Over the past year, I have been looking for good case studies or examples of local libraries working with University Librarians and the GLAM sector (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums).

I found out about the Toronto Public Library’s (TPL) involvement with Toronto area University Libraries working together to create Wiki edit-a-thon activities every Friday for the month of Black History Month and I wanted to know more about their efforts.

When I spoke to David Sprague, Digital Content Lead, Preservation & Digitization at TPL on March 3rd, he acknowledged that one of the reasons his organization is demonstrating leadership in this area is that the existing historical archives at the Toronto Reference Library are heavily settler-focused.

His department is active in this to ensure that diverse voices are reflected in Toronto’s historical record and evolving narrative.


1. Increase representation of women and other historically underrepresented groups related to Toronto history on Wikipedia

  • This WikiProject aims to surface histories that are underrepresented in Toronto Public Library’s own historical Special Collections and the historical record at large. We’re identifying articles for creation to work towards a more inclusive historical record—as well as providing access to research tools and support for getting started on Wikipedia. (Toronto Public Library has also established new collections devoted to underrepresented histories such as ourChinese Canadian Archiveand has specialized, diverse lending collections such asThe Pride Collection,Rita Cox Black and Caribbean Heritage Collection.)

2. Increase access to our digitized images and relevant Special Collections webpages in Wikipedia articles

  • Toronto Public Library has a wealth of digitized items that are in the public domain, which an be used to enrich Wikipedia articles by uploading them to Wikimedia Commons. We also have significant Special Collections related to individuals, communities and genres.

“It was nice to talk to you today — and encouraging to hear about your interest in furthering access to information on Wikipedia!” D. Sprague email with these links for Toronto area people being more active:

For more information on Black History Month Edit-a-thons, please watch this video link explaining how all of us can get involved in Wikipedia projects like this one.