The Regional Field Naturalists Clubs of Victoria

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Victoria’s Field Naturalists are the custodians of extensive local knowledge and records. Their organisations seeded rich communities of passionate experts who have explored and researched the biodiversity of their specific regions across time. These organisations have little or no online presence on Wikipedia.

Image from the Victorian Naturalist (1975) on Wikimedia Commons

In 2023, Biodiversity Heritage Library Australia received a Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) Local History Grant to digitise the publications of Victoria’s Field Naturalists’ Clubs. Additional funding from Wikimedia Australia as part of the 2024 Partner Projects, will expand on this incredibly important work and make it freely accessible and discoverable on Wikipedia, Wikidata, and Wikimedia Commons.

The project gathers the rich social and natural histories of Victoria's regional Field Naturalists Clubs to make them freely accessible and discoverable by:

  • creating a Wikipedia page for each notable Field Naturalist Club, complete with Introduction, Current Activities, History, Publications, References, images, and links;
  • uploading images and their data into Wikimedia Commons;
  • creating/enhancing Wikidata records for the people significant to each organisation throughout history (founders, committee members, authors, funders, campaigners, speakers);
  • creating Wikidata records for each organisation’s publication/s, as well as each volume/issue/article; and
  • linking the above elements to each other and to the websites and publications of each organisation.
The cover of The Victorian Naturalist (1975) now on Wikimedia Commons.

Partnering with Wikimedia Australia has enable the gathering and publication of the history of each field naturalist club across the Wikimedia platforms and increase the representation of underrepresented contributors to biodiversity knowledge.

This project is coordinated by Nicole Kearney from the Biodiversity Heritage Library, along with an additional Wikimedian in Residence.

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