Thanks for all the great feedback on the suggestion of the wiki for the Chicago meeting–it’s looking like it’s probably going to happen. I’ll keep everyone posted in this space, and again, if you’re willing to help, let me know. We’re trying to get a list together.
I read another post by a librarian about using wikis, and again, it’s something I think lots of archivists could/should be doing. It’s a great post from librarian.net, and I suggest you read the whole thing, but the gist of it is that she takes it upon herself to add or edit Wikipedia entries for communities in her native state (Vermont) and to create links from the entries to trusted information sources (such as official city websites or public libraries). She also keeps on eye on these entries to make sure other people don’t vandalize them or add spurious information.
See what I mean? I have a friend who is an archivist at a small (but highly prestigious) college. His collection has materials related to quite a few historical figures, and they’ve done a good job of putting material about these people on the archives website. I checked Wikipedia and none of the entries for these people refer to his collection. And one of the people nearest and dearest to his heart doesn’t even have an entry. We all know that people–including a lot of students–use Wikipedia. Let’s make sure it’s accurate, as complete as possible, and gets the word out about our collections.