Wiki Takes GLAMs in Cape Town

Cape Town is packed with Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAMs). As a Wikipedian in Residence (WIR) at the Africa Centre, I made it a point to ‘Wiki Love’ as many of these GLAMs as possible, before my service as a WIR came to an end.

My first stop was at the Hout Bay Museum. Welcomed warmly by the Curator at the time, Jonty. As my first time visiting a museum, I had high hopes, and his lovely welcome was very uplifting and a big booster for me. The Hout Bay Museum, though relatively small in building size, had interesting collections of the old ways and history of the Khoikhoi people who settled at the area. I took almost all the images I wanted, and uploaded them all to Wikimedia Commons as planned. It was a memorable visit, and the location of the museum is such a lovely one. I wish I had been able to visit once more before I left Cape Town.

The Hout Bay Museum article on Wikipedia, was updated with images, and interlinks / Wikilinks which improved the article overall and made it worth reading.

The Cape Medical Museum houses many of the tools that were historically used in medical treatment and healing in the Western Cape. I had a wonderful tour of the museum. I tried getting as many shots as possible that day. One of my favorite panorama pictures ever was taken that day. You can see the photosphere version of it here. The Cape Medical Museum and Hout Bay Museum are part of the Department of Heritage, Western Cape Government.

The biggest ‘Wiki Loving’ was at the Iziko Museums. Rust En Vreugd, William Fehr at the Castle of Good Hope, Koopmans de Wet, Slave Lodge, Bo-Kaap Museum, Bertram House, Iziko South African National Gallery and Iziko South African Museum were the Iziko museums I worked within a three months period.

For some six of the Iziko Museums, gathering images from them had to happen within a 10-working day window period, as that was what my time would allow, and it was the timeframe agreed upon with the Marketing Department at Iziko. Whilst Isla Haddow-Flood worked logistics and sorting out the agreement, I was busy cleaning my lenses and oiling my small tripods in preparation for the tasks ahead.

At last, some 700 images of the six Iziko Museums were uploaded onto Wikimedia Commons. Some of these images have been used to illustrate articles already, mostly the articles relating to these museums.

It was a great experience, to see over two hundred varieties of stones and rocks at one place. The South African National Museum had many exhibitions and archives on display that I could bearly feast my eyes on them all. From the dinosaurs exhibitions to sky gazing, it was worth visiting, plus sharing those images onto Wikimedia Commons, in promoting free and open access to information and knowledge for education and research.

WikiAfrica will keep in touch with the Iziko Museums and hopefully, assist with digitizing more of the many historic information they have under their roofs. Spreading our wings more to join hands with other museums that are part of the Heritage Western Cape is also a goals in the near future. Working with the Cape Medical Museum and Hout Bay Museum showed how successfully their cooperation was, we hope to enjoy similar association with both the small and big museums, helping put many of South Africa’s historic content out there for use under reasonable licenses.

For a list of all the images uploaded from the Iziko Museums, see this Category on Wikimedia Commons.

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