Wikipedia70 (4) OpenGLAM JAPAN Symposium

Translate this post

This is an English translation of my book entitled “A 70-year-old Wikipedian talks about the charm of libraries.” Chapter 1, The Road to Wikipedia. Previously, click here.

OpenGLAM JAPAN Symposium (Chapter 1-4)

I tried everything I could figure out about how to edit Wikipedia on my own, but I still wanted someone to teach me somewhere. I searched for Wikipedia-related events and found that the “7th OpenGLAM JAPAN Symposium: Opening Museums – Tokyo Institute of Technology Museum Version” was to be held in March 2016. OpenGLAM is an activity to promote open data of cultural facilities (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) through the use of IT. I was  attracted by the concept of “open data” and immediately applied.

Museum and Centennial Hall, the Tokyo Institute of Technology, 21 March 2016

The event was held on March 21 at the Tokyo Institute of Technology Museum Centennial Hall, and in essence, it was an attempt to put information on the Tokyo Tech Museum collection on Wikipedia. Most of the participants I had never met before. The program, which began at 10:00, consisted of lectures on two topics in the morning and editing Wikipedia in the afternoon.

Topic 1: Pioneering Historical Materials: Between Institution and Custom / Yukihiro Fukushima

Under the theme of “As those who monopolize materials are cursed and those who open them to the public are blessed,” Mr. Yukihiro Fukushima (Kyoto Prefectural Library) evaluated GLAM’s efforts to pioneer historical materials. The speaker and I studied together at the Archives College hosted by the National Institute of Japanese Literature in 2008. At that time, he was working on the digitization of the Toji Hyakugo Monjo, and after working at the University of Tokyo, he has been an associate professor at Keio University since 2021.

Topic 2: Opening up Research and Observation Data: Activities of the National Institute of Polar Research / Yasuyuki Minamiyama

Although I had never touched on research results on Antarctica or the Arctic, Mr. Minamiyama (Information Library, National Institute of Polar Research, National Institute of Information and Systems) presented a wide range of aspects of the topic, including what research and observation data are, metadata of collected materials, the actual practice of collecting and releasing numerical data, data acquisition methods, overseas examples, and concerns. Young researcher Mr. Minamiyama is affiliated with the Center for Open Science Infrastructure Research at the National Institute of Informatics starting in 2019.

Explanation 1: Wikimedia Commons: A Tool to Open Cultural Resources / Kyuhachi Kusaka

After a lunch break, the afternoon session began. This was the first time for me to meet Mr. Kusaka (Tokyo Wikimedian Association), whose user name is “User:Ks aka 98“, which often appears when I browsed Wikipedia. He started with what Wikimedia Commons is, and led to Wikipedia Town as a place to open up information. He explained about the workshops in Toyama and in Futakotamagawa.

Explanation 2: Opening the Tokyo Tech Museum: Making Materials Open Content / Takayuki Ako

Mr. Ako (Tokyo Institute of Technology Museum), one of the symposium organizers, talked about various practical activities to open up the Tokyo Tech Museum. He writes articles and posts them on Wikipedia, accumulates photos of buildings and exhibition rooms, writes from various angles, takes photos, reprints, organizes data, and creates maps of the museum, etc. Mr. Ako is at the Tokyo National Museum since 2018.

Editing Wikipedia

After the talk was over, we were divided into groups and finally started editing Wikipedia. I joined the team of “Gottfried Wagener,” a foreign government advisor. At first, we took pictures of Wagener’s monument on the campus, then started editing. The group included some experienced Wikipedians, so I asked them anything I did not understand about editing. It was the first time for me to upload photos on Commons, but they gave me some tips. I learned how to write the main text and how to add footnotes, which I could not understand if I had only studied on my own.

Around 5:00 p.m., each team presented their results. Since it was my first time attending the Wikipedia event, I talked about many aspects of Wikipedia with many people at reception time. I was surprised to find that many of the people I met much later were also participants in this event.

After all that learning, it took me about six months before I actually started writing articles. I still needed to prepare myself to use the new information dissemination tools. The first step is a hurdle.

Can you help us translate this article?

In order for this article to reach as many people as possible we would like your help. Can you translate this article to get the message out?