Submissions:2016/Wiki Loves Heritage: The Case for a WMF Genealogical and Local History Wiki

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Wiki Loves Heritage: The Case for a WMF Genealogical and Local History Wiki
Academic Peer Review option
Type of submission
Robert Fernandez
E-mail address
click here
Wikimedia District of Columbia
The genealogical and local history community is a large, active, computer literate group participating in a number of collaborative projects. Based on surveys and the academic literature (e.g. Duff and Johnson, Fulton, Yakel), this presentation will discuss patterns of information seeking and dissemination in this group and how they compare to those of Wikimedians. It will survey existing genealogical and local history projects that are wholly or partially collaborative, including,, Find a Grave, and USGenWeb and how those projects enable or inhibit collaborative information gathering and dissemination based on Wikimedia standards, with reference to research on how Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects have been successful while other similar projects have failed (esp. Hill). It will present a potential WMF genealogical and local history project designed to encourage collaborative, open access information gathering and dissemination that is specialized for the needs of these groups and designed to effectively interact with other WMF projects, especially Wikipedia, Wikidata, and Wikimedia Commons, and make the case that such a project will draw the genealogical and local history community into the Wikimedia community to the benefit of both.
  • Duff, W., & Johnson, C. A. (2003). Where is the list with all the names? Information-seeking behavior of genealogists. American Archivist, 66(1), 79-95.
  • Fulton, C. (June 26, 2009). Quid Pro Quo: Information Sharing in Leisure Activities. Library Trends, 57, 4, 753-768.
  • Hill, B. M. (2013) Almost Wikipedia: Eight Early Encyclopedia Projects and the Mechanisms of Collective Action. In Hill, B. M., Essays on Volunteer Mobilization in Peer Production. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from
  • Yakel, E. (2004). Seeking information, seeking connections, seeking meaning: Genealogists and family historians. Information Research, 10(1), paper 205. Retrieved from
Length of presentation
30-45? (willing to go down to 20)
Special schedule requests
Will need a computer with powerpoint and projector. Will not have my own computer.
Preferred room size
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Interested attendees

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  1. Slowking4 (talk)
  2. Smallbones alt (talk) 15:29, 1 August 2016 (EDT), interested in local history but not straight geneology
  3. Montanabw (talk) 20:21, 4 August 2016 (EDT) State history and GLAM interaction with state historical society
  4. --Pine (talk) 20:29, 9 August 2016 (EDT) (Interested in engaging more historical societies with Wikimedia affiliates)
  5. Thewellman (talk) 11:31, 16 August 2016 (EDT) strong interest in both history and genealogy -- presently active on WikiTree with 5000 edits on 1300 profiles
  6. Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 08:42, 17 August 2016 (EDT) My wife and I have INDEXED over a million names.
  7. Paulscrawl (talk) 13:49, 22 August 2016 (EDT) Great concept of incorporating demonstrably internet literate and sharing communities of genealogists (and many local historians) into Wikipedia culture.
  8. Megs (talk) 16:36, 1 September 2016 (EDT)
  9. I've been advocating for a Wikimedia genealogy project for a while now. See this Meta page for ongoing discussion. -Another Believer (talk) 15:55, 30 September 2016 (EDT)
  10. Add your username here.