Session 1: Institutional MediaWiki (10:30-11:20)

Session 1: 10:30-11:20

Institutional MediaWiki

Meg Brown, Folger Shakespeare Library

 

  • Institutional wiki: Folgerpedia (folgerpedia.folger.edu)
    • 99% of contributors are staff members
    • Scholar pages, playbill collections, seminar information
    • Not a repository per se—Folger also has an image repository called Luna
      • Wiki doesn’t allow for certain file type hosting; future plans to cross-link to other resources
      • Does host MP3 files so podcasts of Shakespeare’s birthday lectures are accessible online
  • Issues of audience
    • Folgerpedia is a place where other departments of the Folger come together (exhibitions, public outreach, etc)
  • Institutional history
    • Outsiders: keeping track of seminars, fellows, etc.
    • Inside history: collections, possibly tracking all the times the Folger has appeared in film, etc.
  • Other wiki spaces
    • Link to time management & scheduling systems
    • Wiki development space—Insights—publish pages in private before putting on Folgerpedia
      • Used for longform pieces
  • Other uses for wikis (non-Folger folks)
    • Central location for best practices documents—internal wiki
    • Not always a culture of collective editing/updating
      • ways to foster collaboration?
    • Silos can prevent communication & collaboration
  • Many DH groups default to GoogleDocs instead of wiki
    • Is the wiki concept “too much?”
    • Having to use markup language deters people from adding and participating
  • Measure of success
    • Reader views, not patron contributions: if people are accessing it, it is useful
      • Readers=people who have applied for reading privileges at the Folger
    • Main page of Folgerpedia has been accessed over 36,000 times.
  • Other possibilities of access and formatting?
    • Wiki is great for text and articles
      • Allows for transcriptions
    • Omeka would be better for objects or photos, but with a text-based collection, wiki works
    • Can be an intermediary for learning and creating with regard to public resources
    • Wikipedia doesn’t like institutions posting, so this is a way to take ownership of material and research

 

  • Does the wiki format add to or get in the way of information sharing? (Think linked open data, etc.)
    • “friendlier way to get at linked data”
    • connecting ideas and resources in a non-hierarchical way
      • sometimes tagging can be hierarchical
      • interdepartmental issues can prevent people from feeling comfortable making changes
      • some departments are more proprietary than others
    • institutional wikis require large amounts of staff time
      • can lead to outsourcing
      • not always group consensus and staff input when outsourcing
  • Wiki models
    • Business school wiki at UM does both outreach and internal service but most wikis are either/or
      • Intranet
    • Folger is still looking for other models
    • UMD: wiki resources are underused
    • Harry Potter wikis—best models may not be in scholarly communities
    • Monticello—community can comment but not contribute but you still have to apply to be in the community
  • Cataloging tag on Folgerpedia
    • Folger’s earliest pages were cataloging pages in efforts of trimming website
      • Getting rid of the extra “u” in cataloging was a problem
    • Seeing what made it from the card catalog to the online and such has helped researchers
    • Scholar pages (920 of them!)
      • Patrons are engaging with the resource and suggesting edits and corrections
    • Potential for growth in the area of provenance and former ownership
      • People get excited about book plates and signatures and identification
      • Random fact discoveries
  • Rosetti archive
    • Catherine: “it’s too much”
    • PDFs of every page of every Dante Rosetti poem in literary journals
    • Look at this as an example of a linked data extreme—learn from this for wiki
  • Deciding how to do Folgerpedia pages
    • Hamlet the play vs Hamlet the character
    • Who are the focused users? Librarians, catalogers, high-level scholars who may be interested in other things
      • These people fill in for users who don’t have contribution privileges
  • Development and crowdsourcing
    • Folgerpedia as a pedagogical tool?
      • Have college students create pages?
  • Information architecture
    • What sections do you funnel people into? What are the goals and who ends up keeping track of how the wiki grows?
    • Need for targeted expansion
    • Who moderates? How can institutions prevent vandalism?
      • Folgerpedia is gated because there are academic perspectives the institution does not support (i.e. Oxfordians)
  • Folgerpedia is different from Wikipedia because Folger accepts and encourages original research
    • Use of primary sources encourages people to go to the Folger library. Wikipedia only wants citation of secondary sources.
    • Best practices and contributor guidelines
      • Do not have to have a higher degree to contribute to Folgerpedia—all ranges of expertise welcome
      • Not wholly prescriptive
      • Templates created, but require some knowledge of Media Wiki to use
  • Stylistic issues
    • Disambiguation issues with scholar pages
      • LOC plugin would’ve broken MediaWiki
      • Middle initials are problematic
    • Everyone should have ORCID records!
      • Unique research identifier number that can be attached to article systems
      • WorldCat supported!
      • AND, facilitates attribution for people who might publish under multiple names
      • Not common in the humanities yet
    • It is possible to make a redirect or disambiguation page if a scholar asks for it, but Folger uses the “most authoritative name” they have on file (i.e. fellowship name)
      • “what do they call you at tea?” (Folger has tea every day at 3)
    • Redirects for people who change the gender they identify with
    • Academics move too much to have biographies
      • When scholars become participants they have the option to add biographies

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Profile photo of Angela Spidalette

About Angela Spidalette

I am a junior at the George Washington University studying archaeology and classical studies. I have participated in projects such as the Lodz Ghetto Project through the USHMM and the Smithsonian Transcription Center. Furthermore, I find the digitization of museum collections very interesting.