Edit WCNA 2021 Session Submission: Submissions:2021/Cvillepedia: a case study in making a local wiki a more equitable, inclusive, and accessible archive of information
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Cvillepedia: a case study in making a local wiki a more equitable, inclusive, and accessible archive of information
Global & Local
Relationship Building & Support
Inclusion & Diversity
Depth & Breadth for Newer Editors
Tech & Tools
Harassment Civility & Safety
Type of session
Please describe your proposal in at least 300 words.
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<nowiki></nowiki> ;Links *[https://www.cvillepedia.org/User:Ialaf My own cvillepedia user page:] *[https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cvillepedia_wikicon21_slides.pdf Slides] Since the deadly and traumatizing Unite the Right Rally in 2017, “Charlottesville” has become an oft-used catchword in partisan debates about racism and political violence. As a result, many people, who never had before, began seeking information about Charlottesville and its connections to larger issues. There is a vital need for broad access to diverse and inclusive stories about our complex past. Every person in the community has a story to add to their local history and the world has an interest in learning them. As a wiki, Cvillepedia offers a powerful opportunity to equitably engage the local community in telling their own story. The wiki is open to all, which means that the only information that is on there is what is deemed relevant. The editing community is small, which lowers the likelihood that articles would be thoroughly fact-checked. By growing the editing community and improving accessibility on the site, it has the potential to become a powerful, accurate, and wide-ranging source of local history. Amid the pandemic, the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society (ACHS) began exploring ways to expand and improve the information on the site, to engage local organizations and volunteers to address high-need areas, and to strategize a way forward for making Cvillepedia the go-to resource for inclusive and reliable information about the greater Charlottesville area. To see what needed expansion and improvement, they called in three students from the University of Virginia’s Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy to perform an audit of the site and return feedback about what we could achieve and work through. I was brought onto the Cvillepedia and ACHS teams for the summer of 2021 to act on that feedback and make the site a more useful and equitable space for public history. Over the course of ten weeks, I wrote over fifty articles for Cvillepedia expanding the local historical narrative. I specifically focused on Black and women’s history after the Civil War. With the resources of the Historical Society, I was able to incorporate more primary sources and oral history than the average editor might have ready access to. As someone hired to be an editor, I had the unique learning experience to understand what is needed to support and sustain our little big wiki in Charlottesville. This presentation will cover the origins of Cvillepedia, the involvement of the ACHS and the Batten School audit in expanding the user community and content of the site, the current state of the project, and our goals for the future.
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