Wikimania for Historians

Coming to the Barbican in London this weekend (August 8 to 10) is Wikimania 2014, a great gathering of people involved in Wikipedia and its many related projects. There are hundreds of panels and talks, and as an attendee and contributor with predominantly historical interests, I’ve been sifting the program for relevant sessions. Below are a list of those that in some way touch my own interests as a historian; mainly they concern making useful tools for research than the actual investigation of the past.

Note that there is a whole ‘GLAM‘ (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) track as well, which should cover historical matters in some part. The talk on Saturday afternoon about crowdsourcing transcription listed below is part of it.

Obviously there are many other intriguing sessions, and many that can be considered useful to the historian – such as dealing with copyright (and staying out of jail). For the whole lot, go consult the program.

Friday August 8th

10:00, Fountain Room: Free Our Research – Reaching out to academics from the good folk at the Open Knowledge Foundation

14: 30, Frobisher 456: Transforming Wikipedia into the timeline of everything!

5:30, Auditorium: Peter Murray-Rust on Machine Readable Scholarship PMR is doing great work on getting data out of PDFs, that, although centered on scientific literature, could be used to liberate all sorts of historical data.

Saturday August 9th

9.30, Fountain Room: Maps The cartographical session of most interest to a historian.

11.30, Hammerson Room: Humanitarian Mapping The other cartographical session.

12.00, Frobisher 456: The Old New Thing Crowdsourcing the transcription of a historical text, in this case an early c20th Hebrew dictionary.

Sunday August 10th

9.30, Frobisher 123: Wikidata Could be very interesting for ‘big data’ historians.

10:30, Frobisher 456: The Full OA Stack – Open Access and Open Source Panel on getting free software into the Open Access world, featuring Martin Eve of the Open Library of Humanities.

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