[Foundation-l] Spam from the Archives?????

Klaus Graf klausgraf at googlemail.com
Fri Jun 15 17:18:35 UTC 2007

Quoted from the archives listserv:

"Inspired by the listserv's Wikipedia discussion a few months back, I
began adding links to our finding aids, as well as occasional content,
to relevant Wikipedia articles.  I followed the advice given on here the
list and created an account, and put a short note on my talk page
explaining what types of articles I would be contributing to.

When I checked my watchlist yesterday, I found a message asking me to
view this discussion:

I, along with 2 or 3 other library/archives types, have been flagged as
a possible spammer for adding these links.  Another contributor
attempted to explain how libraries are trying to reach out to users, how
links to actual primary sources are useful, etc., but the argument
doesn't seem to be getting through.  I have not yet contributed to the
conversation but feel I should, and am trying to figure out the best
tack to take.

Does anyone know if this discussion has already taken place elsewhere
on Wikipedia?  It seems unlikely that these users are the first to raise
the question, and if it's been discussed (and resolved?) elsewhere on
the site it would be nice to point them toward that conversation.
Otherwise I was thinking of pointing them to the D-Lib article by Ann
Lally and Carolyn Dunford
(http://www.dlib.org/dlib/may07/lally/05lally.html), which more fully
explains the reasons libraries and archives are doing this.

It seems that the trend of libraries and archives contributing to
Wikipedia is only going to keep growing, so people like this objector
are probably fighting a losing battle.  But in the meantime, it would be
nice to be able to convince them that telling people about primary
sources related to the article topic is actually a useful exercise (not
to mention convincing them not to delete all the links they find from

Any advice from you Wikipedia-savvy types out there would be greatly

Julie Kerssen, Archivist
Seattle Municipal Archives"

My opinion: It is a legitimate aim of archives or libraries to hint
users to primary sources. We should be glad to get such contributions
which are in no way spam.

Dr. Klaus Graf
University archivist at the RWTH Aachen

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