In August 2023, Queer Britain collaborated with Wikimedia UK to host a Wikimedian in Residence project. From August to November, Evie Moore worked on improving content on Wikipedia and related websites, with a focus on topics relevant to Queer Britain. In this post, Evie reflects on the residency.
Over the past three months, I’ve had the opportunity of contributing to Wikimedia projects as part of my residency at Queer Britain. Despite encountering challenges throughout the residency, specifically limitations due to healing from a broken ankle and undergoing surgery within the residency period, the unwavering support and kindness from the wiki team transformed these obstacles into opportunities. Thanks to this collaborative effort, I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The residency has been both enriching and productive, allowing me to engage with various aspects of the Wikimedia community and make valuable contributions to LGBTQ+ representation on the platform.
Wikipedia article contributions
One of my primary tasks during the residency was enhancing the ‘LGBT rights in the UK’ Wikipedia article, expanding sections on Advocacy Organisations, LGBT representation in politics, Pride Parades, and Rights for Asylum. The comprehensive 1500+ words added aim to provide a well-rounded view of the current landscape of LGBTQ+ rights in the UK. The page is read on average 12,000 times a month so it’s an important source of information.
I also spent time improving the Wikipedia pages of LGBTQ+ figures such as Roberta Cowell. This involved fact-checking, correcting inaccuracies, and ensuring proper referencing. The goal was to provide accurate and comprehensive information about her life and contributions to the LGBTQ+ community.
Wikimedia Commons contributions
I contributed photographic content of the Queer Britain building to Wikimedia Commons. This not only serves as a visual representation but also adds a layer of accessibility for users seeking information about Queer Britain.
To enhance the visibility of Queer Britain, I strategically placed links to their page in the ‘see other’ section of related national Queer Museums and Archives. This cross-referencing helps users discover Queer Britain in the broader context of LGBTQ+ history and culture while constructing relationships between Queer museums and archives internationally.
I engaged with Owen Blacker in discussions about the LGBTQ+ community on Wikipedia and explored the use of LGBTQ+ acronyms across the platform. These conversations were instrumental in gaining insights into the challenges and opportunities within the LGBTQ+ Wiki community.
I collaborated with Alice White on an upcoming edit-a-thon event at the Wellcome Collection, focusing on sourcing articles related to sexual health and education. This initiative aligns with Queer Britain’s commitment to diverse and inclusive representation within the LGBTQ+ spectrum.
I actively participated in the larger residency team, fostering collaboration and learning about diverse Wikimedia projects. Understanding the scope and shape of longer residencies proved beneficial in shaping the direction of my residency.
Research and data collection
Following on from my and Owens’s discussion, I conducted thorough research and collected data regarding the use of different acronyms such as LGBT, LGBT+, and LGBTQ+ This information can serve as a foundation for future initiatives focused on inclusivity and accurate representation, and can be utilised in future debates regarding which Acronym to use across Wikipedia.
Project pages and planning
I created a project page for Queer Britain, providing detailed information about the residency and Queer Britain itself. Additionally, internal planning for a future Wiki event at Queer Britain, titled ‘Queering Wikipedia,’ is underway. This edit-a-thon will emphasise the importance of accessible and open-source information in queer archiving.
Upon my return to the museum, I am looking forward to offering volunteers Wikipedia training, continuing to improve and expand on LGBTQ+ open source articles, collecting more photographic content to upload on Wikipedia Commons, and continuing to push for Wiki to use more inclusive and relevant acronyms for the LGBTQ+ community.
In conclusion, my Wikimedia residency at Queer Britain has been a fulfilling experience marked by collaboration, content creation, and community engagement. The impact of these contributions extends beyond the digital realm, promoting a more inclusive representation of LGBTQ+ history and culture on a global scale. I look forward to the continued growth of these initiatives and the positive impact they will have on Wikipedia’s LGBTQ+ content.