Diversity, Inclusivity, Representation, Social justice, Wikipedia
In spring 2019, university archivist April Anderson-Zorn and special formats cataloger Eric Willey, both at Illinois State University (ISU), submitted a grant request to the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Foundation. The team requested funds to hire an ISU graduate student to create content for Wikipedia pages for underrepresented archivists. The grant aimed to fill a content gap on the site by including the biographies of female, Black, LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented archivists to highlight their accomplishments in the profession. With the help of graduate student Stephanie Collier, the project surpassed its original goal of fifteen pages, with over forty pages now on Wikipedia. Though Collier was successful in her efforts, she experienced setbacks throughout the process, including biases and harassment from some Wikipedia editors. This article reviews the literature on the history of Wikipedia and bias found within the Wikipedia community, provides an overview of the project, discusses privacy concerns in creating Wikipedia pages, and suggests the next steps for continuing the work to bring representation for underrepresented archivists to the Wikipedia platform. The article also examines Collier’s experience working to bring representation to archivists while completing a graduate degree in history in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stephanie Collier, April Anderson-Zorn; Wikipedia Pages for Underrepresented Archivists: Creating Representation through an SAA Foundation Grant-Funded Documentation Project. The American Archivist 1 September 2023; 86 (2): 632–652. doi: https://doi.org/10.17723/2327-9702-86.2.632