Monday, March 22, 2010

Historical Societies and #Wikipedia

Regularly, there are contacts between Wikipedians and historical societies. Often such societies are the custodians of historic material and, when asked nicely, they are often willing to share their material on Commons and their expertise on Wikipedia.

AWV - Archeologische Werkgroep Valkenburg

Many historical societies publish journals or maintain museums to showcase their field of study. Some are much smaller, like the one my father is a member off, he and his three colleagues have worked on several digs. Two of them have published about their archaeological work.

Making Wikipedians out of the people who make up historical societies can be problematic. Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia and consequently its content should provide an introduction. Historical societies research and publish about their field of interest but original research is anathema at Wikipedia.

The public interested in the publications of the AWV, my father's archaeological club, is limited but their material is of interest. One solution for the dilemma about cooperation would be to include their publications in Wikisource. It would be a big win for the historical societies because it raises the visibility of their work. With the illustrations in Commons, the pictures have ample annotation and they can be used wherever appropriate.

In a way, historical societies are very similar to GLAM, they have similar needs and, they offer us similar opportunities.


Filceolaire said...

Lets see:
* Scans of old documents and home movies (Commons? Wikisource? both?)
* Interviews with old timers who remember it like it was (Commons? Wikinews?)
* Interviews with the committee who are planning to restore it (Commons? wikinews?)

All of this is original research which should be kept off wikipedia but which we should be able to upload to a wikimedia server devoted to original research so it can be referenced by wikipedia.

I firmly believe this is the next big thing for wikimedia - recording and preserving the worlds culture.

Lets get every high school history student out with a camcorder interviewing their grand parents about the old days - the independence struggle, jokes, stories, languages that are nearly lost, dances, the day of the big wave, the year of the big hunger, the time great great grandmother was bitten by a pig.

The problem with original research on wikipedia is that cranks try to present their O as truth. On originalresearchopedia there is no such problem. We interview the head of the flat earth society in 1920 and he tells us what it was like back then, what he believed and why and it is recorded as his personal opinion and testimony and ten years from now, when there are now flat earthers left, we will still have that unique point of view on record.

Anonymous said...

I concur with Joe's comment. I would love to see a place for oral histories and non-notable photographs (for example) in the Wikimedia world somewhere.

GerardM said...

This blogpost is about cooperating with existing historical societies. They come in all sorts.. The one I mention is involved in archaeological digs. Others have museums and papers, that is different from taking up such activities ourselves.

We could but at this stage we are not ready for it because it has to have a place. It gets a place when we know how to accommodate existing historical societies.

Medical Journals List said...

Journals are the medium through which budding candidates publish their articles about their research. These sources are made available because of the UGC.

If the aspirants choose any private journal except for UGC approved journals for their research other than that, it is not considered as valid. As of now, the UGC Approved Journals list has now been replaced by UGC – CARE.