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May 4, 2021

International Museum Day: ICOM and Wikimedia join forces again to foster the presence of museums online

After a successful first partnership in International Museum Day 2020, ICOM and five Wikimedia associations continue their cooperation to boost the visibility of museums in Wikipedia, Wikidata and more.

The museum sector is among the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, this crisis has served as a catalyst for crucial innovations, notably an increased focus on the creation of new forms of cultural experience and dissemination. Many museums have adapted their operations to support virtual formats, released high resolution images and information under a free license and organise virtual collection tours.

Screeshot of the Museum Wiki page

The objective of Wikimedia associations in the GLAM area is to help memory institutions to share their curatorial resources with the global community through Wikipedia and its sister projects, making cultural heritage discoverable and free accessible to the world. Given our common objectives, strengthening our collaboration and launching another International Museum Day Wiki-project was the logical step for the 2021 edition, dedicated to the theme “The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine”.

“This year, International Museum Day is addressing a very interesting theme due to the circumstances we all are facing in the cultural sector and elsewhere”, says Debora Lopomo, GLAM Program and Partnership Manager of Wikimedia CH. Together with the Wikimedia associations of Austria, Germany, France and Italy, Wikimedia Switzerland has set up a new program which includes the call to improve the presence of museums on Wikipedia, Wikidata, and Wikimedia Commons. A Wikidata competition from 3 to 18 May shall motivate volunteers to contribute.

ICOM and Wikimedia International Museum Day contest

In 2020, 278 participants created 715 items and edited nearly 20,000 others. The campaign also encouraged volunteers to add translations of existing pages in minority languages, to allow accessibility across diverse communities. Through the two weeks, the number of edits reached 175,000, representing 28,6 million bytes!

A brilliant tool to explore locations, check article coverage and contribute with encyclopaedic content about museums in Switzerland and abroad and more on Wikipedia is WMCH Map Service.

Visit the IMD+Wikimedia project page