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Auckland Museum hosts New Zealand’s first official Wikimedian in Residence

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Wikimedian, Susan Tolich works on a page on the Auckland-based fashion designer, Emma Knuckey.

Auckland Museum has hosted New Zealand’s first official Wikimedian-in-Residence. Susan Tolich of Victoria University has been working at the Museum for five weeks to enlist the Wikimedia community to utilise the Museum’s open collections and add these resources to Wikipedia, which is used by 470 million people each month.

Susan has been working with the Wikipedia community on the WikiProject New Zealand and Women in Red projects, which highlight women and Māori and Pacific stories. Only 17% of biographical articles on Wikipedia are about women. According to a 2011 survey conducted by the Wikimedia Foundation, 90% of Wikipedians are men, and only 10% are women.

As part of the Women in Red project, which aims to increase the representation of women on Wikipedia, Susan has created biographies for New Zealand artists such as Annie Bonza, Emma Knuckey, and Marilyn Sainty. She has also added freely licensed images from the Museum’s collections to the website. Wikipedia hosts articles in 250 languages with an average of 8,000 page-views per second, making it the fifth most-visited website in the world. 

The Wikimedians-in-Residence programme is part of a global strategy in the GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) sector to dispel misconceptions of Wikipedia and increase the presence of institutions’ collections and knowledge on the crowd-sourced encyclopaedia.

Susan is undertaking a Master’s of Museum and Heritage Studies at Victoria University and finished the Wikimedian-in-Residence position on Friday.

Hear Susan’s interview with RNZ's Standing Room Only here.

For more information please contact Kat Saunders: 022 645 0845