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Wikipedia Edit-a-thon Returns!

Morgan Spehar
March 14, 2022
Wikipedia Edit-a-ton Informational Banner
Graphic design by Brooke Stanley/Ohio University Libraries

Ohio University Libraries would like to invite everyone to participate in the ninth annual Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on Wednesday, March 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Microsoft Teams. The event is supported by the nonprofit group Art + Feminism, as well as the Ohio University Women’s Center and the Libraries.

Wikipedia Edit-a-thons are events focused on creating and editing Wikipedia articles about topics or people that are typically underserved on the website. Edit-a-thons have become a popular way of getting more diverse populations involved in editing Wikipedia by providing training and guidance.

At the Libraries’ Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, librarians and volunteers will be available in breakout rooms to help with everything from adding citations to creating completely new articles, and a LibGuide will be available on the Libraries’ webpage to help people get started with their research.

This year the Wikipedia Edit-a-thon will also include a Q & A session with photo archivist Laura Smith about the Libraries’ Lynn Johnson Collection from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Smith will share information about the collection and offer a preview of the new Lynn Johnson digital exhibit, which is a product of a collaboration between the Mahn Center and Digital Initiatives. 

“Last fall, the Libraries added a Lynn Johnson digital collection to the Digital Archives and this spring we’ll be launching an exhibit that aims to introduce the collection, both physical and digital, to audiences,” Smith said. “Both are resources that Wikipedia editors can now reference to add information to the Wikipedia article on Lynn Johnson and perhaps use to research and connect with other sources, which is exciting.”

Wikipedia has been criticized in the past for its gender bias and the lack of diversity among its editors, so organizations like Art + Feminism and The Black Lunch Table were formed to help fill in the gaps. 

Art + Feminism emphasizes creating more coverage of the history of women-identified and nonbinary artists, as well as feminism in the arts. University Libraries’ and Art + Feminism will identify articles that are in need of editing, but participants are also encouraged to bring their own ideas of Wikipedia pages that need updated or created. 

Greta Suiter, manuscripts archivist, said that she is often inspired by working with library collections to edit Wikipedia. 

“Two of the collections I first got to know [at OHIO] were the Lynn Johnson collection and the Gladys Bailin Papers. Both of these women are underrepresented on Wikipedia so there is work to do with editing and creating articles for them,” she said. “They also represent wider subjects such as women in modern dance, women choreographers, women in photojournalism, and women photographers – all subjects that need more attention of Wikipedia.” 

No background experience is necessary to participate in this event! Participants are welcome to join the online meeting at any point during the day and stay for as long as they are able.

“I encourage editors of all skill levels to participate,” Suiter said. “If you’ve never edited Wikipedia before but are curious about how to do it, there will be a lot of support on hand to get you started.”

Art Librarian Michele Jennings organizes the Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at the Libraries each year, and she said that students studying Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Art and Design, Art History, Theater, Music, Film or Dance may be especially interested in the OHIO Edit-a-thon, but that all are welcome. 

She urges people to look into Art + Feminism’s Safe Space/Brave Space policy to understand how the Libraries will strive to make this year’s Wikipedia Edit-a-thon an inclusive event for all. 

Jennings herself is a self-taught Wikipedia editor who has created pages for multiple artists and contributed to many different Wikipedia articles. She said that it’s empowering to take action and create articles that have immediate effects. 

Art + Feminism and the University Libraries share a goal of making information more inclusive and more accessible. Jennings said that both help to empower individuals as creators of information, as well as consumers. 

The Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon is free and open to the public on Microsoft Teams. For more information about the event or to request accessibility accommodations, please contact Jen Harvey, Library events coordinator, at