Submissions:2014/If we build it, will they come? Bringing library collections to the people through Wikipedia

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Title of the submission

If we build it, will they come? Bringing library collections to the people through Wikipedia

Themes (Proposal Themes - Community, Tech, Outreach, GLAM, Education)


Type of submission (Presentation Types - Panel, Workshop, Presentation, etc)

Curated Talk

Author of the submission

William Blueher

E-mail address



US state or country of origin

New York

Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)

Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Personal homepage or blog

Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

I would like to present a “curated talk” under the GLAM theme of the conference. It would be a “case study” of a project carried out by Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. My Wikipedia Userpage gives some background on the nature of the project (and can be found here

Basically, I have been adding links to various full-text digitized works in our Digital Collections to relevant Wikipedia pages. Up to this point, we have added links to over 1,700 Wikipedia articles, with dozens more links being added each month. Not only has this added links to full-text resources in hundreds of Wikipedia articles, but it has also helped to exponentially increase traffic to our Digital Collections. Nearly 60% of the traffic coming to our Digital Collections is through Wikipedia now, and we have jumped from fewer than 10,000 pageviews a month to over 100,000 a month since beginning to work with Wikipedia. This collaboration has been a huge success, and one that other galleries, libraries, archives and museums could certainly learn from.

This project has already generated significant attention both in the Wikipedia community and the museum/library community. A GLAM-Wiki case study was coauthored by John Byrne (username Johnbod) and me, which was also published as a case study on the Museums Association website. In addition, the Metropolitan New York Library Council published an interview with me about our collaboration with Wikipedia.

In this curated talk, I would discuss how the project was initiated, what the work we have been doing entails, and the (overwhelmingly positive) impact this has had in terms of usage of our Digital Collections. This is not an overwhelmingly time-intensive endeavor, so we think this could be a model other similar institutions could benefit from emulating.

Length of presentation/talk (see Presentation Types for lengths of different presentation types)

15 minutes - I would like to give a "curated talk". This could fit into a larger session looking at "case studies" of GLAM projects.

Will you attend WikiConference USA if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)

Special request as to time of presentations

Interested attendees

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