In August of last year, representatives from the Wikimedia community, the Wikimedia Foundation, and the Association of Research Libraries came together to determine common goals and find areas to collaborate. During two days of discussing our respective cultures and roles in the open knowledge landscape, several themes emerged, two of which provide the framework for a new collaborative project with Indigenous and tribal communities in the United States and Canada:
- The potential for linked open data to connect information from different, typically disconnected data sources, and mutually enrich libraries’ and Wikipedia content
- An overarching commitment to increase diversity and inclusion in library and Wikipedia culture and content.
This project, Advancing Reconciliation and Social Justice in Libraries through Research Library and Community Collaboration in Wikimedia Projects, uses a case study approach to model community collaboration in the creation of linked open data, in this case related to archival and special collection materials related to Indigenous communities in North America. The project focuses on getting local communities access to documentation related to their own local news and culture. These materials carry much cultural value for these communities, but are frequently under-described, held far from the communities they originated from, are not digitized, and/or suffer from contested or problematic concepts of ownership and custodial history.