Following on from Fae and myself meeting Robin Urquart of the National
Archives of Scotland, I'm looking for people who may be interested in
working on a WW-I related GLAM project.
The Archives have an extensive collection of letters that soldiers wrote
to be delivered to family members in the event they were killed. Due to
the accessibility requirements imposed on any body like the archives,
there is a need to transcribe such documents before they can make them
Each letter generally has associated personal effects, such as tickets
to the last theatre show someone saw before going to the front. So, they
make for a beautiful piece of very personal history. With WW-I having
"pals regiments" and the entire young male community from towns and
villages serving - and dying - together, these can readily be focussed
on small geographic areas. Perhaps even readily covering everyone listed
on specific war memorials.
I'm open to any and all ideas on how we could work with the National
Archives of Scotland on this; there's work for those who shun sunlight
in transcribing handwritten letters (to meet their accessibility
requirements), linking letters and effects to specific monuments, and
anything else people might can come up with.
To me, it doesn't seem unreasonable to aim to use Commons, Wikisource,
*and* Wikibooks. A QR code could be placed at a relevant war memorial,
it points to a Wikibook collecting all the soldiers' letters, with scans
and transcripts. If the relevant items in the National Archives are
properly referenced there should be nothing to stop a local venue such
as a church having an exhibition of the original letters and associated
items like tickets to the theatre the night before someone died. Doing
that in the 2014-2018 window is not going to be difficult.
Since I'm unemployed after Friday this week, I'd like to devote some
time to getting the ball rolling on this. But, I've a hunch this is
something that could be excellent for waking the wider public up to
projects other than Wikipedia, recruiting local history buffs as new
content contributors, and getting cultural institutions to 'think
outside the box' around working with us.
Feel free to throw in suggestions and comments!
Mobile Tel: +44 (0)788 987 8314 Email: brian.mcneil(a)wikinewsie.org | brian.mcneil(a)o2.co.uk
WikiMedia UK, interim Scottish coordinator/GLAM-MGS liaison.
Wikinews Accredited Reporter | "Facts don't cease to be facts, but news ceases to be news."
All content of this message is confidential, and intended for listed recipients only!
Yes we are coming up to January 1st when things go public domain in
the UK. I understand there will be a bit of a party. Fireworks and
My list of works that go PD is a bit short at the moment and mostly
focused on the your paintings thing but I hope to expand it a bit
before the new year:
FYI (mainly the Brighton bit)....
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [Mediawiki-l] Brighton & Mumbai meetups this month
Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 16:05:26 -0400
From: Sumana Harihareswara <sumanah(a)wikimedia.org>
Reply-To: MediaWiki announcements and site admin list
Organisation: Wikimedia Foundation
To: mediawiki-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org, Wikimedia developers
Just to remind you:
* India hackathon (18–20 November, Mumbai, India) — Alolita Sharma,
Siebrand Mazeland, Sumana Harihareswara and the local India team are
preparing for this event, which will focus on language, mobile and
offline support for MediaWiki content. You can register to request a
free invitation; approximately 100-125 attendees are expected.
* Brighton hackathon (19–20 November, Brighton, England) — Free
registration is open for the general MediaWiki hackathon planned by
Lewis Cawte. You can register online. WMF engineers Antoine Musso, Roan
Kattouw, and Sam Reed plan to attend.
Volunteer Development Coordinator
MediaWiki-l mailing list
As a result of WMDE's recent successful OTRS workshop, Wikimedia UK's interest in hosting an OTRS workshop in the UK has been significantly rekindled/increased. If you would be interested in participating in such a workshop in the UK (whether you are based in the UK or not), or if you know of UK Wikimedians that might be interested in contributing to OTRS in the near future, then please (ask them to) sign up sooner rather than later at:
(apologies for cross-posting, but it's a UK topic, a MILHIST topic, GLAM
topic and an education topic all rolled into one)
You might be interested to know that Wikimedia UK has lent its support to a
bid led by a researcher at University of Birmingham, supported by Oxford
University and also the Imperial War Museum, for a project funded by JISC to
categorise and prioritise the UK's cultural heritage related to World War
This isn't a partnership per se though it may well lead to one. The only
commitment we have made is to write a letter and go to a meeting, and the
outcomes will be very long-term. However I think it's significant because
1) It is good recognition that the Wikimedia movement is a stakeholder in
the development of heritage and educational resources. (The phone call when
someone from Oxford was saying "we really think your support would add
weight to what we're doing" was, erm, interesting)
2) It gives us as an organisation formal access to a strong network of
world-leading institutions focusing on this particular task
3) It's also relatively unusual for a Wikimedia organisation to provide
support to someone else to apply for third-party funding in a competitive
tendering process, but in this case the Wikimedia UK board thought it was
quite justified in pursuit of our objectives.
This should help us build up our network of institutional partners,
particularly (but not exclusively) aimed at the World War I centenary, and
help lay the groundwork for some exciting collaboration work in the future.
Any questions, or if you'd like to express your interest in being involved
in future work on the World War I centenary, please give me a shout.
(1)JISC's Invitation to Tender:
Wikimedia UK's letter of support (and a bit of a manifesto):
The people whose bid we are supporting (though nothing specific about it
As you know, Wikimedia UK has applied to the Charity Commission to be
recognised as a UK charity. Our income is over £600,000 and we have over 200
members. There are approximately 15,000,000 people in the UK who regularly
use Wikimedia projects and 10,000 people who regularly contribute to them.
With ambitious plans for growth and an active Board of Trustees, we are now
entering an exciting new phase.
As such, we are now looking for someone to run the new London office in Old
Street, and support the CEO in the development of our office and financial
systems as we build our team. We are, therefore, hiring for our second
permanent role: an Office and Development Manager. Further details are
available on the Wikimedia UK wiki at
http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Office_and_Development_Manager. If you have any
questions, feel free to ask them on this list or on the discussion page.
Jon, the CEO, is very keen to answer questions as well, and will do so as
soon as he is available, but regretfully he has limited access to the
internet at present. If your question is urgent, and cant be answered by
myself or the board, please let me know and Ill try and get the question to
him however I can.
I don't know if it is relevant but HEFCE's Joint Information Systems
Committee(JISC) has just put out a call for projects to create innovative
Open Educational Resources (OERs) around the theme of World War One.
11.aspx for details. I know Wikimedia wouldn't be eligible but might be in a
position to collaborate?