McMaster University - Edwards Hall.jpg
McMaster University is one of the five libraries joining the program. Photo by Mathew Ingram, freely licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The Wikipedia Library is pleased to announce five new Wikipedia Visiting Scholars positions with US and Canadian universities and research organizations as part of an program expansion.

Visiting Scholars are remote, unpaid Wikipedia editors who become affiliated with top research libraries. They receive full access to the partner library’s e-resources to expand topics of institutional interest which also need development on Wikipedia. This marks the second successful round of institutions participating in the program.

These new positions will be coordinated and managed by the Wikipedia Library’s movement partner, the Wiki Education Foundation (Wiki Ed). Wiki Ed will process applications, connect to schools, and drive the growth of the program in the North American region. They are in an excellent position to help expand Visiting Scholars because of their extensive existing connections to universities and desire to support Wikipedia’s best content creators.

We invite Wikipedia editors who specialize in content creation, and would like access to a full research library, to apply for these new unpaid, remote affiliate positions at the following research libraries:

  • McMaster University is a public university in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The library’s holdings in their Division of Research Collections and Archives contain many valuable and unique resources, with emphases in areas such as peace and war (with a particular emphasis on the Holocaust and resistance), Bertrand Russell, Canadian literature and popular culture.
  • DePaul University is a private university in Chicago, Illinois. The library is looking for Wikipedians who can focus on Chicago history, Catholic social justice studies, and/or Vincentian Studies (including French history during the Napoleonic Era).
  • The Smithsonian Institution, established in 1846 “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge,” is a group of museums and research centers administered by the Government of the United States. The Warren M. Robbins Library of the National Museum of African Art is looking for a Wikipedian in Residence that can focus on modern African art and artists.
  • The University of Pittsburgh (PITT) is a state-related research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This Visiting Scholar position will work with PITT’s Archives Service Center, Special Collections and Center for American Music to focus on: Pittsburgh and Pennsylvanian history including urban renewal in Pittsburgh, childhood in the industrial era of Pittsburgh, music composers of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh theater or significant literary figures from Pittsburgh; Colonial American history; historic American songs; or philosophy of science.
  • The University of Washington (UW), commonly referred to as Washington or, informally, UDub, is a public research university in Seattle, Washington. This Visiting Scholar position will work with UW’s Special Collections and focus on labor and the working classes in the Pacific Northwest, all aspects of Pacific Northwest history and literature, and Pacific Northwest architecture.


Full application information is available at the Wiki Education Foundation signup page.

Wiki Ed also invites editors to apply for a Visiting Scholar placement pool. The pool will help grow the Visiting Scholar program by creating a list of willing and interested candidates to offer to new partner libraries. With the interests and needs of pre-qualified Wikipedians in hand, Wiki Ed can work to find libraries that match your interests.

Access to research libraries as part of one of these visiting scholar positions creates considerable opportunities for Wikipedia editors. It allows them access to services and tools, including multiple paywalled databases, integrated search and discovery tools, research collections and recommendations from specialist librarians, and expert consultation. In return, editors can begin a conversation with the library, which creates opportunities for greater understanding and communication between these universities and the wider Wikipedia community.

Alex Stinson
The Wikipedia Library