The National Archives is proud to be the co-organizer and host site of WikiConference USA, which is being held in the National Archives Building in Washington D.C. Oct. 9–11. WikiConference USA is the annual national conference of Wikimedia enthusiasts and volunteers in the United States, and is open to anyone—regardless of their level of Wikipedia editing experience or skepticism.
WikiConference USA will include speeches, workshops, panels, and presentations on Wikimedia’s outreach to cultural institutions, community building, technology development, and role in education. Aside from hosting, NARA will be putting its stamp on the conference in several ways. NARA staff are presenting in two regular sessions:
- “Why Wikipedia Works for Us: an Exploration of Innovation at the National Archives,” a keynote panel where our Office of Innovation will present its major ongoing initiatives
- “A Report from the GLAM-Wiki U.S. Consortium,” where we will hear from the advisory board of this effort—which NARA helps lead—to improve cultural heritage representation on Wikipedia
Conference participants will also be invited to tour exhibits in the National Archives Museum and stop by the newly opened Innovation Hub, where they can volunteer to help us digitize records.
Wikipedia represents a key resource for us to make access to our records happen to a wide audience in a way that is relevant to them. We collaborate with Wikipedia because it is in line with our mission. Hosting WikiConference USA reaffirms the National Archives’ commitment to promoting broad public access to government records on Wikipedia. Previously, NARA has uploaded records to Wikimedia Commons, hosted in-person Wikipedia events, and developed Wikipedia best practices for our peer institutions. We were also a (non-host) conference partner for Wikimania, the global Wikimedia conference, when it was in Washington, D.C. in 2012. You can read more about our Wikipedia strategy in NARA’s most recent Open Government Plan. Since our missions and future plans are so intertwined, I look forward to hearing over the course of the conference about the Wikipedia community’s successes, challenges, and opportunities, so the National Archives can participate and learn ourselves.
We are happy to work together with our conference partners—the Wiki Education Foundation, Wikimedia District of Columbia, and Wikimedia New York City—on this project in support of our shared values: citizen engagement, collaboration, innovation, and the sharing of free knowledge.
The events in the McGowan theater will be livestreamed for remote participants. Tune into the livestream of each day’s event through NARA’s YouTube channel: