Whether you’re a researcher looking through citations for primary sources or someone who looked up one topic and fell into a black hole of reading articles all day, Wikipedia is a trusted source of information, and for good reason. As the tenth most visited web site in the world, Wikipedia helps you find details on almost anything you might want to research. However, only 10% of Wikipedia’s editors identify as female. With less representation, it’s harder to find well-written, detailed articles on women on the site. Art + Feminism, a non-profit dedicated to increasing the representation of women on Wikipedia, has hosted Wikipedia edit-a-thons worldwide since 2014 to try and reverse this trend. By training new and diverse editors, Art + Feminism aims to both increase and improve the pages about women in the arts.
The Corning Museum of Glass has taken part in this initiative since 2016 through our annual Wikipedia edit-a-thons at the Rakow Research Library. As the world’s foremost library dedicated to all things glass, we want to showcase women who work with glass in all its facets, from design to science to art. This year, we collaborated with our sister museum across the river, The Rockwell Museum, to edit and create Wikipedia articles related to women in The Rockwell’s collection as they acquire work only by women artists in 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, however, we had to cancel our physical event on March 14, but one of the best things about editing Wikipedia is that you can do it anywhere and anytime, completely online! Three editors gathered remotely with the aim of adding more information about women in glass to Wikipedia. A staff member was on hand at the Rakow Library to answer any reference questions that came through our Ask a Glass Question service.
Even with our editors working remotely, we edited 5 articles, added 461 words, and also added 12 new references! In this trying time where even more people are gathering online, we felt it was important to continue improving Wikipedia. It was also comforting to be deeply engrossed in correctly adding code for references or carefully selecting Wikimedia Commons images to use in an article. I personally worked on creating an article for Deborah Czeresko, who perfectly fits Wikipedia’s criteria for notability and we were lucky enough to have plenty of information and sources to share about her. The article is pending approval, but hopefully, you’ll be able to read more about Deborah on Wikipedia soon.
If you find yourself with time to spare at home and need a distraction, editing Wikipedia might be for you! Here’s how to start editing:
- Create a Wikipedia account.
- Check out our LibGuide with resources on how to edit and find sources.
- Practice editing in your Sandbox (Wikipedia’s term for your personal editing playground) before editing. It’s a great way to practice coding before working on Wikipedia pages.
- Have fun! If you have questions relating to glass, you might find the answer you’re looking for in our Frequently Asked Questions.
We hope to see more people editing Wikipedia; we will certainly continue editing pages related to women working with glass. Edit on!