Cultural heritage institutions are becoming increasingly interested in contributing their data to open knowledge solutions in an effort to not only provide more visibility to their collections, but also to enable easier access and reuse of the data. Wikidata, the newest project of the Wikimedia Foundation launched in October 2012, is a free and open multilingual platform for data sharing supported by a global community of users. The knowledge base stores structured linked data that can be used to support projects that are part of the Wikimedia ecosystem and beyond. Wikidata acts as a central repository to manage factual information for all Wikimedia projects so that data can be easily reusable, shareable, and downloadable under a free licence.
Libraries and archives can play a critical role in the creation and curation of data in Wikidata to ensure underrepresented communities are not only included, but also properly described in the knowledge base. This workshop will provide a brief overview of Wikidata in the archival context and its possible uses. We will also share our experiences using wikidata for the the Canadian Archive of Women in STEM initiative (https://biblio.uottawa.ca/en/women-in-stem/about) based on the WikiProject Archival Description initiative (https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Wikidata:WikiProject_Archival_Description). The goal of the Canadian Archive of Women in STEM is to bring attention to and promote the discovery of the archival records of women in STEM held by Canadian institutions–a bilingual portal containing descriptive metadata, a biographical sketch/admin history about the women/organizations and information about the host institution–in order to provide a simplified avenue for researchers to discover all available holdings. Contributing the archival metadata and the biographical sketch, as well as links to the host institutions to Wikidata could further increase the visibility of collections, finding aids, as well as the institutions themselves, beyond archival or library systems.
This workshop is designed to be interactive with a series of hands-on activities which includes a demonstration of how to contribute content from archival finding aids to Wikidata as well as an introduction on efficient workflows and useful tools for contributing, visualizing and querying the data. This workshop aims to encourage archivists to participate in the open knowledge movement and contribute their unique collections to Wikidata to expand their findability and reach.
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