The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art is hosting a Wikipedian in Residence this summer. Sarah Stierch is serving as an official liaison between the Archives and the Wikipedia volunteer community.
She is a graduate student in Museum Studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a Wikipedia volunteer editor since 2006. “This opportunity allows the Archives of American Art to not only broaden awareness of its one-of-a-kind collection on an international level, but also uses crowdsourcing and technology to encourage contributions from staff, volunteers, Wikipedians and art lovers around the world,” said Stierch.
The Archives of American Art is the first arts organization, and the first Smithsonian unit, to become deeply involved with Wikipedia’s GLAM-Wiki project, which brings together galleries, libraries, archives and museums to better facilitate content contributions to Wikipedia and related sites. Stierch’s role as Wikipedian in Residence will allow the Archives to help expand the art-related coverage in Wikipedia. Stierch has written about her goals for the collaboration on the Archives of American Art’s Blog.
On July 29, the Archives will open its doors and host a daylong “Backstage Pass” event for 10 Wikipedia volunteer editors interested in American art history. The purpose is to familiarize the volunteers with the Archives’ and the Smithsonian’s art-related resources through presentations by Archives’ staff, a tour of the collections and a visit to the Lawrence A. Flieschman Gallery. The Wikipedian volunteers will also participate in an “edit-a-thon,” working collaboratively to improve a set of Wikipedia articles related to American art history.