Editathon, British Library/June 2011

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English and Drama Wikipedia editing event at the British Library

Dickens Gurney head.jpg Oscar Wilde portrait.jpg CBRichmond.png William Blake by Thomas Phillips.jpg LewisCarrollSelfPhoto.jpg Bram Stoker 1906.jpg H G Wells pre 1922.jpg

Where?: British Library, St Pancras, London - map

When?: Saturday 4th June 2011

Who can attend?: Any Wikimedian!

About the event

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The British Library's English & Drama department is inviting people to attend a Wikimedia event on Saturday 4 June. The aim of the event is to combine the expertise of the public, Wikimedians and the Library's curators to improve Wikipedia's coverage of the literary individuals and collections related to the British Library.

During the day there will be unique opportunities to view, up close, interesting items from the English & Drama collections. In addition to this, one of the curators responsible for the forthcoming Science Fiction exhibition Out of this World will be on hand to take participants on guided tours of the exhibition.

The event is open to anyone interested in contributing to Wikipedia. It will be a great opportunity for beginners to learn how to construct entries and to share their subject knowledge with the wider world, while experienced Wikipedians will have the chance to contribute their know-how and expertise.

The event, which will run from 10am until 5pm, is taking place in the Library's Centre for Conservation. It is free to attend but, as places are limited, registration is recommended. You can register by signing up.

Improving and creating articles

Curators will be present throughout the day to help and supply research resources. The British Library would value contributions made by interested Wikimedians to improve and create articles relating the following areas in particular:

  1. Development of Category:British_Library_collections to include: Dexter Collection of Dickensia; Barry Ono Collection of Penny Dreadfuls; Lady Eccles Oscar Wilde Collection; Lawrence Durrell Collection
  2. New pages detailing each individual poet featured in the Between Two Worlds online presentation of poetry
  3. Improvement and creation of pages relating to other unique British Library material such as that relating to the following: William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the Brontës, Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), Thomas Hardy, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, G.K. Chesterton, T.S. Eliot, Graham Greene, W.H. Auden, Kenneth Tynan, Ted Hughes, J.G. Ballard, Beryl Bainbridge, Angela Carter, Keith Douglas, Tambimuttu and Bob Cobbing.

For an introduction to Wikipedia editing see Contributing to Wikipedia and more detailed advice for cultural sector professionals is available at Advice for the cultural sector.

If there are other Wikipedia articles relating to English literature and drama more generally that you'd like to work on, please add them below.

On the day

Remember to bring your laptop, there is free wifi and we want you to start making a difference on the day! (If you don't own a laptop and can't borrow one, please see below). If you do not have a reader card please pre-register and bring two forms of appropriate identification.

The event will begin at 10.00 and will be held in the British Library's Centre for Conservation. Please go to the information desk in the main Front Hall of the British Library for directions.


  • 10.00-10.20 Registration & coffee, housekeeping
  • 10.20-10.30 Welcome and who's who
  • 10.30-10.40 Agree table topics with associated curator show-and-tells
  • 10.45-13.00 Morning workshops with tea break at 11.30
  • 13.00-13.50 Lunch break and social discussion (free sandwiches being supplied)
  • 13.50-14.05 Talk by Judith Flanders
  • 14.05-14.10 Agree afternoon table topics
  • 14.15-16.30 Afternoon workshops with tea break at 15.00
  • 16.30-16.50 Joint summary session and what happens next
  • 16.50-17.00 Closedown

Parallel happenings

  • SciFi tour at 11.30 and again at 14.30
  • If you need help finding reader registration this can be arranged over lunch, expect registration to take 15 minutes.

Sign up

Registration for the event is recommended. The main room for the event can hold up to 30 people comfortably.

Please sign up by adding your name or user name below, link to your associated Wikipedia account (see Wikipedia:Signup to create an account) and add a note if you have particular areas of interest to help us organize curator support. If you have any questions or would prefer to register over the telephone, please call the Library on 020 7412 7485.


Add your name at the bottom of the list. It is highly advised that you ensure you set up a Wikipedia account before turning up and ensure it is autoconfirmed so you can edit articles that are semi-protected.

  1. DionysosProteus - drama-related articles
  2. The Land - would love to but pressure of work may not permit.
  3. - I'm the Wikimedia UK contact for this event, you can email me here. I am happy to help with any weak topic that can jump up a grade with the attention of a couple of us Wikip/medians.
  4. User:Sadads - would like to work on the articles Agnes Grey and Alice in Wonderland, though am flexible enough to work on almost anything :) and am an active member on WikiProject Novels, so can advise on structure and style in Novels and other literature articles
  5. Shimgray - nonspecialist (but librarian!) and happy to work as needed
  6. Tom Morris – would be interested in working on a wide variety of topics, both on Wikipedia and on sister projects including Wikiquote and Wikisource.
  7. Tim Riley – hope to be there, barring last-minute calls away. Happy to work on any lit articles I'm asked to. More interested in Wikipedia than in the other Wikimedia resources.
  8. Andrew Davidson - I was at the previous BL event and so know the ropes now. I am familiar with the history of science fiction and the critical material which covers this. There is perhaps scope to tie this to some of the 19th century authors listed such as Bram Stoker as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is commonly suggested to be the first modern SF work. Andrew Davidson 09:43, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
  9. Philafrenzy - I will attend
  10. Leutha - "He came down from Highgate thro' Hackney & Holloway towards London, Till he came to old Stratford, & thence to Stepney & the Isle Of Leutha's Dogs" Jerusalem - so I may do a bit on Blake!
  11. Lizz Stearns - I will be there, barring a delay of travel due to volcanic ash, and would like (nay, love) to work with the Barry Ono Collection of penny dreadfuls please!
  12. Joan Navarre - Oscar Wilde & His Circle
  13. AdamBMorgan - Interested in Wikisource and Wikipedia but no strong preference on topic. I have no laptop, so either pen & pencil or a borrowed computer.
    I should have two laptops with me, so you should be able to let you borrow the one that runs on Chrome OS, Sadads 15:15, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
    Thanks, I'd appreciate any help I get. - AdamBMorgan 12:43, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
    Okay, so I thought I had two laptops, the windows one is giving me a whole bunch of crap and shutting down at random. It still works fine, but crashes after something like 70 minutes to two hours. I will bring both still,but I may actually dump the windows one on you because of this and the Google computer being a little quirky :P If someone else has a more functional computer that would be the optimal soltuion, Sadads 21:55, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
    I'll bring pencils and hope for the best. Thanks anyway. - AdamBMorgan 20:58, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  14. Gabi Teodoru - Sounds like a fun thing to do! I'm mainly interested in science, math, and history, but I'm open to anything.
  15. Mark Celeste - willing to help with anything!
  16. Marek69 - I'll be there.
  17. Ironholds 15:33, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
  18. Jdforrester 22:24, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
  19. Sld86 Will be attending. I'm interested in Hardy, Dickens, and other Vict Lit Figures... Could definately do with some help re. wikipedia page setting-up/editing.
  20. I'll be there. As well as being a native French speaker I speak English and Italian, and I have a smattering of Turkish. I'm not proficient at all with the technical stuff but I'd be really glad to help you guys with any languages-related problem! Vincent Tep
  21. Katie L. - Hi all, I'm generally interested in working with the Romantics, but would like to dig in to most any of these collections, looking forward to it!
  22. Carcharoth 00:06, 4 June 2011 (UTC)


  1. Do I have to register to attend, or can I just arrive on the day?
    You do not have to register, but, should the event be over-subscribed, preference will be given to those who do register by signing up on this page.
  2. Do I need to have a British Library reader card?
    No. (But you might want one if you edit Wikipedia and need to look things up in the BL collection.)
  3. Do I need to have a Wikipedia or Wikimedia account set up before I turn up?
    No. But it is strongly advised that you set up an account before the event and ensure it is autoconfirmed so that you are able to edit semi-protected articles. There will be some administrators at the event so if you have problems with your account, they can assist you.
  4. Is there a minimum number of Wikipedia edits I have to have made to be allowed to attend?
    No, all are welcome - even if you've never edited Wikipedia before. Being "a Wikipedian" is a self-defined thing, so if you call yourself a Wikipedian (or would like to become one) then come along.
  5. Do I have to be a member of Wikimedia UK?
    No, this is open to all. You can find out more about membership here.
  6. Can I bring my camera?
    Yes, but you cannot take photographs in the exhibition areas.
  7. What about lunch?
    Tea and coffee will be provided in the morning and afternoon along with a selection of sandwiches at lunchtime. An alternative break location is the readers' lounge (Cotton room on 3rd floor) with vending machines for snacks and beverages, where it is OK to take food you've brought yourself.
  8. Do you have to own/bring a laptop?
    You will need to bring a laptop to edit on the day - the British Library will be providing wireless internet access.
    It is possible to come along and take notes on paper for subsequent use. NB that in the reading rooms, pens are not allowed, only pencils.
    The Land is looking at the possibility of WMUK acquiring some laptops for loan on the day. If this is an issue for you, please contact him ASAP.
  9. Are there any age limits?
    No. If you are under 18 there are special requirements for registering for an (optional) reader pass, see Teens.
  10. Is it just Wikipedia? What about the other projects?
    Any Wikimedia project editors (such as Wikisource, Wikiquote, Wikibooks and Wikiversity) are welcome if you think that your project may benefit from real-life collaboration at the British Library.
  11. Can we get images to illustrate articles?
    Yes, the British Library have offered to order images at no charge if requested during the day, though these may not be available immediately.
  12. Is remote participation viable?
    Yes, articles being improved (or needing peer review) will be added to our teamwork page at WP:GLAM/BL and you can help with any of the outstanding tasks. The IRC channel for the event will be irc:wikipedia-glam connect which can be used to discuss changes or ask for help in real time from anywhere.
  13. What about languages other than English?
    Yes, definitely. The British Library has a range of documents in many languages which illustrate the lives and works of notable authors and most are poorly referenced on Wikipedia (and Wikipedia in 270 non-English languages!). Please add a note against your name if you are interested in non-English materials.


Articles started
Articles improved
Things we can do now
  • Copy material from The Yellow Book External Links (archive.org) to Commons and then put them up on Wikisource. —Tom Morris (talk) 15:44, 4 June 2011 (UTC)