Upload pdfs of free books to Wikipedia’s sister project and help proofread the OCR-ed text so readers can discover, enjoy and be inspired by songs, letters, plays, poems, novels and more all around the world
Hi there! My name is Erin, and I am the new Wikisourceror (Open Collections) intern. Aside from being an intern with a really fun name, I am a final year BSc Physics student with strong interests in Outreach and Engagement and Open Education, Open Data, accessibility and social responsibility. I have just finished my first week, and I feel like I have learned so much already, in what has felt like a whirlwind of information!
When I started, I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect, but this week has been really enjoyable and informative, and I have spent a lot of time familiarising myself with the different Wikimedia projects, what they host, and what they are used for. Learning more about editing on them is the next goal!
My role focuses on creating guides and workflows for uploading openly licensed content with a specific aim of helping those working within the Library and University Collections to make content available on Wikipedia’s sister projects (Wikimedia Commons and Wikisource), furthering Wikimedia’s goal of expanding their free-to-use collections of human knowledge.
My role in helping to ‘open up’ the university’s collections also seeks to support the university in upholding its commitments to the UN’s sustainable development goals Sustainable Development Goals | unfoundation.org and its key institutional commitments to: the sharing of knowledge openly; information literacy; digital skills; data skills; excellence in learning, teaching and research; equality, diversity and inclusion; and public engagement with research. One of my aims is to improve the awareness of how engaging with the Wikimedia projects can help the university to fulfil these commitments, and, improve awareness of and engagement with the Library and University Collections.
My role will also involve contributing to the University’s Wikimedian in Residence Webpage Wikimedian in Residence | The University of Edinburgh, specifically through adding new content; such as video guides on how to use Wikipedia, and Wikidata, and hopefully adding new sections to cover Wikimedia Commons and Wikisource too!
This week, I have undertaken a large variety of activities, from web-editing training, to uploading my first images on Wikimedia Commons, and publishing my first ever Wikipedia article! I decided to write about Hannah Shields, the first woman from Northern Ireland to summit Everest, as I had heard about her numerous times whilst growing up, but she didn’t have a page yet. After seeing the Women in Red project, I was astounded by the disparity between the coverage of notable women when compared with notable men; but I was also very convinced after this week’s learnings that projects like Wikipedia can be an enormous force for good when it comes to combatting inequality through representation of people, events, and movements that those in the past didn’t deem worth highlighting or celebrating.
I have been very privileged to have had lots of meetings with many interesting people this week and to have been able to learn about the work that they are involved in. I have been introduced to some interesting collections which I should hopefully get the chance to work on soon, uploading images and books to Wikisource. I am looking forward to learning more about the projects, and how I can help to engage people with the Library and University Collections (L&UC) using Wikimedia!
Figure 1: The Royal Edinburgh Botanic Gardens; my favourite place in Edinburgh!