I was invited by Sara Thomas, Wikimedian in Residence at the Museums & Galleries Scotland, to attend an edit-a-thon she was hosting on Saturday 23rd January at the National Gallery of Modern Art to mark their new exhibition entitled ‘Modern Scottish Women’.
Loaded with the cold though I was, I trooped along and was rewarded with a guided tour upon arrival.
The exhibition of work by Scottish women artists concentrates on painters and sculptors. It covers the period from 1885, when Fra Newbery became Director of Glasgow School of Art, until 1965, the year of Anne Redpath’s death.
The editathon event page is here: Modern Scottish Women edit-a-thon
After the tour, Sara ran through the steps involved in how to edit Wikipedia and explained that it is a lot easier to work with with Wikipedia now that the ‘Visual Editor’ interface makes editing in Wikipedia as easy as using Microsoft Word or WordPress.
According to Sara’s Edit-a-thon event page:
“In a 2011 survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of its contributors identify as female while only 15% of the English Wikipedia’s biographies are about women. As a result, content is skewed by the lack of female participation.
The event will focus on expanding or improving Wikipedia entries for the artists exhibiting in Modern Scottish Women, and to provide an expanded context for their work and practice.”
Following the training, everyone was enthused to correct this lack of female participation on Wikipedia.
While I was personally keen to add information to some of my favorite artists’ Wikipedia pages (Joan Eardley, Hannah Frank) it seemed clearly more important to create a new Wiki article on Beatrice Huntingdon whose work was overlooked completely by Wikipedia.
After a couple of hours and a couple of coffees, my careful research, like my fellow Wiki editors at the edit-a-thon, had produced a brand new article on Wikipedia on Beatrice Huntingdon and corrected this sin of omission.
Overall, the National Galleries of Modern Art were terrifically welcoming hosts & were very enthusiastic to make sure the artists in their exhibition received the acknowledgement on Wikipedia that they deserved.
Cold or no cold, it was a successful afternoon and everyone went home feeling ‘mission accomplished’.