National Library of Wales residency, month one: laying foundations

The photo is a black and white portrait of Philip Jones Griffiths
Renowned photographer Philip Jones Griffiths

This post was written by Jason Evans, Wikimedian in Residence at the National Library of Wales

The focus during the first weeks of the residency has been on meeting with teams from various departments in the Library. The fact the I have worked with many of the staff for nearly ten years made introductions a little easier. However this was primarily a chance to clarify the nature of the residency and to promote its goals and objectives. These meetings also spawned excellent ideas which have helped shaped plans thus far.

A major objective for the residency is to hold a number of editathons and plans are already firming up. The first editathon, on the 10th of April, will ‘focus’ on Welsh photographers including Philip Jones Griffiths whose defining images captured the horrors of the Vietnam war. Events are being planned on a variety of topics including medieval Welsh law, World War I, the Welsh colony in Patagonia, and Welsh rugby. Editathons will include an introduction to Wikipedia and basic
training for new editors.

Library staff will also be involved. Following introductory presentations all staff and library volunteers will be offered training workshops so that they can become editors themselves, and I have already spoken to a number people who are keen to get started.

Despite being in the midst of a major restructuring process staff throughout the institution have reacted positively to the arrival of a Wikipedian. They are keen to get involved and to support the project. As such a number of initiatives are already being developed. The exhibitions department has agreed to trial the use of QRpedia codes in a major upcoming exhibition, and the web team are working on installing a ‘Cite on Wikipedia’ button into our online resources, which will generate a ready-made web citation in wiki markup.

Discussions have opened with an external partner – People’s Collection Wales – about changing its licence policy so that future contributions could be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and, perhaps most exciting are plans to share around 20,000 digital images from the library’s collection. Once we have ironed out a few technical issues we should be able to use GLAM-Wiki tools to upload en masse to Wikimedia Commons and allow the world a glimpse of our hidden treasures!

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