V&A Wikilounge

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Victoria and Albert Museum Wikilounge

Saturday 16th July 2011

Courtyard in the Victoria and Albert Museum
Front view of Tipu's Tiger.

The Victoria and Albert Museum run a Web Weekend and have invited Wikimedia UK to take part by holding a public Wikilounge. This was a joint outreach event to encourage new contributors to help with improving the access to cultural content. The V&A run a page on their website, there was a hashtag recommended for tweets and there notices for the public about what was going on in the Sackler Centre at the time.

All the Web Weekend events in the Sackler Centre were open to the public from 10.30am through to 5pm.


  • Location: Seminar Room 2, Sackler Centre in the V&A. Gfi-set01-unesco-cultural-heritage.png Map
  • Coordinator: Fae, WM-UK director
  • Hashtag for Twitter: #webweekend
  • Commons Category: Category:V&A Wikilounge
  • Numbers: The room capacity up to 20 at any one time with plenty of natural light via massive windows, with additional comfy seating in the Sackler downstairs.
    • Several Wikimedians available to support public interest by answering questions, giving demonstrations or edit coaching sessions
  • Facilities
    • free Wifi
    • beverages and lunch for volunteers provided
    • plenty of power-points, re-arrangeable desks and chairs and mains extension cables
    • four PCs with internet access for the public to have a go at editing
    • presentation screen


There was a framework programme as outlined below. Remote e-volunteers were part of the day and engaged via IRC, Skype and tweeting.

  • Volunteers were arriving at the venue around 10.30 and were asked to bring their own laptops.
  • Public introductory sessions were at 11, 12.30, 14.30, 16.00 (but welcome to drop by and join in at any time)
    • The sessions were a short walkthrough of Wikimedia, Wikipedia and sister projects and an editing demonstration with Q&A. There were two "loaner" laptops so the public could have a go straight away and help with the editathon (in particular with non-English Wikipedia versions).
  • Parallel all day mini-editathon focused on selected V&A artefacts with good potential for multi-language interest with Tipu's Tiger as the key article for improvement, particularly with versions needed in South Asian languages. Photographs were allowed in the museum.
  • Lunch around 1.30 was provided by the V&A along with refreshments at other times.
  • Close at 17.30 (Sackler closes at 17.45), going on to a social venue for wind-down.

Registration for Wikimedian volunteers

The list of volunteers registered is below.

As well as a free lunch, we also had a limited number of free special exhibition tickets as a reward for official helpers.

  • Fae - Helping with general coordination, demonstrations or editathon activity.
  • Tom Morris - can do photographs, sister project stuff, bring some laptops along
  • Leutha - general help, wikiversity
  • Johnbod - as Fae, maybe pm only
  • Philafrenzy - I will attend. Did some photos of pieces for Commons last time I was there.
  • Andrew Davidson - Expect to be working in morning but will come when I can.
  • James Forrester - only there for the morning really (bringing the pop-up signs!)
  • Peter Cohen - It's on the way to where I am in the evening. I therefore hope to be able to offer some time helping people edit. I'll try to get there for lunchtime.
  • Jonathan Cardy 13:14, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Online volunteers for editathon


  1. How exactly is remote participation to be achieved?
    • We are planning to use IRC and can set up a bot so that a relevant hashtag has messages copied direct into the same IRC channel (this will encourage general public interaction). We are open to trying out other interactive methods if they are suggested and practical.
  2. What other topics besides Tipu's Tiger can be edited?
    • Any V&A related topics and artefacts. In the first instance we want to ensure that Tipu's Tiger is significantly improved in English and created in several other languages, particularly languages used in India.