I’ve been spending most of my evenings this week looking through photographs on old laptops, not because I’ve been overtaken by a fit of nostalgia, the reason I’m trawling through old holiday snaps is that I’m looking out pictures to submit to this year’s Wiki Loves Monuments competition. And as a former archaeologist, monuments feature very heavily among my holiday pics :}
Wiki Loves Monuments is the worlds biggest photography competition which runs annually during the whole month of September. The rules are simple, all you have to do is upload a high quality picture of a scheduled monument or listed building to Wiikimedia Commons through one of the competition upload interfaces. You can browse monuments to photograph using this interactive map, or you can search for monuments using this interface, this is the one I’ve been using but it’s all a matter of preference. The competition is open to amateurs and professionals alike and you don’t even need a camera to enter, mobile phone pictures are fine as long as they’re of decent quality. You can enter as many times as you like, and you can submit entires taken anywhere in the world as long as you own the copyright and are willing to share them under a CC BY SA licence.
I’ve been meaning to enter Wiki Loves Monuments for years and it’s in no small part due to the persuasive powers of my colleague Ewan McAndrew, Wikimedian in Residence at the University of Edinburgh, that I’ve finally got my act together to enter. A little healthy competition with our Celtic cousins also hasn’t done any harm….At the time of writing Wales had 510 entries, Scotland 289, Ireland 197. You know what you need to do :}
Some of my more energetic colleagues at the University of Edinburgh have been out and about of an evening snapping pictures all over the city and beyond, but I’ve decided to raid my back catalogue instead. So far I’ve unearthed and uploaded pics of Culzean Castle and Camellia House, Mount Stuart, Waverley Station, Teviot Row, St Giles Cathedral, the General Register Office, Sloans Ballroom, University of Glasgow Cloisters, Kibble Palace, and Garnet Hill Highschool for Girls. My pictures might not win any prizes but it’s a great way to contribute to the Commons and create new open educational resources! If you’ve got old snaps lurking on a laptop or hard drive, why not give them a new lease of life on the Commons too?