On the afternoon of Friday, March 23, 2018, Fisher Fine Arts Library hosted its first Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. This was one of many editing events that took place around the world during the month of March, which is Women’s History Month. Over the course of the Art+Feminism Collective’s five-year history, the event has focused on improving and expanding research on female visual artists; but this year Fisher’s entries reflected diverse gender identities across the arts.
Newly minted Wikipedia Editors hard at work at the March 23rd Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon at Fisher Fine Arts Library
The Edit-a-thon attendees were assisted by Mary Mark Ockerbloom, Wikipedian in Residence at the Science History Institute, and Matthew Flaschen, software engineer and long-time Wikipedia editor.
“We decided to host the event because so many of us turn to Wikipedia for information and likely don’t analyze too much where the information comes from,” explained event organizer Patty Guardiola, Assistant Director of Fisher Fine Arts Library. In Guardiola’s view, an edit-a-thon, “draws participants’ attention to the source of Wikipedia article content and the editors responsible, and empowers participants to improve article content by contributing legitimate research and citations.” Guardiola feels that an edit-a-thon, “additionally encourages more diverse viewpoints for Wikipedia, where there is a lack of gender and racial diversity amongst editors as well as the subjects of entries. “
As a result of the March 23rd event, participant-editors worked on the entries of Margaret Christian Grigor, Lucy Lippard, and Anne Tyng, to name a few, adding over 1,500 words to Wikipedia!