Jennie Choi and Andrew Lih presented at the recent MuseWeb 21 conference on "The Power of Wikidata." The talk discussed the open access work the museum has performed since 2017 starting with Wikipedian in Residence Richard Knipel, and with the projects Andrew and Richard are continuing today in enriching the metadata of artworks and Structured Data on Commons (SDC) (see below). All of this is part of year four of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Open Access initiative. Session details can be found at the conference schedule, and a full presentation is available.
Tags and depictions
Work continues in adding depiction (P180) statements to Wikidata, taken from the Met's comprehensive 2018 tagging project which added human-curated keywords to hundreds of thousands of their artworks. The Met has successfully mapped all 1099 terms from its basic art tagging vocabulary to specific Wikidata QIDs, making it possible to systematically add high-quality depiction information for all of the Met's artworks in Wikidata and Commons (via structured data). The full vocabulary on Wikidata can be found here via this TABernacle/SPARQL query or on Github as the mettag repository.
Depiction statements are being added to Wikidata and Commons with the qualifier "determination method" (P459) being "Metropolitan Museum of Art Tagging Initiative" (Q106429444) to distinguish Met-sourced contributions from other depiction statements.
Because of the lack of support for reference statements in SDC, the qualifier method was chosen in order to have a consistent way to find these Met-sourced contributions across Wikidata and SDC. However, with further discussion, they plan to add both a reference/source statement and a qualifier, carrying the same content. While a reference is a proper place for this provenance information, the benefit of using a qualifier is the ability to use the basic search box on Mediawiki, since qualifiers are indexed, but source statements are not.
For example, on Commons, this search string will find all artwork images depicting "goats" as determined by the Met's tagging initiative (the same will work on Wikidata):
This approach is valuable considering the search capabilities are currently quite weak on SDC right now – the beta search service at http://wcqs-beta.wmflabs.org/ is usually days (and up to a week) behind the current state of Commons. Being able to do a direct search via Wikibase is highly valuable.
Side note: Commons can actually handle reference/source statements, though the user interface does not display them, and there is no way to insert such statements for the ordinary user. The only way to add them is via tools like Quickstatements or to use the Mediawiki API. There are no current plans to add source statements to SDC, and the related open Phabricator task discussing this may be of interest: https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T230315.
Smithsonian Institution activities
Two new Wikidata properties related to Smithsonian were approved and created this month:
Artist file at (P9493) - For art history, artist files are a special form of vertical file that hold visual art research materials. The property in Wikidata will allow more precise pinpointing of where these materials can be found. Smithsonian American Art and Portrait Gallery Library, Frick Collection and Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec have already been systematically adding links to Wikidata, with more than 37,000 entries as of this writing. (SPARQL query)
Smithsonian ARK ID (P9473) - The Smithsonian has adopted a new ARK identifier that can be used down to the digital asset level (image, model, resource). This was proposed by Andrew Lih, Smithsonian Wikimedian at Large, and approved as Smithsonian ARK ID and is being populated by bot based on Smithsonian unit number and accession numbers already in Wikidata. This will complement the Smithsonian resource ID (P7851) already used. An example:
Smithsonian Native American Women Edit-a-thon (AWHI & NMAI)
The virtual edit-a-thon with the National Museum of the American Indian was held over Zoom and had talks from Cynthia Chavez-Lamar (NMAI Associate Director for Museum Collections and Operations), Anya Montiel (NMAI Curator) and Rachel Menyuk (NMAI Archivist).
Kelly Doyle and Andrew Lih led the editing session of more than 20 participants that focused on a "co-pilot" model of training. Kelly and Andrew engaged in a dialog while editing pages on Acosia Red Elk, Andrea Delgado-Olson, Heather Dawn Thompson, and the Ione Band of Miwok Indians, while conversing with subject-level experts from the museum on how to properly describe the membership of individuals in tribes, and how this is reflected in prose and in infoboxes. Attendees later commented on how much they liked this approach of articulating the thought process of Wikipedia editors out loud while editing. We plan to further explore the co-piloting model in future edit-a-thons.
With 27 editors in attendance, we edited 33 articles, created 3 new articles, and added 9,000 words to Wikipedia about Native American women.
Through a grant from the Newmark Foundation, the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative (AWHI) is working with Smithsonian Affiliate museums throughout the US to add notable women to Wikipedia. The WikiEd Foundation is leading trainings for Affiliate staff through their Wiki Scholars courses. The first round of courses started in April, with 40 Affiliate staff participating in 2 courses. Affiliate staff learning to edit and engage with Wikipedia will create space for increased Wiki activity at GLAMs throughout the country. Two additional courses will be offered later this summer.
Affiliate staff taking the course will also contribute to the Smithsonian list building project as a component of the course. Each participant will create a list of 10 notable women with metadata, references, etc. so they can be added to Wikidata, Wikipedia, and be used to populate edit-a-thon worklists. After all four courses run, we will have a list of at least 800 new women to add to Wikimedia.