Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Alliances Fund/Understanding our past:using Wikipedia as a tool to support local history in Tāmaki Makaurau/Final Report

Final Learning Report

Report Status: Accepted

Due date: 2024-04-05T00:00:00Z

Funding program: Wikimedia Alliances Fund

Report type: Final

Application Midpoint Learning Report

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General information


This form is for organizations, groups, or individuals receiving Wikimedia Community Funds or Wikimedia Alliances Funds to report on their final results.

  • Name of Organization: Tāmaki Paenga Hira, Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • Title of Proposal: Understanding our past: using Wikipedia as a tool to support local history in Tāmaki Makaurau
  • Amount awarded: 32405.87 USD, 52160 NZD
  • Amount spent: 48300 NZD

Part 1 Understanding your work


1. Briefly describe how your proposed activities and strategies were implemented.

There were two parts to this project, which sought to support the use of Wikipedia as a resource for teaching the new Aotearoa NZ Histories Curriculum in secondary schools. The first involved analysis of local Auckland history content on Wikipedia, particularly suburb pages, and then content creation and editing by the Museum’s Wikipedian in Residence (User: Prosperosity) to enhance pages with rich historical information, imagery and resources. In this phase of the project geographical subregions were the first focus which then shifted to a focus on suburb pages which were chosen based on where the largest schools in Auckland are located followed by suburbs with large secondary school aged populations.

The second part of this project was a cohort of four Wikipedia Summer Students who took part in the broader Museum Summer Studentship programme at the Museum over November 2023-February 2024. They were trained in Wikipedia editing and created and enhanced Wikipedia pages with an aim to diversify Auckland local history content and grow the Auckland editor base. A learning schedule and curriculum was prepared for them, with intensive Wikipedia training over the first two weeks and throughout the ten-week internship. Regular weekly in-person and online meetings were organised with local, national and international Wikipedians to give them an introduction to, and awareness of, the wider Wikimedia ecosystem.

2. Were there any strategies or approaches that you felt were effective in achieving your goals?

In the editing phase of the project there were two particularly effective strategies. The first was creating a template for Aotearoa NZ local history pages so that the content creation and enhancement was undertaken in a similar way across the pages that were edited and ensuring a consistency of information.

Secondly, by targeting suburbs which had schools and large school-aged populations we have been able to ensure the editing resource has been directed to the most impactful Wikipedia content within the broader context of learning about Auckland local histories. Auckland region pages were also significantly enhanced to ensure thorough coverage.

The Summer Studentship was successful according to student feedback and the external evaluation we undertook, and there were several reasons for this. To introduce the students to the basics of Wikipedia training we made use of a couple of resources which were extremely helpful. We adapted the Wiki-GLAMr Training Program ( and also the Student Training Modules on WikiEdu ( which provided a thorough introduction to Wikipedia. The students were also closely mentored throughout by User: Prosperosity.

We closely planned the ten-week schedule the students would be with us, breaking up time into learning and then doing Wikipedia editing, and alongside this practical work we also scheduled weekly in person and online meetings with a variety of Wikimedians from Auckland, across New Zealand and one international speaker working in a variety of Wiki Projects. This gave them an idea of the breadth of activity of the Wiki ecosystem, and a sense of connection to the wider Wikimedia movement.

Finally having a cohort of four students who were all Wikipedia novices paid off, as they could build up their skills alongside each other and work as a team learning and undertaking editing work. The benefit of the cohort was further illustrated when we "threw them in the deep end” and asked them to organise an edit-a-thon, which was a well-attended and enthusiastic event that occurred within 8 weeks of their starting (

3. Would you say that your project had any innovations? Are there things that you did very differently than you have seen them done by others?

There are four aspects of this project that are innovative. The first is the focus on explicitly editing Wikipedia so it can be used as a resource for studying local history in Auckland, informed by our previous research study that surveyed teachers on their use of Wikipedia and its utility in New Zealand classrooms (

Secondly is the scale of editing that was undertaken. Over the course of the year User:Prosperosity created over 300 articles, edited nearly 2500 articles, added over 3000 images to commons and added over 450k words ( This is a substantial enhancement of Auckland local history content on Wikipedia.

Thirdly a GLAM Institution, Auckland Museum, hosting and training a cohort of students and trying to contribute to the long-term growth of the Wikipedia editing community. Due to the Museum’s work in the Wikimedia space over many years, we were able to leverage relationships across the Wikimedia movement to engage the students in a unique way. The students were also able to add significant value in the work they were doing through a focused period of ten weeks, which was facilitated by their stipend payments, and could draw on Museum resources, particularly the Research Library published collections to significantly enhance the content they were working on and in the process contribute to diversifying Auckland local history content.

And finally, the student’s response to their time learning about and becoming new editors. Three of the students published blogs on Diff about their experiences and the challenges they faced around Wikipedia standards such as the neutral tone of voice, reliance on traditional published sources and difficulties integrating indigenous knowledge within Wikipedia.

4. Please describe how different communities participated and/or were informed about your work.

Over the year-long project informed several communities about the project across the Wikimedia movement and GLAM and professional networks (links below)

To inform the Wikimedia community about the project we set up a project progress and studentships pages on the Museum’s GLAM-Wiki Project hub. ( &

We regularly informed the GLAM-Wiki community with updates in “This Month in GLAM” (Feb-June 2023, Nov-Feb 2023-24) and the Wiki Education Community with updates in "This Month in Education" (Feb, April 2023, Jan 2024). Museum staff also Museum staff regularly took part in monthly Aotearoa NZ Online Wikipedia Meetups to keep the local community informed about progress.

Museum staff also presented the project and took part in Wikimedia related conferences locally at Wellington Wikicon 2023 and internationally at Wikicon 2024 in Singapore. The Summer Students presented at Auckland Wikicon 2024 and later this year will speak at ESEAP 2024.

Museum staff also informed the wider GLAM sector and New Zealand historical community via presentations at the 2023 National Digital Forum and NZ Historical Association Conference.

Members of the local, national and international Wiki community participated in the Summer Studentships as weekly guest speakers.

We have also had informal discussions with local teachers, members of the NZ History Teachers Association and the NZ Ministry of Education. Unfortunately, because of time constraints we were unable to work closely with teacher advisors, which will be discussed in more detail in the learning section below.

Finally, the students also published blogs on Diff, outlining their experiences during their internships.

5. Documentation of your impact. Please use the two spaces below to share files and links that help tell your story and impact. This can be documentation that shows your results through testimonies, videos, sound files, images (photos and infographics, etc.) social media posts, dashboards, etc.

  • Upload Documents and Files
  • Here is an additional field to type in URLs.
Informing communities about the project:

Wikicon - /


Project Impact Documentation:

GLAM-Wiki Project Progress Page -

GLAM-Wiki Project Student Page -

Local History Dashboard -

Student Dashboard -

Student blogs on Diff-

6. To what extent do you agree with the following statements regarding the work carried out with the support of this Fund? You can choose “not applicable” if your work does not relate to these goals.

Our efforts during the Fund period have helped to...
A. Bring in participants from underrepresented groups Agree
B. Create a more inclusive and connected culture in our community Agree
C. Develop content about underrepresented topics/groups Strongly agree
D. Develop content from underrepresented perspectives Agree
E. Encourage the retention of editors Agree
F. Encourage the retention of organizers Not applicable to your fund
G. Increased participants' feelings of belonging and connection to the movement. Strongly agree

7. Is there anything else you would like to share about how your efforts helped to bring in participants and/or build out content, particularly for underrepresented groups?

The first part of the project focused on enriching the historical narrative sections of Auckland region and suburb pages. This included an etymology of the place name so that traditional names are explained alongside Pakeha (European) names. The articles have significantly increased Māori history in them, drawing on archaeological reports to describe earliest settlement in areas, traditional stories, the reasons for why Māori settlers came to areas and major figures associated with places. This means Auckland suburbs convey a deeper and longer history compared to earlier versions which focused on European settlement.

The Summer Students also contributed content for underrepresented groups, with articles based on topics they were passionate about and also missing from Wikipedia. This included content on queer history, Te Ao Māori and early colonial history, South Auckland, and Pacific and Asian migrant communities. They published blogs on Diff which discussed their work and how they sought to diversify content.

Two events were held over the course of the year bringing in new participants. The first, a Women in Architecture event hosted 23 participants at the Museum Research Library as well as editors joining remotely from two other cities . This series has a further two events planned for 2024. The Summer Students also organised an edit-a-thon in January 2024, where 21 attended, learnt about Wikipedia and created articles on the topic of Trailblazers of Tāmaki Makaurau.

Part 2: Your main learning


8. In your application, you outlined your learning priorities. What did you learn about these areas during this period?

The project encountered obstacles in collaborating with teacher advisors due to delays in another Museum project and the recent curriculum implementation. However, our efforts to align Wikipedia content with Wikipedia standards and educational standards was affirmed by Dr. Sheehan's evaluation of edited content, its alignment to the big ideas of the new curriculum and its utility as a classroom resource.

Recruiting tertiary students as Wikipedia editors proved beneficial for enhancing Wikipedia content, with the summer studentship program producing 34 new articles of varying quality. The program received positive feedback for its structure and training, supported by experienced Wikipedian User:Prosperosity. Although the Students fell short of their initial ambitious goals, they achieved significant article creation and editing, and we can adjust realistic goals for future efforts.

The project's impact has been substantial, with over 20 million views of edited and created articles, indicating the potential of Wikipedia to enhance GLAM's educational engagement.

As well as reaching a much larger audience, we have also been able to provide that audience with enriched content providing accessible, diverse and comprehensive historical narratives that align with the new curriculum, providing a starting point for critical thinking and research skills amongst secondary school students in Auckland, which are crucial components of the new Aotearoa NZ Histories Curriculum.

9. Did anything unexpected or surprising happen when implementing your activities?

Most surprising was how the students picked up Wikipedia editing much faster than we expected, especially compared to people at edit-a-thons and events. This was partly because the program was structured, and the students were supported throughout. But it was also because they could devote their entire focus to Wikipedia for the full ten weeks, unlike edit-a-thon participants, who often tend to juggle Wikipedia editing with other work/social demands. Within two months they were transformed from Wikipedia newbies to confidently hosting an edit-a-thon and training over 20 newcomers in the philosophy of the Wikimedia movement and offering editing training themselves.

One downside however was that some editors were extremely hostile to the students, such as an incident where a student's ‘Did You Know’ item was accepted, then refused by an administrator due to a minor issue. Hostility to newbies is a fairly well-known issue on Wikipedia, and strategies for dealing with this is something that should be addressed in similar projects.

10. How do you hope to use this learning? For instance, do you have any new priorities, ideas for activities, or goals for the future?

With the large amount of Auckland local history editing that has occurred during the project there is a solid base for using Wikipedia as starting point for learning about local histories, so this part of the project is being wound down. However, with the methodology we used documented we believe that this work can, and should, be done for other cities and towns across New Zealand and could serve as the basis for similar work overseas (uploaded below)). We didn’t have the time to run the GLAM workshops that we proposed due to time constraints, but we will look at opportunities to offer training to other GLAMS this year if there is demand.

However, we want to continue the Summer Studentship programme as it was so successful. The Museum is committed to growing the local Auckland Wikipedia community and by bringing in further cohorts of students we are hoping to both diversify content on Wikipedia, but also diversify the editing community and ensure that it is sustained over time.

We would also like to explore working more closely with teachers around their use of Wikipedia in the classroom. This project has focused on editing and creating resources, but there is potentially more work that can be done around Wikipedia as a resource for teaching media literacy, or for the parts of the new history curriculum that concentrate on the construction of knowledge.

11. If you were sitting with a friend to tell them one thing about your work during this fund, what would it be (think of inspiring or fascinating moments, tough challenges, interesting anecdotes, or anything that feels important to you)?

The success of the Summer Studentship. We were unsure how it would go, and how quickly they would pick up editing, but they did quickly. We were thrilled when they talked about how much more rewarding the programme was compared to other internships they had experienced in the past, as they felt much more supported and because of how tangible their results were.

12. Please share resources that would be useful to share with other Wikimedia organizations so that they can learn from, adapt or build upon your work. For instance, guides, training material, presentations, work processes, or any other material the team has created to document and transfer knowledge about your work and can be useful for others. Please share any specific resources that you are creating, adapting/contextualizing in ways that are unique to your context (i.e. training material).

  • Upload Documents and Files
  • Here is an additional field to type in URLs. - Wikimania 2023 Presentation - NDF 2023 Presentation - Students WikiCon 2024 presntation

Part 3: Metrics


13a. Open and additional metrics data

Open Metrics
Open Metrics Description Target Results Comments Methodology
Additional Metrics
Additional Metrics Description Target Results Comments Methodology
Number of editors that continue to participate/retained after activities N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Number of organizers that continue to participate/retained after activities N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Number of strategic partnerships that contribute to longer term growth, diversity and sustainability N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Feedback from participants on effective strategies for attracting and retaining contributors N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Diversity of participants brought in by grantees N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Number of people reached through social media publications N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Number of activities developed N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Number of volunteer hours N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

13b. Additional core metrics data.

Core Metrics Summary
Core metrics Description Target Results Comments Methodology
Number of participants Paid participants (4x 10 week studentships, 1x Wikipedian in Residence) 5 5 Done as per project proposal n/a
Number of editors Same as above 5 5 Done a per project proposal n/a
Number of organizers Wikipedian in Residence and Project Manager. They will be supported by other Museum staff as required. 2 2 Done as per project proposal n/a
Number of new content contributions per Wikimedia project
Wikimedia Project Description Target Results Comments Methodology
Wikipedia For the Wikipedians in Residence: 30 articles created, 100 articles edited, 250 references added.

For the 4 students: 40 articles created, 40 articles edited and improved, 300 references added.

760 10001 WIR – 9099; Students - 902

WIR – 329 articles created, 2450 articles edited, 6320 references added;

Students – 33 articles created, 89 articles edited, 861 references added

User:Prosperosity did an incredible job with his editing, blowing away the targets that we had set. While the students didn’t quite reach the target articles created they surpassed the other measures we set.

Tracked via editing & students dashboards:

Wikimedia Commons For the Wikipedians in Residence: 150 images added.

For the 4 students: 100 images added.

250 3302 WiR - 3233

Students – 69

Similar to the editing targets, WiR far surpassed the targets that we set. On the other hand it was not met by the students, who concentrated on editing content.

Dashboards as per above

14. Were there any metrics in your proposal that you could not collect or that you had to change?


15. If you have any difficulties collecting data to measure your results, please describe and add any recommendations on how to address them in the future.

It should be noted that this report is being completed shortly after the Summer Students have finished their time at the Museum, and less than half a year then from when the large scale editing phase of the project was undertaken.

Working with teacher advisors is one aspect of the project we were unable to complete. There are a couple reasons for this. First, we were due to assess this project alongside another online resource with teachers, but delays on that project meant the teacher advisors hadn’t been consulted by the time this project ended. Secondly, because the curriculum has only recently been implemented in the past year it is still being bedded in within schools and is too early to survey teachers. We intend on undertaking informal discussions with teachers this year.

16. Use this space to link or upload any additional documents that would be useful to understand your data collection (e.g., dashboards, surveys you have carried out, communications material, training material, etc).

  • Upload Documents and Files
  • Here is an additional field to type in URLs.

Part 4: Organizational capacities & partnerships


17. Organizational Capacity

Organizational capacity dimension
A. Financial capacity and management This has grown over the last year, the capacity is high
B. Conflict management or transformation This has grown over the last year, the capacity is high
C. Leadership (i.e growing in potential leaders, leadership that fit organizational needs and values) This has grown over the last year, the capacity is high
D. Partnership building This has grown over the last year, the capacity is high
E. Strategic planning This has grown over the last year, the capacity is high
F. Program design, implementation, and management This has grown over the last year, the capacity is high
G. Scoping and testing new approaches, innovation This capacity has grown but it should be further developed
H. Recruiting new contributors (volunteer) This capacity has grown but it should be further developed
I. Support and growth path for different types of contributors (volunteers) This capacity has grown but it should be further developed
J. Governance This has grown over the last year, the capacity is high
K. Communications, marketing, and social media This has grown over the last year, the capacity is high
L. Staffing - hiring, monitoring, supporting in the areas needed for program implementation and sustainability This has grown over the last year, the capacity is high
M. On-wiki technical skills This capacity has grown but it should be further developed
N. Accessing and using data This has grown over the last year, the capacity is high
O. Evaluating and learning from our work This capacity has grown but it should be further developed
P. Communicating and sharing what we learn with our peers and other stakeholders This has grown over the last year, the capacity is high

17a. Which of the following factors most helped you to build capacities? Please pick a MAXIMUM of the three most relevant factors.

Formal training provided by a Wikimedia Movement organizing group (i.e., Affiliates, Grantees, Regional or Thematic Hub, etc.), Peer to peer learning with other community members in community/ies of practice* (structured and continuous learning and sharing spaces), Using capacity building/training resources online from sources WITHIN the Wikimedia Movement

17b. Which of the following factors hindered your ability to build capacities? Please pick a MAXIMUM of the three most relevant factors.


18. Is there anything else you would like to share about how your organizational capacity has grown, and areas where you require support?

As we are working within a large Museum we have support from specialist staff across a number of the functions described above.

We have been well supported by Wikimedia staff in the former education team and maintain close relationship with the New Zealand community, drawing on their expertise when required.

19. Partnerships over the funding period.

Over the fund period...
A. We built strategic partnerships with other institutions or groups that will help us grow in the medium term (3 year time frame) Agree
B. The partnerships we built with other institutions or groups helped to bring in more contributors from underrepresented groups Agree
C. The partnerships we built with other institutions or groups helped to build out more content on underrepresented topics/groups Agree

19a. Which of the following factors most helped you to build partnerships? Please pick a MAXIMUM of the three most relevant factors.

Staff hired through the fund, Institutional support from the Wikimedia Foundation, Volunteers from our communities

19b. Which of the following factors hindered your ability to build partnerships? Please pick a MAXIMUM of the three most relevant factors.

Difficulties specific to our context that hindered partnerships

20. Please share your learning about strategies to build partnerships with other institutions and groups and any other learning about working with partners?

We continued to grow our relationship with the New Zealand community throughout the funding period, as well as collaborate with colleagues in the Wiki Education and GLAM-Wiki space.

However, as mentioned we did not have the opportunity to work with teachers as closely as we wanted to.

We also didn’t have the time to run the GLAM workshops that we proposed due to resourcing constraints. User; Prosperosity was working part time throughout this project while also studying, and we decided to concentrate on editing content and mentoring students, which was the most impactful use of his time.

We would be willing to offer training to other GLAM institutions in New Zealand if they wanted to do some of this work, and will look at opportunities for this in the coming year.

Part 5: Sense of belonging and collaboration


21. What would it mean for your organization to feel a sense of belonging to the Wikimedia or free knowledge movement?

There are a number of factors that involve Auckland Museum feeling a sense of belonging to the Wikimedia or free knowledge movement. One aspect is that the Museum would be a trusted partner and collaborator with local, national and international Wikimedia communities, working on Wikimedia related projects and hosting the local community in its public spaces. Secondly the Museum’s open collections would be used across a range of Wikimedia projects ( Thirdly, that the Museum would be contributing to a range of Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wiki Commons and Wikisource.

22. How has your (for individual grantees) or your group/organization’s (for organizational grantees) sense of belonging to the Wikimedia or free knowledge movement changed over the fund period?

Increased significantly

23. If you would like to, please share why it has changed in this way.

The Museum has been actively engaged with the Wikimedia movement since it released its first Wikipedia Workplan in 2020, while it earlier released its collections under an “Open by Default, Closed by Exception” CCBY licensing philosophy in 2015 and is committed to the open access of its collections by leveraging partnerships.

However, the sense of belonging has increased over the period of the fund for a number of reasons, including participation in international conferences such as Wikicon 2024 and ESEAP upcoming later this year, and being involved in discussions around the Wikimedia Education Theory of Change.

24. How has your group/organization’s sense of personal investment in the Wikimedia or free knowledge movement changed over the fund period?

Increased significantly

25. If you would like to, please share why it has changed in this way.

We have worked closely with the local and national community this year, particularly Wikimedia Aotearoa NZ and this month the annual Wikicon was held here in Auckland. Finally, the series of WMF funded projects the Museum has worked on has significantly helped in this area, facilitating our work and enabling resource to be devoted to enhancing Wikipedia for education purposes.

26. Are there other movements besides the Wikimedia or free knowledge movement that play a central role in your motivation to contribute to Wikimedia projects? (for example, Black Lives Matter, Feminist movement, Climate Justice, or other activism spaces) If so, please describe it below.

The work we do in this space is guided by the Museum’s annual and five year plans

Supporting Peer Learning and Collaboration


We are interested in better supporting peer learning and collaboration in the movement.

27. Have you shared these results with Wikimedia affiliates or community members?


27a. Please describe how you have already shared them. Would you like to do more sharing, and if so how?

We have kept the Wikipedia movement, both national and international, abreast of the work we are doing as detailed earlier in this report. The Summer Students will be presenting at ESEAP 2024 later this year, and we will write a couple of Diff blogs outlining the work we have done over the last two years around Wikipedia and education.

28. How often do you currently share what you have learned with other Wikimedia Foundation grantees, and learn from them?

We do not do this at all

29. How does your organization currently share mutual learning with other grantees?

Unfortunately we haven't had the chance to share our learnings with other grantees, and New Zealand’s timezone often precludes taking part in various Wikimedia calls and discussions.

Part 6: Financial reporting and compliance


30. Please state the total amount spent in your local currency.


31. Local currency type


32. Please report the funds received and spending in the currency of your fund.

  • Upload Documents, Templates, and Files.
  • Report funds received and spent, if template not used.

33. If you have not already done so in your budget report, please provide information on changes in the budget in relation to your original proposal.

There is a slight underspend in the budget due to us not working with teacher advisors as originally proposed and also because we didn’t have the opportunity to run two of the GLAM focused workshops.

34. Do you have any unspent funds from the Fund?

34a. Please list the amount and currency you did not use and explain why.

$3,860.00 - as per above, we didn't engage teacher advisors ($3,000), and didn't run 2 of the 4 workshops we proposed ($780)

34b. What are you planning to do with the underspent funds?

B. Propose to use them to partially or fully fund a new/future grant request with PO approval

34c. Please provide details of hope to spend these funds.

We would like to discuss options with the PO. One option is to pay for our WiR to do a few more hours work this year to use up the funds. The other is to use the money to pay for Wikipedia related events at the Museum. The other is to investigate whether we can undertake some further research with teachers about the work we have done.

35. Are you in compliance with the terms outlined in the fund agreement?

As required in the fund agreement, please report any deviations from your fund proposal here. Note that, among other things, any changes must be consistent with our WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement.

36. Are you in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations as outlined in the grant agreement?


37. Are you in compliance with provisions of the United States Internal Revenue Code (“Code”), and with relevant tax laws and regulations restricting the use of the Funds as outlined in the grant agreement? In summary, this is to confirm that the funds were used in alignment with the WMF mission and for charitable/nonprofit/educational purposes.


38. If you have additional recommendations or reflections that don’t fit into the above sections, please write them here.

A big thank you to the WIkimedia Foundation, WMF staff and the wider Wikimedia community for supporting this work.