Over the last two years Wikipedia has benefited from a number of Wikipedians in Residence, people who make data from the cultural institutions they work at available to Wikipedia. The article states, “It was just under two years ago when Liam Wyatt proposed a concept that seemed so bold, it required the British Museum to run a risk assessment before they’d agree to it. Liam suggested that he serve as the ‘Wikipedian in Residence,’ a role that would allow him to put into practice the idea that cultural institutions should share their knowledge with Wikipedia.”

It continues, “Thankfully, the British Museum agreed. That basic premise has turned into a global movement known as GLAM-WIKI (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums). Today, the GLAM-WIKI community is made up of Wikimedians from around the world who work to establish models and best practices that help cultural institutions share their resources with Wikimedia.”

The article adds, “Prior to Liam’s residency in June 2010, cultural institutions had donated images to Wikimedia Commons, but there had not yet been an institution that committed to establishing a relationship with the Wikimedia community. The concept of building a mutually beneficial cooperation is at the heart of the Wikipedian in Residence scheme. The main role of a resident is to serve as a liaison between the museum and Wikipedia. Projects still include image donations, but now more often focus on staff workshops, outreach events (such as ‘Backstage Passes’) to connect with local Wikipedians, and on-site events (such as ‘Edit-a-Thons’) that help get cultural content out of the filing cabinets and into Wikipedia.”

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Image: Courtesy GLAM