On the 19th and 20th October, we hosted a two-day Wikipedia edit-a-thon in Portree with the aim to address the gender imbalance that exists on Wikipedia by focusing on women of Skye.
We worked in partnership with Delphine Dallison, Wikimedian in Residence with the Scottish Library and Information Council to train participants in how to edit and create Wikipedia entries. We also partnered with Portree Community Library and Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre, which allowed participants to learn research skills and understand how to cite their articles accurately.
Over the two days:
- 13 new articles were created
- 14 new editors were trained (of which 13 were women)
- 6340 words were added to Wikipedia
- the new articles are gaining hundreds of views
Dr Alexandrina Matilda MacPhail
An example of a new entry is Dr Alexandrina Matilda MacPhail (3 June 1860 – 6 November 1946) OBE who was born in Knock, Sleat in the Isle of Skye. MacPhail went on to graduate from the London School of Medicine for Women and in 1887 she became a missionary and doctor in India, where she founded a hospital in Madras. During the First World War, she worked for the Scottish Women’s Hospitals for Foreign Service as a doctor in Serbia and France. In 1912 MacPhail received a silver Kaisar-i-Hind Medal for public services in India from the Indian Viceroy, and in 1930 she was awarded an OBE.
The event was also about editing existing Wikipedia entries of women of Skye which demonstrated gender bias. This was the case for Mary MacPherson, or Màiri Mhòr nan Òran, where a new section was added to highlight the significance of her poetry work and her publication – Gaelic Songs and Poems, by Mary MacPherson, 1891.
We have commissioned artist Kirsty McKeown to create a zine publication as part of the project and as a way for the women of Skye to be promoted and further.