In 2012, VocalEyes, a UK registered charity that works with arts organisations to identify and remove barriers to access and inclusion for blind and partially sighted people, ran a project in which various celebrities described well-known London landmarks, so that they could be better enjoyed by such people. They have now donated forty of these audio recordings to Wikimedia Commons, and they have been added by Liam Wyatt to the articles about the features they describe. Andy Mabbett has also been editing out short extracts, for use on the articles about the readers, as part of the 'Voice Intro Project'.
Oxford University celebrated Wikipedia's 15th birthday with enthusiasm. The Oxford Internet Institute (OII) held a public half-day event, combining short presentations from researchers with an editathon led by Martin Poulter, the Bodleian Libraries' Wikimedian In Residence. The OII have released a very positive write-up of the day. Separately, the university's Open Access blog had a guest post by Martin on Wikipedia's role in fulfilling the potential of open access research. The publicity around Wikipedia 15 led to interviews on Sky News, BBC Radio Five Live, regional television, and for Oxford's student newspaper Cherwell.
"An exhibition of dancing dogs" (1785), one of 800 files from the John Johnson Collection in the Bodleian Libraries
Martin presented at a day conference on "DIY Digitisation": this expression describes when libraries encourage readers to take photographs of historic books and post those online. Martin—and most of the other speakers—urged that images created in this way should be shared under free licences. At a seminar for History postgraduates in London, Martin urged them to look at WikiProject History's 7,000 stubs as an opportunity to improve public understanding of their subject and to develop writing skills.
This month's uploads are from a unique collection: the John Johnson Collection is part of the Bodleian that collects ephemera: things like tickets, leaflets, newspaper clippings, board games, or writing paper that are not "publications" in the usual sense but give an insight into culture, mainly of the 19th century.
January also saw the start of the Open Knowledge Ambassador course, aiming to give the keenest members of the university a deeper knowledge of Wikipedia and related sites, and the ability to support outreach. Coming up in February are more Ambassador training workshops, the first ever Tudor Music editathon, a workshop for staff at the John Radcliffe Hospital, and a workshop for staff at the Voltaire Foundation.
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