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Submissions/Building WikipediaSpace

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2015 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this July.

Submission no.
Title of the submission
Building Wikipedia Space - In-real-life outreach in the name of free culture
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Andrew Lih (User:Fuzheado)
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
American University, Wikimedia DC
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Building Wikipedia Space - In-real-life outreach in the name of free culture

This session will discuss the design and implementation of the first-ever attempt to make a scalable traveling exhibit and resource center about Wikipedia/Wikimedia and free culture for public outreach. The project is a team effort by Andrew Lih, the US National Archives and Records Administration and Wikimedia DC and builds on the GLAM Wiki work done by the global Wikimedia community.


Wikipedia Space is designed to be pop-up traveling exhibit to educate the public (and GLAM professionals in particular) about Wikipedia/Wikimedia that is being pilot tested at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington DC (NARA). The project was inspired by the need for better outreach beyond one-off in-person events, such as GLAM edit-a-thons and Wikimania conferences. For many years, the Wikimedia community has lacked an effective way to bring newcomers up to speed quickly on Wikipedia’s principles and ways to participate. This project was conceived as a way to create more effective in-person (meatspace) engagement, starting with a project at NARA, a high traffic tourist destination near the US National Mall that receives over 1 million visitors a year. But beyond this, a resulting pop-up traveling exhibit could be replicated and shipped to any number of libraries, universities, museums, conferences or similar points of public contact to stand as a persistent outreach platform for the Wikimedia movement.

In 2015, the Knight Foundation selected Wikipedia Space as a recipient of a Prototype Fund award to test out the concept. Primaries on the project include Andrew Lih, Dominic McDevitt-Parks, James Hare and Phoebe Ayers.


The plan is to launch the facility in June 2015, and provide all the outreach materials (exhibit displays, posters, labels, images, software) as open source content that can be replicated, translated and modified to suit any number of needs to anyone doing Wikimedia outreach around the world.

The Wikipedia Space exhibit specifically addresses these areas which are well documented on-wiki and in various brochures, but have never been put together comprehensively in a public-friendly display:

  • History of Wikipedia
  • Principles and policies of Wikipedia that make it work
  • How to assess the accuracy and reliability of Wikipedia content
  • What is the Wikimedia movement and its various projects?
  • Open content licenses and Creative Commons
  • How to contribute to Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and the other Wikimedia projects
  • How can GLAM and like-minded institutions geared towards knowledge in the public interest participate

This Wikimania presentation describes the collaborative process used in creating a modular, portable and replicable open content exhibit for educating the public about Wikipedia, Wikimedia and free/open culture in hopes of increasing "literacy" around Wikipedia as a movement and encouraging new participants.

We would also like to use a portion of the session to solicit feedback and ideas from the audience on new ideas for the project.

Questions addressed in this session:

  • What is the Wikipedia Space concept and why was it created?
  • Who is the audience for Wikipedia Space and what problems does it address?
  • How was it designed and what outputs ?
  • How can others in the Wikimedia community benefit from the Wikipedia Space project?
  • How do you measure the impact of the project?
  • What is next after the initial National Archives launch of the Wikipedia Space project, and what would do with more resources/funding?
  • WikiCulture & Community / GLAM Outreach
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
45-60 minutes ideally
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. Ziko (talk) 21:51, 27 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 06:40, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 12:37, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  4. --ProtoplasmaKid (talk) 06:16, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Ocaasi (talk) 16:46, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Varnent (talk) 22:11, 8 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
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