Structured Data on Commons and GLAM: open questions and fresh challenges

Since 2019, files on Wikimedia Commons can be enhanced with multilingual and machine-readable structured data. This addition brings many benefits for cultural institutions or GLAMs (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) partnering with Wikimedians, as GLAMs also store data about their collections in very structured ways.

In the past year, I have worked together with GLAM staff and Wikimedia community members to ‘test’ this new technology, and explore its potential, in a series of pilot projects. What does Structured Data on Commons make possible? Which new questions and challenges appear?

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Connecting the work of three generations of decorative artists, with structured data

Philippe Wolfers: Civilization et barbarie, file box, 1897-98, collection King Baudouin Foundation and Royal Museums of Art and History. Photo KBF / Hugues Dubois, CC BY-SA 4.0

Since 2019, files on Wikimedia Commons can be enhanced with multilingual and machine-readable structured data. This addition brings many benefits for cultural institutions or GLAMs (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) partnering with Wikimedians, as GLAMs also store data about their collections in very structured ways.

In the past year, I have worked together with GLAM staff and Wikimedia community members to ‘test’ this new technology, and explore its potential, in a series of pilot projects. What does Structured Data on Commons make possible, and which new questions and challenges appear?

Continue reading “Connecting the work of three generations of decorative artists, with structured data”

Data Roundtripping: a new frontier for GLAM-Wiki collaborations

Dancers around the may pole, Oxford, Ohio, 1926. Photo by Frank R. Snyder; Miami University Libraries—Digital collections, no known copyright restrictions

For more than 10 years now, cultural institutions around the world have partnered with Wikimedians to make their collections more visible and to encourage re-use via Wikimedia platforms. Collaborations of this kind, GLAM-Wiki projects (with Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums), often use Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons as platforms. Images of cultural collections are uploaded to Wikimedia’s media repository Wikimedia Commons and are re-used as illustrations in Wikipedia articles.

For several years, a growing number of GLAM-Wiki partnerships also work with Wikidata, the free, multilingual knowledge base of the Wikimedia ecosystem. Cultural institutions and Wikimedians upload data about cultural collections to Wikidata: it provides an accessible way to publish collections data as Linked Open Data, and makes the collection data multilingual, re-usable and discoverable across the web. Since 2019, files on Wikimedia Commons can now also be described with multilingual structured data from Wikidata. This will make the (structured) data component of GLAM-Wiki collaborations even more prominent in the future.

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How we helped a small art museum to increase the impact of its collections, with Wikimedia projects and structured data

A blog post by Sandra Fauconnier, with contributions by Sam Donvil (PACKED) and Joris Van Donink (Jakob Smitsmuseum). This blog post describes a GLAM pilot project for Structured Data on Wikimedia Commons, executed by PACKED, and mentored by Sandra. We hope this will inform and inspire Wikimedians who want to learn about structured data, and/or (intend to) do similar GLAM-Wiki collaborations!

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