The National Archives has selected Dominic McDevitt-Parks as the Archives’ first Wikipedian in Residence. Dominic will serve as a liaison between the National Archives and the Wikipedian community.
Dominic, a Masters student in both History and Archives Management at Simmons College in Boston, brings a passion for history and over seven years of Wikipedia editing experience. He describes himself as “a history buff, a word nerd, a news junkie, and an occasional pedant.” As the first National Archives Wikipedian in Residence, Dominic hopes to “foster collaboration between the Wikipedia community and the National Archives for their mutual benefit—or, in reality, the benefit of the public, which both projects serve.”
“By having the permanent records of the federal government available through Wikipedia, the National Archives will reach children, genealogists, educators, researchers, and members of the public who may never have come to the National Archives or seen our website to view our holdings”, said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero.
“Every cultural institution can have a proactive relationship with Wikipedia because, after all, we’re working in the same field for the same reason, and for the same people”, said Liam Wyatt, Cultural Partnerships Fellow for Wikipedia.
For updates and more information about Wikipedian in Residence Dominic McDevitt-Parks’ projects, stay tuned to NARAtions, the official blog of the National Archives [http://blogs.archives.gov/online-public-access].
We hope Mr. Dominic McDevitt-Parks takes some time to instruct NARA staff and perhaps all of us about how to work with and deal with Wikipedia editors who enjoy making edits simply because they can. Is it possible to add or make changes as a Wikipedia contributor without having to go through an entire appeal process if something gets edited out simply because an editor just doesn’t like it (although accurate)? A session about how to handle the politics of Wikipedia could be very useful.