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GLAM/Wiki Trial: Social History Photographs of Early 20th Century Queensland

Twenty high resolution (2 - 4MB) photographs featuring a sample of the work of Bert Roberts have been uploaded onto Wikimedia Commons. This is to enable others to access and enjoy the photographs of early 20th century life in Queensland. We are supportive of copyright free imagery being shared for educational purposes.

An advantage that using Wikimedia has over other photo hosting sites, such as FLICKR, is that Wikipedia articles can be written or linked to the photo subject matter. New information unearthed by Wikimedia researchers since posting the photographs has been invaluable. However, monitoring usage and repurposing of free media files on Wiki Commons can be a challenge.

Bert was an Ipswich coachbuilder by trade, but a true renaissance man at heart. Bert’s interests included geology, music, Aboriginal culture, nature and the modern technology of the early 1900s. His broad interests and love of life are reflected in the many photographs he took. These photographs have been digitised from plate glass negatives; about 1000 were donated to the museum by the Roberts family.

This trial is a result of collaborations made between the Queensland Museum and Wikimedians at the GLAM/Wiki Conference held in Canberra in August 2009.

A representative selection of Bert Roberts photographs and curatorial descriptions can be accessed from this Wikimedia Commons Link.

Views: 1698

Comment by Liam Wyatt on November 17, 2009 at 1:09pm
Thanks for this and I can say that from the Wikipedia perspective we're very happy to have these images to be available as this represents Australia's first cultural content donation to Wikimedia.

I personally announced this collaboration to the Wikimedia Multimedia Usability meeting in Paris last week and requests such as better reporting metrics (on usage, clickthroughs etc.) is definately on the agenda.
Once again, thanks!
Comment by David Milne on November 17, 2009 at 4:04pm
Thanks Liam much appreciated. We are mindful that this is very much a first step but are hopeful that the positive benefits arising from this Wikimedia collaboration will enable more copyright free material to be uploaded. There are still a fair few internal protocols to agree; but from little acorns……………

It would be very useful to be able to gauge usage of the media that has been uploaded onto Wiki Commons (similar to the number of views a FLICKR photo has received) which would strengthen the case for uploading more copyright free material. It’s really a case of quid pro quo. Free media may equate to increased (virtual) audience figures for GLAM sector institutions. And that may be an incentive for others in the sector to chip in with some of their crown jewels.
Comment by Seb Chan on November 17, 2009 at 6:36pm
This will be an interesting trial!

The benefit of Flickr really is the nature of its community - which, whilst diverse, is primarily predisposed with an interest in images and photography. Wikimedia is more a repository which requires the repurposing and take away of content to communities on other sites.
Comment by Angelina Russo on November 18, 2009 at 8:19am
Thanks for this David. I really look forward to hearing more about the trial. Great stuff!
I do wonder what the weather was like back then!!! How did those women wear such heavy fabrics in Queensland?!
Comment by Cath on November 19, 2009 at 8:43am
Yay! Great images, and it's wonderful that they're now so available.
Comment by David Milne on November 20, 2009 at 4:51pm
Thanks everyone. Your encouraging comments are much appreciated.

Jessica Coates from Creative Commons Australia has written about this GLAM/WIKI initiative which may be of interest - ref link below.


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