No, I will not divulge any more details. It is quite unprofessional for 
partnerships, that haven't been finalized yet, to be publicly announced. This 
is a public list, and I will not do that here. Ever wondered why the GLAM 
mailing list is a closed, subscription-only mailing list: ? Because most of the 
discussions that go on there are usually confidential. That is why Kul Wadhwa 
and the rest of the WMF Mobile Team don't give out details about the 
partnerships they _are about_ to make, until official announcements are made. 
SincerelyAbbas Mahmood.

Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 13:47:32 +0300
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia Kenya] Kenya National Archives and other GLAM   projects


My reply is in line.

Being on the board doesn't denote that whichever
communications commencing from me is the position or stance of the chapter
whatsoever, unless otherwise unambiguously stated in the start section of my
E-mail. Clear?

My dear Steve,
Waswahili wasema subira huvuta heri.
Yeah I concur but the same Waswahili said, Ngoja ngoja huumiza matumbo :) and 
how comes nowadays they don't 'sema' :)

I am going to speak about the Kenya National Archives, because it's the 
partnership that I'm focused on. Yes, we have been moving at a sluggish rate. 
Sometimes it's my fault, sometimes it's theirs. But, IMO, most partnerships 
don't take overnight to seal. They take months, or even years. And that has 
nothing to do with Kenya or the government. It's the business norm. The British 
Museum -- the first cultural institution to host a Residency program -- took 
months to accept it. The Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar is still in talks with 
Wikimedia -- these talks started (I think) 10 months ago. This agreement is not 
just a piece of paper saying that we will edit Wikipedia and take photos. It 
involves Museum personnel/staff -- meaning that they'll agree to devote their 
time to contribute to Wikipedia. So all in all, it involves the Museum agreeing 
to dedicate (some of) its resources to us -- whether its time or money. It also 
has a binding agreement, explicitly stating that they have to stick to the 
terms and conditions of the partnership. (e.g. what will you do if a senior 
staff member forbids you to take photos of their gallery?)

Hey! You got me wide off the mark from my Email. Am not saying
we storm the museum and shockingly start having our own secluded tours or edit
camps devoid of their accord.I cannot take staff members and the management and 
them a dose Wikimedicine minus the thought of the influence to their jobs and
the welfare of the KNA. I personally cannot do that and I cannot tolerate such
kind of behaviour.There are undeniably some levels of access to the
facility. I saw an opportunity to use their library as a source for references
since it is open to public in exchange of a very small fee of $2.50 per year 
per head. This way we would
even have a metric from this unofficial pilot of the kind and quantity of work 
and input that we expect at
such a time when the partnership deal ripens. Personally I do not edit 
exclusively edit local
articles for the reason that most of this info is still offline. At times you
cannot take care of all the ‘ifs’ in advance even before the journey starts  – 
we will cross the bridge when we get there. It is now five months and counting 
- just a caveat and probably a wake up call.

If you want to go ahead and carry out this project unofficially, then go ahead. 
I just hope that you (and everyone else who is in an official capacity to 
represent Wikimedia Kenya) knows that if we want to form partnerships, these 
things will take time. And there may be a shortcut this time round (which has 
its limitations), there may not be a shortcut next time.


There are without doubt no shortcuts not unless we execute
an Italian job and take the material with us home and digitize bila presha na 
hustle.Does existence in the board mean that all I do or Email for
that matter is the opinion of the chapter or a representation of the chapter’s 
deportment? (Asking for a friend.)This was my personal opinion and it is in no 
way tagged to the other officials of the Wikimedia Kenya chapter.  FYI, there 
are winning shortcuts like: Shift+alt+S which saves the changes in a Wiki edit 

You talked about calling an AGM with the stakeholders. What stakeholders 
specifically? You also talked about most government institutions being ignorant 
about Wikipedia. While this statement may be true, I assure you that after more 
than 5 meetings with the Kenya National Archives Management team, they at least 
know the basics :-)


I was reporting of what materialized at our meeting while on
quest for the list of monuments. I still wonder how the hell someone would ask
if Wikipedia is on Google yet his office door label is a term far-fetched from
the corporate IT lingo.
At the railways meseum, we were informed that there was suppossed to be a 
meeting from the head of KR to the toe as they discuss the partnership deal 
with us. Those are the kind of stakeholders I was talking about.

You also talked about carrying out editathons and taking photos at the Murumbi 
Gallery (the gallery found at the entrance of the Archives). Do you know that 
this gallery is barely 1% of what the Kenya National Archives has? Yes, 1%. The 
Kenya National Archives is not a place which is supposed to host artifacts per 
se, but most importantly, it houses millions of records, transcripts, maps, 
agreements, videos, audio files related to Kenyan history. These records -- not 
the gallery -- are the essence of the Archives. It is these records, about Mau 
Mau, about East African Railways, about Tom Mboya -- that can be found nowhere 
else, that they have. 


Yeah I know there like a million and 1 of those at the premises to the extent 
that we might need to import volunteers to help us out or even hire Wikipedians 
in residence:) For the uploads and the Wikisource thing we will definitely have
to wait till a GLAM partnership becomes of age since the license issues of 
these works come in plus
some other legal aspects regarding the documents and so many other ‘ifs’ that
we do not know as yet!

So, if this deal really happens, the bulk of the work will be to digitize/scan 
these records and upload them to Wikisource. Although I think that we should 
also do what you said with the Murumbi Gallery, the bulk of the work still is 
the mass upload as well as putting up the descriptions (metadata) of each 


I am not supposed to talk about this, since it's still not yet official. But 
many of you probably didn't know what will really be happening, if this 
partnership actually takes place with the Archives.

No you should, we are being open. In fact you are late:)... Abbas is open now.


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