GLAMcamp DC adds Sparkle to Museum-Wikipedia Partnerships

Photo: cc by-sa 3.0, Antaya

When one hears “GLAMcamp,” the last thing that would come to mind is a gaggle of Wikipedians hacking on tech tools and documentation. But that’s precisely what GLAMcamp is — a three-day event that brings together Wikipedians to create tools, standards, and best practices for partnerships between cultural organizations and Wikipedia. A friendly reminder: GLAM is an acronym for Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums — not a reference to the great David Bowie. (Sorry. No glitter!)

Last May, I shared about the first-ever GLAMcamp in New York City, which brought together Wikipedians from eight countries with local cultural professionals. Since then, GLAMcamp has been replicated in Amsterdam and, most recently, in Washington DC at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). GLAMcamp DC was specifically focused on kick-starting the GLAM-Wiki community within the United States. While interest in museum-Wikipedia partnerships has continued to expand within the US, we have lacked the organizational capacity to support this growing need. Thankfully, within the venerable walls of the National Archives, GLAMcamp participants achieved an incredible amount!

Nearly all of our outcomes are resources that can be used right now by any museum professional who wants to learn more about working with Wikipedia. These resources include:

• The GLAM-Wiki One-Pager: This handout provides an overview of GLAM-Wiki information, case stories on current partnerships, pull quotes from GLAM professionals, and contact information. If you’re beginning to think about how Wikipedia fits with your institution’s goals, this is a great place to start.

• The GLAM US Portal: The GLAM US portal serves as the hub for connecting cultural organizations with Wikimedia volunteers based on location or project-type. The portal includes GLAM Connect, an ever-expanding list of Wikipedians available to volunteer online or on-location, depending on the needs of your project. Spaces are also being developed for state-based resources and connecting with professional organizations.

• The GLAM Bookshelf: The GLAM Bookshelf compiles handouts, Powerpoints, videos, and on-wiki guides that assist Wikipedians and cultural professionals with GLAM partnerships. One specific bit of documentation that will be included here is a set of tools and best practices for museum image uploads. This new documentation, which complements the already-existing Guide to Batch Uploading, is the first time a cultural institution has worked directly with Wikipedians to produce a case study that will inform the development of a specific process for bulk uploads.

Another outcome of the weekend was the creation of the GLAM-Wiki US Facebook page, in addition to the globally-focused @glamwiki Twitter account.  From the start, the goal of GLAMcamp DC was to make it easier for museums to connect with Wikipedia. I hope you’ll find that we succeeded — in spite of our lack of Bowie “glam.” Though, I don’t think the National Archives would have appreciated glitter being so close to the Declaration of Independence.

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