ICOM Italia, the national section of international Council of Museums, has signed on March 12th a general agreement with Wikimedia Italia that we consider very important because of the prestige of this organization, and because in the last two years Italian GLAM projects were mainly focused on libraries than museums. The agreement, in particular, is about ICOM Italia supporting the Italian edition of Wiki Loves Monuments in the next years, promoting it through its widespread contacts with Italian museums, and jointly organizing cultural events and courses for professionals in the field.
In addition, we reached an agreement on the very important issue of lobbying, togheter with other professional associations, for a better law system regarding digital reproduction and free use of Italian cultural heritage.
At the beginning of March, after a long preliminary work, Wikimedia Italia has signed a framework agreement with the major national institution for libraries in Italy, the Istituto centrale per il catalogo unico delle biblioteche italiane e per le informazioni bibliografiche (ICCU). The Institute, subordinate to Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, supervises the National Libraries System (SBN) and is responsible for cataloguing and digitazation procedures of bibliographic and documentary collections held in public and private Italian libraries.
The first joint project will be an integration of tha major Italian libraries database, the Anagrafe delle biblioteche italiane with Wikipedia, Wikidata, and OpenStreetMap, resulting in updated data about localizations, services, and opening hours of libraries for wiki projects users. The project will possibly continue enriching the Anagrafe with links to historical libraries Wikipedia articles. Other forms of collaborations will be found in the next months with the aim of promoting open access and open culture principles.
Biblioteca Alessandrina on Wikisource
On March 10th, Wikimedia Italia has come to an agreement with Alessandrina Academic Library in Rome. Almost 200 ancient digitized books will be uploaded to Wikisource. They are part of 16th century Duke of Urbino Francesco Maria II Della Rovere, collection. After his death, his books were conserved at Pope Alessandro VII library, after wich Alessandrina Library was named. Books donated to Wikisource, from geography to hunting, from falconry to chess and voyages, are in Italian, Latin, and Spanish languages.
BEIC tool for Wikidata imports, official publishers data
BEIC has published more data in CC-0: data about almost a thousand publishers of Lombardy of which APE (operated by BEIC) handles the legal deposit. Data includes name, (structured) address, official website, publishing brand status and most importantly the size (big, mid or small) per the official definition by ISTAT.
Knowing the size of a publisher will help put some order in a very crowded category the Italian Wikipedia has for publishers. The data was not formerly available other than by OPAC mining and screenscraping. Publishers of Lombardy cover over 50% of the national sales of books and BEIC is the only possible source for this data, as the National Statistics Agency (ISTAT) and national book deposit entities (BNCR/BNCF libraries) have a lower coverage of publishers (around 70%) and don't release any data about them.
The CSV import script written for this purpose is designed to be reusable for any kind of import in the future, also by people with little familiarity of Python, JSON etc., by letting the importers do most work in their favorite spreadsheet software. The script will soon be part of the pywikibot library.
As every year, Wikimedia Italia participated at the annual convention of librarians in Milan, at Convegno Stelline.
Several wikipedians were present, and Andrea Zanni had a talk as president of Wikimedia Italia, entitled "Building communities: digital libraries in the age of Wikipedia" (article and slides of the talk, both in Italian). The convention has been the occasion to network with several librarians, and establish relationship that are leading in the organization and workshops related to Wikipedia in several libraries around Italy.
Assembly of Wikimedia Italia in a library
The annual assembly of Wikimedia Italia has been held at Biblioteca Delfini and Biblioteca Crocetta, two of the main libraries in Modena, Italy. The venues were kindly offered by the council of librarians in Modena, who were present in the first part of the assembly. In fact, Wikimedia Italia presented his work with GLAM related to Wikipedia, Wikisource, OpenStreetMap and Wikidata. Moreover, the head of the Modena libraries and the president of the National Association of Libraries (AIB) spoke during the morning, analyzing possibile convergences between libraries and the Wikimedia movement.
AgID, the goverment agency for developing digital policies in Italy, has opened to private and public actors the participation to the National Coalition for Digital Competencies. The Coalition consists of public national and local institutions, business and professionals sector, education and research organizations, trade unions and nonprpfit organizations.
Wikimedia Italia and its president, Andrea Zanni, have been accepted in the Coalition scientific commitee, and will focus its effort in underlying digital rights and freedom issues.