From the museum to Wikipedia

17 July, 2012 | Networking

We discovered the work being done by Àlex Hinojo from this article in elPeriódico.cat. We then contacted him and invited him to tell us all about the project he has been running, currently in collaboration with MNAC. The video shows him explaining it all in detail, and we’ll talk about that at greater length below, but we could sum up his work as opening up the painting collections from several Catalan museums for free on Wikipedia. The aim is to promote the free circulation of knowledge on the Internet. Not just that, however, but also, to paraphrase Àlex’s words in the above-mentioned elPeriodico.cat article, Wikipedia’s pages on museums are much more popular than the museums’ own webpages. Why miss out on an opportunity like this, in that case?

Àlex, who is currently working as a cultural projects director at the Amical Viquipèdia association, tells us that the institutions have been generating considerable knowledge through publications, studies and articles. His work consists of putting online all the knowledge that usually goes on paper, and opening it up as online encyclopaedia information which can be translated into any language and which has millions of visits every day.

He is one of the many volunteers who have been tasked with disseminating Catalan heritage throughout the world. Àlex says you’ll find all kinds among the wikipedists, from retirees to students, scientists, historians and lawyers. Anyone, however, can collaborate on the project, and all you need do if you want to do so, is to click on the button that allows you to edit an article, providing the knowledge you add is referenced.

As a member of the Amical Viquipèdia Foundation, and having later turned his wikipedist hobby -something he until recently only did in his free time – into his main job, he can claim to be Spain’s first resident wikipedist, and the third or fourth in the world to achieve that landmark. According to him, the Catalan case is prime example on a world level, and the project to open up the collections and put them online, to promote the free circulation of knowledge from the collections at Catalonia’s galleries, libraries, archives and museums, makes Spain a pioneer in this area. As for GLAM-WIKI, the most active countries there are the USA, France, England and Catalonia.

For further information on Wikipedia and the GLAM-WIKI project, don’t miss the video below.