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January 07, 2015

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Virtually here: UVic welcomes its first Honorary Resident Wikipedian

The University of Victoria welcomes Dr. Christian Vandendorpe to campus this month as the university’s first Honorary Resident Wikipedian.

A widely respected scholar, former magazine editor and author of From Papyrus to Hypertext, Vandendorpe’s honorary role at the university will primarily involve remote visits from his home base in Kingston, ON. He will first visit BC this month in person as a keynote speaker for events organized by two UVic digital humanities initiatives: a Wikipedia edit-a-thon in the UVic library co-hosted by the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL) and a gathering in Whistler organized by the Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) project. He was also the keynote speaker last month at an INKE conference in Sydney, Australia.

Vandendorpe is an expert in the fields of digital humanities, social knowledge creation, book history and electronic publishing. A University of Ottawa professor emeritus, he can provide perspective on the historical role of encyclopedias and on Wikipedia in the context of peer-reviewed scholarship versus open access.

He considers it an ethical imperative for scholars and instructors to participate in Wikipedia and ensure that the information present is as accurate and comprehensive as possible. In 2014/15, he will work with UVic researchers and students on Wikipedia pages within his areas of expertise, with a focus on electronic publishing, the history of knowledge and open access.

In his honorary role, Vandendorpe will not explicitly work on UVic Wikipedia pages but on those within his specific fields. A Wikipedian-in-Residence is a Wikipedia editor hired by an institution to improve Wikipedia pages about that institution and these have included the British Museum; the Smithsonian; the Palace of Versailles in France; the Museu Picasso in Spain; the National Library of Norway; and the Federal Archives of Switzerland.

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  Media Contacts:

Dr. Christian Vandendorpe (Honorary Resident Wikipedian) at christian.vandendorpe@gmail.com
Alyssa Arbuckle (Assistant Director, Research Partnerships and Development, ETCL) at 250-472-5401 or alyssaa@uvic.ca
Tara Sharpe (University Communications + Marketing) at 250-721-6248 or tksharpe@uvic.ca
Susan Henderson (UVic Libraries Communications) at 250-853-3612 or shenders@uvic.ca


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