calling all kc wikipedians!

It’s no secret that I am a fan of Wikipedia. In graduate school, I politely disagreed with a professor who wouldn’t allow Wikipedia as a primary source. I lost that battle, but a lot has changed since then as the resource has continued to expand magnificently in scope, depth, accuracy and participation. I’m particularly enamored with the GLAM-Wiki initiative, an effort that encourages galleries, libraries, archives and museums to partner with Wikipedia on projects that promote free and open knowledge for the public.

So as a Wikipedian-in-training, I’m very excited that The National Archives at Kansas City is hosting its 1st Annual Meetup and Scanathon on June 16, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Here’s what’s in store:

This year’s theme is “Between the Rivers” and will focus on documents and images from the holdings of the National Archives at Kansas City related to life along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Scanned content will be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons in order to be used in relevant Wikipedia articles. Scans will also be included where appropriate in the upcoming exhibition Between the Rivers and added to the National Archives’ online research catalog.

This full day event will include a tour of the facility; presentations from National Archives Wikipedian-in-Residence, Dominic McDevitt-Parks, and Exhibit Specialist, Dee Harris; and time in the research room to work on projects. The focus of the projects will be scanning; additional opportunities to participate include writing articles, transcribing, and categorizing images on Commons.

Spots are limited to the first 10 RSVPs. You can register here or to Elizabeth.Burnes@nara.gov. Hope to see you there!

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2 thoughts on “calling all kc wikipedians!

  1. as a librarian, researcher, archivst & heavy wiki user, i think wiki is a great tool for orienting yourself around a topic and getting some quick information. but if you’re doing real research, there are better things to cite. the people who added the info to wiki got their information from somewhere – e.g. in this example, wiki is leading you to original documents, and that should be your source – not a summary that’s in the wiki article itself. and the issue there is less, i think, that the information available is necessarily better, but that there’s a chain to follow when trying to verify information or its source or put that information into context.

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    • I agree with you! That was my argument with the professor. I didn’t want to use just the Wikipedia entry as the primary source, I wanted to use the journal articles that were cited therein. But he was very opposed to even using Wikipedia as a gateway to accessing that information. Luckily, I was a college student who had access to the library’s large databases but for someone who is not connected to them, Wikipedia is an excellent way to find that information.

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