- A shorter, more basic version of this article was previously published in The Signpost. For further information on future GLAM events, please subscribe.
It's amazing how much can be accomplished in three days. The brainchild of Liam Wyatt, the Wikimedia Foundation's Cultural Partnerships Fellow, GLAMcamp NYC brought together 30 of the most active Wikimedians from around the world - from 4 continents and 8 countries - to take part in a long weekend of brainstorming, documentation, and development from May 20-22. Representatives from GLAMs participated as well, bringing their inside views to the table during all aspects of the weekend. Held at the New York Public Library, the weekend proved to be successful in not only furthering GLAMWIKI programming, but, to also strengthen relationships amongst a passionate group of Wikimedians and the GLAMs they work with.
Although many of the attendees had arrive the day before, the event itself began on Friday, with a public workshop. Fifty extra people attended, from four US states, museums, libraries and archives (large and small), as well as several private art galleries, government agencies, universities, think-tanks and the Wikimedia Foundation.
The workshop lasted for two hours, and included a keynote presentation from Meg Bellinger (see right) from Yale University, who have recently announced that they will be realeasing the contents of their digital archive into the public domain.
This was followed with a quick talk from Maarten Zeinstra, from Creative Commons Nederlands, about the Public Domain calculator, and a breakout into smaller groups for Q&A with attendees and Wikimedians.
The rest of the day was spent on various tasks, although primarily on GLAM ambassadors, tools and documentation. One group focussed on improving the guide to batch uploading, whilst another worked on the GLAM point of entry and its subpages. The GLAM ambassadors group decided on a complete overhaul of the project, and renamed the system to "Local contacts", although the term "e-volunteer" was also suggested.
The day ended with a VIP tour of the Met. Barbara Bridgers, General Manager for Imaging, took the attendees around the photography department, after which Neal Stimler and Susan Chun showed groups their favorite artifacts in the museum.
Day 2 started where day 1 left off: writing documentation. By the bucket-load. The POE group continued with what they were doing and work began on a mass uploading tool. During this time, Nina Paley - famous cartoonist and free culture advocate - dropped in and talked with the Wikimedians.
The first parallel sessions after lunch focused on more coding/documentation and a discussion of the idea of a Free Culture Index "to evaluate free culture compliance within the GLAM sector", such as whether a museum releases photos for free use, or allows photography by others. The group decided against the idea that this might be awarded to the GLAM by Wikimedians, judging that it would probably be both easier and better if the institution could give themselves some sort of badge for their website, probably along the lines of the HTML5 one.
The final session of the day was a lengthy discussion of metrics and tools which could be used for GLAM-Wikimedia collaborations. Participants mentioned various tools, which can be seen on the Tools & Requests page.
That evening's social event was a joint meetup with the local NYC community. Cheese was set fire to, Wikimedia was discussed and beer was drunk.
As the third and final day dawned, around half of the attendees prepared to leave New York and made their way towards the Mid-Manhattan branch of the New York Public Library. The day was mostly spent working on the projects which had been started during the previous two days.
The groups then split back up into two groups, working on documentation - in particular how-to guides and FAQs - and metrics for GLAM partnerships.
The final session of the day was a plenary/wrapup. Liam Wyatt led the group in going through all of the things that had been achieved throughout the weekend and who would continue to work on them. Another potential GLAMcamp conference was discussed - which would be held in Europe, if at all - as well as finishing off all of the new guides and tools.
A final plenary session took place in which convener Liam Wyatt assigned people as to lead the projects which had taken place, further. He said that "We will not know if the event is a success for a few weeks yet. We have to see if people will continue to work on their respective projects." These people and their roles were recorded on Meta.
The event was supported by a $10,000 grant from the WMF, was about $1,500 under-budget, and was anecdotally called the "best accounted for grant ever" by the WMF.
Further reading edit
- Blog posts
- GLAMCampNYC: help us make mass uploads easier (Wikimedia Techblog)
- GLAMcamp NYC – Day 1, GLAMcamp NYC – Day 2 GLAMcamp NYC - Day 3 (Rock drum)