Academic libraries are more cognizant of their public program offerings than ever before. How does this shift impact the university archives and special collections? How does this area of the academic library meet the challenge of public programming that engages their users with their core missions? At Eastern Washington University (EWU), a regional comprehensive university, library and archives staff collaborated to develop a Wikipedia edit-a-thon that would provide an opportunity for undergraduate students to 1) expose them to archival materials, and 2) provide them with experience in collaborative knowledge creation. This article reviews the literature on the use of the Wikipedia platform and edit-a-thon events by cultural heritage institutions (libraries, archives, and museums), as well as the literature on public programming for archives and special collections. It details the steps taken to organize the event held at EWU, and reflects on the implications of this type of outreach and public programming event for archives and special collections in academic libraries.
Rose Sliger Krause is Metadata Librarian at Eastern Washington University; she previously served as Curator of Special Collections at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture/Eastern Washington State Historical Society. James Rosenzweig is currently the Education Librarian at Eastern Washington University; he was formerly the Education and History Librarian at Northeastern Illinois University. Paul Victor, Jr. is Coordinator of Reference at Eastern Washington University Libraries, where he also serves as liaison to the History Department.
Sliger Krause, Rose; Rosenzweig, James; and Victor, Paul Jr.
"Out of the Vault: Developing a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon to Enhance Public Programming for University Archives and Special Collections,"
Journal of Western Archives: Vol. 8
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/westernarchives/vol8/iss1/3