Below is the Wikimedia UK monthly report for the period 1st to 31st July 2014. If you want to keep up with the chapter's activities as they happen, please subscribe to our blog, join a UK mailing list, and/or follow us on Twitter. If you have any questions or comments, please drop us a line on this report's talk page.
Please add your reports below.
GLAM-Wiki 2013 Conference - long term results survey
The memories of attending the GLAM-Wiki Conference in London last year may have faded for many of us, but a year after the conference we wanted to see what impact it had on the participants. For this reason we have run a 'long term effects' survey that was circulated to all the attendees and answered by 34 people. The full results can be seen here. Particularly inspiring is the 'Action' section, which shows what a great effect the event had on the participants. Enjoy reading the report!
Speed bonnie boat, Like a bird on the wing, Onward, the sailors cry, Carry the lad that's born to be king, Over the sea to Skye
As part of the National Library of Scotland's GLAMWiki collaboration with Wikimedia UK, over 1000 images have now been made available from NLS collections on Wikimedia Commons. This release follows the Library's adoption of a more open digital content licensing policy, which came into effect this April. The new policy releases .jpg versions of out-of-copyright digital content onto a CC-0 license, along with all Library-generated metadata. Collections uploaded include photographs of the construction of the Forth Bridge and the collapse of the Tay Bridge, early 19th century sketches of Scottish locations from John Claude Nattes' and James Fittler's Scotia Depicta, nearly 200 19th century theatre posters and photographs from the Library's Weir Collection, and 700 files from the expansive Jacobite prints and broadsides collection (see below). This release represents the start of the Library's commitment to uploading content to Commons, and some 10,000 files have been identified for upload over the coming year.
Celebrations at the National Library of Scotland - one year anniversary!
Ally Crockford, the Wikimedian in Residence at the NLS, has completed her first year in post, making her the longest standing WIR in the UK. To celebrate... she wrote a great 12 month summary report - click here to enjoy. Congratulations Ally!
Big Beasts at the Tank Museum
The Tank Museum in Dorset has given us some complementary tickets for Wikimedians to attend on weekdays when things are usually quiet enough for tripods to be allowed. This section and its photographs by Mightyhansa who visited the museum this July.
I frequent museums regularly and have learnt what can and can't make a museum work; they have done a good job at the tank museum. The museum was well organised and laid out. Most of the exhibits were well labelled and easy to find, this was made even easier by the small platoon of volunteer/guides (almost exclusively retired men with a tanky glint in their eye!), who helped me locate a few exhibits I couldn't find. The size and scale of the place is not to be underestimated, those tanks are big beasts and there are a lot of them!
The main challenge with taking photos is indeed the spacing between the exhibits, which means one inevitably gets other exhibits and signage in the shot. I didn't have too many problems with the lighting, but it was a nice sunny day, which was useful when it streamed through the warehouse skylights. I did have to keep switching between using natural and artificial light for the photos. I am only an amateur photographer, with no formal training, which may have actually helped. It is my opinion that you can only take a photo of what is in front of you, in the conditions available. I don't see any of my pictures making it to 'photo of the month', but I feel it is possible to document most of the tank museum exhibits with some degree of success if you aren't too fussy about the odd wheel or turret either side of your subject.
Notable exceptions include some of their cornerstone exhibits, which the museum has rewarded with a diorama or special setting. These include Little Willie, which is on a revolving pedestal surrounded by perspex (I'm not making it up!); their Mark I tank, which is splattered with mud as part of a WWI trench diorama; and other key WWI exhibits. I will try to detail this on the Wikimedia page as I go through my photos.
Also worth mentioning is that the museum was very much a live museum, there are several large warehouses and workshops, one of which has a public viewing gallery. While these setting aren't ideal for shooting exhibits, I saw several tanks being shunted around or driven about as they reorganised and I feel a more local Wiki-photographer might be able to take advantage of this. I didn't make any effort to meet any curator or management. Maybe an initial chat with them, with the right tone might yield some good photos of exhibits that are being moved and maintained (the machine and mechanics that maintain them are as impressive as the exhibits themselves).
Thanks again to Wikimedia UK and the Tank Museum for the opportunity, I'm looking forward to finishing the processing and uploading of to my photos and improving the content of the Wikimedia projects
scanning and surgeries
Jonathan Cardy talked to the London Skeptics July meeting and afterwards ran a Wikipedia surgery answering questions from several Wikipedia editors there, and invited the skeptics to the following Conway Hall editathon. This is one of a number of tests at moving away from new editor recruitment as that is the healthiest part of the lifecycle of an editor we are stll getting thousands of new people each month to do their first five edits. The aim of surgeries is to help existing editors who are encountering peoblems or simply want to talk to mare experienced editors.
The Natural History Museum has donated two HerbScans (including a large metal frame and Epson Expression Model 10000XL flat bed scanner, with Graphic Arts, USB2 and Firewire interfaces. These are now available to loan out to cultural institutions who wish to digitise and make available their collections.
Press coverage (and coverage of UK projects & activities)
- Wikipedia clamps down on government edits
- How to find out when UK politicians are editing Wikipedia pages
- Wikipedia Now Accepts Bitcoin Donations With Coinbase
- Armenia: Citizens urged to write Wikipedia entry each
- Wikipedia Revamps Its iOS App With Offline Access, Support For Editing While On The Go
Blog posts this month
- Wikipedia Summit “Wikimania” comes to London – Largest ever gathering (1 July)
- Let’s get serious about Wikipedia (3 July)
- Wikipedia: Creating as well as consuming online (11 July)
- Wikipedia – is it fit for patient consumption? (15 July)
- Counting down to Wikimania (16 July)
- Wikimedia at the heart of open education (17 July)
- Scholarships for UK based attendees of AdaCamp Berlin 2014 (23 July)
- University Challenge recognises Wikipedia (23 July)
- Wikimania – Nine working days to go… (24 July)
- Historic library collections get worldwide exposure (25 July)
- A trip to the Tank Museum (28 July)
- A Wikimedian approach to digital democracy – next phase (29 July)
- Finding our place in the world of Wikipedia (30 July)
- Working with GLAMs, Working with Wikimedia (31 July)
Fundraising and membership
This month, we received £2,100 in one-off donations, with 2 individual donations. The average donation amount was £1050 - of the donations that were eligible for gift aid, 100% had Gift Aid Declarations made and matched with their records. If anyone would like a full (but anonymised) csv file with more information, please get in touch with katherine.bavageatwikimedia.org.uk and let her know your requirements.
There were 4288 successful direct debits this month, bringing in a total of £17038.92
You can view more detailed membership data here