Wikipedia:WikiProject FedFlix

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Note: A sister WikiProject on Wikimedia Commons needs to be set up, and furthermore we need to figure out which tasks and project pages go here, which go there...
National Archives building in DC

WikiProject FedFlix is an effort to make use of materials digitized through the FedFlix project, spearheaded by Carl Malamud. FedFlix has digitized and made available online (on YouTube and the Internet Archive) videos from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), the United States Department of Defense, the National Archives and Records Administration, amongst other government agencies.

National Archives digitizing[edit]

National Archives II in College Park, Maryland

The National Archives and Records Administration is a treasure trove of materials that are potentially useful for Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. In 2010, the FedFlix project led to establishment of the International Amateur Scanning League (IASL), a group of volunteers in the Washington, D.C. area. For the FedFlix project, the Archives agreed to allow volunteers to make unlimited copies of the videos. IASL volunteers (User:Aude among them) go to the National Archives facility in College Park, Maryland on the weekends and duplicate videos that are on DVDs at the Archives. We box them up and the Archives sends them to Carl Malamud who posts them online on YouTube and the Internet Archive (in a variety of formats, including Ogg).[1]

The FedFlix project is now getting support from the top, including head of the National Archives, David Ferriero.[2]

We are also experimenting with scanning photographs from a collection of historic State Department photographs, and there is vast potential for further materials (e.g. videos on Betamax tapes, film, more photographs, maps...) to be made available. The goal of the FedFlix project is to demonstrate the value of digitizing and making materials available online. We hope the efforts will be formalized at some point and managed by the Archives itself, with a volunteer coordination office, by hiring students/interns, or other means.

Use on Wikipedia[edit]

Videos are available on the Internet Archives in ogg format and are in the public domain, thus they can be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and be used in Wikipedia articles.

We need to establish a process to get the videos transferred to Commons... maybe just a select few to begin with. Many of the video files exceed the 100MB upload limit, so special arrangements may be needed and they will be uploaded with a bot (using pywikipedia).

Once the videos are up (or even while they are only at the Internet Archives), volunteers are needed to look through the videos and find useful materials. Volunteers are also needed to organize, categorize, and add metadata, once videos are on Commons. Then, Wikipedians are highly encouraged to make use of them in articles.

Any Wikipedians in the Washington D.C. area are also invited to join in the scanning efforts at the National Archives.

Through the Wikiproject, if we demonstrate that the video and other materials are indeed useful for Wikipedia and make good use of them, then NARA and government officials may take notice and make digitization a more important priority. At the same time, the materials may be very useful for improving Wikipedia. A win-win situation!

See also[edit]


External links[edit]