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Wiki loves Yerevan: The appeal of the 2800-year-old capital on world’s largest online encyclopedia

16 May 2018

In the framework of the events dedicated to the 2800th anniversary of the foundation of Yerevan, Wikimedia Armenia together with Yerevan City Hall implements the “Wiki loves Yerevan” project. The aim of the initiative is to enrich the information about Yerevan by creating new articles, improving the old ones and translating the articles to as many languages as possible. All the activities are implemented with the support of cultural organisations of Armenia.

The project aims at increasing the level of awareness about the ancient Armenian capital in the world, which will help developing tourism in the country as more visitors will start visiting different cultural institutions in Yerevan. The founder and director of Wikimedia Armenia scientific-educational public organization, Susanna Mkrtchyan told about the planned and already organized events of the project, to Yerevan2800.am.

Stories and faces of Yerevan as attractions for tourism

According to Mkrtchyan, there are many quality articles in Wikipedia about Yerevan, however the capital has many attractions which have been left out from the world’s largest online information platform.

“We will be developing information not only about the cultural institutions of Yerevan but also about specific buildings and streets, which interesting stories and people of our city are associated with. We have already started cooperating with local archives and museums to receive the necessary materials and information for developing the articles”, said Mkrtchyan.

International GLAM conference and publicizing museums of Yerevan

Susanna Mkrtchyan stated that museums and cultural institutions of the world actively cooperate with Wikimedia with the aim of attracting attention of potential visitors to specific items of their exhibitions. In Armenia, some museums have the concern that in case the entire information and photos of their exhibitions are available on online platforms, the number of visitors may decrease.

“We must help our cultural institutions to understand that Yerevan can become attractive also due to them. In order for those institutions to be presented to the world with proper and complete information, from May 10 to 12, in the framework of the project, the prestigious international GLAM (Galleries, libraries, archives, museums) 3 day conference took place in Armenia. 30 representatives of Yerevan GLAM institutions attended the conference”, said Mkrtchyan.

WikiData specialists from Wikipedia foundation as well as 10 individuals who organized GLAM project in different countries attended the conference, which aims at publicizing world’s cultural institutions and organizations. During the conference, the participants learnt about the editing tools, using which will allow Yerevan’s GLAM institutions to be presented appropriately in Wikipedia and WikiData.

World Wiki society will be translating articles about Yerevan for one month

In the framework of the project, the month from July 1 to August 1 will be announced as month of editing articles dedicated to Yerevan, in the world. With the initiative of Wikimedia Armenia and with the support of other Wiki communities, “Wikipedians” from different countries will start editing the articles to their languages.

“Since April this year, Wiki Saturday workshops are being organized for the employees of GLAM and other institutions, which will last till July 28, 2018. Before the month of editing, it is very important to have articles about Yerevan translated to the most common languages such as English, Russian, German, French, Spanish etc. This is done on order for foreign Wiki editors to have materials in the languages understandable for them, to write articles in their Wikipedias. So we will translate the articles to international languages, which further on will be translated to dozens of other languages by world’s different communities”, said Mkrtchyan adding that the most active 15 communities will have the opportunity to visit Yerevan and participate in the events dedicated to city’s 2800th anniversary as well as to learn about the cultural heritage of the capital.

The selection of the participants will be made considering the quality and rating of the articles they translated.