A 14th-century manuscript of Dante’s Divine Comedy is the Asiatic Society of Mumbai’s most treasured possession. And, if all goes well, you may soon be able to read all about it and how it ended up in the city, on wikipedia.com.
The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organisation behind Wikipedia, is in the process of tying up with galleries, libraries, archives and museums for what is unofficially called the GLAM project, a global cultural initiative that seeks to make exclusive material available to the world via the online encyclopaedia.
Liam Wyatt, now a cultural partnerships fellow with Wikimedia Foundation, had been working independently with several museums around the world towards this end. Last month, he was roped in by the foundation for a one-year fellowship.
India was Wyatt’s first destination as part of GLAM and he officially launched the project in Mumbai on Saturday.
“The amount of content in Indian cultural institutions is massive,” said Wyatt. “That, combined with the potential for
Internet penetration in India and the vibrant Wikipedia community here, make this a great destination for GLAM.”
The project will also urge experts and curators to upload information about topics of their choice. “Enough information about the cultural heritage of India is still not available on the internet. For a young girl in a village in Maharashtra, a textbook should not be her only resource,” said Wyatt. "We need experts who have this information to come on board and help.”
In March, Wyatt plans to travel to Switzerland, France and Germany to promote GLAM.