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Wikimania 2012

Last Saturday I spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of Wikimedians at the Wikimania 2012 Conference here in Washington. Over 1400 people from 87 countries came together to talk, hack, & share their expertise & experiences at the week-long event.  I was glad to share in their joie de vivre & to talk about our common missions at the closing plenary session.

Check out the enthusiasm for the National Archives at Wikimania 2012:

Merrilee Tattoo

Merrilee Proffitt, Elder Program Officer at OCLC Research, and NARA enthusiast

Dominic Tattoo

National Archives’ Wikipedian in Residence, Dominic McDevitt-Parks

So you may be asking why the Archivist of the United States is so interested in working with the Wikimedia Foundation.  As I’m noted at the conference, 42% of Americans turn to Wikipedia for information.* It is a terrific way to make Archives content more transparent & available. If we are serious as an agency about our mission to provide access to permanent federal records, & indeed we are, then we must consider working with the community & using the power tools available through the Wikimedia Foundation.

Our Wikipedian in Residence (pictured above) has already worked with our staff to upload over 90,000 digital copies of our records to the Wikimedia Commons for use in Wikipedian articles.  We have several more projects in the pipeline, too, all in an effort to increase access to our records.

Here’s what I'm will said to the crowd Saturday afternoon:

The conference had a robust backchannel of information through Twitter: #Wikimania

Recent posts about the National Archives’ participation in Wikimania 2012 include at Wikimedia DC’s blog.  Wikipedia’s editor newsletter, the Signpost, ran a feature on Wikimania includes a section summarizing my remarks.

*As per Pew poll:


Updated: July 18, 2012 — 3:08 pm

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