Submissions/Starting, Sticking, and Growing: Exploring and Scaling What’s Working for Cultural Heritage Organizations and Volunteers

From Wikimania

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2017.

Submission no. 5031 - GO
Title of the submission

Starting, Sticking, and Growing: Exploring and Scaling What’s Working for Cultural Heritage Organizations and Volunteers

Type of submission (lecture, panel, tutorial/workshop, roundtable discussion, lightning talk, poster, birds of a feather discussion)
Roundtable discussion
Link to the Etherpad for session notes
Slides for session
Author of the submission
Effie Kapsalis --Digitaleffie
Meghan Ferriter --Meghaninmotion
Language of presentation


E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Meghan Ferriter, formerly Smithsonian Transcription Center
Effie Kapsalis, Smithsonian Institution Archives
Diane Shaw, Smithsonian Libraries
We are in the process of inviting representatives from other D.C. GLAM, science and government institutions; Library of Congress, U.S. National Archives, University of Maryland, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and DCPL
Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)
Since -2012, U.S. cultural heritage organizations have worked with Wikipedia volunteers to bring cultural heritage resources and collections to the open knowledge movement. Five-years of working with projects in 18 states and the District of Columbia, Wikipedia edit-a-thons have become more commonplace; and increasingly smaller institutions are delving into Wikipedia work. However, while many cultural heritage organizations see the value of the volunteer relationships and additional exposure that collections and resources receive on Wikimedia projects, work is sporadic and not integrated into daily workflows. Furthermore, cultural heritage staff often don’t have the time to step back and examine what is working, and not working, in this space.
The intended audience for this panel is GLAM coordinators or other Wikipedia volunteers who try to coordinate Wikipedia work at scale, and can include new or experienced contributors. The discussion will offer an overview of ways to start and sustain engagement with volunteers and staff. We will describe what steps were taken to gain cultural acceptance of Wikipedia collaborations, and methods to make Wikipedia initiatives “stick” at these institutions. We will discuss and evaluate the effectiveness of edit-a-thons, the “go-to” method for GLAMwiki collaborations, which are typically resource intensive and brief encounters, examining the near- and long-term results of a sample of Wikimedia DC GLAM Events from the last five years. We will test out alternate/less labor intensive methods for engaging communities in Wikipedia activities making use of public outreach programs already in place. We will also reflect on what we can learn from other communities of interests; volunteers, teens, students, athletes.
What will attendees take away from this session?

Attendees will:

  • Understand the ways GLAM institutions have created buy-in for Wikipedia work at institutions
  • Learn what methods work well (and don't) for Wikipedia edit-a-thons at cultural heritage organizations, both during and after the event
  • Discuss alternative and scaling methods for smaller volunteer opportunities
Theme of presentation
Is this Submission a Draft or Final?

Interested attendees

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  1. Ouvrard (talk) 24 May 2017
  2. Jamie Tubers (talk) 15:02, 3 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Monikasj (talk) 17:54, 21 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  4. John Andersson (WMSE) (talk) 03:02, 7 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Rachel Helps (BYU) (talk) 18:15, 7 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]