International Museum Day 2022 / About 20 Wikimedia Chapters around the world join forces
The International Museum Day (IMD) on 18th May is an event organised by the International Council of Museums since 1977 to raise awareness that “museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” About 20 Wikimedia Chapters worldwide joined their forces to transfer this awareness into free accessible content of Wikipedia and its sister project.
In a joint campaign from 4th to 18th May, the national Wikimedia associations and groups invite the community of Wikipedia contributors to edit, update, translate Wikipedia articles in the context or upload pictures. A Wikidata competition completes the offer around the IMD 2022.
The Wikidata competition to improve the data about museums and related people, objects and events is held in the form of localised versions sharing the same basic concept but focusing on the geographical area of the respective. Editors from all over the world can participate in any local edition. A brilliant tool to find out more about the presence of your favourite or all other museums and more on Wikipedia is WMCH Map Service.
The overall project is coordinated by Wikimedia CH (WMCH) in association with Wikimedia Österreich (WMAT) and direct support by Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE) and the Volunteer Supporters Network (VSN). “For several years already, this event has been an occasion for us to improve the presence of museums on Wikipedia, Wikidata and further Wikimedia projects”, says Ulrich Lantermann from Wikimedia CH. Wikimedia UK works with many museums in the UK, focusing especially on their underrepresented collections. We believe that participating in this competition adds an opportunity to further highlight and ensure online representation of the heritage held by our museums.
“The way museums interact with their public has drastically changed since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, and digitalisation has become a priority for many”, explains Alexandra Fernandez Coego, Head of Communications and Public Relations at ICOM. “However, smaller and community museums often lack the means to create or maintain an online presence. Our collaboration with Wikimedia aims at supporting them in closing the digital gap”. Last year, more than 37,000 museums participated in the IMD in about 158 countries and territories. The 2022 edition is dedicated to the theme “The Power of Museums”.
One of the key missions of Wikimedia affiliates and groups is to support Wikipedia contributors in their volunteer work and help memory institutions to share their curatorial knowledge, collections, and resources in a digital manner, with a global community through a global platform. Together we advocate for free knowledge in the world. This joint project is an impressive example of this commitment.