User:Katie Crampton (WMUK)
Communications and Governance Coordinator at Wikimedia UK since October 2017.
Draft autumn newsletter:
Friends' Newsletter/2021/Issue 02
Welcome to Wikimedia UK’s autumn newsletter, and we hope that you will enjoy the new format. We have split the newsletter into four sections, featuring projects you can get involved in, an update on Wikimedia UK’s partnerships, recent highlights from our blog, and a UK chapter focus.
Over the summer we welcomed three new trustees to the Wikimedia UK board. Caroline Ball and Julian Manieson were elected at our AGM in July. Monisha Shah was co-opted in July following an external recruitment process and will be taking up the Chair role in October. Monisha has a professional background in media and intellectual property and brings to the board extensive experience of charity governance.
We’d like to offer the opportunity to meet Monisha, and contribute to the development of our strategy for the next three years, in an online community meeting to be held on x. Please sign up for this event here. We’re still confirming a date, but please check this meta page for more information.
We are proud to have launched our new website and are very grateful to all the staff and volunteers who worked on it directly or gave feedback on the beta version. There will be further opportunities for feedback when we review the site next year.
Events and projects you can join
The projects featured here have events that you can sign up for, or editing activities that you can get involved in.
Connected Heritage with the National Lottery Heritage Fund
As part of the National Lottery funded Digital Skills for Heritage initiative, Wikimedia UK is running webinars to showcase what Wiki-based platforms and digital skills can offer organisations in a GLAM heritage context.
Our webinars will cover open knowledge, the digital skills gap, digital preservation and how WMUK is addressing those issues through this project. Participants will be provided with access to resources and materials to take back to their organisations, and the opportunity to follow up with the project and engage in partnership.
You need only attend one webinar: sessions are free, open and no prior Wiki experience is required. We hope to see you there!
- Friday 8 October at 10am; Eventbrite
- Thursday 14 October at 2pm; Eventbrite
- Friday 15 October at 10am; Eventbrite
- Thursday 21 October at 2pm; Eventbrite
Afghanistan cultural heritage at risk
In the past weeks, the Wikimedia community has watched with great concern the events unfolding across Afghanistan. The country and its rich and diverse cultural heritage is once again facing the threat of looting and illegal traffic. To protect it, we need to work together. In 2006, ICOM published a Red List of Afghan cultural objects and art pieces that are particularly vulnerable, from Buddhist statues and paintings to Islamic manuscripts. They are used by the police, customs officers, auction houses, museums, and citizens to identify these objects & prevent their commercialisation in the black market. In particular, the Red List for Afghanistan helped identify, recover, & return 1,500 pieces to the National Museum in Kabul. The current situation in Afghanistan might undo all this work and further threaten the cultural heritage of the country. But there are ways to help. Please have a look at this meta page to help us protect Afghanistan heritage from illicit traffic.
The Devil's Porridge Museum
The Devil's Porridge Museum are hosting three wikithons this Autumn (in Sept, Oct and Nov) that aim to put the research done into the workers of HM Factory Gretna in World War 1 onto Wikipedia, teaching people the valuable digital skill of wiki editing and sharing previously unknown historical research. They hosted their first editathon last week, but there’s still time to sign up for the October and November events:
The Miracle Workers Wikithon #2 Tickets, Wed 20 Oct at 5pm Eventbrite
The Miracle Workers Wikithon #3 Tickets, Wed 17 Nov at 5pm Eventbrite
Scottish Artists of Colour editathon with Fruitmarket
The Fruitmarket gallery are hosting a series of upcoming editathon, which continue the work on articles relating to Scottish artists of colour. The editathons are open to all levels of Wiki editing experience, and will be hosted online so easily accessible for those not in Scotland. The first event is on the 6th October, sign up on Eventbrite.
In collaboration with Wikimedia UK, The Scots Language Centre has held a series of editathons to grow and support the Scots Wikipedia editing community. They provided support to attendees for writing in Scots, while Wikimedia UK trained new and returning Wikipedia editors. We’re proud of the community of editors we helped foster on the Scots Wiki, and we’re keen to recruit more Scots speakers. There will be more Scots editathons in October, you can join the Wikimedia in Scotland mailing list for more information on upcoming dates.
Ada Lovelace Day 24-hour global editathon
An opportunity to join in person or online and make a difference. Emmeline Pankhurst’s old home in Manchester will be the UK hub for the 24-hour worldwide Wikipedia editathon to showcase women in the sciences.
On October 12th, an international 24-hour editing marathon to improve the coverage of women in Wikipedia will start across the globe in Aotearoa New Zealand. The relay of volunteer editing starts midday in Aotearoa and as October 12th continues Australians will join in, passing the baton from timezone to timezone. The event in the UK starts at 2pm UK time finishing back in Aotearoa New Zealand 10 hours later.
You can contact us for more information on how to get involved, or Roger Bampkin at email@example.com
Recruiting a Wikimedian in Residence at the National Institute for Health Research
In April last year, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) created a new Centre for Engagement and Dissemination. Inspired by our Wikimedian in Residence at the Wellcome Collection, NIHR got in touch with us last month to discuss their own Wikimedian in Residence project, for which they have funding for a six month trial residency.
We're currently working on a job description and a memorandum of understanding with the NIHR, who are keen to move quickly on recruiting for the role. We hope to start advertising for the position of Wikimedian in Residence at the NIHR within the next couple of weeks.
Our work in partnership
A look at what’s been happening with our new and existing partners since the last newsletter. Our partners range from long-standing and far-reaching organisations, to small yet mighty initiatives.
Black History Month
- We’re organising an editathon with the Leeds University Centre for African Studies (LUCAS), with a focus on referencing the work of African scholars.
- London College of Communication is launching a Decolonising Wikipedia Network – aiming to recruit an army of staff and student 'knowledge activists' who will work to increase the visibility of under-represented artists, creatives and thinkers. Students and staff who join the LCC Decolonising Wikipedia Network will learn to edit Wikipedia through a decolonial lens and will work with fellow knowledge activists to make Wikipedia a more inclusive and diverse space, one article at a time. More info from the manager of the LCC Changemakers Group can be found here.
The Khalili Collections
In August, the Khalili Collections hit a milestone of uploading 1000 images to Wikimedia Commons. The Khalili Collections are an array of eight privately owned collections, each the largest of its kind in the world. With the help of our Wikimedian in Residence, they have been able to digitise and make public these incredible works. It’s through this partnership that our Resident, Martin Poulter, was able to meet the Artistic Director of the Khalili Collections Waqas Ahmed. The two have since taken on their own research project into the representation of non-western art on Wikipedia and its sister projects. This research gives us an essential baseline to start measuring change in equalising the balance between western and non-western art on the Wikimedia projects – more on this here.
In August the Science Museum and the Wellcome Collection started a collaboration to upload up to 5000+ images onto Wikimedia commons. Using Wellcome’s metadata and the Science Museum’s images the project will expand over three months. This allows each organisation to collect the correct information to upload everything successfully. If all goes well the images will be able to be used alongside the volunteering project.
The volunteering project was started 4 months ago. The aim of the project was to teach 10 volunteers digital museums skills in order to make them feel part of the Museum and to get as much content onto Wikipedia as possible.
With the image upload and the volunteering project working in conjunction, 5000 images could be embedded into multiple articles/pages. Help enhancing the metadata and information gathered about the subject of the image was gathered and uploaded during editathons.
The Lord Chamberlain's plays are 'the scripts of all new plays performed in Britain from 1824 to 1968 as submitted to the Lord Chamberlain for licensing', and one of the largest parts of the British Library's holdings. The Wikimedian in Resident at the library is looking at potentially digitising index cards to enable easier discovery of these items, with a particular focus on Black playwrights from 1900-1940. Our Resident will be working with Professor Kate Dossett of Leeds University on this.
The British Library has also recently finished the pilot India Office Records project, further details here.
Wikimedia in Universities
We're working with a group of over 40 further education students at Edinburgh College, as part of an Art & Ethics course. We've been talking about representation in art, whose work we see, and how artists are represented online. The students have been working together to produce articles about underrepresented artists.
In partnership with the IDEA network at the University of St Andrews, we supported 5 editing training sessions in advance of a 72 hour editathon for EXPLORATHON, Scotland's contribution to European Researchers' Night.
Ewan McAndrew continues to support courses at the University of Edinburgh. The Translation Studies MSc will start a new year in October and students will be translating Wikipedia articles. There are also plans to include a wiki-element in the Digital Education MSc.
Three universities beyond Edinburgh have modules on Wikipedia starting in October; the University of Sussex, the University of Middlesex, and the University of Sheffield. Stefan Lutschinger is reprising his course on Digital Cultureat Middlesex University. Dr Nimi Hoffman is running the first course involving wiki engagement at the University of Sussex; she lectures on education and development. We have workshops planned to support both courses in October. At the University of Sheffield, Dr. Sihong Lin will be filling in for Dr Charles West and leading the postgraduate module on Wikipedia and Medieval History and WMUK will be providing support. - Image
The University of Glasgow will be hosting two guest lectures from our Scotland Programme Coordinator, Dr Sara Thomas.
The Wikiproject Palestine-Wales was a month-long editathon, which took place in August 2021 between Wikimedia UK and Wikimedia Levant. Wikipedians from both communities listed the most important articles from their respective languages and translated them as a token of friendship. The wikiproject contributed in reducing the cultural as well as content gap on Wikipedia. The subjects were mostly cultural: food, culture, places of interest, women of note, education and COVID-19. The editathon generated a total of 242 new articles in June.
Play Like a Lassie
The West Boathouse ran a series of three editathons aimed at training new women editors and contributing at least ten new Wikipedia entries relating to women's sport in Scotland. Out Scotland Programme Coordinator showed participants how to edit bios, groups and organisations, and significant places or events associated with sport.
If we do say so ourselves, we’ve had a lot of great blog posts since our last newsletter. Our projects and collaborations are many, so while there’s not a post for every activity, Our news is the perfect home for a more in-depth look at the great Wiki initiatives happening in the UK. If you’re part of our community and need to amplify a Wikimedia activity, please get in touch with Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if our blog is the right platform for promotion.
We ended Small Charity Week in June with great appreciation of every one of our volunteers. Watch the video for a few familiar faces giving their thanks in this video.
We had a wonderful Annual General Meeting and Community Day in July. Get the rundown of the day, the results of the elections, and the winners of this year’s Wikimedian and Partnership of the Year awards.
At the National Library of Scotland, staff uploaded and transcribed the Scottish Chapbook collection to Wikisource. Student internships moved online, and Wikimedia UK rolled out training for online trainers so that we could better respond to demand. Over the winter/spring period, we worked with the National Galleries of Scotland to roll out a Virtual Volunteering Programme.
This year Wales took part in the international photography competition ‘Wiki Loves Earth’ organised by the Wikimedia movement. Have a look at the winning entries, including some lovely wildlife photos.
In order to connect the UK’s cultural artefacts and historical archives in new and transformative ways, The Arts and Humanities Research Council has awarded £14.5m to the research and development of emerging technologies, including machine learning and citizen-led archiving. Wikimedia UK is collaborating on two of the five projects awarded grants, with the Science Museum and the University of Glasgow.
In July 2021, #WCCWiki marked an important milestone. The initiative, designed to improve the online representation of those who identify as women and non-binary, held its fiftieth Wikipedia editathon.
UK chapter focus
Our work goes beyond partnerships with organisations, as we advocate for open knowledge in government policy, contribute to the global Wikimedia movement, and provide grants to the UK community. Here are some of the recent activities we’ve worked on, and some upcoming opportunities you can get involved in.
Draft Online Safety Bill
We responded to the UK Government’s call for evidence about the Draft Online Safety Bill. Designed to combat online harms, the Bill as it currently stands could have significant implications for Wikipedia.
Wikimedia UK strategy day
 Call from Lucy to Strategy event in October - Lucy will set up a date and meta page this week to share. Combine with an intro to Monisha.
Wikimania and Wiknics
This year, we offered several of our members the chance to receive a grant to support their access to and participation in Wikimania 2021. As the conference was viral, grants were offered to help with childcare, tech, and other support needed. We’d love to hear your experiences, whether you were attending or actively contributing to Wikimania.
As part of the Wikimania festivities and to celebrate Wikipedia’s 20th anniversary year, we organised a series of picnics - or Wiknics - around the UK. Staff and volunteers hosted Wiknics in London, Cambridge, Kent, and Scotland. It was our first time since the start of the pandemic that we were able to organise in-person events, helped along by the nature of a picnic being outside! We were so pleased to see some familiar faces and grateful to our volunteer hosts. If you have any photos we’d love to see them!
Every donation doubled in the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2021
For the first time, Wikimedia UK is taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge. As the largest match funded campaign in the UK, the Christmas Challenge has raised over £20 million for participating charities over the years, enabling all donations made during the campaign period to be doubled.
Our campaign, Developing Digital Literacy, is focused on enabling individuals to become more resilient to propaganda, politically motivated information and fake news, teaching people to evaluate, analyse and scrutinise information that they come across.
Funding that we raise through this campaign will support our numerous digital literacy projects including workshops, events and collaborations with partner organisations. The projects are designed to develop skills needed for the digital world, so that individuals can learn, flourish and develop a more considered view of the world around them.
The Christmas Challenge is a match funding campaign, meaning that pledged donations and support from the Big Give allow donations from our online supporters to be matched. The Christmas Challenge is providing us with a fantastic opportunity to raise significant funding to grow and expand these ambitious projects with the help of our supporters, who will see their donations doubled if they give during the first week of December.
For members, supporters and those in the WIkimedia community who are considering making a donation this year, we highly recommend donating through our Christmas Challenge campaign portal from the 30th November - 7th December, where your donation will have twice the impact. Information and guidance on how to donate to our Digital Literacy campaign will be available on our website and social media channels, so please follow our activity on these platforms to learn more about how to get involved.
We’re very grateful to and proud of the network we’ve built around our chapter. You can support the governance of the charity by becoming a member, donate to us online, or volunteer on some of the projects above.