How cool is this? The National Archives Wikipedian in Residence is Dominic McDevitt-Parks, the first person named to the new position. Dominic serves as a liaison between the National Archives and the Wikipedian community.
Dominic, a Master’s student in both History and Archives Management at Simmons College in Boston, brings a passion for history and over seven years of Wikipedia-editing experience. He describes himself as “a history buff, a word nerd, a news junkie, and an occasional pedant.” As the first National Archives Wikipedian in Residence, Dominic hopes to “foster collaboration between the Wikipedia community and the National Archives for their mutual benefit—or, in reality, the benefit of the public, which both projects serve.”
Wikipedians (or Wikimedians) in Residence are Wikimedians who dedicate time to working in-house at an organization. Wikipedians in Residence are usually financially compensated by the institution or by a Wikimedia chapter, but they may also be volunteers. The Wikipedian in Residence is not simply an in-house editor: the role is fundamentally about enabling the host organisation and its members to continue a productive relationship with the encyclopedia and its community after the Residency is finished. The Wikipedian in Residence model was first piloted by the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) initiative, but has since been adopted by other types of organizations.

Types of projects carried out by Wikipedians

Activities organized by Wikipedians in Residence are broad and varied. Some of these projects include:

  • Facilitating content improvement in partnership with curators and the Wikipedia communities
  • Coordinating image or multimedia donations
  • Organizing visits/events (e.g. “backstage passes” for Wikipedians)
  • Organizing challenges and competitions that promote article improvement
  • Teaching about Wikipedia practices and values, etc.
  • Including sister projects (Wikimedia Commons, Wikisource, Wikivoyage, etc)
“By having the permanent records of the federal government available through Wikipedia, the National Archives will reach children, genealogists, educators, researchers, and members of the public who may never have come to the National Archives or seen our Web site to view our holdings,” said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero.
For updates and more information about Wikipedian in Residence Dominic McDevitt-Parks’ projects, stay tuned to NARAtions, the official blog of the National Archives: