Grants talk:Project/Coffeeandcrumbs/National Film Registry

Active discussions


While I appreciate the intent, I'm not convinced that a non-profit should be subsidising the work of a US national agency; nor that doing so in a piecemeal manner such as this would be a cost effective way to do so. Has anyone from the WMF or a US chapter talked to the NFR about opening up their collection, or about hosting a Wikimedian in Residence, or holding collaborative events? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:38, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

I was kind of thinking the same thing reading this. I think at least efforts should perhaps be made to see if they will give us some sort of discount. Ultimately I still support this grant if this is what we need to do to get the content. Bawolff (talk) 08:46, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
I'm fine with throwing 10 k$ at LOC for a pilot; it's less embarrassing than the hundreds of thousands of dollars the WMF has spent paying for WIRs in universities with billions of dollars of endowment. However, it would look better if the LOC provided a cofinancing. It's also really necessary to provide a comparison with other possible sources and digitisation methods and their costs: is the LOC service really the most cost effective? Nemo 12:46, 23 February 2020 (UTC)

Wikidata perspectiveEdit

From a Wikidata perspective, it would be more interesting to get more metadata on films in the registry. Some has been done recently. Not sure if paying a government agency for editing is the way to go. Jura1 (talk) 10:51, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

As far as I know, LOC metadata is free. If you give me more details, I can also work on obtaining the metadata for all films in the collection. I do not edit WD much but I am not against also helping that project. Coffeeandcrumbs (talk) 17:27, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
@Coffeeandcrumbs: We could collect this data with the help of our existing movement relationship LOC labs and @Thisismattmiller: who is already at LOC. I think the better investment of time and energy is probably on engaging with them, to take advantage of records and other parts of the registry. Astinson (WMF) (talk) 00:13, 4 March 2020 (UTC)
I can help you with mapping data to existing items (films or people)/advise you what could be imported in bulk. An overview of their data with sample records would be helpful. Maybe you want to provide it at d:Wikidata talk:WikiProject_Movies Jura1 (talk) 16:04, 10 March 2020 (UTC)

Project durationEdit

What is the duration of the project? Ruslik (talk) 17:54, 17 February 2020 (UTC)

@Ruslik0: I envisioned this as a 1 year pilot project to obtain 10 or more films. I am saying "or more films" because the budget is be spent entirely on transferring film to digital format and costs of transferring depend on the length of the film. It maybe possible to get more than 10 films. Coffeeandcrumbs (talk) 17:23, 27 February 2020 (UTC)


It's not enough to state that the grantee will use some subjective method to select the most impactful video. We really need some hard numbers here, which will then be useful to make a selection. The most suitable metric is probably the number of bytes transferred found in wikitech:Analytics/Data/Mediacounts, divided by the size of the videos to find the total number of equivalent full-resolution reproductions. Nemo 12:46, 23 February 2020 (UTC)

Eligibility confirmed, Round 1 2020Edit

This Project Grants proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for Round 2 2020 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during the community comments period, through March 16, 2020.

The Project Grant committee's formal review for round 1 2020 will occur March 17 - April 8, 2020. We ask that you refrain from making changes to your proposal during the committee review period, so we can be sure that all committee members are seeing the same version of the proposal. Grantees will be announced Friday, May 15, 2020. Any changes to the review calendar will be posted on the Round 1 2020 schedule.

Questions? Contact us at projectgrants   wikimedia  · org.

Hello Coffeeandcrumbs,

Thank you for submitting this proposal. This is an unusual type of request for us--we haven't seen a proposal quite like this one before. We are marking it eligible in order to let the committee deliberate on this idea.

In the meantime, I wanted to let you know that, in general, we are cautious about when and why we fund digitization projects. This is because, globally speaking, the digitization needs of knowledge repository institutions is massive in scale and far beyond the scope of what this grant program is resourced to address. When we fund any proposal, we don't just ask ourselves if the specific proposal in question would be a good idea, but also, what precedent we are seeking to set in terms of how we prioritize which proposals to fund, given a limited funding envelope to work from. Typically, with digitization, this program has tended to prioritize funding institutions in geographies whose knowledge is underrepresented in Wikimedia projects and knowledge that is of particularly important significance or in especially high demand for education purposes, and otherwise unlikely to be available to the public. In light of this, I think this proposal will have to work to demonstrate to the Project Grants Committee that it merits prioritization in this round, which we anticipate will be very competitive, and any comments you want to add are welcome!

Warm regards,

--Marti (WMF) (talk) 17:06, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

@Mjohnson (WMF):, this is my first grant proposal and I am still having trouble understanding how this works. On my talk page, Slowking4 has said that "Wikimedia DC could be [the] fiscal sponsor" for this project. That would be great! I would much prefer to have an organization like that handle the fiscal aspect. I have seen Slowking4 at an edit-a-thon but did not mention this project at that time. I will be attending more events organized by Wikimedia DC and can meet with Slowking4 to discuss further if Wikimedia DC is still interesting in being a sponsor. Coffeeandcrumbs (talk) 17:32, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
yeah, given the large library of congress digitization budget, you might want to emphasize works that add to encyclopedic content, that have been overlooked by LOC. we did some of this with photos, w:Wikipedia:Meetup/NARA 4, but the backlog is so huge, it suggests some triage is necessary. you should network with our partners at Packard center, w: Wikipedia:Meetup/DC/Jazz: Changing Chords and Culture Library of Congress. clearly WMF is going to be skeptical, but if rejected, we can shop it around at knight foundation, or newmark foundation. and for sponsorship see also -- cheers Slowking4 (talk) 23:48, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

Feedback from a GLAM strategy perspective at WMFEdit

As User:Mjohnson (WMF), highlights above this is a highly unusual request, and has a lot of implications on many fronts, not just in the foundation funding programs but the movement's approach approach to digitization funding and knowledge equity more generally. I regularly provide public feedback on these grants, so that the grant committee has the opinion of someone who has worked with the GLAM sector and Wikimedia communities doing this work. In my professional capacity, I rarely advise against capitalizing on movement capacity/enthusiasm for a project -- but in this case I recommend not prioritizing this work.

Here is why I recommend that the committee be very cautious about considering this project:

  1. First, digitization of the National Film Registry is of long term importance to the US Library of Congress -- it sets a bad precedent for the Wikimedia Foundation to prioritize funding what should be in the existing strategic operations of LOC, from our budget -- we probably don't want to become that kind of funder, especially in a funding rich environment like the US. I think this kind of project would be better suited for something like KickStarter, collaboration with a film enthusiast organization, collaboration with a digital archive partner like Internet Archive or funding by a wealthy film buff -- all of which would work well within existing North American funding environments -- I recommend that Coffeeandcrumbs consider these options. There is no special need for WMF funding in this environment. Moreover, under Dr. Hayden, the Library of Congress is becoming much more progressive about digitization, open access, and metadata -- we're going to get that content eventually, even if no-one seeks early funding for it now. We may even be able to convince LOC to spend this money themselves, through existing relationship at LOC or DPLA, who is one of their key partners.
  2. Second, even if we did want to be this kind of funder mentioned in #1, in the North American environment -- 10,000 dollars would digitize a substantial archive of almost any other kind of content, or in contexts that are much more underresourced that LOC, with a much higher volume of content that could be used to advance strategic knowledge work (see #3).
  3. In the current scope of the proposal, there is no evidence that this films would fill high-impact knowledge gaps on Wikimedia projects. American film history, like European Film history, has a significant body of scholars, archivists, and professionals already working on this space -- I think it would be very hard to argue that this project reflects our movement strategic strategic direction focus on knowledge equity or the recommendation on identifying strategic knowledge gaps. Scholars, who have secured North American funding streams, are more likely to be successful at identifying and funding priority content for digitization, including for example, working on rare film that advances knowledge equity through representation of minorities, etc. If we wanted to pursue this kind of work, I think other parts of the world might benefit: for example, I know of several similar early film collections in Latin America, which have no similar funding stream and would be a better fit for our goals.
  4. We are not a strong film media environment: Wikimedia platforms are well behind industry best practices for streaming/supporting film. Because this probably doesn't fill a strategic knowledge gap (per #3) and it wouldn't advance our practices on engaging film on Commons or other projects, I don't see a practice/method/precedent reason for prioritizing this project.

That being said, I think there is a lot of room for the enthusiasm that WikiProject Film on English Wikipedia to explore other community engagement tactics or strategies -- which could for example, include outreach to film scholar associations who do make these kinds of requests to LOC, to build a priority list etc. I hope we continue to explore those kinds of options and capacity building. Astinson (WMF) (talk) 00:06, 4 March 2020 (UTC)

Thinking about this more, I think, if you are interested in working on this more, we should really explore doing something a bit more ambitious/different with LOC as a partnership around Wikidata per the comments above: i.e. @ThisIsMattMiller: could probably collaborate with you to import the registry's data, another dataset that could be really high impact (like the American silent Film Database, or similar) and then use that mapping to start importing more films that are already digitized. The other route of engaging film enthusiasts/buffs in funding work or outreach, also could follow in the model that Jamie Tubers (talk · contribs) has been developing about Nigerian Cinema: doing some type of content drive. If you want to find some time to explore these ideas, and learn more about different tactics that could be high impact on other fronts -- let me know. I also have connections in the Radio Preservation community supported LOC that, I believe, sits in the same offices as the ones that support film. Astinson (WMF) (talk) 17:53, 4 March 2020 (UTC)
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