Last modified on 9 October 2012, at 19:49

GLAM/Newsletter/October 2011/Single

This month in GLAM logo.png

Archives of American Art image donation; NARA Backstage Pass; Children's Museum donations

Yasuo Kuniyoshi in his studio, New York City, 1940.

Archives of American Art donates over 250 historical photographs to Wikimedia Commons

As the final project of the 2011 Archives of American Art Wikipedian in Residency with SarahStierch, the Archives donated over 250 high resolution photographs from the Federal Art Project. These images, created by the US federal government, cover the creation process and artworks of artists, including the likes of Stuart Davis, Selma Burke, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, among others. Discover more about the process and the project, including press coverage, here.

Second Backstage Pass at the US National Archives

On October 8, the National Archives at College Park, Maryland hosted its second backstage pass event since August. This time, with Archivist of the United States speaking and free food provided by a small WMF grant, over 30 Wikipedians—including novices and experts—were in attendance. After the morning address from David Ferriero and a presentation from the Wikipedian in Residence, Dominic, attendees were taken on a tour of the building and stacks, and then were able to scan documents (or burn videos) in the research rooms. These scans, being uploaded to Commons, will also be added to the National Archives online catalog by staff. Images and other media from the event can be seen on Commons.


Artist's conception of NASA solar polar spacecraft.jpg Astronaut candidates Ronald McNair, Guion Bluford, and Frederick Gregory.jpg
Scans from the event, from the NASA collection. Videos of the presentations.

Children's Museum donates images, video, and infographic

GLAM-Wiki Infographic.PNG

During the week of October 24 The Children's Museum of Indianapolis donated their third batch of images as part of an ongoing partnership with Wikimedia which, as of November 2011, is in its fifteenth month. This particular batch of images marked the first instance of new photographs being taken specifically to be uploaded to Commons (in addition to being used for traditional collections management documentation.) The technology department hired professional photographer Michelle Pemberton to take hundreds of images of over 80 objects, a selection of which make up this third batch of high quality images. Objects represent the American Collection, the Cultural World Collection, and the Natural Science Collection, and include everything from an Elton John stage costume, to a Kit Cat Klock, to Mexican alebrijes, to a fossilized shark.

This month the museum also donated its first video to Wikimedia Commons: a visualization of electrolytic reduction on Captain Kidd's cannon. The video was created by Children's Museum creative media staff and is on view in the permanent exhibit National Geographic: Treasures of the Earth alongside the cannon as it is undergoing electrolytic reduction in a working archaeological wet lab. This complements the QRpedia code that is present next to the cannon, which directs visitors to the Captain Kidd's cannon Wikipedia article that was written by teens in the Museum Apprentice Program last year. The video was Media of the Day in mid-October.

Finally, the museum donated a second and more extensive Infographic to Commons which describes Wikipedia, the GLAM-Wiki movement, and the successes of Wikipedians in Residence around the world. It is hoped that this Infographic can be used to further inform Wikimedians and non-Wikimedians about the efforts of the GLAM initiative.


The Childrens Museum of Indianapolis - Kit Cat Klock - detail.jpg The Childrens Museum of Indianapolis - Alebrije bird sculpture.jpg
The Childrens Museum of Indianapolis - Tyrannosaurus rex tooth.jpg The Childrens Museum of Indianapolis - Killer whale skull cast.jpg


  • Wikimedia Foundation considering funding a US GLAM Coordinator: As institutional demand outweighs the volunteer availability of Wikimedians in the United States, and lack of Chapter support continues throughout the Midwest and Western half of the United States, WMF is now considering funding a position for a US GLAM Coordinator to oversee GLAM partnerships and programming.
  • Wikipedia Loves Libraries still seeking participants: Events continue through November 2011 for the first Wikipedia Loves Libraries event. Modeled on the success of the Great American Wiknic and the recent Edit-a-thon with the British Library, WLL will bring Wikipedians and librarians together to serve as a "living reference section," and to build article content related to library holdings. Events are scheduled to take place throughout the United States beyond! Learn how you can participate here.
  • GLAM Wikipedians to participate in Museum Computer Network 2011 annual conference in Atlanta: GLAM Wikipedians Lori Byrd Phillips (HstryQT), Sarah Stierch (Missvain), and Katie Filbert (Aude) will be participating in this year's MCN conference in Atlanta, Georgia this November. Phillips, Wikipedian-in-Residence at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, will co-present with Angie McNew, Director of Websites and Emerging Media, a talk entitled "Sharing Resources with a Global Audience: Practical Methods for Collaborating with Wikipedia". Stierch, Wikipedian-in-Residence at the Archives of American Art and recipient of a Wikimedia Foundation grant to attend MCN, will give two talks: "WikiProject:Public Art" and "Wikimedia & Indigenous Peoples: Pros, Cons and Community". Filbert, President of the Wiki Society of DC and recipient of THATcamp award from the Kress Foundation, will present "Collaborative Mapping & Documenting Cultural Places". Learn more about attending MCN here.
  • Women & Wikimedia 2011 Survey participants - only 9% are active in Wikimedia outreach: Wikimedian Sarah Stierch wrapped up her general survey of female Wikimedians of English Wikipedia. From over 300 participants, 9% stated they are active in outreach (such as GLAM) and when asked about ways to increase female contributors and retention in Wikimedia projects, 30% stated that outreach such as GLAM can boost female participation. Read more about the survey on Meta.

Going behind the scenes at The Herbert

Looking at taxidermy in the stores.

The morning of 1 October was warm and bright as 23 Wikimedians from across the UK, local GLAM professionals, and others made their way to Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry for the first public event of the GLAM/HAGAM partnership. The day consisted of eight different tours, covering all areas of the museum, and talks by a WM-UK chapter board member and GLAM outreach ambassador. On his first day working for the chapter, Wikimedia UK CEO Jon Davies attended, splitting his time between the Backstage Pass and a Wikipedia stall at the Freshers' Fair at the nearby Warwick University.


Roger Bamkin (Victuallers) - chair of Wikimedia UK - and Erin Hollis, Herbert 2.0 Project Assistant and museum contact for the partnership, opened the day and introduced attendees to the museum and the project as a whole. Attendees then broke out into three groups for tours of areas including the History Centre and its archives, the on-site stores and the off-site store building at Whitefriars, a former friary. In addition, head conservationist Jill Green ran a session for Wikimedians in the conservation department, and curators ran a "collections in focus" session, looking at archaeology and artefacts found in the Coventry area.


Mike Peel's presentation discussed past GLAM collaboration, and its ins and outs.

Mike Peel (Mike Peel), Secretary of Wikimedia UK, gave the first presentation after lunch. Peel provided an introduction to the GLAM project for those not already acquainted with it and looked at previous partnerships in the UK and new developments in GLAM collaboration. His slides can be found on Commons.

In the paintings store.

Having spent this summer as Wikimedia Outreach Ambassador to Bristol-based website ARKive, Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing) gave the second presentation. Operated by the charity Wildscreen, ARKive curates film and images of endangered species, so that if they become extinct, there will at least be a well of high-quality media. They also write original text about these species, and have donated 200 such texts under an open license. Andy also talked about the Derby Museums' Wright Challenge and the impact of an article he began on the King of Rome, a racing pigeon from Derby. His slides are also online. It was during Peel's presentation that the first new article of the day was written, by Andy Mabbett; on Cash's, a local company who played an important part in the Coventry silk ribbon industry.

In the afternoon, the most popular tours were repeated and two more "Collections in focus" sessions on ribbons and silk pictures and the visual arts collection (including the paintings store). The last event of the day was an edit-a-thon. The session spawned many articles including one on the Coventry Sallet, a medieval helmet, plus another on St. Mary's Priory and Cathedral, as well as several improved articles.

The day ended with many attendees retiring to a pub to continue their discussions.

Further reading

New partnership in Cologne

User:Raymond is Raimond Spekking, a Cologne-based Wikipedian and keen photographer. In this - his second report for This Month in GLAM - he talks about a new partnership with the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum in Cologne.

Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, Köln

Sign at the entrance of the museum
The new building: Kulturquartier
Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum - Die Welt in der Vitrine-2391.jpg

The Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum is an ethnological museum in Cologne. After being closed for around 2 years, it was reopened in October 2010 in a brand new building.

I tried to contact the museum in September 2010, prior to its re-opening. I never received a reply. However, 9 months later, in May 2011, I got an e-mail from an employee asking me if I was still interested in working with the museum. Yes, I was! We arranged to meet a few days later, in the museum. I told her a lot about Wikipedia, GLAM and ideas for possible cooperations etc. But for the moment the focus was the accuracy of the Wikipedia article about the museum. Together we searched for errors/omissions and I fixed them later at home. With additional material (an exhibition catalog and some text documents) I extended the article a bit (although there is still a lot of room for improvements!)

Furthermore I asked if I would be allowed to take photographs inside the museum. Normally it is allowed for private use only - and even then, tripods are still forbidden. She agreed I could - perhaps a little prematurely.

A few days later the museum retracted photography permission by e-mail. The first caution brought against the publication of photographs in a phone call was founded in the fact that the printing of the photographs in publications should not be possible without knowing the context. The fear was that the photos be used in an innapropriate context or for advertising purposes. The second reason was suprising to me: they feared about restitution of the objects, collected in the 19th century in the colonial era.

In July 2011, I discussed my experience with the museum with Jan Engelmann, employee of Wikimedia Germany. He told me that he knew a scientific assistant of the museum well and that I should e-mail her. No sooner said than done and in September 2011 I had a discussion with the vice manager and 3 scientific assistants. I convinced the vice manager and got the permission to take photos in the museum. Two preconditions: No detail photos of single objects and I have to show the taken images to the museum before I upload them to Wikimedia Commons.

A few days later I took the images in the museum. It was early in the morning, there were very few visitors and the security guard was informed about my permission. The first batch of images were approved by the museum now and some have now been uploaded to Commons. They can bee found here. More will be available soon.

Result: It is the small beginning of a GLAM partnership. I hope that I can enthuse them to do more in the near future: an Editathon maybe, or releasing a part of their photo archive under a free licence to make them more publicly accessible.

QRpedia codes for Joan Miró; Wikimedia presence at Social Media conference

Joan Miró exhibit with QRpedia codes started

A visitor to the museum scans a QRpedia code next to some Joan Miró artworks

On October 15 the new exhibition at Fundació Joan Miró opened its doors, where visitors can scan QRpedia codes next to the main artworks. Collaboration through different communities of editors has made it possible.

Digital Marketing for the Arts Industry Conference

On October 27, Àlex Hinojo (Kippelboy) a member of Amical Viquipèdia, shared the round table Rethinking Audience Engagement through Social Media Outlets at Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, with Marc Sands, from Tate and Ian Pagdham from Twitter. He talked about digital engagement and about the benefits of sharing knowledge and resources with an online wider audience

GLAMcamp hits Amsterdam

Wikimedia Netherlands to host GLAMcamp Amsterdam in December

Scan this QR Code to learn more about the event.

Wikimedia Netherlands will host GLAMcamp Amsterdam December 2-4 2011. Following in the footsteps of GLAMcamp NYC, the event will bring Wikimedians from around the world together to develop documentation, procedures, outreach opportunities and technologies related to GLAM WIKI work. Learn more about GLAMcamp Amsterdam on the event page.

Australian Paralympic Committee workshop

Australian Paralympic Committee

Peter Marsh, Vicki Epstein and Carmel Williams learning how to edit Wikipedia and upload images to Wikimedia Commons

On 13 October, Tony Naar was a guest speaker at the University of Canberra's Business, Politics and Sport unit. He spoke about the History of the Paralympic Movement in Australia project (HOPAU) and his responsibilities for collecting, managing and preserving the history of the Paralympic movement in Australia. In his talk, Tony takes us through the HoPAu project, the reasons for doing it, and how it seeks to utilise experts in a range of fields with relevant technologies to make the history relevant and accessible. A recording of the talk can be found here.

A workshop was held on 31 October in Brisbane workshop at the State Library in the Southbank Cultural Precinct. Members of the Paralympic community, including former athletes, attended along with John Vandenberg and Craig Franklin, from Wikimedia Australia, and Leigh Blackall from University of Canberra. Paralympic community attendees included Carmel Williams, Pannkie, and contributors Vicki2, and AdrienneK. John Vandenberg provided an introduction to Wikipedia Content; as well as hands-on training workshop on improving and creating Wikipedia articles; and on transcribing the online library of public domain works in Wikisource. Craig Franklin provided an introduction to Wikimedia Commons and the opportunity for hands on experience of uploading images and dealing with the copyright requirements. Finally, Leigh Blackall from UC, helpfully assisted the APC attendees with their practical sessions.

Tony Naar talks about HOPAU (length: 52mins)

The Australian Paralympic Committee did another image donate from the 1996 Summer Paralympics. These images can be found on Commons in the Australian Paralympic Committee category.

On the blog dedicated to the project, an interview with Elizabeth (Edmondson) Mills was shared. She is the project's first Paralympic contributor, and has donated images from her personal collection to help with the project. These images were shared using a Creative Commons license. Another blog entry was posted by the project's Wikipedian in Residence about the process of nominating DYKs. A portal was also started for the project Outreach to help with efforts to organise cross wiki efforts.

New Beginnings - GLAM IMJ Project & GLAM NLI project

It's been a very exciting time in Israel, with GLAM projects taking shape and starting to build momentum, since Wikimania 2011, in Haifa. Here are some of the things that have happened this month:

GLAM IMJ Project


In September 2011, the first GLAM project in Israel began. The project is a collaboration the "Information Center for Israeli Art" at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, led by Dr. Allison Kupietzky, who is the Collections Database Manager of the museum. We have a Wikipedian-in-Residence, Yair Talmor, who is working at the Museum, in a two-month pilot project.

The pilot with the IMJ is important not only since it is a collaboration with the biggest museum in Israel, but, it is also the first GLAM project in the country, which means it will set a certain standard and serve as a study-case for future projects. Keeping that in mind, the first thing we did was to set very clear and measurable milestones by making sure the project has very vivid goals and finite boundaries.


  • 50 Israeli artists, who take part in the permanent exhibition at the Museum, were chosen for the pilot. It was decided articles will be created in both Hebrew and English, thinking they would serve as a base to be translated to other languages as well. Out of those 50, the 15 most important were chosen and their articles will be expanded. This will allow for the project to be bi-lingual: articles exist in two different platforms - Hebrew and English. The first challenge is to make sure these two platforms interact, exchange info and are generally in-sync. It's a never-ending process, and we have a month left to focus on that.
  • In order to have a successful project, we knew we would have to not only promote the project itself, but also increase "GLAM awareness" within the Hebrew Wikipedia community and within the Israeli public at large. We simply don't have enough people writing about art in general, and more specifically Israeli art. Thus, one of the goals was harnessing existing Wikipedians to the project, as well as recruiting new editors, who might be specifically interested in art - including art students, lecturers, curators, art-galleries owners and of course -- artists.
  • To enrich each article we need media (pictures, films and audio) to be released to Commons. The Museum has a rich collection, but it is not public domain. Therefore, energy is being focused on releasing media as well.

Achievements, thus far

To overcome the mentioned challenges, we are really working on a few things in parallel. As of now:

  • 100 Articles were created, two for each artist, in Hebrew and English.
  • One artist participating in the pilot, Larry Abramson, has already been translated into 7 languages - English, Hebrew, German, Dutch, Chinese, Russian, and recently -- Swahili!
  • We have a very active project page in Hebrew, and a project page in English. We are constantly working on making sure that not only the articles are in-sync, but also the project pages. Right now there's a lot to be done.
  • We've started contacting each artist participating in the pilot, in order to get not only current biographical details, but also permission to release pictures. Most of those we've reached, are very happy to participate and have given permission to release photos.
  • The Museum has agreed to release the "Tsafrir Collection" to the public. The collection consists of 250 black & white photos of portraits of artist and photographs of art works. We are working on scanning the collection and uploading it to Commons.
  • A collection of audio cassettes has been released by the Museum as well. It includes rare interviews with artists. Again, we are working on converting them into a digital format so we can upload it to Commons.
  • We are working on releasing documentaries about Israeli artists. Some of the rights belong to the Museum, but most don't, so we are in the process to working with the museum to release some films as well.
  • We are working on contacting universities, art experts and art lovers to join the project.


Events This Month
GLAM IMJ Tour 1641.jpg
A "Behind the Scenes" tour at the Israel Museum

On October 25th, we had a "Behind the Scenes" tour at the Israel Museum. The tour began with a 45 minute visit to two restoration labs at the Museum, in which Wikipedians got explanations from Museum staff about working in the labs; exposing the Wikipedians to 'never-seen-before' artifacts. The tour continued with a short visit to the Information Center for Israeli Art and ended with a private tour at the Micha Ullman's exhibition, guided by the chief curator of the Museum, Yigal Zalmona.

The tour was a huge success. We had about 30 people - Wikipedians, Wikipedians-in-the-making and participants from the general public who were curious about the project and came to the Museum. It was a varied audience, with men as well as women, and the age range was from 11 to over 60. But most importantly, there was a warm and welcoming atmosphere and everyone who participated enjoyed the experience, including Museum staff. All in all, not bad for a first event!

Future Events
  • An Edit-a-thon - we will focus on editing articles using materials from the Information Center. We will also be using this platform to initiate new editors.
  • Participation in the "EVA/Minerva2011", the Van Leer institute, Jerusalem - As of now, that is the biggest conference in Israel dealing with Digital Heritage. We were allocated a 2-hour session, in which we will be talking about Wikipedia, Wikimedia and its outreach projects, focusing on GLAM and GLAM projects in Israel.
  • End-of-Pilot Event - An "Israeli Art & Digitized Information Conference" - this conference will target artists, gallery-owners, students, lecturers, curators and art enthusiasts, exposing them to GLAM in general and to our project in particular. We are hoping this will help us expend the circle of editors, inviting new editors, some of them experts in their field, to write in Wikipedia and contribute to the GLAM efforts.

GLAM NLI Project

We are very happy to announce that a second GLAM project has begun a few days ago in Israel. This is a collaboration with The National Library of Israel, with a Wikipedian-in-Residence program. The project will focus on providing access to a historic collection of 3,000 photographs, by making it accessible on Wikipedia, as a first step towards the exposing of more National Library materials to larger audiences. More details next month!

Wikimedia Serbia starts "Open Wiki GLAM of Serbia"

Open Wiki GLAM of Serbia

Wikimedia Serbia started the project Open Wiki GLAM of Serbia on October 1, 2011. the project aims to popularize the use of Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons (as well as other Wikimedia projects) as a platform for GLAM institutions in Serbia to submit free content. In the following month, the team will work on promotion of the project, gathering funds and creating a portal at

The project consists of two parts:

  • creating an internet portal with a .rs top level domain that will provide information about CC licenses, ways of protecting intellectual property on the Internet and examples of completed projects with institutions.
  • running a conference with the representatives of GLAM institutions in Serbia, WMRS, WMF and other interested Wikimedia chapters.

Photos, projects and seminars

This month, the group in charge of relations with cultural institutions organized itself to participate in the GLAMCamp in December in Amsterdam. 4 French Wikimedians will then travel to Amsterdam: Remi Mathis, Jean-Frédéric, Sylvain (Ash Crow) and Adrienne.

Projects with several GLAM institutions

Reliquary of St. Thomas Becket, 12th century. Collections of the Musée de Cluny

Adrienne Alix, Program Director, went to meet with several cultural institutions to prepare future partnerships: Museum of Contemporary Art in Lyon, the Mémorial de Caen (Second World War Memorial), Municipal Library of Toulouse, the French Society of Photography (one of the biggest and oldiest society about photography in France), the Musée de Cluny (national museum of Middle Ages) etc.

Phoebus project

Western Capercaillie, collected by French National Office for Hunting and Wildlife, Museum of Toulouse. Photo supported by the Phoebus project
  • The Wikimedians of Toulouse involved in the Phoebus project resumed photo sessions at the Museum of Toulouse. Archaeodontosaurus, Pierre-Selim and Lena convinced two other photographers (not wikimedians) to accompany them. They just have 2 million objects to photograph! The museum is ambitious about this project... :-)
  • We were informed that thanks to the Phoebus project and beautiful photographs taken in 2010 and widely disseminated on Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, several foreign museums were informed of wealth of the Museum.
    The exhibition that was the reason for the start of this project is going to travel in Europe, thanks to Wikimedians. The museum will get royalties by exporting its exposure. This is an excellent argument for free culture that can generate wealth, even indirectly!
  • On an other hand, the city of Toulouse in the Novela Festival organized an art competition in which participants were asked to remix photos Phoebus Project to create artistic works.
  • Adrienne gave an update of the Phoebus project after one year during a conference about open data / open content hosted by the City of Toulouse for the opening of its open-data portal.

Centre Georges Pompidou (National Museum of Modern Art)

  • The project with the Centre Georges Pompidou (National Museum of Modern Art) continues : after the first workshops in June, Xaviateur, a french wikimedian, participated in the test of Blinkster, a mobile application of "augmented visit" for visitors of the museum: with this application, visitors can "flash" Artworks of the museum and will have access to information from Wikipedia articles.
  • Adrienne is working to develop a series of workshops throughout the year 2012 with the Centre Pompidou. These workshops focus on contemporary art in Wikipedia.

A seminar about Museology co-organized by Wikimédia France

Wikimedia France is co-organizer of the 2011-2012 seminar of the Institute for Research and Innovation (IRI), entitled "Museums: privileged places of articulation of the semantic web and social web. Museology, museum and new forms of address to the public. " On 18 october, Adrienne participated in the first session, relating to "The Challenge of structured data and metadata for the convergence of the Semantic Web and Social Web," and gave a presentation entitled "Wikimedia: Semantic Web or social web? " (video here)

Novembers's GLAM events

<<< previous month view · talk · edit November 2011 next month >>>
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 2 3 4
OpenFest, Bulgaria
Wikipedia Loves Libraries, Washington, D.C.
OpenFest, Bulgaria
Workshop at the Railway Museum of Catalonia, Spain
Museomix "3 days to remix museums together", France
FSCONS, Sweden
FSCONS, Sweden
Wikipedia Loves Libraries, New York, USA
Museomix "3 days to remix museums together", France
FSCONS, Sweden
Museomix "3 days to remix museums together", France
MCN, Atlanta
MCN, Atlanta
MCN, Atlanta
MCN, Atlanta
Wikipedia Loves Libraries, Atlanta, GA
Museology and museography Seminar at IRI, France
GLAMcamp Amsterdam, Netherlands
GLAMcamp Amsterdam, Netherlands
GLAMcamp Amsterdam, Netherlands

Home Suggestions Subscribe Archives Newsroom