Press releases/Derby Museums and Wikipedia join forces
Derby Museums and Wikipedia join forces
Derby Museums has today announced that it has become the first regional museum service in the UK to formally join forces with Wikimedia UK to help improve Wikipedia’s content.
It will hold a joint meeting at Derby Museum and Art Gallery for curators and Wikipedia authors (known as Wikipedians) later in the spring, and today’s announcement is timed to coincide with international celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of the founding of Wikipedia.
Wikipedia is the world’s biggest free online encyclopaedia, where factual content can be added or improved by anyone with access to a computer. Recent initiatives with organisations such as the British Museum have made significant improvements to the information available on many subjects, and in many languages. Now, collaboration with local museum experts and Wikipedians will make it easier for people to access more information on Derby’s collections in a way that wasn’t previously possible.
Museum staff are currently planning the event with representatives of Wikimedia UK. It is likely to be held in April, and will be open to Wikipedians who wish to edit in a range of languages, including Polish, Urdu, Tamil and English. Some of Derby Museums’ collections will be opened up to show normally unseen artefacts, and curators will be on hand to help identify areas of mutual interest and to listen and learn from Wikipedians too.
Councillor Alan Grimadell, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture said: “We’ve got the most amazing things in our collections including many internationally important paintings by world famous artist Joseph Wright, and even Erasmus Darwin’s microscope. Whilst it’s a priority for us to improve understanding of Derby’s significance during the Enlightenment period, there are also less well-known objects which have an equally strong story to tell. If our staff can share their knowledge and enthusiasm with like-minded and local Wikipedia writers, anyone, anywhere will then be able to find out so much more about the stories behind the city’s historic collections. We don’t expect to be making changes to Wikipedia on the day itself – we’ve a lot to learn from one another and identify what we can achieve. This is the beginning of a fresh new relationship with our community of users.”
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, who is planning to relocate to the UK said: “This is the first British museum outside of London to bring Wikipedians into the museum and sit down at a table with them and share knowledge. Wikipedia is particularly pleased to see that Derby Museums are encouraging the creation of articles in languages other than English.”
- ENDS -
About Derby Museums: Derby Museums and Art Gallery is a local authority museums service run by Derby City Council, currently supported by Renaissance/MLA funding.
About Wikimedia: Wikimedia is an umbrella term for the projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation and for the movement of volunteers that contribute and maintain them. These projects are: Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikiversity, Wikispecies, Wikinews, Wikisource, Wikibooks, Wikiquote, Mediawiki and Wikitionary. These projects make up one of the top five websites in the world.
About Wikimedia UK: Wikimedia UK is the local Wikimedia chapter covering the United Kingdom. Wikimedia UK is an independent organisation that supports free and open knowledge throughout the United Kingdom, including promoting and supporting the projects of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation.
About the Wikimedia Foundation: The Wikimedia Foundation Inc. is the US-based non-profit organisation that operates some of the largest collaboratively-edited reference projects in the world. These include Wikipedia, one of the world’s 10 most visited websites, and Wikimedia Commons.
For further information contact:
Cllr Alan Grimadell Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture 01332 643627 firstname.lastname@example.org
Gavin Mangan Marketing Manager 01332 643485 Gavin.email@example.com
Michael Peel Secretary, Wikimedia UK 07988 013646 Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org