Prepared Remarks: What Did Archivist of the U.S. David Ferriero Tell Wikipedians at Wikimania 2012? | LJ INFOdocket 2012-08-01


“Thanks to the Wikimedia Foundation for inviting me to be a part of Wikimania 2012.  The National Archives is proud to be a partner for this conference.  I’m a big fan of Wikipedia, for reasons I’ll discuss in a moment. And I’m now a huge fan of all of you here today, who are leading the way in connecting Wikipedia with the GLAM community—Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums.  After all these years, it is nice to finally have my community recognized as GLAM! The National Archives has a unique role, which we describe as ‘preserving the past to protect the future...’ Coping with dizzying changes in information technology has certainly been a challenge for those of us who got our start back in the day. But I would argue that the institutions where many of us built careers confront an even bigger challenge than replacing Selectric typewriters with networked PCs: those institutions struggle with replacing traditional ways of thinking with new ones. That challenge has been especially daunting for archives and libraries and museums, which are often more comfortable preserving the past than embracing and, more importantly, anticipating the future. I still remember the (at the time) seminar article written by a research library director in the 1960s predicting that the computer had no future in libraries. Which brings me to Wikipedia. If you look up Charles Van Doren in Wikipedia, the first thing you’ll see is that he was caught up in 1950’s quiz show scandals. But he was also a distinguished scholar and editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Van Doren once said, ‘Because the world is radically new, the ideal encyclopedia should be radical, too.’ Wikipedia’s challenge is that archives and libraries and museums tend to be wary of anything radical. So, let’s talk about some ways of meeting that challenge...”



08/16/2012, 06:08

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Date tagged:

08/01/2012, 18:07

Date published:

08/01/2012, 19:12