Special Collections Research Center hosts second Wikipedia edit-a-thon

The edit-a-thon focused on documenting on-campus housing.

By Sophia Zaller

UChicago’s Special Collections Research Center hosted its second Wikipedia edit-a-thon in the Regenstein Library on October 23.

Julia Gardner, head of reader services, organized the event, which focused on documenting campus housing through the years.

“Today’s edit-a-thon aims to enhance or add to existing Wikipedia articles so that we can have a more accessible record of housing on campus,” Gardner said. The students in attendance consulted archived architectural documents, campus publications, and primary source material in order to expand upon the current campus housing Wikipedia page.

“Some of the halls don’t have as much material as others, but we have so many resources here that we were hoping students would be interested in helping build on what we do have,” said Gardner.

Second-year Brian Choo helped Gardner organize the event.

“An event like this is super cool because I don’t think that people realize how much agency they have in being able to change Wikipedia,” he said. Choo is an established Wikipedia editor with peer-elected administrator privileges on the website.

“It’s very timely to be editing the campus housing Wikipedia page now because the satellite dorms will be moving to Campus North next year,” he said. “We thought that harnessing the interests of people and also using Wikipedia would be a good way to get students involved in something that they’re connected to.”

The Special Collections Research Center’s first edit-a-thon took place in April 2015 and focused on notable women in the University’s history.