A look back on GLAM-Wiki 2013

Attendees networking at GLAM-Wiki 2013. Photograph by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net).

This post was written by Daria Cybulska

The dust has settled on the GLAM-Wiki 2013 Conference that Wikimedia UK organised and ran jointly with the British Library, Europeana, Wikimedia Sweden and THATCamp, and we can now look back and reflect on the event.

GLAM-Wiki 2013 took place on 12-14 April 2013 at the Conference Centre of the British Library. From the start of the planning phase its aim was to bring Wikimedians and GLAMs together to share their experiences, and to inspire any representatives of cultural institutions interested in a partnership with Wikimedia UK. With this in mind, the workgroup (consisting of many volunteers and supported by staff) created three strands to the event:

On the Friday, we looked at the work Wikimedia and other organisations have done in partnership with cultural institutions, presenting case studies and discussing the benefits to both parties. The day included two highly evaluated keynote speeches, which you can watch here: one by Michael Edson and one by Lizzy Jongma.

On the Saturday, we focused on the more practical and technical side, looking at ways to work together and running workshops to share best practice. Valuable ideas were generated throughout the day.

Sunday was organised by THATCamp as a free unconference and hackathon, exploring the humanities and technology. We have seen some exciting creations and thoughts around free-licensing, open access and the interface between humanities and technology.

Wikipedians and GLAMs are both looking for ways of spreading their information in the widest possible way. It sounds like a perfect match, and indeed over the three days of the conference, with over 150 people attending, Wikimedia UK has facilitated an impressive ideas exchange. It was clear from the start that the conference centre at the British Library was buzzing with possible projects, case studies shared, new approaches. Such a creative atmosphere would not be possible without bringing so many dedicated people together in a physical space.

The feedback from the conference was generally positive, with attendees saying they were happy with the overall quality of GLAM-Wiki and the range of topics covered. There were many highlights, and people were especially impressed by Michael Edson’s talk on “Scope, Scale and Speed”. A recurring theme was that people felt GLAM-Wiki was a great opportunity to network and learn about what was going on in other institutions. Detailed feedback can be found here, and if you’re interested in the presentations but weren’t able to attend WMUK has uploaded videos of some of the talks to YouTube.

We will be following up on many of the ideas generated, picking up new cultural projects. I am very proud of being able to contribute to such a successful event, and looking forward to organising many more in the future.