Mia Ridge, PhD researcher in Digital Humanities with the Department of History, The Open University, has published on her blog the presentation she gave at the inaugural Women’s History in the Digital World conference, held on 22-23 March at Bryn Mawr College.
Entitled “New challenges in digital history: sharing women’s history on Wikipedia”, Mia’s talk examined the opportunities and challenges of using Wikipedia as a public history platform for women’s history, focusing on both its visibility to the greater public and its perceived lack of relevance in academic circles. Mia also highlighted outstanding issues with Wikipedia’s requirements for “notability” and “reliable sources” that can especially affect articles on women’s history.
Despite the resistance against writing for Wikipedia among academics, and against women’s history among Wikipedia editors, Mia concludes that
it’s also clearly up to us to make a difference. If it’s worth researching the life and achievements of a notable woman, it’s worth making sure their contribution to history is available to the world while improving the quality of the world’s biggest encyclopaedia.