Wikimedian in Residence

National Library's collections to get global exposure

One of the world's most popular websites is working with the National Library of Scotland (NLS) to share the richness of the Library’s collections with a global audience.

The partnership with Wikimedia will help to improve understanding and knowledge about the history and culture of Scotland. It is the first initiative of its kind in Scotland.

A temporary post is being created by Wikimedia and NLS to explore how its collections and knowledge can be used to broaden content on Wikipedia and sister projects. The 'Wikimedian in Residence' will work with staff and the public to add content to the free online encyclopaedia.

The Library's collections span the centuries from early times to the digital age housing millions of books, manuscripts, music and maps covering virtually every subject. Through these collections, NLS charts the global and historical influence of Scots at home and abroad.

Gill Hamilton, Digital Access Manager at the National Library of Scotland, said: 'This partnership with Wikimedia is a wonderful way for people around the world to learn about the history and culture of Scotland by accessing information from our amazing collections.

'This combines the richness of our archives with the power of the Internet to let many more people learn about the story of Scotland.'

Some of the iconic items at NLS include the last letter of Mary Queen of Scots, the Order for the Massacre of Glencoe and handwritten poems by Robert Burns. Digital versions of these could be added to Wikipedia as a result of this initiative.

Gill Hamilton added: 'Unfortunately not everyone can visit the Library in Edinburgh to see these and many other historic items, so this is a way of making them available to a much wider audience.

'The Wikimedian in Residence will also be working with our staff to build up their skills in contributing to a website that is one of the most popular in the world.'

The post, which has just been advertised, is for four months and will also establish relationships with the Scottish Wikimedia community, editors and projects.

Wikimedia is the organisation working to bring free online content to a worldwide audience. Wikipedia — the online encyclopaedia — is one of its products.


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24 April 2013

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