RBSA Backstage Pass

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Royal Birmingham Society of Artists.

"Backstage Pass tour" at The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists - In a nutshell

Where?: Royal Birmingham Society of Artists Gallery, St Paul's Square, Birmingham
When?: Sunday, 10:00, 4 November, 2012
Participants: Anyone was welcome - Wikipedia editors or people with interest in Wikipedia and sharing knowledge (training was available)
Hashtag: #glamRBSA or #glamwiki (for Twitter)
Tag: glamRBSA (for blog posts, YouTube, Flickr, Delicious, etc.)

What is it?

A Backstage Pass tour is an event aimed at sharing the expertise of real-world cultural institutions with our wiki-expertise. Principally this involves an organisation or interest group hosting a private tour for the benefit of existing and new Wikipedians and in reciprocation we will help improve the content on Wikipedia that is relevant to their collection.

Simply put the day is in three parts:

  1. Talks and private 'backstage' tours of the gallery's archives, with their experts.
  2. Lunch together (provided)
  3. Sitting down with RBSA staff to collaborate on topics discussed during the morning.

The main contact person for this activity was Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing; @pigsonthewing; andy@pigsonthewing.org.uk).

The aim was to improve Wikipedia's content related to the RBSA's collections and members (it was founded in 1821!). The work would continue long after this day's event, and we hoped to foster ongoing relations between Wikipedians and RBSA staff and volunteers. Experienced Wikipedia editors were able to offer training - and a warm welcome - to newcomers.

Where did it take place?

The RBSA Gallery is at 4, Brook Street, off St Paul's Square, Birmingham. The nearest Midland Metro stop is St Paul's, and the Gallery is a 15 minute brisk walk from central Birmingham train stations, or ten minutes from Jewellery Quarter station.


Registration & coffee
Welcome and Intros
Background & organisation
Talk 1 - History of RBSA
Talk 2 - Volunteering in the RBSA Archive
Talk 3 - Current research and projects
Editing/ archives tour
Editing/ archives tour
Wrap up & thank-yous

Then an optional debrief in a nearby pub.


  1. Rock drum (talkcontribs) (assisting)
  2. Harry Mitchell (assisting)
  3. RexxS (talk)
  4. Mainlymazza
  5. Widefox; talk
  6. Cybrum(Wikipedia and Birmingham culture)


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