all available languages *
  • Maintaining organization (added to Wikidata) *
  • Official website *
  • Possible additional search / list page *
  • Country of the inventory *
  • Type of inventory (national, regional, transnational, thematic etc) *
  • Area of the inventory (Country or region) *
  • Number of records in the inventory – at a specific date or year
  • Creation date or year of the register
  • Other related registers (regional or thematic inventories, good practices, wiki, network, living treasures…)

Information requested about an element[edit]

  • Heritage element title in English and in all available languages in the inventory *
  • Descriptive sentence in English and in all available languages *
  • Type of the tradition (as precise as possible, different from ICH domain) *
  • Date/year added in the inventory
  • Web pages of the element in the inventory in all languages
  • Element ID in the inventory, if available. Consider creating a Wikidata property for it, if your inventory has persistent ids.
  • Geographic occurrence – geographic location (place, coordinates, area, crossborder location) / administrative location (city, region) / country / people / culture)

How would the involvement or consent of the heritage community concerned be guaranteed when contents related to the ICH element they represent would be edited/changed?[edit]

  • Content on Wikimedia platforms is continually edited and enriched by editors participating in it. Therefore, it is expected that the information will change. However, arguments in the Wikipedia articles or statements in Wikidata must reference source materials, and they should be available for anyone to verify the arguments made.
  • In many contexts, it is hard to obtain printed references, and using oral citations is encouraged.
  • In this project, we explore how more nuanced sharing methods could be applied for community-owned materials. This could include for example using Traditional Knowledge labels for Wikimedia Commons files. In the discussions between the heritage communities, focal points and open knowledge proponents, we will create initial guidelines for working with living heritage materials on Wikimedia projects.
  • To sum up, sharing should only take place in the scope and pace that the heritage communities are comfortable with. Shared materials are hard to retract from the internet. Ideally, the communities will themselves take lead in sharing openly on Wikimedia projects.

The Wiki Loves Living Heritage campaign also invites to consider creating a Wikidata property for the ICH Elements of the national inventories[edit]

What does this imply concretely? Why would one do this? What is the work volume involved to do this? How does it work? Who can do this? Are there specific costs involved to do this?

  • Most inventories do not have persistent identifiers. In those cases it is not possible to create a Wikidata property. In cases where the institution has a persistent unique identifier in place, a property can be made for it on Wikidata. The supporting Wikimedians in this project will be able to assist in creating the property in Wikidata. The institution will then include the ID in the dataset they are providing.
  • This is a way to make an explicit link between the Wikidata item and the record at the institution.
  • Note that the Wikidata item will represent the heritage element rather than the record at the institution. The database entry or inscription is one aspect about the heritage element in question. Therefore items in Wikidata may have different names from the items in your database or their countries of origin differ from the inventory listing. All information added from your database will have a reference to it.
  • Wikidata is free for anyone to use for sharing open data about relevant information.
  • The use of the platforms is free for anyone. In the scope of this project, there are no costs associated with these activities. Further activities with Wikimedia affiliates or contributors are also often without cost to the institution, but work can also be compensated for.

How do we sign up?[edit]

You have different ways of showing your interest in participating

  • Connect your local Wikimedia affiliate and decide together. You can find their contacts in the Contacts page.
  • You can email us at to put you in contact with the local Wikimedia groups.

How do we register activities in the project?[edit]

See the instructions in the how-to article How to register an activity.

Join the Telegram group[edit]

We have set up a Telegram group inviting participants to discuss the different aspects of the project in a global group. The group has subtopics for different regions or interests. More topics can be set up for different languages, topics, or regions, for example.