Talk:Editathon, British Library/June 2011

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I just wanted to say that this sounds amazing, and I'm sorry I can't be there. Have fun! -- Phoebe 20:02, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Further query about photos

Is there a general policy from the BL about taking (non-flash) photographs of documents for research purposes? I am thinking of examples where it might be handy for an editor to be able to refer to their sample pocket camera photos for later updating (or verification) of article content rather than the scenario of adding photos of documents to Commons. For me, this would mean I could fit a lot more into a day rather than relying on my hand-written notes. -- 12:43, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

After checking the reader registration terms, the BL makes it clear that scanning or otherwise making images from documents is not allowed. I guess that taking copious notes is the way to go. -- 19:36, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Promotion checklist

Below, I suggest we have a list of places we should tell about the event. Tom Morris 15:07, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Don't forget:

  • Wikimedia UK blog
  • WMUK's Twitter account.
    • Yes check.svg Done Retweeted.
      • I've also tweeted it (rather than retweeted) from the WMUK account. Will tweet it intermittently in future as well. (Fæ)
      • I told the UCL Digital Humanities (@ucldh) about it from my personal account. Tom Morris 12:52, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

- The Land 17:50, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

J.G. Ballard

When checking the portraits for the page header, I discovered that Commons has no photo of J.G. Ballard and the one used on Wikipedia is fair use only. Anyone care to investigate where one might be able to find a PD or CC-BY image? -- 19:19, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Potential workshop topics

The workshops will be organized by "table" with potential for these to be changed between the morning and afternoon sessions, it would probably be handy to add a big label or symbol on each table so everyone remembers what the topic is. With 30 people it should be possible to have 5 or 6 topics. If you have a topic that you would like to suggest or discuss, please add it here: -- 07:19, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Poets and Audio library - there are a large number of prize winning poets without articles and existing articles may be weakly categorized and not provide much in the way of context (see potential list). The BL has a unique archive of interviews available in the audio library and though the audio file is not available off-site, there are detailed summaries of the facts from the interviews that are invariably unused as a reliable source for related Wikipedia articles. The BL have also offered to release some portrait photographs of some of the modern poets that have been interviewed if articles are being created.
  • Science Fiction - given there is a sci fi exhibit on, we should probably have this as one of the topics.

FAQ needs updating

Specifically, "What about lunch?", given the "free sandwiches being supplied" bit in the schedule. Mike Peel 21:18, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done -- 22:12, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. :-) Mike Peel 09:14, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Fixing cut-and-paste archiving

Could someone fix the cut-and-paste archive to Editathon, British Library/Archive 1 so that the history of that page is preserved? Thanks. Mike Peel 09:14, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Moved page so that original history is on the Archive. -- 07:45, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Mike Peel 07:51, 19 May 2011 (UTC)


  • Mattgirling – happy to help in any area! Regrettably I can no longer attend. Mattgirling 21:32, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Ready for anything. Johnbod. Sorry, got a bug, & won't be coming


  • The link has had 250+ visitors. —Tom Morris (talk) 21:37, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
    • And my late-night tweet of the results of the event had 20 visitors. —Tom Morris (talk) 11:04, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Next event

Do you have any further events planned? Thanks 23:13, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Not yet for the BL. My chat with staff and management make the prospect of at least another two events a reasonable expectation. This may require help from other e-volunteers in the planning and arrangements process, particularly if we are looking at non-English material or teaming with curators with a specialized topic in mind. If you feel you might be able to make a commitment to help with managing relationships and events with cultural institutions, consider coming to GLAMcamp London.
For other institutions, remember to keep an eye on Events where there are some workshops planned. -- 10:42, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Just an idea, religious texts would be an interesting future topic. —Tom Morris (talk) 11:03, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Is there scope for organising events like this at the BL that don't need to have curators present, or have curators involved digitally (perhaps at a later time)? Ideally it should be possible for someone to organise an edit party on a focused topic with the same level of difficulty as organising a wikimeet. Mike Peel 11:10, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, an easy option would be if a small group (say 4 to 8) Wikipedians wish to plan a small edit party one afternoon, there are some smart meeting rooms inside the Business and IP centre reading room that could be booked by a friendly member of staff (not bookable by the general public) and without having to book there is a comfortable public lounge area with tables and sofas right next to it where you can take a coffee and chat freely (though the cafe and the Cotton Room are other good social areas). Though reference material would have to be kept the other side of security on the desks nearby, it would be easy to reserve supporting reference material (can take around an hour to arrive) and there is free on-site access to a range of subscription databases (such as Gale). If we ask very nicely and can commit to larger groups (10+) with specific outcomes in mind, then we can ask if one of the larger rooms in the Conference Centre could be booked for us. -- 12:56, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Event feedback

We have not created a conference type feedback system for the editathon, but if you chip in here on what you thought worked well or less well below, this will help in our planning of future workshops and events at the BL or other institutions. I'll get around to adding a note to everyone's Wikipedia talk page to point this out. Thanks -- 14:06, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

  • My 2p worth to get started: Putting A4 pages with the workshop table topics on the tables helped clarify things particularly for late comers and those with hearing difficulty. BL staff were wearing their badges, but I thought that it might have been better if the Wikipedians had been encouraged to write their names or usernames on stick-on labels to wear. Lunch worked out okay I think and the sandwiches seem good quality, we probably should have done more to shout out key times on the agenda for tea breaks. The IRC chat was a useful experiment, I'm not sure how much people referred to it during the event. We did not opt to have a beginners work table and I had comments for and against the idea during the event as most people got the help they needed as they tried doing things within their work group. The BL staff were a bit disappointed that the historic artefacts were not more used, we did have the comment that participants were a bit wary of handling such valuable objects. I'm not sure how to adapt better for this engagement apart from having time-slots devoted to short show and tell sessions and perhaps having fewer of them. -- 14:06, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
A few comments from me...
New editors
About having a "new editors" table. I think it worked fine without this, with experienced Wikipedians being very helpful to the new editors. However, we really need feedback from the people who hadn't edited before!
Curators / artefacts
Having historic books / drawings etc present is nice, but I'm not sure it is hugely useful. Someone might be inspired to write about one of the objects present, but even so the only thing you can do with the actual object is take a photo of it - to write the article you need the books about the relevant object not the relevant object...
The tours of the Sci Fi exhibit were certainly very helpful to get the Sci Fi table started - also I think that added quite a lot to the marketability of the event.
I heard a couple of people saying that the on-wiki registration system wasn't particularly friendly for people who were new to Wikis. The phone number was helpful. Perhaps we should explore using EventBrite more for this kind of event?
Room was fine. Lunch was delicious. Provision of some water would have been very welcome as it was a hot room.
You're right about namebadges - they would have been helpful.
Thanks! The Land 16:48, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
I've made a short comment here, which I'll repeat here:

For my part, I enjoyed it greatly, though I ended up having to learn how to use an iPad (long story). Hopefully there will be more such events, though I would hope to find out about it sooner (my fault this time round) and be prepared with pre-event and at-event requests, which IMO are vital to really make full use of the amazing resource that is the British Library.

I work not far from the British Library (close enough to get there in the evenings after work), and would be very happy to help out with any future events, such as general editing by a group of Wikipedians on a relevant topic. It is important to remember, though, that for some topic areas, many items are stored off-site and can take a few days to arrive, and hence need to be ordered in advance. Oh, and the sandwiches were delicious! Carcharoth 23:53, 5 June 2011 (UTC)