We regularly organise editathons at Kanagawa Museum of Modern Literature and Kanagawa Prefectural Library, both located in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan, and in this Wikimedia Foundation grants report, we report on our history.
I learned about the Wikimedia Foundation’s grants program and applied for my first Rapid Grants in February 2020, working with User:Araisyohei. It took a lot of hard work to apply, including the unfamiliar English language procedures, electronic signatures on contracts, and overseas remittances, but the project was successfully approved and ¥154,741 ($1,410) was awarded as a grant on April 1, 2020.
At first, the application period was April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, but due to COVID-19, there was a request to postpone or cancel the event, so the application period was changed to October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021. At the time of application, we envisioned holding at least three Biography Edit-a-thons during the period, but the actual number was twice. The canceled event was the WikiGap Edit-a-thon, which was being considered for implementation in March 2021, and it was replaced with an online lecture about WikiGap organized by Kanagawa Prefectural Library. For the two events, the grants were used to cover venue expenses (rental of a conference room at Museum of Literature and tickets for pre-viewing), mobile Wi-Fi rental fee, printing cost of materials, travel expenses for lecturers, drinks and snacks, and others.
Before receiving the grants, we collected participation fees from participants to cover expenses. However, thanks to the fund, the burden on participants has been reduced. Due to the less onsite events, and the necessity of reducing the participants number in each event to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, the full amount of the grants provided was not used, leaving a balance of ¥110,981 ($999.06).
The remaining funds were applied to the grants for the next cycle. The second cycle of the grants was applied and approved in October 2021.
Three Biography Edit-a-thon were held during the period November 16, 2021 – October 31, 2022. One of these was an online event. For WikiGap Online 2022, the grants were used to sign up for a paid Zoom account and to produce commemorative merchandise (badges and stickers) for the event. For Wikipedia Bungaku 7 and 8, the grants were used to cover venue expenses (rental of a conference room at Museum of Literature and tickets for pre-viewing), mobile Wi-Fi rental fee, printing cost of materials, travel expenses for lecturers, drinks and snacks, and others.
Biography Edit-a-thon in Kanagawa
Biography Edit-a-thon in Kanagawa, which received Rapid Grants, has two systems. “WikiGap” and “Wikipedia Bungaku (Edit-a-thon about literature)”.
WikiGap in Kanagawa
Kanagawa Prefectural Library has a wealth of women-related materials. This event will utilize these materials to enrich articles on women. With the cooperation of the library, the event began in 2019 and was held around March 3 (Hinamatsuri, a Japanese festival for girls), but due to COVID-19, the event in 2020 and 2021 was canceled. 2022 was also difficult to hold an in-person event, so the event was held online.
WikiGap Online 2022 is an event from March 3 to March 8, International Women’s Day, in which participants will add or touch up articles about women at a location of their choice. Basically, the program is designed for the participation of people who can edit Wikipedia articles by themselves. We wanted to make the program accessible to those who have no experience editing Wikipedia but are interested in the WikiGap philosophy, so we set up a Zoom meeting for beginners on March 6 during the period.
We determined that it would be difficult to provide sufficient support for beginners to actually experience the editing process during the three-hour meeting, so we provided only an explanation of the basics of Wikipedia and an editing demonstration. In addition, a question-and-answer period was set aside to create an atmosphere in which participants could easily ask questions they did not understand.
In some cases, beginners who participated in the meeting actually took up the challenge of adding to the article afterwards, which was a good sign that the meeting was a good idea. During the period, 23 people participated, resulting in 45 new articles and 18 additions.
Wikipedia Bungaku (literature)
We view special exhibitions at Kanagawa Museum of Modern Literature to enrich our articles on people and matters related to the exhibitions. This event has been running since 2018 and held eight times until October 2022. So far, Wikipedia Bungaku(WPB) has dealt with the following topics.
- WPB1: Masao Yamakawa (25 February 2018)
- WPB2: Shuji Terayama (8 October 2018)
- WPB3: Seicho Matsumoto (21 April 2019)
- WPB4: Nakajima Atsushi (6 October 2019)
- WPB5: Shohei Ooka (26 April 2020 postponed to 25 October 2020)
- WPB6: Shin Seinen (25 April 2021)
- WPB7: Ken’ichi Yoshida (5 May 2022)
- WPB8: Yasunari Kawabata (10 October 2022)
In 2022, WPB7 Kenichi Yoshida and WPB8 Yasunari Kawabata were held. Each event is based on the schedule described below. First, in the morning, the participants will visit Kanagawa Museum of Modern Literature and listen to a commentary by the curator and view a special exhibition. Then, in the afternoon, move to Kanagawa Prefectural Library for research and writing articles.
However, in WPB7, we couldn’t use Kanagawa Prefectural Library because they were under construction of a new building, so we continued our research and writing at the museum in the afternoon. The reading room of the museum also has a collection of related materials, and the staff gathered and brought in materials in advance. At the time of WPB8, the main building of the prefectural library was open, allowing us to conduct research and write at the new venue.
- WPB7: 14 participants, 6 new articles, 13 additions
- WPB8: 13 participants, 7 new articles, 8 additions
This brings the cumulative total to 52 new articles and 30 added articles.
The common objectives of both events are as follows.
- We want to enrich the Wikipedia article.
- We want to increase the number of editors, understanders, and supporters of Wikipedia.
- We would like to create opportunities to utilize facilities such as the Museum of Modern Literature and the prefectural library, and promote the significance of their existence.
We would like to thank the Wikimedia Foundation for its grant program for outreach activities.
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