From Wikimania 2016 • Esino Lario, Italy


What are the movement-wide opportunities for supporting GLAM-Wiki?


The Discussion Room is a space for open and facilitated discussions at Wikimania. Participation of the audience in the session is critical, because there are no speakers, and there is no expert panel!

3 rules are the basis:

  • Focus on YOU. We are interested in discussing and triggering individual action, things people can personally do and change to improve our Wikimedia projects and movement. We trust the discussion can be much more interesting if we do not focus on what others should do ("the others", Wikimedia chapters and Wikimedia Foundation).
  • Be constructive and polite. Disagreements animate discussions and they can allow us to unfold all issues related to a topic. Let's avoid personal attacks, let's consider that we have different backgrounds and let's aim at making everybody comfortable in sharing their legitimate point of view.
  • Be short and on topic. Let's create space for everyone to express his/her opinion.


  • Identify opportunities for WMF and affiliates to support greater movement wide support of GLAM-Wiki
  • Help new and experience GLAM-Wiki contributors identify growing trends and opportunities in GLAM-Wiki

Starting questions

  • Who has collaborated with GLAMs in the past?
  • GLAMs get more value out of Wikimedia than Wikimedia gets out of GLAMs
  • Every GLAM could potentially work together with Wikimedia
  • How do we help new GLAM-Wiki volunteers grow partnerships?
  • What is the technical deficit for GLAM-Wiki?
  • What capacity building opportunities are there for Wikimedia affiliates, employed GLAM-Wiki participants, and the WMF?


(not an exhaustive list)

  1. Astinson (WMF)
  2. Axel Pettersson (WMSE)
  3. Sussana (formerly WMFI)
  4. Andrew Lih (WMDC, USWEP) ...
  5. Leila -- Wikimedia Research WMF
  6. Base
  7. Spiritia
  8. Vahur Puik (WMEE, Estonian Photographic Heritage Society)
  9. Rheiner (Volunteer WMDE Kultur project)
  10. geraki
  11. Violetova, WiR at the State Archives in Republic of Macedonia
  12. Cristoph -- Public Domain Project --
  13. Darya (WMUK)
  14. Sydney
  15. Krish Dulal (Wikipedia Nepal)
  16. Laxmi Rose (Wikipedia Nepal)
  17. B20180 (th.wikipedia)
  18. Ата (Vira, WMUA)
  19. Hadi WM Switzerland
  20. Lluis_tgn (Amical Wikimedia)
  21. Effeietsanders


What do we do with the relationships with GLAMs?

  • What are the priorities for the local communitites?
  • What is the end goal of the GLAM?

In answering the quesiton of whether ALL GLAMs are potential partners in working with Wikimedia?

Andrew: What if the GLAM entity is not mission-aligned (corporate archives or library), then there are some things we could do to mitigate that WikiThree project we are piloting in DC challenges museums to identify three articles that can be improved - put the ball in Wikipedia's court We have three entities engaged so far:

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • National Museum of African American History and Culture (opening September 2016)
  • The Newseum

Welcome more entities to get involved. Contact me: User:Fuzheado

GLAM as a method to get more experts involved, to improve the content? Are we trying to flip the interest of Wikipedians, or are we trying to involve more institutions, more experts?


Sometimes the relationship with glam's is easy, sometimes much harder, up to legal conflicts. How can the relationship be "Mutual beneficial"?

WMF has nowadays a GLAM-focused employee that can be blamed for everything that goes wrong can help reinforce the relationship with these institutions. Includes getting communities to opt in. Q: Any exampled of self-starting collabs coming from the GLAM. Q: what are your bottle necks

Rberchie: pilot phase of a GLAM project -- contacted -- Advocates at the organizations sometimes back out and challenging to remotivate --

  • Want to scale but having trouble make sure that building capacity for
  • WM Ghana -- MOU , hard to enfor

The Catalonians only work together with libraries if they come themselves, if they put the effort into it. Otherwise it is less likely to work out successfully. ( https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/GLAM/Case_studies/Catalonia%27s_Network_of_Public_Libraries ) Important to explain what are the Wikimedia directions and philosophy. Force them to self-start. Almost the reverse of focusing on the organisations that /we/ want to collaborate with.

WMNL & WMUK: What if we put grant/goverment/larger institutional pressure on the GLAMS? If the grant giver is behind you, it is easier to collaborate. Multiplier effect.

Different approaches in where to start: What the Wikipedian wants, what the institution wants and what the institution should want.

Sydney: get to know the organisation you work with really well, make sure you know exactly what is possible and how.

WMNYC Richard (Pharos) --AfroCrowd & Art+Feminism --

USA chapters WM NY and WM DC have "gap focused" groups like AfroCROWD and Art+Feminism - not tied to any one GLAM, but will hop from institution to instutition addressing a paritcular deficiency - more African American representation for the case of AfroCROWD, and the gender gap for Art+Feminism. Those groups do evangelism, retention and outreach on their own with traditional CRM like email lists, and acute use of social media. Both of these are rather foreign to many Wikimedians!

Where do you see the best potential growth for GLAM-wiki relationships, for example for affiliates?

  • Get more content really usable. They have content that we could use. The metadata about the objects, the films, recordings, sources etc.
  • Sydney (Flonight) Healthcare & science
  • Reduce the friction with audio/video files
  • Documentation

How do we make the archival material available digitized? Well described? Capacity of the GLAM in evaluating and digitizing material?

Andy Mabbet: How do we make policy changes around licensing?

Vahur Puik: I didn't have the time to ask the question but I wonder what's the community's attitude towards kind of 'guerilla' approach: if GLAM content is accessible via an API and we're sure about the free rights we just batch upload it to Wikimedia Commons without coordinating it with the institution? And then showcase the bigger reach etc and try to get them to understand the value..

Suggested readings/case studies

Suggestions for recommendations / follow-up thoughts

  • Don't ask what we want as Wikipedians, but what GLAM institutions want. There should be a mutual benefit in collaborations.
  • Audio/Video to Commons, and more diverse media file uploads.
  • Documentation of best practices and how to get started.
  • Share the diverse and interested new experiments in how to use Wikimedia projects in GLAMs.
  • GLAMs and GLAM-Wiki are a major stakeholder group in our movement's strategy.