A New Context for Greenwich Village History: Wikipedians Visit Jefferson Market Library

By Dorothy Howard, Wikipedian-in-Residence and Open Data Fellow, Metropolitan New York Library Council

The rich history of the Jefferson Market Library and its environs provided a focal point for Wikipedia editing activities at Saturday, November 2nd's Edit-a-thon at the NYPL branch in Greenwich Village.

20131108_GreenwichVillageHistory.jpgUsing photographs and papers from the Jefferson Market Archives, rare books from the New York Collection, and their own research, savvy participants added citations, content, and images to Wikipedia articles. Their work can be viewed in pages on Jefferson Market Library architect Frederick Clarke Withers, the New York Women’s House of Detention (occupant of the Jefferson Market Prison from 1932-1974), the Beat Generation in Greenwich Village, and several of the establishments frequented by the beats in the late 1950s.

Seven experienced Wikipedians were joined by twenty members of the public. Participants included enthusiastic longtime residents of Greenwich Village, librarians and local historians from NYPL and area colleges, recent MLIS graduate students, and a local fragrance maker who created his scents based on stories from the history of the Village.

Looking forward, METRO, Wikimedia NYC, and Queens Library will host an Edit-a-thon at the Queens Library Central Branch in Jamaica from 10 am until 7 pm on Friday, December 6, 2013. Find more information on the event page.