Join us for Britain Loves Wikipedia

Britain Loves Wikipedia logo

Britain Loves Wikipedia

Throughout February, Britain Loves Wikipedia, a scavenger hunt and free content photography contest, will be taking place in museums and cultural institutions around Britain, including the British Postal Museum & Archive. People from all ages, backgrounds and communities can take part in this contest, which encourages the public to take photographs of the treasures of Britain’s museums and galleries, and then upload them to the Wikipedia site under a free licence, where they can be used to illustrate articles.

Philatelists and postal historians sometimes complain about the accuracy of articles on Wikipedia, but we hope that by participating in this initiative we can increase and improve the coverage of postal history on Wikipedia. Whether you’re a postal historian, a keen photographer, a Wikipedia article writer or just curious, join us at the British Postal Museum Store on Saturday 20 February to take part in this event.

The British Postal Museum Store, located in Debden, Essex houses our unique collection of postal vehicles, post boxes, telephone kiosks, sorting equipment, and more. It is different to a typical museum experience in that the Museum Store is a working space not designed specifically for public use, but one advantage of this for photographers is that none of the objects are behind glass, making photographing them much easier.

Pillar boxes on display at the Museum Store

Pillar boxes on display at the Museum Store

Participants in Britain Loves Wikipedia are asked to photograph objects which fit the themes of Love, Conflict, Transport, Daily Life and Freedom. The person who takes the best photograph at the Museum Store will win a trio of DVD box-sets celebrating the work of the GPO Film Unit.

As well as offering participants the chance to photograph some fascinating objects, we’re happy to offer guidance to anyone wanting to write and research new articles about postal history for Wikipedia. We’ll have some resources available on the day and we’ll be screening some of the GPO Film Unit films to inspire you.

Around 20 institutions around the country are participating in Britain Loves Wikipedia. More information about the initiative can be found at http://www.britainloveswikipedia.org/, or visit http://www.postalheritage.org.uk/events_archive/blw for more details on our event. You don’t have to book to attend, but if you plan to come please RSVP on Facebook so we can get an idea of numbers.

4 responses to “Join us for Britain Loves Wikipedia

  1. “take photographs of the treasures of Britain’s museums and galleries” ??

    Most galleries do not permit photography as they prefer to keep to themselves the copyright of their treasures.

    • We’ve never banned photography at the Museum Store, indeed most museums are fine with visitors taking photographs for their personal use. Publication of those photos is a different matter, which is what’s great about the Britain Loves Wikipedia initiative – Museums are encouraging the public to make these photos available for use on Wikipedia or elsewhere. In the cases of some Museums involved in Britain Loves Wikipedia there are restrictions on what you can take (the general rule is anything which dates from before 1923 is fine), but at the Museum Store we have even less restrictions on what people can photograph.

  2. Pingback: Britain Loves Wikipedia « The British Postal Museum & Archive

  3. I know this is a very old post now, but I must admit I was (pleasantly!) surprised to see this. I wonder, though, whether all the museums involved appreciate Wikipedia’s free licensing requirements. In particular, photos on Wikipedia must allow commercial as well as non-commercial reuse — with only a few exceptions under US “fair use” laws. I also think some bodies fail to appreciate that it’s not possible to give permission *only* to Wikipedia to use a photo — images must be reusable by other people.

    On top of that, it strikes me too that many institutions don’t seem to have got to grips with the world of the internet. I frequently run across places which allow photos for personal use but not for commercial publication… thus completely failing to address the huge growth in personal (non-commercial) online publication on sites like Flickr.

    Sorry for going on a bit!

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