Submissions/New opportunities in GLAM-Wiki collaboration

From Wikimania 2011 • Haifa, Israel

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Title of the submission

New opportunities in GLAM-Wiki collaboration: Case studies from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis & The Indianapolis Museum of Art

Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Lori Phillips
E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)
Country of origin
United States
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

In the past few years, and especially in the past months, museums have begun to look to Wikipedia as a serious tool for the future. The question now is how Wikipedia can be used to more efficiently share the abundance of research, information, and expertise that museums possess. Museums are being called upon to increase the accessibility of their collections to broader audiences. They are also being called to step up as community leaders and informal educators at a time when 21st century collaborative, technical skills are becoming increasingly important. Using Wikipedia for community programming is one way to answer the call of both of these initiatives. It’s obvious that cultural partnerships with museums are, and will be, incredibly important for Wikipedia and free culture. What we now must do is create practical, adaptable opportunities for museums to work with Wikipedia in a way that does not overburden staff with digitization efforts.

As a museum studies graduate student and a Wikipedian, I have had the unique opportunity to experience the mutually beneficial relationship between the museum and Wikimedia communities. My presentation will share case studies on community program initiatives at two institutions, each focusing on a different audience. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis Museum Apprentice Program (MAP) involves high school students who have researched notable objects in the collection and worked in teams to learn Wikipedia and contribute content to articles. The Indianapolis Museum of Art E-Volunteer program provides both local and long distance volunteers the online tools to research notable objects in the IMA’s collection and contribute their research to Wikipedia articles. These two public programs were inspired by other successful examples of museum-Wikipedia collaboration such as the Wikipedian-in-Residence project at the British Museum and the initiatives piloted by the IUPUI Museum Studies program which utilized tools available through WikiProject: Public art.

Wikipedia is at once a collaborative online community and a far-reaching platform to share knowledge. Museums can, and should, take advantage of these characteristics by incorporating Wikipedia into their public programming. Not only will the museum’s community benefit through learning a collaborative, 21st century research skill, a wider community of Wikipedia users will also benefit from the increased accessibility to institutional research and knowledge.

This presentation will share strengths and weaknesses of the pilot projects before opening up to community dialogue to share ideas, successes, and opportunities for the future.

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)
Knowledge & Collaboration
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