- Catch and Release – My Secret Adventure into the World of GLAM-WIKI
The below was originally published by Dr Melodee Beals. You can see the original here.
There are countless ways to catch a fish. It can be pursued, actively, aggressively. It can be stalked, quietly, thoughtfully. It can be trapped, methodically, patiently. It can be stumbled upon, unexpectedly, fortuitously. It can be devoured, hungrily, passionately. It can be shared, graciously, equitably. It can be released, the enjoyment of the hunt and capture acknowledged, but the object itself set free to grow and mature, and to be chased and caught again.
Knowledge is a fish, and last month I made an uncommon catch.
On 12-14 April 2013, the Wikimedia UK and then British Library hosted a three-day conference to facilitate the exchange of new technologies, innovative modes of engagement, and long-standing curatorial rigour between Wikimedians and GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) practitioners.
As a history lecturer who remains completely unaffiliated with any GLAM, and who had made only very rudimentary edits to Wikipedia in the past, I was certainly not the target audience of the event. Yet, with the surprisingly low conference fee (£15/£40), and the promise of new insights into the digital humanities, I journeyed south and hoped for the best.
When I arrived, I was greeted by a gaggle of British Library and Wikimedia staff (and volunteers), handed a not unsubstantial tote-bag full of Wikimedia goodies, and directed towards some much needed tea. As I watched, dozens of men and women from around the world ran up to each other, shaking hands (and occasionally hugging). It was clear that many of the delegates were already well acquainted. After a moment or two, I began to sidle up to on-going conversations. The room was quickly buzzing with chat over the latest GLAM digitisation projects, intellectual property and copyright law, and the newest toys in the Wikimedia tool kit.
When asked whether I was GLAM or Wiki, I shyly admitted that I had registered under slightly false pretences. Having previously heard that the event had sold out, I became oddly nervous that I had somehow denied entry to a more deserving delegate; I need not have been. Both GLAM professionals and Wikimedian volunteers were extremely welcoming to the slightly clueless lecturer wandering in their midst, and did their best to let me know, in the 30 seconds which remained before the keynote lecture, the entire history of the GLAM-Wiki project. [Continues...]
- Read more at blog.wikimedia.org.uk