May 28, 2011

Wikipedian in Residence at Museu Picasso

Library of the Museu Picasso. Tons of knowledge!! by: Kippelboy [CC-BY-SA]

Over the next few months I will be collaborating as a Wikipedian-in-residence at Museu Picasso, in Barcelona.

The objective of my residency will be to establish a relationship between the museum community and local Wikipedians, through a series of activities, both internal and open to the public.

Museums are the custodians of knowledge and the arts. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, is becoming the family encyclopedia of this century, and is one of the 10 most visited websites in the world.

It's time to merge the expertise of museums with the potential spread of Wikipedia, in order to proactively build a relationship that brings benefits to both parties, to provide most users and better content in the best possible quality.

According to its director, Pepe Serra, the museum has an obligation to contextualize the work of Picasso and relate it to other artists, giving visibility and returning to society the knowledge that is generated within the institution. One of the many ways to do it is transferring this knowledge into the wikipedia universe, where the article about Pablo Picasso receives over 800,000 monthly visitors, and is present in more than 125 languages. Museums have the moral obligation to participate in this collaborative project.

This is one of many fruits that gave the Glamwiki BCN meeting that had place last March at the Picasso Museum. Following that event, museums across Catalonia, as MACBA, the Fundació Miró, the Railway Museum, the Art Museum of Girona, the Center for the Arts Panera or Jaume Morera de Lleida, are beginning to establish contacts with the Catalan community of wikipedians.

This is a pioneer initiative in Spain, and has been successfully done in places as the British Museum, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, the Palais de Versailles or soon at the Smithsonian. Will be blogging about started projects :)

May 17, 2011

Co-creating contents on International Museums Day

Homotherium latidens at Museu Arqueològic Comarcal of Banyoles.Photo: J. Tarrus. CC-BY-SA

To celebrate International Museum Day, we started a wikiproject in Catalan Wikipedia, in collaboration with more than 25 local museums and patrimoni.gencat, the web-based heritage project of our government.

Every year at this time, local museums select a highlighted piece of their collection and make some special activities during the month of May. They call it "The Jewel of the Museum".

This year this project has been extended to Wikipedia.

Museums of all kind -from large museums like Museu Picasso to small local museums- have sent us files with information about its featured objects, and we've created more than 30 new wikipedia entries.

This wikiproject has been the excuse to get in touch with these local institutions. Now more museum professionals are beginning to care and listen about topics such as CC-BY licensing, OTRS permissions and  notability, for example.

The project has been a success. Even the national press has talked about it.

May 11, 2011

QRpedia Codes at Fundació Joan Miró

Fundació Joan Miró. Barcelona. Photo. Peter Groth. CC-BY-SA
There is a must-see exhibition about Joan Miró in Tate London that will be shown in Barcelona in October, at the Fundació Joan Miró, before travelling to National Gallery of Art of Washington in 2012.

We have reached an agreement with the Fundació Joan Miró to do an experiment with multilingual QR codes, linking them to Wikipedia articles.

Some curators of the museum will send us a selection of 15-20 special artworks, and we will start a Wikiproject to create these articles in different languages, just like the one is being done with the Wright Challenge at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery. During the exhibit, curators will stick thes QRcodes just next to the artworks.

To encourage locals, we are preparing a hackathon at the museum's library in September. We are now engaging some art history teachers from Barcelona, to help us reach as many featured articles as possible.

During the next few weeks we will keep you informed on how this project evolves. It is clear that this will be a full-coloured GLAM-Wiki summer.