Conway Hall collections helping to improve Wikipedia

Conway Hall library – image by Jwslubbock CC BY-SA 4.0

Last weekend Conway Hall in central London hosted a Wikipedia editathon to improve pages on Wikipedia about 19th century pamphleteers and the subjects they wrotr about. Hundreds of Victorian-era pamphlets have been digitised and placed on CC0 licenses by Conway Hall library, and these are now being uploaded to Commons at the Category:Conway Hall digital collections.

These pamphlets are still being added, and if you want to help us improve Wikipedia by embedding them in relevant Wikipedia pages, you should also check out the GLAM/Conway Hall page for links to articles and subject areas on Wikipedia that need improving. Many of the pamphleteers who authored the publications have Wikipedia pages, and the pamphlets themselves often show the late 19th century thinking around subjects like religion, secularism, politics and society.

Conway Hall hosts lots of interesting events and talks on politics, music and history, all with a progressive, forwardthinking attitude to improving society. We are very grateful that the library has decided to publish its collection of digitised pamphlets on CC licenses so that they can be used on Wikipedia, and this will hopefully lead to a much wider audience for their collection.

There are lots of interesting pamphlets in the Conway Hall collection, exploring 19th century attitudes to railway nationalisation, Siam (Thailand), secularism, socialism and many other topics. There is still a list of articles in the GLAM page listed above that could be created on particular pamphleteers, and there are articles on pamphleteers like Gustav Zerffi, Charles Voysey and Annie Besant. which could have their newly uploaded pamphlets inserted into the articles from Commons.

We hope to do further editathons with Conway Hall library in future, and Alicia Chilcott from the library says that “we are planning to produce a special issue of our Ethical Record journal, focusing on the project and the various workshops that we have run as a part of it”.

We hope that the pamphlets will continue to be embedded in relevant articles on Wikipedia so they can help readers understand the progress of late 19th century thought on social and religious issues. If you improve an article with a document from Conway Hall’s collection, why not get in touch and tell us about it?