March 22-25, 2006
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Demonstrations: Description

Museums and Wikipedia

Jim Angus, National Institutes of Health, USA
Jonathan Bowen, London South Bank University, United Kingdom

Wikipedia ( is an on-line and multilingual encyclopaedia that can be interactively updated by any user. It has become an increasingly popular and comprehensive source of up-to-date information. All museums should consider ensuring that they have an entry for informational and (indirectly) promotional purposes. As a minimum, the entry should include location information, a brief overview, correct categorization within Wikipedia and a link to the museum's Web site. A more comprehensive entry could include further, more detailed information on the museum's history, collections, organization, one or more photographs, etc. It should be noted that Wikipedia entries are intended to provide an independent and informational view, so direct promotional material should be avoided and used only on the museum's own Web site. An entry on Wikipedia can help by improving search engine rankings (especially Google), directing Web users to a museum Web site, etc.

Our demonstration at MW2006 is intended to give advice to museums on how to create an initial Wikipedia entry if there is none for the museum in question and how to improve the entry if one exists already. A tour of the English-language Wikipedia museums section ( can also be provided. It may even be possible to create and update entries during the demonstration itself.

Demonstration: Demonstrations [Close-Up]

Keywords: on-line encyclopaedia, Web searching, museum directory, information dissemination, Wikipedia