Wikipedia and history

As one of the world's top ten websites, Wikipedia has overtaken traditional publications as the world's most accessed knowledge resource. What does this mean for the telling and discovery of Australia’s multi-layered histories? Is Wikipedia telling our history well, or not?

Built on a model of openly editable content, Wikipedia is created collaboratively. Almost anyone can contribute, providing they have Internet access, time to learn the skills, and willingness to write articles and make changes, voluntarily. Are our historians and history-focussed organisations using Wikipedia effectively to:

  • tell or edit the stories and the wider histories of our many communities?
  • disseminate knowledge in ways that enable discovery and encourage re-use and re-purposing?
  • reach new audiences?

If not, should they be?

This seminar will open up a new conversation between expert historians, contributors of historical information to Wikipedia, educators, and those who use Wikipedia as a secondary source for details about heritage places, historic events and significant people.

The seminar will be chaired by Pru Mitchell, President of Wikimedia Australia.

A panel of invited presenters will share their observations on Wikipedia’s role in representing aspects of Australian history through diverse themes, and in the context of regional, national and international relationships.

Dr Mary Tomsic of The University of Melbourne is co-author of Balancing the history books one Wikipedia entry at a time and will discuss the role for historians to work to improve social and cultural diversity on Wikipedia.

Justine Clark is co-founder of Parlour; women, equity, architecture. She will speak about how the Parlour team took on Wikipedia in their advocacy work on women, equity and architecture in Australia.

Associate Professor Murray Phillips from The University of Queensland will report on his team’s digital research project, Creating Histories of the Australian Paralympic Movement, which uses Wikipedia as a platform. Murray is co-author of the 2015 book: Sport History in the Digital Era.

The audience at this seminar will have the opportunity to present their own insights and to ask questions of the panellists.

Please book your seat at this free event by clicking the RSVP button at the foot of this page.

With thanks to our event sponsor, Wikimedia Australia, and the series sponsors, Monash University Publishing and the Monash University History Program:

Monash University Publishing   Monash University History Program 

and the organising partners:

Old Treasury Building     Monash University History Program      HCV

The seminar is part of an ongoing series, Making Public Histories, that is offered jointly by the Monash University History Program, the History Council of Victoria and the Old Treasury Building. Each seminar aims to explore issues and approaches in making public histories. The seminars are open, free of charge, to anyone interested in the creation and impact of history in contemporary society. Click HERE to learn about other events in the series.

June 12, 2018 at 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Old Treasury Building
20 Spring St
East Melbourne, Victoria 3002
Google map and directions
Margaret Birtley · · 0418 814 957

Who's RSVPing

Annabel Butler
Caroline Phillips
Kylie Best
Rod Mackenzie
Lucy Davies
Katherine Sheedy
Hannah Viney
Martin Green
Monica Cronin
Ray Jelley
Emma Russell

Will you come?

Showing 45 reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Lucy Bracey
    canceled rsvp 2018-04-06 12:58:44 +1000
  • Annabel Butler
    rsvped 2018-04-04 13:46:50 +1000
  • Caroline Phillips
    rsvped 2018-03-29 11:25:10 +1100
  • Kylie Best
    rsvped 2018-03-27 15:12:49 +1100
  • Rod Mackenzie
    rsvped 2018-03-26 14:00:58 +1100
  • Lucy Davies
    rsvped 2018-03-26 09:41:54 +1100
  • Katherine Sheedy
    rsvped 2018-03-26 09:32:03 +1100
  • Hannah Viney
    rsvped 2018-03-26 09:29:55 +1100
  • Martin Green
    rsvped 2018-03-26 09:05:53 +1100
  • Monica Cronin
    rsvped 2018-03-25 08:39:52 +1100
  • Ray Jelley
    rsvped 2018-03-23 18:01:20 +1100
  • Emma Russell
    rsvped 2018-03-23 16:55:18 +1100
  • Lucy Bracey
    rsvped 2018-03-23 16:53:22 +1100
  • Mary Sheehan
    posted about this on Facebook 2018-03-23 16:50:03 +1100
    Please RSVP: Wikipedia and history
  • Mary Sheehan
    @Marshehan tweeted link to this page. 2018-03-23 16:49:58 +1100
Donate Find an Event Contact