Wikimedia chapters/Reports/Wikimedia Israel/August 2011
We hosted Wikimania 2011 in Haifa. The conference was attended by over 700 attendees hailing from over 50 countries. It consisted of two pre-conference days devoted to various meetings and workshops, three main-conference days and a tour day. Also included were three parties. The conference got very wide press coverage in the international and local media, and we got excellent feedback from attendees about their satisfaction with the conference.
- Our ongoing relationships with the National Library of Israel and the Israel Museum (both based in Jerusalem) were boosted by Wikimania and the special meetings we held there with Liam Wyatt as a guest. Both institutions are now interested in having Wikimedians-in-Residence, sooner than we first anticipated. We are now finalizing the details of these internships with both institutions.
- We are also making progress with the limited trial of the Schwadron Collection at the National Library of Israel, a unique collection of over 3000 portrait photographs of prominent personalities in Jewish and Zionist history, for many of whom there are no freely licensed portraits available at all. We received a first small batch of digitized scans from the library and will soon start uploading and integrating them in the projects.
- Meetings were held with activists in the Haifa Historical Society, and we hope that they will release various unique collections that they hold under free licenses.
- The Faculty of Humanities at Haifa University is interested in assignments involving writing and expanding Wikipedia articles for its students. A couple of courses, specifically in history and in archaeology, are scheduled to have such coursework in the coming semester. We will provide workshops and guidance both to university faculty and students, as well as online tutoring of these student editors, to guide them in the specific style of Wikipedia, and the differences between regular academic assignments and this wiki-based one.
Israeli Arab sector
Also boosted by Wikimania, are a first few connections between WMIL and Arab Israeli like-minded organizations. We have held a couple of meetings. A first-of-its-kind lecture/workshop about Wikipedia in the Arab Israeli sector is planned to be held in Nazareth in the coming weeks.
Following the participation of the deputy mayor of Haifa at the WikiChicks lunch at Wikimania, a meeting is scheduled for this week with the mayor's adviser on gender issues, and we hope it will yield some real-world projects.
- Three new members joined WMIL, inspired by Wikimania. A few more expressed interest and have joined our mailing list.
- We are moving our chapter wiki and our blog to a new server, and refurbishing both.