Six weeks in at the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol

The photo shows a portrait of Marc Haynes
Marc Haynes at the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol

This post was written by Marc Haynes, Wikipedia Co-ordinator at the Coleg Cymraeg. You can read this post in Welsh here

In March, after several years on both the Welsh and English Wikipedias under the moniker Ham, I started an exciting new chapter in my Wikipedia career as Marc (Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol). It was the start of six months as Wikipedian in Residence at the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, an institution that supports teaching and study through the medium of Welsh in universities across the country. This is the first residency programme in Wales, which is a particular honour, and one of the few residencies in a higher educational establishment rather than a GLAM – though as I was to discover, the Coleg has quite an archive of educational content in the Welsh language. My main work so far has been to explore the possibilities for releasing this content under an open licence, with the aim of enhancing coverage on the Welsh Wikipedia.

The appointment came at a particularly auspicious moment as, later that month, the Welsh Government issued a report encouraging the country’s universities to adopt open educational resources. So there is considerable institutional support at the Coleg for open culture, something it has in common with other national institutions in Wales which have been making progress in this direction – perhaps most notably the National Library of Wales, who have uploaded over 4,000 19th-century photographs from the John Thomas collection to Wikimedia Commons.

It’s now six weeks into the residency and I’ve found content that would significantly boost the Welsh Wikipedia’s coverage of topics such as geography, film, television and theatre. What I’ve found mainly consists of text suitable for transferring to the Welsh Wikipedia, in addition to some media files which would be appropriate for Wikimedia Commons. These additions, once permission for them has been secured, will become visible on the project page on the Welsh Wikipedia as they’re made.

In the meantime, the most important part of a Wikimedian-in-Residence’s job remains to be done: holding the events that will bring in new editors and establish a long-lasting relationship between the Coleg’s students and academics, on the one hand, and the Wikimedia Movement. It’s a daunting task, but one I’m looking forward to.