National Archives Making Wikipedia A Top Priority!

“Over the next two years we will work to increase the number of National Archives records available on Wikimedia Commons, continue our work to engage local communities of volunteer Wikipedians with on-site events, and collaborate on the development of the GLAM-Wiki U.S. Consortium.” A quote from this year’s Open Government Plan by the National Archives and Records Administration in hopes to “Make Access Happen.”

NARA is making a priority to participate in public engagement and has been active on 15 social media platforms that include GitHub, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Tumblr, iTunes U, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest. NARA-hosted transcriptions, edit-a-thons, and scan-a-thons are tweeted publicly to increase public engagement while improving accessibility to their records! NARA hopes to keep the population enthused about the National Archives while offering easy-access and guidance to help patrons find the records they are looking for, especially through the Wikipedia community.

The utilization of existing and development of new crowdsourcing tools will act to strengthen “our ability to make records available on external platforms like Wikipedia.” In 2012, about 100,000 digital images were shared from NARA’s holdings with Wikimedia Commons, enabling digital copies of their records to be integrated into Wikimedia projects and articles. “The 4,000 Wikipedia articles featuring our records received more than one billion page views in Fiscal Year 2013.”

According to Wikipedia-who can truly offer the best explaination-The GLAM-Wiki U.S. Consortium members are committed to Wikimedia’s foundation pledge to “empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.” Their main goal is to “to become a welcoming and safe place for cultural institutions and professionals, while cultural institutions and professionals should be full, participating members of the Wikipedia online community” and enthusiastically include Cultural Professionals, Organizations and their Affiliates, Wikimedians, and their Chapters, through sharing of resources.