DPLA + Wikimedia

DPLA’s Wikimedia Project, announced in December 2019 and supported by Sloan Foundation through 2020 with additional funding from the Wikimedia Foundation in 2021, facilitates the incorporation of artifacts from DPLA’s partner institutions into Wikipedia. DPLA developed and operates a single pipeline for the many diverse DPLA contributing institutions to contribute open access digital assets to Wikimedia Commons, which makes them available for inclusion in Wikipedia articles, allowing for increased discovery and use of these assets. DPLA provides training and ongoing support to all participating institutions to assist them in making appropriate edits to Wikipedia.

In the first year of this project, DPLA worked with seven partners, representing more than 200 institutions, to add 1.4 million image files of photos, documents, and maps to the Wikimedia Commons digital asset management platform. This makes them available to be included in Wikipedia articles and viewable by vast new audiences.

DPLA is continuing the Wikimedia Program into 2021, and we are continuing outreach to members of our Hubs network to increase participation—and looking forward to onboarding new partners. We also are planning future improvements to data synchronization so that changes made by institutions to their metadata for uploaded images can be updated seamlessly on Wikimedia Commons as well. This will be part of a larger effort to migrate uploads to use Structured Data on Commons statements for metadata where possible, to increase standardization and searchability. We are also continuing our education and advocacy to the community of Wikipedia editors, as well as training institutional staff in the DPLA network in Wikipedia editing.

What kinds of materials are compatible with this project?

Compatible materials are those that use a copyright license or rights statement that marks them as public domain or openly licensed so that they may be used on Wikimedia Commons, and which have media accessible in a machine-readable way (such as IIIF or by providing direct links). Most hubs are not yet providing media URLs to DPLA—as this is a new field that was only implemented since mid-2020 to support the Wikimedia project—so first-time participants will need to work with DPLA to update their mapping.

How can I determine if items from my library are eligible for the Wikimedia Project?

In order to assist participating institutions and those interested in doing so, DPLA hubs can now use the Analytics Dashboard to determine the eligibility of their items for upload to Wikimedia Commons. Please get in touch with your hub contact if you need access. With additional grant funding for the second half of 2021, development work is currently underway to extend the Wikimedia tab in the Dashboard to include additional impact metrics, such as upload count, usage, and page views.

How is the Wikimedia Project helping to boost discovery and use of cultural heritage artifacts?

The inclusion of DPLA artifacts in Wikimedia Commons makes them available for use in Wikipedia articles, and we have already seen significant results from the inclusion of our images in Wikipedia. You can find out how Toledo Lucas County Public Library is using Wikipedia to boost discovery and use in this video and read about Boston Public Library’s recent contributions to Wikimedia in this article from the Boston Globe. You can also track the total page views our uploads have generated here.

Do you have any data to show how uploading images to Wikimedia can boost discovery and use?

DPLA artifacts have been included on more than 1,000 Wikipedia article pages, resulting in more than 38 million views in total (as of July 2021) and some 2 million views each month.You can track our upload progress here, and see the pageviews our uploads have shown up in here.

How can I find out more information about the DPLA Wikimedia project?

If you’d like to learn more, this webinar is a good place to start. In addition, for a deep dive, we recommend the “What the Wiki” series of webinars created by Jen Johnson of the Ohio Digital Network. (This Standardized Rights Statements 101 webinar presented by the DPLA Rights Statements Working Group also may be useful for organizations looking to apply rights statements that would make collections eligible for inclusion in Wikimedia.) Live information sessions with DPLA data fellow and longtime Wikipedian Dominic Byrd-McDevitt will be provided to any interested partner. If you’d like to schedule one of these sessions or you or your organization are interested in contributing to Wikimedia, please get in touch.