This post was written by Sara Thomas, Wikimedian in Residence, Museums Galleries Scotland
Three conference presentations, seven internal presentations, 22 Glasgow Museums’ staff trained to edit (that’s about 50% of the curatorial staff), one editathon of our own, three organised by other people, and three meetings of the Wiki Working Group. The last few months have been a bit busy.
My four month secondment as Wikimedian in Residence with Glasgow Museums has now finished, although I’m returning on Monday to speak to a group of senior staff about what we achieved, and what the project needs to keep moving forward now that I’ve gone. With it being such a short period of time, sustainability in the project has been a priority.
One of the main achievements of the residency was establishing the afore-mentioned Wiki Working Group, a group of curators and other staff who were trained to edit, and who are interested in realising the benefits of open knowledge in a museums context. They’ll look to find gaps on Wikipedia, and what they can do to fill them; organise events including further editathons; and continue to work towards a donation of images under an open license to Wiki Commons. The group is driven by Tracey MacDonald, one of the assistant curators from the (currently undergoing refurbishment into a multi-partner cultural hub, due to open in 2016) Kelvin Hall team, with whom I was embedded. You can read the minutes of the most recent meeting in my Summary & Reflections report here.
The model is one internal to Glasgow Museums, but which could be easily and successfully replicated in other organisations. It helps to lend both legitimacy and impetus to the project, acting as a focus for activity and longer term cultural change in favour of open knowledge. Huge thanks should go to the Kelvin Hall team and John Ferry, Glasgow Museums’ Digital and New Media Manager, for their help and support throughout the residency.
For the next eight months, I’m working nationally, using Museums Galleries Scotland’s network to engage Scotland’s museums in opening up their collections to the world, with a particular focus on the Recognised Collections. I’ll be offering training, advocacy, events, advice and general enthusiasm. Scotland has some incredible museums, some amazing collections, and massive potential for this GLAM-Wiki partnership.
In the meantime… if you’re in or near Glasgow on the 18th June, swing by the sixth Glasgow Wikimeet!