GLAM Organizations and Wikimedia Commons

mediaWikimedia Commons is a repository for free and sharable media content.  It is mostly commonly used for photographs but can also be used for video and audio recordings. The aim of Wikimedia Commons is to develop a resource of media that can be used for educational purposes that is open and freely accessible to all.

GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) around the world have chosen to contribute to Wikimedia Commons.  GLAM organizations often have public domain content in their holdings and uploading that content to Wikimedia commons is one way to make content more accessible.  The content can then also be linked to existing Wikipedia articles and enhance online knowledge of heritage collections.

For example, the Brooklyn Museum announced a project to” cross-post images of its collection to Wikimedia Commons and Internet Archive.” The museum planned to upload “5,157 primary object images and 4,354 Library & Archives images”.  The Brooklyn Museum is just one of many GLAM organizations around the world choosing to share their holdings in this way.

There is a decent FAQ page for GLAM users looking to upload content to Wikimedia commons that answers some of the common questions around image rights and the type of material that can be uploaded.  There is also a great checklist for organizations thinking about starting to upload their own material.  In may cases it may be possible to streamline the importing process if you’re looking to upload batches of images.

On the other side of the coin for GLAM professionals putting together presentations or editing existing Wikipedia content the Commons can be a great resource for visual material.

What have been your experiences using Wikipedia Commons as a GLAM or private user?