Editathon, North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers

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Mining Institute editathon - In a nutshell

  • Where?: Wood Memorial Hall, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE (next to and just east of Newcastle Central station, turn right leaving the portico)
  • When?: Wednesday 6 November 2013, 10:30 for 11:00
  • Point of contact: Harry Mitchell, harry.mitchellatwikiconferences.org.uk. Jonathan Cardy supporting from the WMUK office, Jennifer Hillyard from the Mining Institute

What is it?

behind this window!

The event focused on writing Wikipedia articles based on reference material from the Mining Institute's extensive collection on subjects related to mining, including related fields such as metallurgy, railways, and many others. The day started with a tour of the venue, a magnificent Grade II* listed building and one of the best surviving examples of English Gothic Revival architecture.


  • 10:30: Gather for tea/coffee and introductions
  • 10:45: Tour of the venue - The event began with a welcome from Jennifer, who then led the group on guided tour of the Neville Hall and Wood Memorial Hall – the Mining Institute's headquarters, a grade II* listed building in the centre of Newcastle.
  • 12:00 (approximate): Lunch (provided)
  • 13:00 onwards: Researching and writing articles!

The night before (Tuesday 5th November) there was a public lecture at the Institute: Colliers, Viewers, Engineers and the Making of the Modern World by Bill Lancaster at 7pm. He was talking about the influential engineers of the first half of the nineteenth century and their backgrounds and everyone was welcome to attend as an introduction to the event.


15 people signed up, of whom 12 (mostly Mining Institute staff and members/volunteers) turned up on the day; eight men and four women. Most attendees were already familiar with the basics of Wikipedia and had made a small number of edits prior to the event

The interests were diverse, but most attendees were keen to use the Mining Institute's resources to add content to Wikipedia, so the rest of the afternoon session was left amorphous, and attendees were left to find a subject to write about.

  1. Jennifer Hillyard - the contact from the Institute
  2. Alan J. White
  3. Retreeval AKA Alistair Brook
  4. Simon Brooks
  5. Eric Fisher
  6. Mia McCabe
  7. Alan Metcalfe
  8. wikipedia:User:FidoPam
  9. wikipedia:User:Pmc252
  10. wikipedia:User:Marjon Archiveassistant
  11. wikipedia:User:Mining47
  12. wikipedia:User:Mininglibrarian


  1. Robertforsythe
  2. Harry Mitchell
  3. Dan Garry
  4. Chris McKenna
  5. Peter Gans

(The above list of Attendees and Trainers is an accurate list of everyone who came to what was a very successful event).

Content that could be improved

This is a suggested list created before the event took place.

Category:Coal mines in County Durham Just open that link and think! Also then look at Durham Mining Museum and then search for that museum in Wikipedia. This example is a measure of scale.

Then look at Category:Power stations in North East England. That is a very different story.

Uploading of images to Wiki Commons from the Institute's collection will be taking place and editors may want to think about how these can be used. The uploads should be readily visible here.

Some online places to be aware of: Adit Now. The Coal Authority. Northern Mines Research Society. The Mine Explorer Society.

A scenario that might apply to some viewers. Perhaps you know about Pennine metal mines? You spot a mistake in Wikipedia but you are unsure of how to edit and provide a good reference. Come along with your source or find the relevant information at the institute and editors will be on hand to show you how to change Wikipedia articles.

An example of above. Healeyfield Lead Mine near Consett, it is written up in a NMRS monograph. It is here in Aditnow . Can you find any Wikimedia material about is?

Here is an easy entry point for some editing: The Bowes Railway. The subject is utterly notable and worthy of an entry. The present entry gives a basic framework. It does not have many citations and nor is much said about the pre 1976 history of the site. Where is the National Coal Board takeover or the work of the Tyne & Wear Industrial Monuments Trust? The Mining Institute will have many materials including Colin Mountford's volume. Improving the article should be an easy win. Many web references to newspaper stories of recent years could be worked in.

Also check out the portal for North East England and its talk page.

Also check into Project North East England.

Had a request to improve biographical details for some important people involved with the Institute such as Edmund Hann.


The event builds on the residency held earlier in 2013 at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.

Blog post

A blog about the day is here. (wiki version)

There is great potential in the North East, both for a continuation of the partnership with the Mining Institute – with the aim of using their extensive collections on industrial history to improve relevant Wikipedia articles – and for partnerships with other organisations and groups in the area.