December 13, 2011

Victor Balaguer Museum uploads his collection of paintings to Wikipedia

Museum's gallery. Ajuntament de Vilanova i la Geltru- CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Biblioteca Museu Víctor Balaguer is a museum founded in 1884 by Víctor Balaguer, a Catalan politician and writer. Is one of Catalonia’s oldest and most singular museums. The building keeps almost all the original decoration and collections, so the visitor is able to know how the museum was like in the 19th century.

Thanks to a collaboration between the museum of Vilanova and Amical Viquipèdia, Mireia Rosich, museum director, realized that Wikipedia is the fastest way to reach their audiences, so she aproved the content donation as part of a mid-term collaboration project.

During last weeks, about fifty paintings from the second half of the nineteenth century have been uploaded to Commons, They are artworks painted by leading artists of the time as Marià Fortuny, Ramon Martí Alsina, Joaquim Vayreda or Ramon Casas, among others. 

Releasing by parts
 We decided to create "packs" of 50 images to make more sustainable and easy to-do, as pics are uploaded manually by the volunteers. Using this system, we can monitorize and create part-time wikiprojects with shorter and handy lists, and so...over 50 articles of the highlights of the museum have already been created in Catalan Wikipedia, and now they are ready to be translated into other languages.

Using museum content and descriptions
The Museum has also released some data related to each artwork, and a short description and related history. With this information, it has been really easy for Wikipedians to start the articles and create some good stubs that now are being improved both by the Wikimedians and some museum professionals. 

For the Director of the museum, this project is highly appraised, so the whole team are encouraging everyone to help them improving the related articles.

Making it mid-term sustainable
To boost this relationship into local visitors and friends of the museum, on Friday 13 January will be a workshop of editing Wikipedia at the Library Museum. If we can reach local already-lovers of the museum, it will be better both for the museum and for the Wikimedians, as we will gain some new editors


  1. Congratulations, Wikipedia + Victor Balaguer museum! This is an excellent initiative that opens the way to be followed by .

  2. Just spotted this - what a shining example of "sharing the wealth" ... and you still have the real paintings. How cool is that!

  3. Thanks for your comments, Roger and Conxa, I'm really looking forward for next friday's workshop. Already 20 museum friends, visitors and workers have registered, so I'm sure it's going to be quite interesting. Will post about it next week!