2017 has been a hectic year for the Basque Wikipedia and its main agent, the Basque Wikimedians User Group. It has afforded us a springboard to tie new partnerships, and get a financial plan for the Education Program. Wikilibraries centred in Donostia (San Sebastián) has not lagged behind.
Synergies with publisher Elhuyar are also bearing fruit. An agreement with them has enabled a first systematic inroad into the Wikidata by adding a full load of terms stored in their specialized dictionary into the platform.
End of Wikilibraries' year
During the fourth term, librarians from Donostia have gathered on Friday for a couple of hours in the program Idazlezainak, the "Writerguards", aimed at recording the writers' voices, providing sources and releasing Basque literature licenses, such as book covers and illustrations. The program takes a special focus on children literature.
Their pursuit was duly rewarded in a modest event celebrated in the basement premises of the Victoria Eugenia theatre. The open event was attended by librarians, culture personalities and other attendees. It also paved the grounds for a meeting held with librarians from the French Basque Country in Bayonne, taking place on 18 January, that is expected to pave the grounds for further cross-border collaboration around literature in the near future.
Wikilibraries at the Durango Fair
The yearly Durango Fair is an excellent platform to showcase the initiatives taken in the Basque Wikipedia by the Basque Wikimedians User Group. On 8 December, the space Kabia, besides harbouring a presentation of the ongoing Basque Education Program, played host to another presentation outlining the progress and fruits of Wikilibraries 2017. We also seized the opportunity provided by this central cultural encounter to stage a photo-call and take pictures of Basque literature and culture personalities attending the event. Hundreds of pictures were taken that will supply Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia articles with fresh photo files.
Wikidata has opened new avenues for minority languages to develop their WP projects. For over an year, we have been in touch with Elhuyar, a Basque publisher specializing in dictionaries and terminology. This collaboration framework has paved the grounds to release several scientific materials to Commons license, accessible now for the Wikipedia. The turn of the year 2018 has brought up further, fabulous news in the form of an agreement with Elhuyar to transfer 6,500 definitions from their prolific, free license Zientzia eta Teknologia Hiztegia ("Science and Technology Dictionary") into the Wikidata, completed by mid-January. This is but the first lot of terms from Elhuyar due to be transferred to Wikidata in the upcoming months.
The terms added include items like Zetonemia, or Txoriandre pispoleta, specialty words we would hardly use in everyday life, clearly, but very necessary in their respective scientific domains. Two Wikidata properties have been targeted, i.e. the fields "Label" and "Definition". After identifying the relevant scientific concepts in English, French and Spanish, they were paired to the definitions available in the Elhuyar database by double-checking them in close-up scrutiny. This will open the opportunity to add more Basque language definitions equivalent to concepts available in Russian, Arabic and other projects.
The Basque Wikipedia - Community Association of Ulia partnership has extended for over two years, including the collaboration of botanists, as well as ornithologists, and the use of QR technology. The polished, 2nd edition of the park's fauna and flora catalogue is now available throughout different Wikipedia articles in Basque and main languages. In addition, an introduction and compilation of the work done so far has been made into a book holding now 362 pages and 89 articles.
This version has been enlarged with 10 new articles and corrections to previous articles. On 29 January, the book's hard-copy version was presented on press release held in Donostia. Samples of this limited edition will be distributed for diffusion as a gift among libraries from Donostia, and have also been presented to representatives of the 5 political parties operating in the city council; see further info (Basque) and media in the link provided above. The publication of these copies relies on funding provided by the Wikimedia Foundation, and they are now available for purchase here, also in pdf through Wikimedia Commons.