The collaborations between Wikimedia Mexico and Museo Soumaya, a museum in Mexico City, have been long and prosperous, and now it can be described as officially amazing—at least according to Guinness World Records, as we now hold the record of the longest-ever Wikipedia edit-a-thon.
The two partnered for #72HorasConRodin (72 hours with Rodin, an artist who is considered to be the “progenitor of modern sculpture”) last June because the museum has opened their metaphorical doors (and literal library) to Wikimedia enthusiasts eager to learn about art.
During the three days, the museum staff became active editors on the Spanish-language Wikipedia in their areas of expertise, mostly about their research lines, art conservation and education in museums, while expert Wikipedians assisted in matters of style, technical issues, and usage of the visual editor. Even though they didn’t always write new articles, they had enough expertise to find out factual mistakes or misunderstandings in articles and to correct them with appropriate sources.
We also had the pleasant surprise of university students who came and edited for the first time. Gina, a teacher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, invited several of her students to come and spend the night writing alongside art experts.
Among our greatest surprises was our winner for most articles created: Itabsvaru, a young student in Computer Sciences at a local university. She came out of her own curiosity, without prior knowledge on Wikipedia, but eager to learn about how it is created. After three days, she managed to write eleven new articles with assistance from more experienced editors, such as Adrián.
She also contributed to our shared goal of narrowing the gender gap. During this editathon, about 60% of all editors were women, and female artists were one of the main subjects for us to write about.
Sometime around the 48-hour mark, two gentlemen arrived and started writing notes. They seemed pleased, walking between the tables. They went by almost completely unnoticed, except for a small badge on one of their jackets. Around the 60-hour mark they reappeared and the mystery was solved: they were representatives from Guinness World Records, making sure we were still editing without stopping, and we received a plaque at the end of the event.
As their motto says, our editathon was officially amazing.
Adapted by the Wikimedia Foundation’s Ed Erhart from This month in GLAM.