Newsletter/2017-02 news/long

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Wikimedia Belgium Newsletter - February 2017

Please find the newsletter of February 2017 from Wikimedia Belgium below.

The newsletter covers the period of September 2016 to January 2017.

Rue du Trône 51
1050 Brussels

Upcoming events[edit]

  • 4-5 February 2017: FOSDEM conference in Brussels

  • 22 March 2017: Just For The Record organises a Wikipedia event around performing arts. Watch their website for more information at

  • 25 March 2017: Just For The Record organises a Wikipedia event around the archives of RoSa vzw - knowledge centre for gender and feminism. Watch their website for more information at

  • ... March/April 2017: Writing weeks about the Brussels Capital Region to describe this region better on Wikipedia. You are welcome to participate in any Wikipedia language edition you like. During the writing weeks writing sessions on location are organised accessible for everyone. The precise dates are not yet determined, but are planned to take place during two weeks in the month March or April.

Short news[edit]

  • On 16 December the Flemish Art Collection and Packed vzw organised a study day around the subject of durable digitalisation in museum's world, held in the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent. An important role in durable digitalisation is for Wikimedia and the valorisation takes place via Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata, for what much attention was during the event. During the event also the project about meta data and Linked Open Data of the Flemish Art Collection was highlighted. The data of the collection was added to Wikidata in the beginning of 2016. The project page of this project can be found at Flemish art collections, Wikidata and Linked Open Data and the whitepaper written during the project with information how institutions can use Wikidata, can be found at Whitepaper.
Logo Public Domain Day
Logo Public Domain Day
  • On 1 January 2017 it was again Public Domain Day. On this day the copyrights of many works expire and enter the Public Domain. See for an incomplete overview of authors of which the works enter the public domain the article: 2017 in public domain. One of the most known Belgian author of which the works enter the public domain in 2017 is Léon Spilliaert. In 1 January also various works that previously have been deleted, but now are in the public domain, have been restored on Wikimedia Commons, see for an overview on this page.
  • On 9 January 2017 the Wikimedia Foundation announced they received a grant of $ 3.015.000 for the development of structured data on Wikimedia Commons. The software development already has started and will result in that every file on Wikimedia Commons will get database fields, comparable with the ones on Wikidata. While on Wikidata the items are about specific subjects, the database fields on Wikimedia Commons will be about individual images and files. While there is only one Wikidata item about a specific subject, this subject can have multiple images on Wikimedia Commons. (announcement | more information)
  • On 21 January 2017 Wikimedia Nederland organised a new year's event, during which the WikiOwls have been reached out to the most valued contributions to the Dutch Wikipedia. See for more information in Dutch on Wikipedia:WikiUilen and for the receivers on Wikipedia:WikiUilen/2016.


News from the association
News from the association

At the end of the year it is time to close the books and write reports to close the year. First we wrote the reports for the received grants we received for the projects Wiki Loves Art, Wiki Loves Monuments and our general activities of Wikimedia Belgium in 2016. These reports can be found at Wiki Loves Art, Wiki Loves Monuments and general activities. These three reports have been approved by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Next we also published a general activity report and financial report about 2016 on Activity report and Financial report.

On 28 January 2017 the annual General Assembly of Wikimedia Belgium took place (minutes). First the General Assembly approved the financial report. In accordance with the legal requirements, the board will submit this report to the Belgian government. After the financial part, the members elected a new board for our association. No new application for board members and the members of the association were satisfied with the current administration, resulting in the entire board to continue the administrative functions of the association in 2017.

The board is in 2017 composed out Geertivp (president), Romaine (treasurer), SPQRobin (secretary), Afernand74 (national liaison) and Lfurter (gender and diversity liaison).

See for an overview of all reports on Reports and see for a detailed overview of activities of Wikimedia Belgium on the pages Activities.

In October 2016 the board requested a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation for the activities of Wikimedia Belgium in 2017. In consultation with the grant provider it was made clear that this year two costs in our request cannot be funded: the cost of support for translations and the costs of attending conferences. On 16 December our grant was approved by the Wikimedia Foundation.


Wikipedia belongs in education
Wikipedia belongs in education

In September 2016 we gave an introduction in Wikipedia to students of University of Luxembourg in the city of Luxembourg. The students since then worked on their articles and completed them in December 2016.

Also at the College Vives in Kortrijk a new Wikipedia class started. The students received first an introduction from an experienced writer from Wikipedia about how they have to write an article on Wikipedia.

Cultural institutions (GLAM)[edit]

Wiki Loves Art[edit]

Logo Wiki Loves Art
Logo Wiki Loves Art

In July and August 2016 we organised the photo contest Wiki Loves Art during what the participants made photos in 13 museums and heritage libraries spread over the country with as goal to make the Belgian cultural heritage more visible on Wikipedia. With a result of more than 3000 photos of artworks and of the institutions, the photo contest was very successful. A jury selected from all submitted photos 12 photos from 10 photographers as prize winners. For an overview of the participating institutions and all submitted photos, see Wiki Loves Art Belgium in 2016.

As conclusion of the photo contest we organised in 25 November together with Wiki Loves Monuments an award ceremony in the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage in Brussels, with afterwards a drink and a snack with an opportunity to talk and meet. The institute sponsored with prizes, the drinks and snack, and with the venue of the award ceremony, and also Studio Baxton and some of the participating museums sponsored with prizes.

See for the winning photos at: Winning photos and for the jury report on: Jury report.

In 2017 we will not organise a new edition of the photo contest Wiki Loves Art, but we will focus on continuing the collaboration with the institutions that participated and collaborating with other museums and libraries. We also will organise a seminar for the interested institutions.

Wiki Loves Monuments[edit]

Logo Wiki Loves Monuments
Logo Wiki Loves Monuments

In September 2016 we organised for the fifth time the photo contest Wiki Loves Monuments in Belgium and Luxembourg with as goal to make the Belgian and Luxembourgian cultural heritage of monuments visible on Wikipedia. In total more than 3000 photos of monuments were uploaded during the contest in 2016. See for the photos at: Belgium and Luxembourg.

From the submissions, a jury chose nine winning photos as prize winners. During the award ceremony at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage in Brussels, organised together with Wiki Loves Art, the winning photographers received their prize. The prizes were sponsored by the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, the Brussels Capital Region, Società Dante Alighieri Antwerpen, and the Catholic University of Leuven. See for the winning photos at: Winners and for the jury report on: Jury report.

The five editions of the photo contest resulted cumulatively in 19591 photos of monuments.

In 2017 we want to focus on those monuments that do not have a photo yet on Wikipedia. If you have an idea for an activity to photograph these monuments or if you want to organise a photo tour, please let us know.


Dutch Wikipedia printed[edit]

Wikipedia printed in Ghent
Wikipedia printed in Ghent

How would it look like if the Dutch language Wikipedia would be printed? That was a question artist Michael Mandiberg asked himself before he started his art project. After earlier projects with the English language Wikipedia in New York and the German language Wikipedia in Berlin, Mandiberg created in November 2016 a visual representation of how the Dutch language Wikipedia would look like being printed. Just like the two other language editions of the encyclopedia, would it have been too voluminous to print all volumes of the Dutch language Wikipedia, so Mandiberg wrote a script to show how it would look like by printing the book spines as wallpaper. He hang up the wallpaper and printed also some volumes as example.

On 5 November 2016 a meeting was organised at the artwork with the opening of the exhibition and interested people could have a look at the artwork to get an impression how large the Dutch language Wikipedia would have been growth so far. Multiple visitors of the artwork did found their written articles in the few volumes that had been printed.

If the Dutch language Wikipedia would have been printed completely, it would have resulted in 1168 volumes, including two appendixes with all the authors that have worked on this encyclopedia in the past 15 years.

Photos of the artwork and of the meeting are in the category Print Wikipedia Ghent. See for more information also the article Print Wikipedia on the English language Wikipedia.

We are not in a post-fact world. Facts matter[edit]

We are not in a post-fact world.
We are not in a post-fact world.

No, we’re not in a post-fact world. On Wikipedia, facts matter. - This was the title of a blog post of the Wikimedia Foundation on 27 December 2016. The blog post looked back at 2016 and concluded that in multiple occasions fake news was spread through the internet. Also in 2017 the importance of reliable sources is more important than ever.

Wikipedia will (likely) never be perfect or even complete. But with 15 years we have experience with separating the facts from fiction. The primary way on Wikipedia to achieve this, is by adding reliable sources during writing that support the stated facts.

The Wikimedia Foundation created a Wikipedia #FactsMatter video with clips of interviews and events that took place during 2016. Watch the video on Wikipedia - FactsMatter2016 (there are subtitles available in English).

Looking for volunteers: What would you like to organise?[edit]

Building Wikipedia & more
Building Wikipedia & more

For over 15 years volunteers work on Wikipedia by expanding and improving it, in text and imagery. This happens online on Wikipedia itself, but also on site. Regularly writing sessions are organised in a museum, archive or library to write on Wikipedia with guidance of experienced writers from Wikipedia. Regularly also photo tours are organised to illustrate Wikipedia articles about a certain subject or photography sessions are organised on a certain location. There are various offline activities that strenghten and improve Wikipedia.

To organise more of this kind activities, we are looking for volunteers who like to organise one or multiple of this kind of activities. Are you interested? Let us know!