By Amy Furness, Rosamond Ivey Special Collections Archivist
On March 8, 2015, the AGO’s E.P. Taylor Research Library & Archives played host to a satellite event of the international Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon. The goal of these events is to address the gender imbalance on Wikipedia, where only about 10 per cent of editors identify as female, and the coverage of topics related to women is disproportionately low.
The event was a perfect match for the collections of the AGO’s library, which include thousands of clipping files on Canadian artists, plus books and rare exhibition pamphlets – the kinds of resources that help someone write a strong Wikipedia article.
Following a tutorial on basic editing skills, participants settled down with their laptops to write, working individually or collaborating on articles.There was a quiet buzz in the library’s reading room – and in the nearby seminar room, which the group took over when the library reached capacity. Many people expressed an interest in meeting up more frequently, so we’re now planning a series of quarterly Wikipedia editing events, the first to be held the evening of May 13, 2015.
Here’s a summary of our results:
- 72 registered editors attended;
- they created 25 new articles on Canadian women artists (including Shuvinai Ashoona, Denyse Thomasos and Florence Vale); and
- they improved or expanded 25 existing articles (including Lynne Cohen, Jin-me Yoon, and Elizabeth Wyn Wood).