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Wiki edit-a-thon to set the record straight

An upcoming Wiki edit-a-thon will improve the representation of women contributors to the Victoria County History project on Wikidata and Wikipedia.

The Victoria County History (VCH) project was founded in 1899 as a national project to write the history of every county in England. Each county’s history is the work of multiple contributors – writers, researchers and editors – responsible for producing a number of volumes covering natural history, archaeology, and history from the earliest extant documents onwards, county by county.

Since its early days, the VCH employed women as writers and researchers, including a few who focused on classical archaeology. The Wiki edit-a-thon seeks to better represent the important contribution of these women by adding their achievements to the public record.

The event, which will take place on Thursday 15 December, is organised by Beyond Notability, a three-year AHRC-funded project that brings together academic researchers with expertise in intellectual and social history, information science and digital humanities to explore the history of women in archaeology, history and heritage in Britain.

The project is creating an unprecedented openly accessible research data set of women active in archaeology, history and heritage in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is telling their stories and mapping them using linked open data, providing detailed biographical entries for women working in these fields that could help entries on Wikipedia and Wikidata to be created or enhanced, and challenging current standards of 'notability' in these resources. 

The Wiki edit-a-thon will be another important step on this journey.

Dr Amara Thornton, Co-investigator of Beyond Notability and organiser of the event, said, “We have started creating detailed entries on a number of women active in archaeology, history and heritage, including twenty Victoria County History contributors, who are currently not represented or sketchily represented on Wikipedia and Wikidata.

“It is our hope that the information we provide through our database will both improve the representation of women in two globally significant open encyclopedias, and change the way work in these fields is described.”

The session will provide attendees with training on creating Wikidata entries, and editing Wikipedia, alongside short presentations on Beyond Notability, the Victoria County History project, and the work of the Women’s Classical Committee. 

The Wiki edit-a-thon will take place on Thursday 15 December, 15:00 - 16:30. Please register to attend.