Last modified on 9 December 2012, at 15:40

GLAM/Newsletter/April 2012/Contents/Netherlands report

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Edit-a-thon at Teylers Museum

Presentation by Bert Sliggers

Hay's new map of the museum created during the edit-a-thon in SVG, so it can be easily translated

The very first Edit-a-thon for the Teylers Museum was started off with an energizing talk by Bert Sliggers, curator of both the paleontological collection and the mineral collection. Whilest most of us Wikipedians in attendance had been busily working on biographical and architectural articles for the Teylers challenge, we soon discovered that some juicy stories are locked into stained bits of paper in the Teylers archives and their accompanying collections of rocks and bones. Bert Sliggers has spent years retracing the purchases of Martin van Marum for the young museum. He was able to inform us that Van Marum purchased over 60 collections from various sources and was an internationally recognized expert on minerals, but was considerably less familiar with paleontology. By matching handwriting on letters in the archives to stained bits of paper once attached to the artifacts, the history of various objects and various "rocks and bones" deals can be retraced.


Photo request: These statues in the stairway of the modern entrance to Teylers were made by Bart van Hove in the 1880's to hold "electric lamps", since electricity was considered the trademark of the museum thanks to Van Marum's electriseer machine. The electric cords hanging sloppily down to the lamps suggests how new the idea was at the time (and the lamps were probably first gas-lit).

After the inspiring lecture and glimpse of the behind-the-scenes mineral cabinets, Wikipedians were offered the use of several old and new reference books, while the head of digitization took notes of all the requests by Wikipedians for photos.

The tip of the Mont Blanc

The topmost "ice-free" chunk of granite hacked out in triangular form by Horace-Bénédict de Saussure in 1787, purchased by Martin van Marum in 1802 and scientifically confirmed by a Teylers curator at a much later date

One story that kept coming up will be the subject of a whole exhibition this summer: the collection relating to Saussure's expedition up the Mont Blanc. Whereas I previously felt that "the top of the Mont Blanc" looked particularly unphotogenic in its display case, the passionate description of the purchase and subsequent popularity of this particular piece of granite has convinced me that Lodewijk's article is definitely of encyclopedic value and I can't wait to see the exhibition, which will include a modern impression of what the expedition members brought with them (before the age of backpacks, Saussure brought a whole bed with him, among other things).


During the edit-a-thon the 100th Teylers-related article was created, making a total of 76 articles that have been created since the start of the challenge in January. Also a new museum map was made to accompany a new "navbox" template for the articles directly related to the museum rooms.

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I forgot to mention that this 100th article was added by our new GLAM rep on the board of WMNL, Sandra Fauconnier, a Belgian art historian living in the Netherlands. Also, though this was the 100th article on the English Wikipedia, there have been lots more new articles created in other languages, especially in Dutch, of course, but also some surprising additions in Hungarian and Catalan. A big thanks to all who contribute, because I have really enjoyed reading these, if only with Google translate! Jane023 (talk) 05:59, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

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