History is one of Wikipedia’s great strengths. It is where millions of people turn first for historical information on just about any topic.
The best history articles take an extraordinary amount of effort and attention to detail. One of the biggest challenges editors of such articles face is access to reliable sources. History journals, ebooks, and specific collections are often behind paywalls or otherwise only accessible to certain people. When volunteers can’t access the information they need to write a thorough article, information about that topic gets neglected.
That’s why Temple University is opening access to its library resources for a Wikipedian interested in the history of Philadelphia, the history of African Americans in Philadelphia, and/or the history and study of the Holocaust.
The beauty of this arrangement is that Visiting Scholars aren’t required to be physically present at the university. Typically, the only expectation is that they bring some of the articles they work on to B-class or better over the course of a year — the kind of article improvement most Visiting Scholars would be doing anyway, but now with access to sources without paywalls standing in their way.
At Temple, the position is supported by Associate University Librarian Steven Bell. For him, supporting a Wikipedian in this way is a way to improve public knowledge as well as to increase the number of people who can benefit from their resources.
If you’re a passionate Wikipedian with an interest in this field, we’d love to help connect you. You can apply for a Visiting Scholar position here and, if you have questions, drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Visiting Scholars program, see the Visiting Scholars section of our website.