ArcheoFOSS 2022
The enhancement of local museums through Wikipedia: the MedAniene project

Mariflora Caruso
Archeo&Arte3D DigiLab, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

Paola La Torre
Archeo&Arte3D DigiLab, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

Roberta Manzollino
Archeo&Arte3D DigiLab, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

Panel: From wiki projects to OpenStreetMap, collaborative approaches to open data creation: problems, case studies, territorial and cultural impact.

The aim of the paper is to share the workflow, the methodologies and the aims of the ‘MedAniene Project’, realised by the association ArcheoFOSS ny making extensive use of Wikipedia and Wikidata. The project involved public administrators, the scientific directors of the museums and the museum communities.

The “MedAniene project” is about the creation and editing of Wikipedia pages about museums of the Aniene Valley, not far from Rome and the publication of contents. In Wikimedia Commons have been collected and published original photos of objects and places and through the creation of the specific categories in Wikidata, the entire work has been published in Wikidata as a Linked Open Dataset under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

It is rather common for small museums in Italy not to make available online scientific information and not to foresee effective digital communication strategies.

The museums involved by the MedAniene project are the “Museo Civico Archeologico Villa di Traiano” in Arcinazzo, the “Museo Demoetnoantropologico Castrum Vivarii” in Vivaro Romano, the “Museo delle attività cartarie e della stampa” in the “Rocca Abbaziale” or “Rocca Borgia” of Subiaco, the “Museo della Civiltà Contadina Valle dell’Aniene” in Roviano, the “Villa Garibaldi” in Riofreddo, the “Museo delle Tradizioni Musicali” in Arsoli, and the “Museo Civico di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea” in Anticoli Corrado.

The project focused on the archaeological and demo-anthropological items of their collections, and on the locations where these are exhibited: the medieval castles of the ‘Aniene Valley’ from the 10th-11th centuries and the residences of Popes (Alexander IV and VI, Pius VI and IX) and Roman Emperors and Generals (Trajan, Nero, Narsius).

By visiting the newly created or freshly updated Wikipedia pages of these museums, the reader can now get a glimpse of the findings, collections exhibited, and the places where they are exposed ideally to get interested in visiting the venue. In a virtuous cycle, more visitors should also prompt the museums to provide more digital contents. The scientific directors of the museums played a key role by providing the material for the creation of the Wikipedia pages, by reviewing the content and by allowing the publication of material and photos under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

In conclusion, we will expose the workflow used to do this collaborative project from the scheduling, through the creation of the pages, the museum’s communities involving, the opening of the datasets and the publishing of the contents. We are also monitoring how the communities use the published information: making mobile apps, publishing advertisements, social posts, new catalogues.

Wikipedia provided metrics views, accesses, and clicks on shared content useful for the evaluation of the impact of specific activities in terms of audience reached and their engagement.