On Monday 23rd January 2017 the Women’s Classical Committee held a Wikipedia training/editing event at the Institute of Classical Studies in London. This event was designed to begin redressing the gender imbalance in Wikipedia’s representation of classical scholars. Supported by expert trainers from Wikimedia UK, participants (both those in the room and others joining by Skype from as far away as Argentina) learned the basics of creating and editing Wikipedia pages as well as hearing more about some of the initiatives run by Wikimedia to promote gender equality on the site (take a look, for example, at Wikipedia’s Women in Red project or 100 Women, run in conjunction with the BBC). We were then able to begin creating new pages for scholars who had so far been overlooked in the online encyclopaedia, and to expand on those which were lacking in detail.
At the start of the day it was estimated that only 10 per cent of Wikipedia’s approximately 200 biographies of classical scholars were focused on women; as a direct result of the event around fifteen more women scholars are now represented on the site. These include Miriam Griffin (who was until now mentioned only in a dead link on her husband’s page), Jenny Strauss Clay and Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood. Since then participants have been continuing with their editing work, and we plan to keep up the momentum with future face-to-face training events as well as a monthly remote editing session, to be held from 1-3pm on the 22nd of every month. If you’re interested in participating in future sessions please see the project page for further details and some tips on getting started, and follow #WCCWiki on Twitter.
Many thanks to everyone who participated in the Wikipedia Editathon! If you missed it, please take a look at the Storify of the day, which includes links to some of the new Wikipedia articles. Participant Leen Van Broeck has also blogged about the event here.
You can also watch a video from Wikimedia UK about our Editathon:
Participant Ellie Mackin has also made a video about the Editathon, which you can watch below.
The organisers would like to thank Wikimedia UK and the Institute of Classical Studies for their generous support of the event.