Wikisource Loves Manuscripts (WILMA) updates and Transkribus integration
After the launch of the Wikisource Loves Manuscripts project in February 2023, manuscript digitization activities have been conducted in Bali and Yogyakarata. This included complete digitization of 30 manuscripts which were catalogued during the WikiLontar project. Wikisource workshops have also been organized in Bali and Yogyakarata. This project is a partnership with Pusat Pengkajian Islam dan Masyarakat (a research institute based in Jakarta), Wikimedia Indonesia, and the community-led WikiLontar project.
After initial efficacy testing by IIIT Hyderabad, Transkribus has been integrated into Wikimedia OCR and currently supports 13 Wikisources with the existing public models available on Transkribus. The languages currently supported include German, English, Spanish, Finnish, French, Italian, Polish, Russian, Swedish, and Yiddish. We're now testing Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) models for the Balinese and Javanese languages. Two Wikisource Technical Fellows at the Foundation are working on a guide to enable Wikisource communities to create their own handwriting recognition models.
You can find more details and monthly updates on Meta-Wiki.
DPLA and Structured Data Across Wikimedia 2022 report
DPLA was asked to update 1 million images from the institution with subject, creator, or other reconciled entities. They were able not only to achieve, but more than triple, this goal, by adding 3,618,323 subject statements. This was important to allow more files to appear in search results on Commons.
DPLA launched the DepictAssist tool and will continue to develop and maintain it.
In terms of outreach, not only was DPLA present in several conferences, such as Wikimania, the Wikimedia & Libraries conference, LD4, and the American Library Association, but the institution also created a Wikimedia Working Group, composed of several GLAM professionals (including Wikimedians in Residence) from many institutions, who are helping to maintain DPLA's Wikimedia work, but also to supplement the GLAM Wiki ecosystem and the North America Wikimedia community.
This month, we would like to celebrate how this publication was made possible in a truly Wikimedia way: With the help of several interested institutions and very engaged and enthusiastic Wikimedians!
To achieve the level of information on the publication, the author, JJ Dearborn, BHL's Data Manager, interviewed members of many institutions, such as the Chicago Field Museum, Internet Archive, Harvard University, University of Glasgow, The Nature Conservancy, Wikimedia Foundation, Micelio, and several independent Wikimedians: Siobhan Leachman, Andy Mabbett, and Andra Waagmeester.
In order to guarantee the quality and trustworthiness of the content, the whitepaper was reviewed by many Biodiversity Heritage Library members, but also experts from the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives, WikiBlueprint, University of Glasgow, Museums Victoria, New York Botanical Garden, and Wikimedia Foundation.
Wikimedia presence at the 7th African Library Summit
The 7th African Library Summit organized by the AfLIA, focuses on the 'Future of learning, libraries, and sustainable development in Africa,' and it brought together library leadership, professionals, government officials from across the continent, and a thriving community of old and new Wikibrarins! (Librarians who contribute to Wikimedia Projects).
Wikidata Pre-Conference Workshop
The summit started with a pre-conference Wikidata Workshop by Alice Kibombo, Ugandan librarian and prolific African wikipedian, and Wikidata's Community Communications Manager, Mohammed Sadat. The room was packed with 38 librarian/editors and filled with enthusiasm despite the multiple challenges, including a proxy block (which normally affects countries in Africa) and connectivity issues. But as always in Wiki-gatherings, creativity and solidarity came to the rescue. Dagbani Wikimedians User Group's Executive Director, Sadik Shahadu, helped to create accounts from smaller language Wikipedias (which did the trick for some!) and even shared his own phone data to users with no connectivity. Silvia Gutiérrez, Senior Program Officer for Libraries (WMF) was also there to escalate the problem to the Wikimedia Community Discord channel and together with Senior Strategist Alex Stinson (also from WMF) is working on a document to mitigate this issue.
AfLIA’s + Wikimedia Booth
AfLIA and the Wikimedia Culture and Heritage team set up a booth at the 7th African Library Summit to raise awareness about Wikimedia Projects. The booth served as an information hub where attendees could learn about various initiatives, including Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, and Wikidata. Participants engaged in interactive discussions, gained insights into project workflows, and explored opportunities for collaboration. Our favorite thing was the #1Pic1WikiThought activity, in which we took a picture of our lovely visitors with the AfLIA+Wikimedia frame and added their thoughts about WikiProjects to a collaborative flipchart. Librarian Nwabundo Nwando, for instance, from the National Library of Nigeria portrayed next to her idea about adding videos of Nigerian festivals to Commons!
The booth was also an excellent opportunity to deepen AfLIA + Wikimedia partnerships. For instance, Alim Garga, President of the Cameroon Library Association (ABADCAM) is ready to strengthen French workshops within his community and shared with us a wonderful quote, he said: «When I saw the slogan 'giving more people, more access, to more knowledge'
I knew our libraries had to be part of Wikimedia»
Presentations on Wikimedia Projects
Last but not least, during the summit, various attendees presented successful Wikimedia Projects campaigns conducted in Nigeria and Ghana (see panel 6 in the Conference Program at ). These presentations highlighted the edit-a-thons organized by Art+Feminism in collaboration with Libraries, with a particular focus on local languages. Additionally, they addressed the perception of Wikipedia in Municipal Libraries, Academic Libraries, and Universities in Nigeria. The power of Wikidata for Authority File Control and its Linked Data Features for University Repositories were also discussed. To emphasize the advantages of this last project, Silvia Gutiérrez showcased a SPARQL query that enables insights into the most common topics within a massive collection of digital documents: https://w.wiki/6ogZ