Today’s post is by Leo Zimmermann, our newly minted Project Manager for Wikipedia Summer of Monuments. You can contact him directly at leo.zimmermann at wikimediadc.org. We are very excited to have him on board as we embark on our largest outreach campaign yet! –James Hare
As we come into the longest days of the year, we prepare for the “Summer of Monuments” campaign, focusing especially on those Southern states whose history and present are underrepresented on Wikimedia Commons. These are a contiguous block of states extending from the East Coast to the middle of the country: Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, & Kansas.
At the forefront of this effort will be local historians, librarians, photographers, and anyone else working passionately to preserve and analyze our culture. We are pleased that we can offer prizes to the best photographers and to the institution that contributes the most valuable collection. But we also hope to demonstrate how Wikimedia Commons can be a valuable ally for historians—an amazing free resource for sharing and preserving their materials.
If all goes well, we can use our Monument momentum to develop Wikipedia even further in some of these less-digitized areas. We are seeking communities (be they interested in a specific location or in a theme, such as the civil rights movement) that we can support in their use of Wikipedia to catalogue and preserve the resources and information they value.
We are also calling all Wikipedians who live and work in these ten Southern states to join us in this project, and to share with us their ideas for creatively expanding our collective encyclopedic project.
Happy summer, everybody!