2013 Annual Review/Wiki version/Wikimedians in Residence

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Wikimedians in Residence

Being a Wikipedian in Residence also allows me the opportunity of supporting work for the broader library community. I've been working with Max Klein and a group at OCLC to prepare and roll out authority control identifiers – the system used in librarianship to uniquely identify individuals – across the English Wikipedia.

—Andrew Gray, Wikimedian in Residence

The British Library hosted a Wikimedian in Residence for 12 months from 2012-13

In the past year we have seen more and more galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs) working with Wikimedia UK. Within the sector, the drive to share collections and information to increase the sum of human knowledge is very strong. The scope of the institutions' involvement can be varied - many are releasing their images to Wikimedia Commons, opening their doors to show their collections to Wikimedians, hosting editing workshops.

Perhaps one of the most powerful expressions of this drive is our Wikimedian in Residence programme. This is a high level collaboration model where an in-house Wikimedian works with the staff of an institution to improve the content of Wikimedia projects, potentially making a very impactful contribution to public knowledge. This could be done in various ways, such as editing training workshops, editing events and backstage passes. The Wikimedian can also assist with helping the institution understand the general benefits of open culture and work on long lasting collaboration between Wikimedia UK and the GLAM.

2012-13 saw a year-long residency at the British Library, funded by AHRC – the first time such a project has secured public funding. Andrew Gray, the Wikimedian, has been working tirelessly on a Wikimedia projects training projects training programme, reaching four hundred people from dozens of institutions across the country. He has also been reviewing all British Library content on Wikipedia, and been working with curators and the copyright group to identify suitable collections that can be released openly. He has also helped the British Library host a World War I editathon where Jisc and Wikimedia UK were involved. This successful event of about 30 attendees focused on improving Wikipedia articles related to the conflict. This prompted a number of institutions to reach out to us about future collaboration, and we are looking to run a high profile education project with Jisc in 2013.

In 2013-14 we will be building on these strong foundations and running many partnerships with prestigious cultural institutions. We will have Wikimedians in residence at Natural History Museum & Science Museum, Tyne and Wear Archives & Museums, and National Library of Scotland (our first ever major partnership with a Scottish Institution). The scope for outreach, exploring the collections and using GLAMs' knowledge is very inspiring.