Feedback wanted about Wikipedia's Cite Archives template

28 Apr 2015 1:21 PM | Danielle Robichaud

The fine folks at Wikipedia Library are in the process of developing a Cite Archives templatefor use as a citation guideline when contributing to Wikipedia. As part of the development process the Wikipedia Library is inviting comments from the archival community on the template draft's Talk Page.

Currently there are myriad templates that align with print and electronic resources, but none of them reflect the nature of archival material. Of the available options the Cite Web templateis (arguably) the most appropriate template for archival material, as it allows editors to tease out the name of a digital collection, along with the name of the item. It does not, however, allow for the nuance of archival specific practice, like the difference between fonds vs collections, or the (straightforward) identification of the parent institution where archival material is held.

The development of a citation template for archival material is particularly important given the rise of digitized archival content. As the availability of digitized material continues to grow, the potential for that content to be used in Wikipedia pages as a citation source increases dramatically. At the same time, from an outreach and access standpoint, it is simply really, really exciting.

While digitized images of graphic material have made a mark on Wikipedia pages in a variety of ways [1][2][3], there is great potential for digitized textual records, and supporting websites or finding aids, to be used in the same way as books, newspapers and other print documents. For example the Louise Nevelson papers are cited throughout the Wikipedia page for Nevelson. The content was integrated by Sarah Stierch a former Wikipedian in Residenceat the Archives of American Art.

Archives and Wikipedia is a topic that I'm quite interested in and I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.I'm also running a workshop called Wikipedia for Archivists with Amanda Hill at the upcoming AAO Conference.

For those of you interested in learning more about how archives can contribute to Wikipedia, the Wikipedia Library's Share Your Archives page is a great starting point.

Best wishes,


Director Without Portfolio/Web Administrator




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