Last month, Wikimedia Argentina (WMAR) and the National University of La Plata (UNLP) signed an agreement that will see them working together to produce, facilitate, and distribute free knowledge through Wikipedia.
The agreement with UNLP, one of the premier universities in Argentina, is the first of its kind for WMAR, an independent chapter affiliate that works to advance the goals of the Wikimedia movement in the country.
Under its terms, UNLP will dedicate staff time towards creating scientific content for the Spanish-language Wikipedia. UNLP will also hire a Wikipedian in residence, who will help maintain the university’s relationship with Wikipedia’s volunteer community and serve as its in-house champion for the project.
WMAR will assist the staff involved by producing and hosting in-house trainings, which will teach UNLP’s staff about the basics of Wikipedia editing. WMAR will also support UNLP’s documentary department in releasing their content under a ‘free’ copyright license, meaning that anyone will be able to use, share, and remix it with only a few non-monetary stipulations.
The partnership will also allow WMAR to uploads parts of the university museum’s collections onto Wikimedia Foundation projects, thereby joining institutions like the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of New York in using Wikimedia to make their collections more widely available to the world.
The agreement was signed by Ivana Lysholm, the head of WMAR’s governing board, and Fernando Tauber, UNLP’s president. Also on hand to witness the occasion were Anna Torres, Executive Director of WMAR; Patricio Lorente, UNLP’s Secretary-General; and Carlos Giordano, UNLP’s Cabinet Chief.
This new partnership crowns a long history of informal collaboration between UNLP and WMAR. In 2014, for example, the chapter worked with the university’s official radio station to upload its archives to Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository that holds much of the audiovisual content used on Wikipedia. The collaboration allowed anyone in the world to listen to and share contemporary interviews with Jorge Luis Borges, Silvina Ocampo, Julio Cortázar, Albert Einstein, Salvador Dalí, and Eva Perón, among others. WMAR and UNLP also put on join events to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of a 1976 military coup, which began a years-long dictatorship. Event participants were training in editing Wikipedia, and focused their efforts on improving articles related to human rights in Argentina.
Tomás Marchetta, Communications