[Foundation-l] Request: WMF commitment as a long term cultural archive?

Fred Bauder fredbaud at fairpoint.net
Thu Jun 2 14:19:50 UTC 2011

> Briefly responding to a couple of points raised so far:
> Yes, there is a need for a policy as otherwise the WMF would have no
> long term operational archive plan. "Self evident" is insufficient in
> order to budget and plan in a credible way. If as the planned outcome
> of a research project I had a large image donation to make and such a
> commitment was absent, I would prefer to mass donate images of public
> interest to an organization that had one, and assume that at some
> point e-volunteers at Wikimedia Commons would take the initiative and
> port in what they fancied.
> The people I'm workshopping with tomorrow have research roles within a
> number of leading universities along with a number of research
> organizations under the umbrella of the Wellcome Trust (the largest
> charity in the UK) and a variety of semi-associated organizations such
> as Cancer Research UK, Open Research Computation, Bioinformatics
> Training Network and FlyBase. All these folks have large image assets
> to discuss and are keen to move forward with an open solution to
> recommend on their personal networks for the long, long term public
> good.
> I appreciate the image deletion issue, what we are talking about here
> are planned batch uploads of high quality donations. Part of that
> planning would be to discuss the relevance to the public of large
> number of research images and compliance with existing Commons
> guidelines. There may well be cases, for example many thousands of
> similar images of mutant drosophila, where Wikimedia Commons is not
> the right place for a full donation and a more specialized database
> host is needed.
> Cheers,
> Fae
> --
> http://enwp.org/user_talk:fae
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Compared to many institutions, undoubtedly including some of those you
will be communicating with, the Wikimedia Foundation has very limited
assets and little or no endowment. And, of course, essentially no staff
other than our volunteers.

I think what needs to happen is to explore ways to cooperate using each
institutions relative assets. That might include, for example, endowing
Commons with assets sufficient to support long term archival services as
well as a corporate commitment on the Foundation's part to fulfill such
services on an institutional basis, read centuries...

I'm sure there are other ways the Foundation could cooperate for public
benefit and other partners who could participate in such consortiums. The
threshold requirement is a commitment to accessible free public access
under a fully featured open source license.


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