Figure 1: ‘Main Library Rainbow’, Stewart Lamb Cromar 2021 CC BY-SA, File:’Main Library Rainbow’ (2 3) (51239066072).jpg – Wikimedia Commons

I am now at the end of week four of my role as a Wikisourceror – Open Collections intern, and the learning process has continued; albeit now I am a bit more familiar with the world of Wiki! I have now created two new articles on Wikipedia (for Hannah Shields and Iona McGregor), and this week I uploaded some of Stewart Lamb Cromar’s (@stubot) Lego Library images to Wikimedia Commons. You can now find one of the Lego Library pictures on the Wikipedia page for the University of Edinburgh Main Library!

I also had the pleasure to attend the Arctic Knot – Wikipedia Language Conference last week, during which I listened to many incredibly interesting and insightful talks. This included several talks about Arctic languages and indigenous languages, digital language activism, and I participated in an Intro to Wikisource workshop led by Nicolas Vigneron; during which we proofread pages from a book in French Breton – it was a bit of a challenge! However, I am getting the hang of Wikisourcing a little more now.

I have also been playing around with the Wikidata query service; especially looking at interesting queries made by others, such as Martin Poulter. Some queries that I found really interesting were those to return items in particular galleries/libraries/museums, organisations founded by people born in Edinburgh, people who invented scientific instruments, and places of education of Members of Parliament of the United Kingdom. I really enjoyed looking at the several different ways of visualising the results of the query, such as plotting geocoordinates associated with the items on a map or making an interactive graph of connections between the items returned.

Over the past week or two I have been turning my attention to drafting content for the University’s Wikimedia website and corresponding resources (PDFs and videos) and laying the foundations for designing the workflows for library staff. This has involved looking at the website as it is currently and deciding where the content gaps are that need filled.

As I am planning content for the website, I am also investigating good examples of GLAM WikiProjects; especially those which involve working with Wikisource. Examples of best practice and advice will both help inform the resources that I am going to create, and demonstrate to people who are thinking about getting involved in Wikimedia (especially those working in Library & University Collections) that their contributions can have a positive impact; and that in the case of the Library they can use Wikimedia to significantly raise awareness and engagement with their collections both within the University, as well as nationally and globally. Institutions that I am investigating involve the Rijksmuseum, Europeana, Wellcome Library, National Library of Wales, The Smithsonian and more.

Knowledge doesn’t belong in silos. The interlinking of the Wikimedia projects exemplified through Robert Louis Stevenson. Media files on Commons, his written works on Wikisource, machine-readable linked open data on Wikidata. All linked to from Wikipedia.

Whilst planning my content and resources, I needed to think a lot about what the needs and prior knowledge of the users would be. Thinking about potential barriers that people face when contributing content to the Wikimedia projects, many difficulties stem from a lack of accessible, easy-to-use documentation, and users not being aware of how to find resources easily or get started with the various platforms. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be having conversations with some members of staff at the university to find out about their previous experiences with the Wikimedia projects, what their feelings towards them are and how they could be better supported to feel able to contribute.

I am creating resources with a Library focus, meaning that for example, my Wikisource resources will focus more on guiding users on how to upload digitised texts to Wikimedia Commons, add structured data for the texts, and then set up the text for proofreading, validating and transcluding on Wikisource. I will also be creating a guide for making an author page on Wikisource and for showing users how they can link content across the Wikimedia projects: such as adding a template to an author’s Wikipedia page that will show an associated works box, so that users who are interested in an author can quickly and easily access their works.

The goal for this week is to begin creating the content that I have planned in my draft last week. This will involve preparing scripts for how-to videos and beginning to carve out some rough drafts for supporting PDF guides.

Updates to come soon!

Erin Boyle – Wikisourceror Open Collections intern