In May 2011, Dominic McDevitt-Parks joined the National Archives as our first Wikipedian-In-Residence. This put the National Archives at the forefront of many cultural institutions in partnering with the Wikimedia community.
Working for the National Archives as a part-time student intern, our Wikipedian led ground-breaking efforts for the agency. His automated-upload project provided 100,000 digital images of NARA’s records on the Wikimedia Commons for use in Wikipedia articles. He coordinated and hosted Wikimedia crowdsourcing projects that included digitization and transcription of records. He acted as a bridge between NARA and the Wikimedia community, bringing Wikipedians into the Archives, and ensuring that NARA staff attended and presented at the 2012 Wikimania Conference, as well as hosting local gatherings of Wikimedians at the National Archives.
The results? The top 4,000 Wikipedia articles that include NARA digital copies are on track to receive one billion views in 2013. That’s why it is important to work with the Wikimedia community, they share a common mission with the Archives, to provide world class access.
Dominic’s work with us at that time generated a great deal of buzz, including the following:
- National Archives Blog, Meet Our Wikipedian in Residence: Dominic McDevitt-Parks and Press Release, June 1.
- Zongter B., National Archives Hires “Wikipedian in Residence”, NBC Washington, June 1. (reposted by Boston Globe)
- Stone A., National Archives names first Wikipedian in Residence, Huffpost Tech, June 1.
- Marks J., Primary sourcing meets crowdsourcing, Nextgov.com, June 1.
- Rein L., National Archives hires first ‘Wikipedian’, Washington Post’s Federal Eye, June 2.
- Connelly, P., The National Archives hires its first Wikipedian to push its digital reach, Yahoo! News, June 2.
- Keller, J. How Wikipedians-in-Residence Are Opening Up Cultural Institutions, The Atlantic, June 16.
- Baughman, J. National Archives hires ‘Wikipedian in residence, Baltimore Sun, July 13.
After a brief hiatus, our Wikipedian is returning in late September. Dominic will join the Office of Innovation as a full-time, permanent employee of the National Archives. We are the first GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) institution that is providing a permanent position assigned to focus full-time on Wikipedia initiatives – again we are breaking new ground.
Dominic’s work will be to expand visibility and access to NARA’s digital copies in Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Commons. He will work with staff from across the agency to not only create and edit Wikipedia articles relevant to our records, but also to add links from our catalog records to pertinent Wikipedia articles, as a regular step in our description process. He will develop best practices for our staff engagement with the Wikipedia community. In short, he will continue to drive access to the National Archives’ records, which is, after all, at the heart of our mission.
Welcome home Dominic McDevitt-Parks, Wikipedian for the National Archives