Examining Queens History at Queens Library’s 1st Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon

The Queens Library Central Branch in Jamaica, Queens held its first Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon on Friday, December 6 with the help of METRO’s Wikipedian-in-Residence and the Wikimedia NYC Chapter. The event sparked interest in editing Wikipedia articles about Queens History. Over 20 participants, including several Queens-based published historians, a few teenagers, and a handful of library staff, were in attendance.

20131210_QLEditathon.jpgParticipants made use of materials from the Queens Archive, adding citations to rare books, articles, and ephemera to pre-existing Wikipedia pages. Librarians gathered research materials from the Queens Library Archive on flash drives and provided paper research files so that participants could strengthen Wikipedia articles with citations to primary and secondary materials housed in the archives. One example is a new article that was created on Emil Lucev, a Queens Historian and writer who also appears in the Queens Archive. Five new articles were created.

Throughout the day, Wikipedians provided guidance in one-on-one interactions, covering topics from uploading photographs to adding citations to creating new articles. Most participants stayed a few hours, trying out the process of editing articles on local train historian Ron Ziel, the Women’s Industrial Service League in Queens, and the NYC illustrator and photographer Eugene Armbruster, as well as many others.

The Queens Library Central Branch and Queens Library Archives plans to edit Wikipedia articles internally. Work has begun on a GLAM-Wiki (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums and Wikipedia) project.