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5 Reasons Archives are an Untapped Goldmine for Wikipedians and Wikimedians


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Archival repositories are places which hold the original records created by people and organizations--paper, audiovisual, and electronic--preserving and providing access the primary sources that form the backbone of historical research. They are also a treasure trove of unique, reliable sources and free media for Wikipedia editors. Moreover, professional archivists often share the same driving passion that motivates so many volunteer editors: the desire to organize valuable information and make it accessible to all.

This presentation will introduce you to the basics of archival records and research (often a somewhat mysterious process to the uninitiated) and lay out the top 5 reasons why partnerships with archival repositories are of mutual benefit to Wikimedians and archivists alike.

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5 Reasons Archives are an Untapped Goldmine for Wikipedians and Wikimedians

  1. 1. Top 5 Reasons Archivesare an Untapped Goldmine for W ikipedians & W ikimedians Wikimania 2012 conference Washington, DC Sara Snyder
  2. 2. 1. About the Archives of American Art2. GLAM/SI &Wikipedian in Residence3. Top 5 Reasons why archives make fabulous GLAM partners
  3. 3. Archives of American Art,Smithsonian Institution• (screenshot)
  4. 4. Experimental editing 2007-10
  5. 5. The Archives’ Goals• To run a pilot/experimental project and see what happens• To get training and mentoring for our staff in Wiki norms and culture
  6. 6. W ikipedian in ResidenceActivities• One on one mentoring and training of staff as well as other interns• Analysis of names our collections and corresponding articles in need of creation or improvement• Smithsonian Staff brown bag info sessions• Backstage Pass & Edit-a-thon
  7. 7. Outcomes• 36 new English articles were created utilizing Archives resources • 14 English articles translated into Spanish • 2 articles translated into French • 2 articles translated into Catalan• 12 English articles were expanded• 2 articles was expanded in Spanish• 5 articles were "Do You Knows...?”
  8. 8. Outcomes (con’t)• 1 article was awarded Good Article status• 256 high resolution PD photographs were donated by the Archives to Wikimedia Commons• 4 documents were transcribed for WikiSource• 39 E-Volunteers participated in the project• 3 staff members and 1 intern participated as Wikipedians in the project
  9. 9. Benefits to the Archives• Press coverage• New relationships with other GLAMs• List of articles we continue to work from• Co nfid e nc e in o ur e x p e rtis e a nd the fa c t tha t we a re ind e e d we lc o m e !
  10. 10. Referrals from Wikimedia sites 2009 - 4.72% of site visits 2010 - 5.95% of site visits 2011- 6.57% of site visits Since January of 2010, Wikimedia sites have driven 2x the pageviews to the Archives’ website when compared to all other social media sites combined.
  11. 11. Archives: Who, Where, What
  12. 12. Top 5 Reasons Archives are an Untapped Goldmine forWikipedians & Wikimedians
  13. 13. REASON #5 Archives contain unique and amazing historical sources, increasing amounts of which have been digitized
  14. 14. REASON #4Lots of material found in archivesis out of copyright or publicdomain
  15. 15. REASON #3Doing archival research may makeyou feel like you are starring in anepisode of “History Detectives”
  16. 16. REASON #2Archival collection descriptionsare published, secondary sourcesthat are already written to be: • authoritative • well-researched • have a neutral point of view
  17. 17. REASON #1 Archivists!!! "I thought the curators had all the answers and knew the secrets. Then I hung out with the archivists at the Archives of American Art.“ -Sarah Stierch, “Why Wikipedia Needs Archivists”
  18. 18. Wikipedia:GLAM/SIWikipedia:GLAM/