Month: April 2016

Shhh! Spies…

Spy Week 2016

Edinburgh Spy Week returned for a third year with an exciting programme of events exploring the secret worlds of spies and espionage in fiction and in fact. If you didn’t attend, here’s what you missed!

Click here to view the story of Spy Week 2016 in pics and tweets.

Penny Fielding talking about Spy Week at the Women in Espionage edit-a-thon
Penny Fielding talking about Spy Week at the Women in Espionage edit-a-thon

Programme

Sunday 10 April onwards

Monday 11 April

Tuesday 12 April

Wednesday 13 April

Thursday 14 April

Friday 15 April

Spy Week was organised by the University of Edinburgh, the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, the National Library of Scotland, and Edinburgh Filmhouse, and Blackwell’s Bookshop.

Spyweek poster by Ewan McAndrew (own work)
Spyweek poster by Ewan McAndrew (own work)

Women in Espionage

What was new for this year’s Spy Week was that the University of Edinburgh’s Information Services and Wikimedia UK organised a Wikipedia edit-a-thon focused on Women in Espionage on the afternoons of 13-14 April 2016 with Penny Fielding, Grierson Chair of English Literature at the University of Edinburgh, as our guest speaker.

The edit-a-thon then continued as a worldwide virtual event in collaboration with WikiProject Women in Red as, approximately, only 16% of the biographies on Wikipedia relate to notable women and WikiProject Women in Red’s aim is to add to and improve the coverage of individuals, events and resources related to women on Wikipedia. The aim of our edit-a-thon therefore was to do this with a focus on women in espionage.

Outcomes

5 new pages were created and 15 pages were edited by our attendees over the two afternoons on 13th & 14th April which was mightily impressive for two short afternoons’ work. It was great to see our editors uncover the incredible lives of these extraordinary women. It  was also terrific to be able to use Wikipedia’s Content Translation tool to translate articles in other languages.

What was truly amazing was the volume of work that Wikiproject Women in Red achieved over the next week running the Women in Espionage edit-a-thon (from 13th April until the 20th of April) alongside their pre-planned events for April on Women Writers and Welsh Women.

An incredible 828 pages edited and 155 new pages created.*

*The figures include all Wikiproject Women in Red events for 13-20th April.

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View all the pictures from the Spy Week 2016: Women in Espionage Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Articles created

Here are the new articles created related to Women in Espionage.

Some truly fascinating stories:

  • Eileen Burgoyne – a Cold War Spy who worked for the British Government after the Second World War. Information about Eileen Burgoyne’s life as a spy emerged only after her death when weapons were found by builders at her former home sparked a bomb scare leading to an evacuation of her street. Police later found possessions and documents which revealed her involvement in the intelligence services.
  • Jessie Jordan – a Scottish hairdresser who was found guilty of spying for the German Abwehr on the eve of World War II.
  • Rozanne Colchester – joined Bletchley Park as a decoder. Post war she held an undisclosed role with the Secret Intelligence Service. Serving in Cairo and Istanbul where she helped investigate the double agent Kim Philby.
  • Luisa Zeni – an Italian secret agent and writer.
  • Marie Meyer – an American linguist and spy who worked for the National Security Agency from 1943-60. She was assigned to the Venona project and is credited with making some of the first recoveries of the Venona codebook. She studied eight foreign languages and was the first person to receive the NSA’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award.
  • Magda Fontanges – also known as Madeleine Coraboeuf, was a French actress, journalist and a spy for the Germany Secret Service between 1940 and 1943. Fontanges was found guilty of shooting Count Charles de Chambrun, the then French Ambassador to Rome, at the Gare du Nord on March 17. Fontanges accused the Comte De Chambrun of compromising her situation by revealing the details of her love affair with Mussolini to the then secretary of the French Embassy in Rome, M. Garnier. She was fined 100 Francs (1 Great British Pound), and given a suspended sentence due to having no previous criminal record.
  • Ginette Jullian: a French spy during the Second World War, she trained for the SOE, learning parachuting, security, and wireless operation.
  • Sarah Helm – a British journalist and non-fiction writer. She worked for The Sunday Times and The Independent in the 1980s and 1990s. Her first book, A Life in Secrets detailing the life of the secret agent Vera Atkins, was published in 2005.
  • Melissa Boyle Mahle – a writer and former Central Intelligence Agency officer in the Middle East. Her books include Denial and Deception: An Insider’s View of the CIA from Iran-Contra to 9/11. She acted as a consultant for the film Salt.
  • Minnie M. Kenny – served as a cryptanalyst, educator and equal opportunity activist who worked at the National Security Agency.
  • Astrid Dövle Dollis Dahlgren – nicknamed the “Scandinavian ‘Mata Hari'” was a Norwegian dentist and property dealer. After she became Swedish by marriage she worked for Nazi Germany during World War II.
  • Juliana Mickwitz – She was employed with the American military and later National Security Agency as a translator, linguist and cryptanalyst. She was inducted into the Cryptologic Hall of Honor in 2012.
  • Dorothy Blum – an American computer scientist and cryptanalyst. She wrote computer software for the NSA and spearheaded the effort to teach NSA employees to write cryptanalytic programs. She was using the Fortran programming language three years before its public release in 1957. Blum “significantly changed the way NSA did cryptanalysis”. She was also elected one of the top 100 “most outstanding women in the federal government”.

Dorothy T Blum 1924 1980
  • Josette Bruce – a French novelist of Polish origin. She is remembered for taking over the literary series OSS 117 about secret agent Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath after the death of her husband Jean Bruce, creator of the series.
  • Leslie Silbert – an American writer who has worked as a private investigator. In 2004, she published her first novel The Intelligience, a spy story based on an incident in the life of the British 16th-century author Christopher Marlowe.
  • Ruth A. David – an American electrical engineer. While at the CIA, David was responsible for encouraging the agency to pursue partnerships with the private sector and designed a proposal to procure technology at the stage of development from the private sector. She has been awarded the CIA Director’s Award, the Defense Intelligence Agency Director’s Award, the CIA Distinguished Intelligence Medal, the National Reconnaissance Officer’s Award for Distinguished Service, and the National Security Agency Distinguished Service Medal.
  • Ruth Mitchell – a reporter who was the only American woman to serve with the Serbian anti-Axis Chetnik guerrillas under Draža Mihailović in World War II. She was captured by the Gestapo and spent a year as a prisoner of war, later writing a book about her experiences. She also wrote a book about one of her brothers, General Billy Mitchell, who is regarded as the founder of the U.S. Air Force.
  • Grace Banker – a telephone operator who served during World War I (1917-1918) as Chief Operator of telephones of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. She was the leader of 33 women telephone operators known popularly as Hello Girls who were assigned from New York to travel to France and work at the war front in Paris, Chaumont to operate the telephone switch boards at the First Army headquarters. About her work in the war front she said that “the secrecy surrounding their operations gave it an aura of romance and set it apart from the civilian work.”
Editors at work
Editors at work

Articles improved

  • Lilian Rolfe – an Allied secret agent in World War II.
  • Stella Rimington – a British author and former Director General of MI5, a position she held from 1992 to 1996. She was the first female DG of MI5, and the first DG whose name was publicised on appointment.
  • Lise de Baissac – a heroine of the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War, a special agent who risked her life running her own operations; she was awarded several gallantry awards after the war.
  • Kim Philby – a high-ranking member of British intelligence who worked as a double agent before defecting to the Soviet Union in 1963. He served as both an NKVD and KGB operative.
  • Pearl Witherington – a World War II Special Operations Executive agent. Given the code name “Marie”, Witherington was dropped by parachute into occupied France in September 1943, where she joined Maurice Southgate, leader of the Stationer Network. Over the next eight months, she worked as Southgate’s courier. After the Gestapo arrested Southgate in May 1944 who was subsequently deported to Buchenwald, she became leader of the new Wrestler Network, under a new code-name “Pauline”. Her story has been cited as the inspiration for the Sebastian Faulks novel Charlotte Gray.
  • Charles Medhurst – a First World War Royal Flying Corps pilot on the Western Front and later a senior officer in the Royal Air Force (father of Rozanne Colchester).
  • Marie Christine Chilver also known by the codename Agent Fifi, was a British secret agent in World War II. Originally recruited after escaping the Nazis and helping a British airman return to England, she worked for the Special Operations Executive assessing and testing the security awareness of trainee secret agents.
  • Agent 355 – the code name of a female spy during the American Revolution, part of the Culper Ring. Agent 355 is one of the first spies for the United States, but her real identity is unknown. Agent 355 is thought to have played a major role in exposing Benedict Arnold and the arrest of Major John Andre.
Happy editing
Happy editing

Overall, the outcome of the edit-a-thon was really pleasing given that, potentially, sources could have been hard to find for these secretive but extremely notable women. But the feeling is we have hit a rich vein that could see us continue in future edit-a-thon sessions.

What is MORE pleasing is that, two weeks on, Wikipedia editors are continuing to create new pages using our event page’s hitlist of articles, even as late as yesterday, from all round the world; from locations as near as Northern England and as far away as continental Europe, Asia, Australia and the USA.

Long may it continue.

Roll on Spy Week 2017!

Resources for Spy Week
Resources for Spy Week

Skye – (A Wikipedia tour of the Isle of Mists)

As mentioned earlier, I went on holiday for a week to the Isle of Skye.

Took lot of pics and looked up a lot of Wikipedia articles….

 

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The Quiraing – is a landslip on the eastern face of Meall na Suiramach, the northernmost summit of the Trotternish on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. DSCN2167

From Wikipedia:The whole of the Trotternish Ridge escarpment was formed by a great series of landslips; the Quiraing is the only part of the slip still moving, the road at its base, near Flodigarry, requires repairs each year.

The single track road leading up the Quiraing where I mistook the intentions of a hitchhiker by returning their thumbs up... with my own thumbs up.

 

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Giant Angus MacAskill

Then there is the intriguing case of 7’9” giant Angus MacAskill as evidenced at the Giant Angus MacAskill Museum in Dunvegan, Skye.

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Angus MacAskill (on the left)

From Wikipedia: “Angus Mòr MacAskill[pronunciation?], frequently referred to as Giant MacAskill or Black Angus (1825 – August 8, 1863), was a Scottish-born Canadian giant. The 1981 Guinness Book of World Records posits Angus as the tallest non-pathological giant in recorded history (7 ft 9 in, or 2.36 m), as well as being the man with the largest chest measurements of any non-obese man (80 inches, or 200 cm).

Then there is the MacAskill who isn’t even on Wikipedia at all. In the Tongadale public house in Portree, we saw hanging on the walls some absolutely stunning maritime photographs of the golden age of sailing. When I enquired who took the photos I was amazed that the photographer in question, Wallace R. Macaskill, had his own dedicated museum in Nova Scotia but did not have his own page on Wikipedia… as yet.

Bluenose sails away 1921 by W.R. MacAskill
Bluenose sails away 1921 by W.R. MacAskill

Talking of sailing away. I traipsed further North than Dunvegan along the white coral beaches of Skye and considered a trip to the fascinating (& ultra remote) island of St. Kilda… until I discovered the trip would cost me a princely £235.

Skye's white coral beaches near Dunvegan
Skye’s white coral beaches near Dunvegan
Looking out towards St. Kilda
Looking out towards St. Kilda

From Wikipedia: “St Kilda (Scottish Gaelic: Hiort) is an isolated archipelago 64 kilometres (40 mi) west-northwest of North Uist in the North Atlantic Ocean. It contains the westernmost islands of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.[6] The largest island is Hirta, whose sea cliffs are the highest in the United Kingdom; three other islands (Dùn, Soay and Boreray) were also used for grazing and seabird hunting. The islands are administratively a part of the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar local authority area.[7]

The origin of the name St Kilda is a matter of conjecture. The islands’ human heritage includes numerous unique architectural features from the historic and prehistoric periods, although the earliest written records of island life date from the Late Middle Ages. The medieval village on Hirta was rebuilt in the 19th century, but illnesses brought by increased external contacts through tourism, and the upheaval of the First World War contributed to the island’s evacuation in 1930.[8] The story of St Kilda has attracted artistic interpretations, including Michael Powell‘s film The Edge of the World and an opera.[9]

The last of the native St Kildans, Rachel Johnson, died in April 2016 at the age of 93, having been evacuated at the age of 8.”

The Black Cuillins and whisky
The Black Cuillins and whisky

Then there is the geography of the Black Cuillin range itself.

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From Skye’s entry on Wikipedia: “The Black Cuillin, which are mainly composed of basalt and gabbro, include twelve Munros and provide some of the most dramatic and challenging mountain terrain in Scotland.[9] The ascent of Sgùrr a’ Ghreadaidh is one of the longest rock climbs in Britain and the Inaccessible Pinnacle is the only peak in Scotland that requires technical climbing skills to reach the summit.[16][26] These hills make demands of the hill walker that exceed any others found in Scotland[27] and a full traverse of the Cuillin ridge may take 15–20 hours.[28] The Red Hills (Gaelic: Am Binnean Dearg) to the south are also known as the Red Cuillin. They are mainly composed of granite that has weathered into more rounded hills with many long scree slopes on their flanks. The highest point of these hills is Glamaig, one of only two Corbetts on Skye.[29]”

The local whisky distilery, Talisker, a favourite of Robert Louis Stevenson, claims it is the nature of the Black Cuillin’s volcanic past that gives Talisker whisky its character.

Talisker and the Cuillin range
Talisker and the Cuillin range

 

Whisky barrels
Whisky barrels

Apparently, there are around 20 million barrels of whisky in Scotland at any one time. And this brings us all the way back to Spy Week which commences tomorrow as spy writer John Le Carre’s protagonists were apparently always partial to a drop of Skye whisky.

The Wikimedian who came in from the cold
The Wikimedian who came in from the cold

Strangely, even when it rained in Skye on our last day there, there were little reminders that Spy Week was just around the corner.

Amazing holiday.

Fascinating isle.

Now on to ‘Spy Week 2016‘.

Reflections on March’s editathons: Art & Feminism & International Women’s Day

Stall in main Library for promoting Art+Feminism editathon
Stall in main Library for promoting Art+Feminism editathon

I went on holiday to Skye at the end of March so forgive my tardiness in relating how March’s Art & Feminism Wikipedia editathons went.

March saw Wikipedia editathon events for Women’s History Month which coincided with a number of other International Women’s Day events in Edinburgh & around the world as part of Wikipedia’s Women in Red project on Saturday 5th March and International Women’s Day on the 8th of March.

WikiProject Women in Red’s objective is to turn “redlinks” into blue ones within the project scope. The project scope includes women -real and fictional- their biographies and their works, broadly construed. From their webpage:

Did you know that only 16.08% of the English Wikipedia’s biographies are about women? Not impressed? “Content gender gap” is a form of systemic bias, and Women in Red addresses it in a positive way. We do this by hosting edit-a-thons on various topics, and socializing the scope and objective via social media. We invite you to participate whenever you wish. There is no requirement to participate in everything we do, or to even sign up. If the objective and scope of our project interest you, please join in the discussion on our talkpage or jump in and create articles. You might like to start by participating in this April’s editathon on Women Writers. We warmly welcome you.

However, the focus of Wikiproject Women in Red for March was Women in Art as part of a worldwide series of events themed on Art & Feminism. Happily, out of the 45 female artists featured in the National Galleries of Scotland’s Modern Scottish Women exhibition (which is on until June and well worth a visit) almost all are now recognised with a Wikipedia article (which certainly wasn’t the case when the exhibition opened in January) through the efforts of Sara Thomas and the Wiki editors who attended the three editathons we staged on this theme. The final six articles were worked on by our editors in the library and remotely on International Women’s Day itself with just one still awaiting completion.*

As mentioned earlier, if you would like to learn more about working with Wikipedia and find out how easy it is to edit using the new Visual Editor interface (which makes it more akin to utilising Microsoft Word or WordPress blogs these days) then I am running training sessions at the Main Library and the Edinburgh College of Art on 26th and 28th April (bookable through Event Booking).

You can also keep up with the residency at the Wikipedia Project Page:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:University_of_Edinburgh

Or via Twitter: @emcandre

Sara Thomas - Wikimedian at Museums & Galleries Scotland leading the Art & Feminism event at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
Sara Thomas – Wikimedian at Museums & Galleries Scotland leading the Art & Feminism event at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

 

Art & Feminism Editathon at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery – 5th March 2016

Editors hard at work for the Art & Feminism editathon at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery on 5th March 2016

Content created

6 new articles created:

  1. Stansmore Dean Stevenson
  2. Anne Finlay
  3. Helen Biggar
  4. Gwynneth Holt
  5. Bet Low
  6. Josephine Haswell Miller

8 articles improved:

  1. Isabel Brodie Babianska
  2. Mary Nicol Neill Armour
  3. Pat Douthwaite
  4. Cecile Walton
  5. Helen Paxton Brown
  6. Philip Connard
  7. Glasgow School
  8. Académie Colarossi

International Women’s Day Editathon at the University Library – 8th March 2016

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Wiki editors hard at work for the International Women’s Day editathon on 8th March 2016.

Outcomes

Articles created

Articles improved

Other outcomes

Two new users trained in how to edit Wikipedia. Only one red-linked women artist remains from the 45 artists identified in the ongoing collaboration with the National Galleries of Scotland for the exhibition ‘Modern Scottish Women’: Ivy Gardner Proudfoot.  Increased links with other Art+Feminism editathon organisers including the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Wikimedian in Residence for Gender Equity at West Virginia University, Kelly Doyle.

The report on the successful editathon at the University of Pittsburgh, 4 months in the planning resulting in collaborations with Google Women and a full house of 80 participants, is included here: Report on Art & Feminism editathon at Pitt.

Spy Week 2016: Women in Espionage (Fact & Fiction) editathon

Spy Week

Our latest Wikipedia editathon event is for Spy Week 2016 in collaboration with Penny Fielding, (Grierson Professor of English Literature at the University of Edinburgh), Marco Polvara, Alice Kelly, Eugenia Twomey and our liaison librarians, Shenxiao Tong and Angela Nicholson).

Edinburgh Spy Week is organised by the University of Edinburgh, the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, the National Library of Scotland, the Edinburgh Filmhouse, and Blackwell’s Bookshop.

The week begins with Dame Stella Rimington in Conversation with Prof Penny Fielding Date and time: Monday 11 April, 5.30pm-7pm Venue: 50 George Square Lecture Theatre
What roles have women played in spy fiction, and how do they compare to the realities of women’s role in the history of espionage? Dame Stella Rimington, the first female director general of MI5 and author of the acclaimed Liz Carlisle spy fiction series, will discuss the questions in conversation with Professor Penny Fielding, Grierson Chair of English at the University of Edinburgh.

The week concludes with: Writing Spy Lives (A Panel Discussion with Jeremy Duns and Ben MacIntyre) Date and time: Friday 15 April, 5.30pm-7pm Venue: Project Room, 50 George Square
How to write the biography of a spy – a subject who, by profession, must often conceal a true identity and fabricate fake ones in the line of duty? What challenges and opportunities are there for biographers seeking to uncover the story of the lives of spies involved in secret, and politically sensitive, international affairs? These and other questions raised by writing spy lives will be explored by spy novelist and biographer Jeremy Duns (Dead Drop: The True Story of Oleg Penkovsky and the Cold War’s Most Dangerous Operation (2013)), and historian, journalist and biographer Ben MacIntyre (Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal (2014)).

For the full programme of Spy Week guest speakers and activities please click here: http://www.spyweek.llc.ed.ac.uk/
Most events (aside from the films) are free, but ticketed via Eventbrite (see the event pages on the above website).

Women in Espionage
Women in Espionage

Wikipedia editathon for Spy Week 2016: Women in Espionage and Spy Fiction

For this particular event, the University of Edinburgh’s Information Services and Wikimedia UK are organising an editathon focused on Women in Espionage to celebrate Spy Week 2016 on 13-14 April 2016 near the other Spy Week venues in Teaching Studio LG.07, David Hume Tower Building, George Square, Edinburgh.Click here for Google Maps.

You can attend on one day or both days. Full training will be provided both days so new editors are very welcome to attend. If you have had Wikipedia training before, feel free to either start editing immediately on arrival or arriving a little later to skip the training portion of the afternoon. If you’d like to take part in the virtual event hosted by Women in Red. You can sign up here to participate.

This Wikimedia event forms part of Spy Week 2016 as a day of celebration which helps people learn about the achievements of women in espionage, inspiring others and creating new role models for young and old alike. Did you know that approximately only 16% of the biographies on Wikipedia relate to notable women? The aim of our editathon is to add to and improve the coverage of individuals, events and resources related to women in espionage.

Helpful updates could be as simple as: Making sure reference links are still appropriate and functional; Adding new inline citations/references; Adding a photo; Adding an infobox; Adding data to more fields in an existing infobox; Creating headings; Adding categories; etc.

The following is a small sample of topics and women to work on, with thanks to Megalibrarygirl for getting the ball rolling.

 

Chief Operator Grace Banker receiving the Distinguished Service Medal

Hitlist of target articles to create or improve:

 

Noor Inayat Khan

Come along to learn about how Wikipedia works and contribute a greater understanding of the role of women in espionage!
In addendum – update 13th April 2016

After day one of our Spy Week Wikipedia editathon, here are a lists of the pages that were worked on today, 13th April.

And that’s not counting the efforts of Spy Week Wiki Editors across the world contributing through the Wikiproject Women in Red – Spy Week virtual editathon.

One more day to go in Edinburgh’s Spy Week editathon but Women in Red’s virtual editathon will continue on for the full week!!

Wikimedia UK at OER16 Conference 19-20th April 2016

The 7th Open Educational Resources Conference, OER16: Open Culture, will be held on the 19th-20th April 2016 at the University of Edinburgh.

The vision for the conference is to focus on the value proposition of embedding open culture in the context of institutional strategies for learning, teaching and research. The conference will be chaired by Melissa Highton, Director of Learning, Teaching and Web Services at the University of Edinburgh, and Lorna Campbell, OER Liaison at the University of Edinburgh and EDINA Digital Education Manager.

 

And there will be a strong Wikimedia UK presence at the event.

By Robin Owain (WMUK) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Jason Evans by Robin Owain (WMUK) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Jason Evans  is the current Wikimedian in Residence at the National Library of Wales.  He is also a professional genealogist with a wealth of experience in researching all aspects of Welsh family and local history. This residency will contribute towards the NLW’s aim of providing ‘Information for All’ and in turn will draw people back to the services and collections of the Library. Information about previous, ongoing, or future Wikipedia-National Library of Wales collaborations are updated regularly on the National Library of Wales project page.

Jason has worked closely with the Library to release over 15,000 images into the public domain via Wikimedia Commons and has held dozens of public events at the Library and through out Wales. Working closely with other cultural partners in Wales the aim has been  encourage and facilitate increased open access across the sector by affecting policy change. Jason has also set-up and run a number of successful Wikimedia projects with the Library’s dedicated volunteer team.  The residency is increasingly focusing on Wikipedia in the education sector and he has made steps towards embedding a Wikipedia based projects into the Welsh curriculum for 16-18 year olds and has proposed a series of talks for sixth form students about using Wikipedia responsibly. He has also helped  several universities to use Wikipedia as vehicle for outreach and gender equality projects.

 

Martin Poulter By Ziko (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Martin Poulter by Ziko (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Martin Poulter

From April 2015 to March 2016, Martin Poulter was the Wikimedian In Residence at the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford. The project page is at Wikipedia:GLAM/Bodleian. From June 2013 to April 2014, Martin was the Jisc Wikimedia Ambassador running a project to explore overlaps between Jisc, Wikimedia, and academia in general. A certified Lead Trainer for Wikimedia UK in Membership Development and a trained Campus Ambassador as part of the Wikipedia Education Program, on English Wikipedia Martin has more than eleven thousand edits, mainly in the area of psychology. Martin also has hundreds of edits on Wikibooks, a thousand on Wikisource, and thousands of edits cataloguing scientific images on Commons.

In addition, Martin invented the EduWiki Conference (based on an original drink with Fabian Tompsett) and the Wikipedia Science Conference.

Sara Thomas By Lirazelf (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Sara Thomas By Lirazelf (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Sara Thomas

Sara Thomas is the Wikimedian in Residence for Museums Galleries Scotland, the national development body for the Scottish museums sector.  She’s also an event manager and social/digital media trainer with experience in both the private and third sectors.  Since January 2015 in this part time role she’s worked with around 80 cultural institutions to provide training, facilitate content upload and generally advocate for the use of open knowledge in a museums context.  She’s trained 280 new users of Wikipedia, run 16 editathons, 20 training sessions and spoken at 25 seminars, workshops and conferences, taking in museums, libraries, and universities.  A backstage pass event at Glasgow Museums brought some of the lesser-seen elements of Kelvingrove Museum, Kelvin Hall and the Riverside Museum to the Commons; an editathon dedicated to rent strike organiser and activist Mary Barbour contributed to the campaign for greater recognition of her work; and a recent series of editathons with the National Galleries of Scotland created biographies of key Scottish female artists missing from Wikipedia.

In the last two months of the project Sara will be working with Groam House Museum in Rosemarkie, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow Women’s Library and Govan’s Hidden Histories to bring Scotland’s rich cultural heritage to a wider audience.

Lucy Crompton-Reid
Lucy Crompton-Reid

Lucy Crompton-Reid

Lucy Crompton-Reid joined Wikimedia UK as the new Chief Executive in October 2015, and is working with the staff team, board of trustees and wider Wikimedia community to develop a new strategy and business plan for the charity and to help shape the work of the programmes team. She will also be driving forward the organisation’s advocacy, communications and fundraising activities, and engaging new strategic partners. Lucy has worked in the cultural, voluntary and public sectors for nearly two decades, with past experience including senior roles at Arts Council England, British Refugee Council and the House of Lords. Most recently, she was Chief Executive of the national literature charity Apples and Snakes, England’s leading organisation for performance poetry and spoken word. Throughout her career, Lucy has had a particular focus on widening participation, and brings a strong commitment to access, learning and public engagement in her new role at Wikimedia UK.

 

Me in Mallaig after walking the West Highland Way and riding the Harry Potter train.
Me in Mallaig after walking the West Highland Way and riding the Harry Potter train.

Ewan McAndrew (yours truly)

An MA graduate in English & Modern History from the University of Glasgow, Ewan McAndrew went on to study Software Development at Glasgow Caledonian University before moving abroad to teach English. Ewan has taught in Japan, South Korea & Singapore which, in turn, has allowed him to travel throughout Asia, Australia, North America & South America.

A PGDE English & Media teacher for the last few years, Ewan has taught in various parts of Scotland and worked increasingly with heritage institutions, most recently with the Glasgow School of Art’s Archives team on their WW1 ‘Roll of Honour’ project.

Ewan is the current Wikimedian in Residence at the University of Edinburgh. Previous editathons have been on the ‘History of Medicine’ for Innovative Learning Week 2016, ‘Art & Feminism’ (with the National Galleries of Scotland & Sara Thomas), ‘Women in Art & Science’ for International Women’s Day 2016 and ‘Women in Espionage: Fact & Fiction’ for Spy Week 2016  in partnership with the English Literature and History departments at the University of Edinburgh.

Wikimedia at OER16

Sara Thomas, Lucy Crompton-Reid and Martin Poulter will all be presenting sessions at OER16.

The programme for OER16 (with details of these sessions) can be found here: OER16 website.

In addition, the following sessions will also be available to OER delegates.

1)      Wikipedia Training 1.20-2pm 19/04/2016

Editing Wikipedia has never been easier with the new WYSIWYG Visual Editor interface which makes editing Wikipedia as easy as blogging or utilising MS Word. A 2014 Yougov survey found that around two thirds of the British public trust Wikipedia more than traditional news outlets including the BBC, ITV, the Guardian and the Times.

One of the most visited websites worldwide, and now one of the most trusted, Wikipedia is a resource used by most university students. Increasingly, many instructors around the world have used Wikipedia as a teaching tool in their university classrooms as well.

Indeed, as the drive for scholarly research to become ever more Open Access gathers pace, Wikipedia will increasingly become the digital gateway to this research.

Full training will be given – just bring a laptop or tablet with you and start editing!

 

2)      Wikipedia Editathon 2-3pm 19/04/2016 – Women in Art, Science & Espionage

Did you know that only 16% of biographies on Wikipedia relate to notable females?

Once training is completed, why not join us for an editathon to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of Women in Art, Science & Espionage to put these skills into practice & help redress the balance?

Contributing to Wikipedia during an editathon can be about creating an entirely new page on Wikipedia (250 words minimum backed up by at least 3 references) or as simple as adding a citation or an image to an existing article or even just fixing a typo. Full training will be given at 1.20-2pm so feel free to join us for the editathon afterwards from 2-3pm or drop in to ask us questions about Wikipedia & its sister projects.

Just bring a laptop or tablet with you and start editing!

 

3)      Ask a Wikimedian: Drop-in clinic 1.20-2pm 20/04/2016

OER16 has a number of Wikimedians attending in Ewan McAndrew (Wikimedian in Residence for University of Edinburgh), Sara Thomas (Wikimedian in Residence for Museums & Galleries Scotland), Martin Poulter (Wikimedian in Residence for the Bodleian Library, Oxford University) and Jason Evans (Wikimedian in Residence for the National Library of Wales).

This lunchtime session will allow you to ask questions about their experiences & seek advice, be it on working with Wikipedia or its sister projects.

 

4)      Wikisource Demonstration: 2pm-2.25pm 20/04/2016

Martin Poulter (Wikimedian in Residence for the Bodleian Library, Oxford University) will demonstrate how to get the best out of Wikisource. Wikisource is a multilingual project, started in November 2003, to archive a collection of free and open content texts. It is not only a superior format for storing classics, laws, and other free works as hypertext, but it also serves as a base for translating these texts. At the beginning, source texts in all languages (except Hebrew) were all on one wiki. However, Wikisource now has several editions in many individual languages.

NB: Please bring a laptop of tablet with you to allow you to navigate around Wikisource.

 

5)      Wikipedia Editing Training: 2.25-2.50pm 20/04/2016

Editing Wikipedia has never been easier with the new WYSIWYG Visual Editor interface which makes editing Wikipedia as easy as blogging or utilising MS Word. A 2014 Yougov survey found that around two thirds of the British public trust Wikipedia more than traditional news outlets including the BBC, ITV, the Guardian and the Times.

One of the most visited websites worldwide, and now one of the most trusted, Wikipedia is a resource used by most university students. Increasingly, many instructors around the world have used Wikipedia as a teaching tool in their university classrooms as well.

Indeed, as the drive for scholarly research to become ever more Open Access gathers pace, Wikipedia will increasingly become the digital gateway to this research.

This will be a truncated training session from the one offered on 19th April but will introduce you to the basics of utilising the new Visual editor interface – just bring a laptop or tablet with you and start editing!

 

Hopefully see you there and you can meet the gang!