Press releases/Mary Rose Trust donation

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A newspaper This press release was published on 3 January 2010. The published copy can be found at

Mary Rose Trust releases photographs onto Wikipedia

The final stages of the salvage of the sixteenth-century carrack Mary Rose on 11 October 1982. Image released onto Wikipedia by the Mary Rose Trust, and restored by a Wikimedia volunteer.

3 January 2010, UK: The Portsmouth-based Mary Rose Trust have released a number of photographs relating to the salvaged sixteenth-century warship Mary Rose onto Wikipedia. This is the first such image donation by a UK-based organisation.

"Making content available on Wikimedia is a fantastic way to increase the visibility of our cultural heritage," Mike Peel, Chair of Wikimedia UK, says. "These images can now be seen by the millions of people around the world that regularly read and edit Wikipedia and its sister projects."

The donation consists of 57 high resolution, previously unpublished photographs, some of which were taken specially for Wikipedia. It complements a substantial rewrite and expansion of the Wikipedia article on the Mary Rose, driven by the work of a Wikimedia volunteer from Sweden, Peter Isotalo. Two photographs are of the final stages of the salvage operation on 11 October 1982; the first time the Mary Rose had been above water since it sank on 19 July 1545. The remainder show sixteenth-century artefacts, including weapons, tools and personal items, recovered from the Mary Rose during its salvage.

After its recent expansion, the article on the Mary Rose will be prominently linked from the Did you know... section of the front page of Wikipedia on 4 January; this page routinely receives over four million visits each day. In addition, it is on course to become a "Featured Article", one of the best on Wikipedia, and thus eligible to be the main featured article on Wikipedia's front page.

Wikimedia UK is currently organising Britain Loves Wikipedia, a free photography contest to be held in participating museums across the UK throughout February, with the resulting images being used to illustrate Wikipedia articles. Previous content partnerships with Wikimedia in other countries have included the Bundesarchiv and Deutsche Fotothek in Germany, the Tropenmuseum in The Netherlands, Regionarkivet in Sweden and Queensland Museum, Australia. Wikimedia UK encourages more cultural organisations to make their images, audio recordings or videos freely available to the public on Wikimedia Commons.


About the Mary Rose:

The Mary Rose, once the pride of King Henry VIII's navy, was raised by the the Mary Rose Trust from the bottom of the Solent just off Portsmouth in 1982, 437 years after it accidentally foundered while engaging a French fleet. The project of salvaging the ship was a major undertaking and proved to be a milestone within the field of maritime archaeology. When the Mary Rose sunk, the ship and its contents were sealed off by layers of clay and sediment thereby becoming a time capsule of sixteenth-century Tudor England. The thousands of artefacts found when the ship was excavated and raised have provided important clues to the life of the men of all classes that served on her during the 1540s, about shipbuilding, naval warfare and countless other fields.

About Wikimedia Commons:

Wikimedia Commons is a free image and media file repository, and is a sister project to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. It was started on 7 September 2004, and is operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. It currently contains over 5.5 million freely licensed images and media files.

About Wikimedia UK:

Wikimedia UK is an independent organisation that supports free and open knowledge throughout the United Kingdom, including promoting and supporting the projects of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation.

About the Wikimedia Foundation:

The Wikimedia Foundation Inc. is the US-based non-profit organisation that operates some of the largest collaboratively-edited reference projects in the world. These include Wikipedia, one of the world's ten most-visited websites, and Wikimedia Commons.

Further information:

Contact details:

Michael Peel, Chair, Wikimedia UK

  • Email:

Charles Barker, Managing Director of the Archaeological Services, Mary Rose Trust

  • Email:
Comment This press release has been released, and posted to the Wikimedia UK blog. It was also released by The Swedish chapter