In recent years, many galleries, libraries, archives and museums (known as the GLAM sector) are recognizing the benefits of contributing to Wikipedia, arguably the most popular online reference resource. Because GLAM institutions tend to be viewed as trustworthy information providers, they are well-placed to provide accurate information and clarify facts in Wikipedia articles for the general public. Contributing to Wikipedia can also enable GLAM institutions to showcase their collections to a wider audience.
Some institutions like U of T Libraries have hired their own Wikipedian in Residence. While we don’t have our own Wikipedian in Residence at Trinity, the Trinity College Archives hosted a successful Wikipedia Edit-a thon consisting of volunteer members of the Trinity College Historical Society. At the event, our volunteers worked to improve the Wikipedia article about Trinity College using information from the Archives.
Wikipedia is often the first place people go for general information about any given topic, and this group of dedicated students noticed that some of the historical information in the college’s article was inaccurate, incomplete, or missing all together. Taking it upon themselves to correct the historical record, the Historical Society spent several hours in the archives, making use of published and archival resources, to update the page.
If you check out the page now, you may notice that it is improved, but a long way from finished. The Historical Society will continue to update the page, as they understand the importance of accurate public information. Check back often to read some of their handywork, or consider contributing to a Wikipedia article yourself!