Dear Chapters,

Some of you may be aware that Wikimedia Australia organised a tour of the [[Powerhouse museum]] in Sydney recently which we called "Backstage Pass". The principal purpose of this was to create a relationship between our two communities based on mutual understanding and learning what each groups' practices/policies are.

Both the museum and ourselves had a great day and learnt a lot. Just yesterday they blogged about the event in great detail and in very positive terms. http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/dmsblog/index.php/ 2009/04/02/working-with-wikipedia-backstage-pass-at-the-powerhouse- museum/

Then today, on the basis of this relationship, the announced this: That they will be releasing under creative commons licenses *ever single item in their catalogue*. http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/dmsblog/index.php/2009/04/02/ powerhouse-collection-documentation-goes-creative-commons/

For example, this is their record and our record for the same object:
http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/collection/database/?irn=7177
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boulton_and_Watt_steam_engine_% 28Powerhouse_Museum%29

[Once we sort out the whole GFDL/CC-by-sa changeover] we can directly copy/paste the complete description of the object. Considering the many thousands of interesting objects that the museum houses there are many potential Wikipedia article stubs that can be created straight away. It must be noted that they are using a mixture of the cc-by-sa license and the cc-by-nc license for different parts of their records. As you can see in their blog post, this is an ongoing discussion within the museum and they are still sorting out how to deal with the photographs of these objects (for example). If we can show the value of releasing what they have done already, by writing good articles and respecting their different licenses, then it will make the decision easier in the future to release even more :-)

Not only is this significant for the direct reason of improving our content but, just as we talk to each other, you can be absolutely sure that museums and galleries talk to each other too. With this example now as the benchmark of what a museum can do I encourage you to refer to this case as an example of "what is happening elsewhere" when talking with museums in your own countries and cities.

Talk to you all soon,
-Liam

email: liamwy...@gmail.com
skype: wittylama
wikipedia: [[user:witty lama]]



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