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News - Wiener Library

The Wiener Library

For the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide

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New Wiener Library Research Fellow/Wikipedian in Residence

L-R: Leah Sidebotham (Visitor Services and Volunteer Coordinator), Victor Stepien (Research Fellow/Wikipedian in Residence), Jessica Green (Digital Engagement Manager)

Starting 1 March 2016, the Wiener Library welcomed its newest Research Fellow, Victor Stepien, for a one-year post as a Wikipedian in Residence. Victor is the world’s 100th Wikipedian in Residence in the history of Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia with 27 million editors globally. Organisations hosting their own include the University of Edinburgh, the National Archives of Macedonia, and Bodleian Libraries in Oxford. Read more about the Wikipedian in Residence programme and to find an active Wikipedian near you.

“I am thrilled to donate some of my time and expertise to the Wiener Library! This is the ideal opportunity for me to combine my passions for research, technology and philanthropy,” says Victor. Meanwhile, out of the global headquarters of the Wikimedia Foundation in San Francisco, Jacob Orlowitz adds, “Victor has created thousands of articles, and he has a clear understanding of what it takes to write balanced and well-researched articles. He will be a great asset to the Wiener Library!”

Victor will research notable Holocaust-related topics in the Library’s collections and encourage the staff, interns and volunteers to create Wikipedia articles about them. Topics will include notable Holocaust survivors in Hollywood, historic synagogues, demolished shtetls in Eastern Europe, and notable survivors who played a major role in modern-day Israel.

Victor will also conduct monthly workshops for our volunteers and staff on how to create and edit Wikipedia articles. This will include small groups of university students, young professionals and retirees, with an emphasis on multi-lingual, cross-cultural and inter-generational inclusivity. Each workshop will be focused on a theme related to our Library’s collections and workshop participants will be encouraged to write and enhance articles related to that theme. Our first workshop will be held on 5 April and will be targeted to undergraduates. The first theme will be the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising to coincide with the start of the uprising on 19 April 1943.

Beyond the monthly workshops, Victor will conduct the inaugural Wiener Library edit-a-thon in November 2016. This will give the staff, volunteer and library patrons an opportunity to create many articles within a two-hour session in the same room and compete to see who is the most prolific.

Victor has also expressed an interest in translating memoirs authored by Holocaust survivors into French. This could include both original texts in the special collections of the Wiener Library or memoirs authored by Holocaust survivors whose copyright holders may want to publish the French translation. Of his motivation to do so, Victor says, “So many memoirs were never translated into French. I feel duty-bound to help in making sure francophone readers get a chance to read those stories of perseverance and hope.”

Victor can be reached directly for comments and questions at WienerLibraryWIR@gmail.com.

Photo: L-R Leah Sidebotham (Visitor Services and Volunteer Coordinator), Victor Stepien (Research Fellow/Wikipedian in Residence), Jessica Green (Digital Engagement Manager)

Added: 2016-03-15 15:18:53