On an evening in September, Cyprus enthusiasts gathered with a mission – to improve information about the Swedish Cyprus Expedition on Wikipedia. A unique opportunity to bridge the knowledge gap from archeology and history experts to the general public.
This year, the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities celebrates the 90th anniversary of the expedition. One of the activities to commemorate the jubileum was a Wikipedia editathon, organized by the National Museums of World Culture, Sweden and Wikimedia Sverige. Participants improved Wikipedia’s entry on the Swedish Cyprus Expedition in English and Swedish, with a focus on its findings and excavation sites, as well as Cyprus’s ancient history. Some of the event’s participants chose to concretize descriptions, clarify translations and categories. Others chose to improve existing sections. An example is the Vouni mountain – its palace and its objects – which form a central part of the museum’s Cyprus exhibition.
Axel Pettersson of Wikimedia Sverige gave an introduction to Wikipedia. Dimitra Polidis, Museum Educator at the National Museums of World Culture, held guided tours about the expedition as well as the museum’s Cyprus exhibition twice during the evening.
The Image Archive
The expedition’s image archive, which consists of ca 600 images, most of which were taken by John Lindros, is also published on Wikipedia Commons (in line with our open publishing policy). In addition to writing texts, participants improved image captions and used the images to illustrate relevant articles.
In total, we were about 17 people with different backgrounds but with a common interest for the Swedish Cyprus expedition which took place nearly 100 years ago. To our help we had reference material from the museum’s library, the museum’s object database Carlotta and the participants’ combined expertise.
Why did we feel the need for such an event?
By making photo documentation from the Cyprus expedition available on Wikimedia Commons, we reach a large audience, both nationally and internationally. The editathon provided a further boost in the efforts to make our resources as useful as possible for as many as possible. At the same time, many, both colleagues and visitors got a chance to learn a little more about how Wikipedia works, and how to help improve the encyclopedia. Knowledge grows when we give it away, and we all grow richer.
Check out some images from the editathon on the museum’s Instagram.