You might not realize it, but over the past year the Children’s Museum has been hard at work taking pictures of objects from our collection and making them available to the public in Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that is written and managed by the community that uses it, so the success of Wikipedia largely depends on the quality of the content and images that people contribute.
Because Wikipedia is such a widely-used free source of information, The Children’s Museum considers it a great place to share images of our objects and information from our experts. With 120,000 artifacts, The Children’s Museum has a wide range of images that we can contribute to a broad range of topics (like “Pie” or specific topics like “Bucky (Tyrannosaurus rex).") We only get the opportunity to put a small number of objects on display in the museum, so contributing images to Wikipedia is a good way for the public to see objects typically kept in storage.
So far we have donated 264 images to Wikimedia Commons, which is the image repository for Wikipedia. Our contributions have included everything from toys to tribal masks from our American, Cultural World, and Natural Science Collections.
Once our images are in Wikimedia Commons, volunteers from all over the world who edit Wikipedia articles - called Wikipedians - find our images and place them in related Wikipedia articles. Did you know that once an image is in a Wikipedia article written in English, it’s often used in Wikipedia articles of many languages? Wikipedia includes articles in over 280 languages! Another reason we contribute images to Wikipedia is because it makes it easy to share pictures of our objects with families from all over the world.
But it takes a lot of work for Wikipedians to place these images in articles – and we need your help! This is the first in a blog series that will feature one of our donated images and give you the opportunity to see where this image can end up in Wikipedia. Are you ready?
Wikipedia Image of the Week #1:
Image: cc by-sa 3.0 The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
- Year: 1959
- Accession Number: 2006.8.28
- Maker: Louis Marx Company
- Material: Lithographed Steel
This electric “Marx Mobile” was made for driving fun! From the ignition key in the dashboard to the classic fins at the rear, this car mimicked real vehicles of the 1950s and 1960s. Using an electric motor, this riding toy transported kids from pedal power to the battery powered toys popular today.
Help us make an impact! So far this image only appears in the Hafner Manufacturing Company article. Can you think of any other Wikipedia articles that should include this image? How about the detail image of its intricate dashboard? Do some browsing and be creative. Leave a comment and we’ll share your suggestions with the Wikipedia community. Then, come back in two weeks to see where in Wikipedia this image ends up!