Civic

Jul. 11, 2014 1:33 pm

Citation needed: Baltimoreans host Wikipedia edit-a-thon

Join Saturday's edit-a-thon to flesh out Baltimore's digital historical record.

Why no mention of F. Scott Fitzgerald's five years in Bolton Hill on his Wikipedia page?

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

The City That Reads will soon have a little more to read about itself on Wikipedia.

From the Great Baltimore Fire to the 1968 riots, there’s plenty of history inadequately represented on the free encyclopedia, said Jenny Ferretti, organizer of a Wikipedia edit-a-thon set for Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at Red Emma’s (30 W. North Ave.) in Charles North.

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Ferretti, an archives technician at the Smithsonian Channel, has been working to get other people in her field excited about the project.

“LIS [library and information science] professionals make fantastic Wikipedia contributors, in my opinion: we know how to find and cite our sources,” she said in an email. “However, I want to use this time to socialize in a casual setting with others who are interested in contributing to Wikipedia. I don’t want to solely do it in the privacy of my own home, by myself.”

Ferretti curated photographs at the Maryland Historical Society before she attended grad school in New York City. While there, she was researching for an article on the late Afro-American photojournalist Paul Henderson.

“After delving deeper into his work, I realized people, particularly women, involved in the movement were nowhere to be found on Wikipedia,” she said. “Baltimore’s Civil Rights history is incredibly rich but at the same time largely unknown to the general public, which makes it a perfect candidate for Wikipedia.”

On Saturday, Ferretti will be focused on fleshing out some of those articles. Others will be editing on topics including audio-visual history and the Catholic Left. Ferretti said she hopes the event becomes a monthly get-together.

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Tyler Waldman

Tyler Waldman is lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. A Towson University graduate and former local editor for Patch.com, Tyler has also written and photographed for publications including the Baltimore Brew, Howard County Times and Towson Times. He lives in Charles Village.

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