Know My Name 2023

An annual event to address gender inequality
, James Gaunt.

On 11 March 2023, Wikimedia Australia and the National Gallery of Australia partnered to run our annual Know My Name edit-a-thon event, improving representation of Australian women artists on Wikipedia.

The focus this year was on improving existing Wikipedia articles, and on the day 101 references were added, along with over 4,000 words.

Australian women artists on Wikipedia

Australian painter and potter Anne Dangar c1940s. This photo from Art Gallery of New South Wales Archive was added to Wikipedia during a Know My Name event.

In 2019, just 18% of biographies on English Wikipedia were about women. This was even lower for women artists and creators.

To increase the number of articles on Wikipedia about Australian women artists, Wikimedia Australia partnered with the National Gallery of Australia to run an edit-a-thon as part of their Know My Name gender equity campaign.

Our first Know My Name edit-a-thon's were held in 2020, on the weekend of International Women's Day, where volunteers attended events around Australia to write new Wikipedia articles.

Since then, the Know My Name edit-a-thon's have become an annual event hosted at the National Gallery of Australia Research Library in Canberra.

Thanks to events like these, the number of biographies on Wikipedia about women have increased, and as of 6 March 2023 had reached 19.48%.

Learning how to edit Wikipedia

Volunteer participants at the Know My Name edit-a-thon start each session by learning how to edit Wikipedia.

For 2023, Wikimedia Australia's Executive Officer Belinda Spry guided volunteers through editing, adding references, and navigating Wikipedia.

The next step was to pick an Australian women artist's Wikipedia article, and National Gallery of Australia volunteer Linda Pascal had prepared a list of articles to be improved.

While previous events had focused on creating new articles, this can be challenging for new users in such a short amount of time. Instead, this year's event worked on improving existing articles that either needed more references, or that could be expanded with further information about the artists.

Staff at the Research Library had prepared artist files, books, and other resources to be used for referencing.

Many of these resources are unavailable to the general public, so having access to them proved incredibly useful for everyone on the day.

More than 4,000 words added

Belinda Spry discusses the importance of improving Wikipedia

In just a few hours, volunteers at our 2023 Know My Name edit-a-thon edited 19 Wikipedia articles, added 4,830 words, 101 references, and made a total of 175 edits.

Many of the volunteers who attended had never edited Wikipedia before, and we hope they will continue contributing and attend future events.

ABC Radio Canberra Producer Hannah Head visited to speak with those in attendance and was amazed at the work being done.

In her interview with Hannah Head, Belinda Spry emphasised that Wikipedia editing was for everyone.

"We have a really wide range of ages. Some people who are younger have heard about the gender gap on Wikipedia so they come in and want to work on that. Other people are here maybe because they've heard of Wikipedia...and they want to try something new, maybe learn some new technical skills," she said.

Know My Name continues to be an important event for both Wikimedia Australia and the National Gallery of Australia, and this years edit-a-thon was another fantastic success. We look forward to the next one.

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