Wednesday, April 14, 2010

#mw2010 you provide provenance, #wikimedia provides traffic

Many #Wikipedia illustrations are of material that is clearly in the public domain due to age. The material that we have in our Commons repository can be a scan from a book, it can be a picture taken in a museum.

The current practice is that the source of an object does not need to be more then "painting by Rubens". Typically the original of many of our illustrations can be found in a GLAM and to appreciate the illustration for its validity, it is important to know where the original can be found.

The provenance provided in this way, allows people to learn about the original. In this way they can visit the GLAM and study the original. When a GLAM shares its collection with us, we ask for annotations and for a way to refer back to the website of the GLAM where the object can be found.

In this way we provide provenance to the readers of Wikimedia information, we also find that people learn to appreciate the GLAM for preserving our heritage. For some organisations like the Library of Congress, we have no direct connections but they have become relevant to us and our best practices have us refer to their website.

the Library of Congress template
 It is in both our interest when the objects that are preserved by a GLAM refer to that GLAM. I do not see any problem with appropriate templates that inform about the location of originals and provide the provenance that we expect of our sources.
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