Wikipedia editing class to build knowledge of Irish role in WWI

‘Edit-a-thon’ will help show public how to contribute to the online encyclopedia

The Wikipedia edit-a-thon is designed to help improve and expand articles about Ireland and the first World War. Photograph: Getty

The Wikipedia edit-a-thon is designed to help improve and expand articles about Ireland and the first World War. Photograph: Getty

 

Have you ever wondered how you could contribute to Wikipedia?

The National Museum of Ireland is running a seminar tomorrow hosted by Wikimedia Community Ireland about creating and editing Wikipedia pages.

The event at Collins Barracks is to help improve and expand articles about Ireland and the first World War emphasising the inclusion of content from the new exhibition in Collins Barracks - Recovered Voices which covers the first two years of the war, 1914 and 1915.

Though as many as 250,000 Irish people fought in the first World War and 35,000 were killed, information about the vast majority of them is scant.

It is hoped volunteers will add to the store of knowledge we have about Irish involvement in the war. But the seminar is also for anyone who wants to contribute to Wikipedia.

The event will take place in the Palatine Room, with further details on the event page on Eventbrite, Facebook and Wikipedia.

Shannon Eichelberger of Wikimedia Community Ireland said an edit-a-thon is an “important tool for Wikipedia”.

She added: “It creates a safe environment for new users to start editing and helps to build relationships between Wikipedia and other organisations. One of the more important aspects of an edit-a-thon is that it allows for events targeted towards filling specific gaps in Wikipedia.

“Irish historical figures and events, and specifically places within the Irish landscape associated with WWI, are widely omitted from Wikipedia. Events like this will help to create more expansive articles about these important subjects, creating a comprehensive historical and archival resource for the future.”

Speaking about a similar event run in NUI Galway, Sharon Flynn of Wikimedia Community Ireland said the edit-a-thon there was an empowering event for both staff and students.

“Realising that you can make a contribution, as part of a much larger community, helps to break down the barriers between expert and learner, between academia and community. We will certainly look to create opportunities for our students to work further with the Wikimedia Community Ireland in both formal and informal learning contexts.”

An edit-a-thon for Women’s History Month will be held at a date to be announced next month.

The event takes place at the Palantine room on Saturday from 1pm to 4.30pm.