June 20, 2012

John Hopkins University Museum Students learning to Wiki...in Barcelona

Closing the gap with several new Wikipedians from the US in Barcelona! 

The National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), the Museu Picasso, and Pompeu Fabra University have joined Johns Hopkins Museum Studies in planning and carrying out an onsite seminar in Barcelona during this June 2012. The seminar in Barcelona was addressing the theme “Museums in Changing Times.” where students had a chance to bring to life the many topics and issues they have been discussing and exploring in their classes, observing the latest and best in museum practice, including curatorial work, exhibition design ... and Wikipedia and glamwiki.

Their final project for the Barcelona seminar was to explore the various aspects and the importance of museum collaboration with Wikipedia projects. Students worked closely with local museums professionals to research and write relevant Wikipedia entries about the MNAC collection, while focusing on object-based learning and creation of digital strategy, as well as making connections and providing access within and beyond collections. So, during the last 2 weeks, "our" students got in touch with the free knowledge world of and the #glamwiki philosophy of the benefits of sharing knowledge, even doing one edit-a-thon at the MNAC's library.

As a GLAM Ambassador and as a Wikipedian in Residence at the museum, I found it very interesting to see how people from another country comes to your city/institution and helps you to value your assets. I also love when they discover new thing on one particular artwork while searching for references to improve their  Wikipedia article.

The last day the seminar, each student presented his Wikipedia article to the group, and comments were very interesting:

  • "Unlike books, work on Wikipedia never ends and that's part of the beauty of it"  @AlanaQuinn1
  • "The thing about Wikipedia is that each page is always a work in progress. This is both a blessing and a curse"
  • "Collections are at the heart of museums & Wikipedia is a great way to showcase them." @Neo_chichiri
  • "Teachers in my (UnderGraduate) Thesis said 'Do not go near Wikipedia, it's Unreliable". Now we know better."  @MSilverfin75
  •  "the hardest part about the wiki project is the feeling of ownership, when nobody "owns" any Wikipedia page."  @Margotkopera

They also commented that they loved to investigate a work of art just next to the museum exhibition and to see where it was created or the actual place where it was intended, such as one Gaudí's chair or a Ramon Casas Painting

I even had a present from them : a customized Wikipedia Userpage! I could not be happier when I received it!

You can view the page Wikiproject and the list of articles created and/or expanded here. Looking forward to next year's edition!