Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Wikipedia's "Summer of Monuments" (2014)

Mount Moriah Cemetery Gatehouse, Philadelphia, PA

I found out about the Wikipedia program, Summer of Monuments, just last week, so if you’re interested in participating in a photography contest (with cash prizes!), September 30, 2014 is the deadline. The contest is all about uploading your photographs of Nationally Registered Historic Places (in the United States) for the chance of having them published by Wikipedia for use on their webpages.

According to the National Park Service's website, here are the sites we're talking about:

National Register of Historic Places

"The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources."

Photos of cemeteries have been submitted to Wikipedia's Summer of Monuments site, but not individual monuments in those cemeteries. I suppose if a monument is big enough, it might count as a "place," like Grant's Tomb in New York City (for that matter, folks with images on my Presidential Graves Facebook group page might consider uploading some of their images). A Registered Historic Place is just that – a place. Its easy enough to go on to the Wikipedia website and find your part of the country, and what historic places need to be photographed. As I understand it, just because Wiki already has photos of certain places, that doesn’t mean you cannot submit another image – they’ll choose the one they like best.

Civil War reenactors at the grave of General George Meade, Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia
I’ve reprinted the text directly from the Wikipedia webpage, describing the program, for your convenience:
"Wikipedia Summer of Monuments is a campaign to improve coverage of U.S. historic sites on Wikipedia.

We want to encourage more people and groups to get involved with Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. There are many different ways you can participate.

Part of "Summer of Monuments" is a contest to see who can take the best picture of a Nationally Registered Historic Place. There are prizes for the best pictures! The best individual photographers will win cash prizes of $500, $300, and $150. Institutions can also donate their photos; the best institutional collection contributed will win a prize of $1,000! The deadline is September 30 at 11:59 PM EDT."

Grave of General George Meade, Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia
This Wikipedia site requires you to provide copyright information for these works, so that anyone can legally reuse them (with proper credit to the photographer). So if you’ve created fine art images of monuments and historic locations, realize that by submitting them (even if they are not chosen!) you are giving up your right of ownership and copyright – Wikipedia can use your images for any purpose, for as long and as often as they choose! So choose wisely before you submit.

Here is the Wikipedia verbage you must agree to:
"These files are my own work.
I, the copyright holder of these works, irrevocably grant anyone the right to use these works under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 license (legal code).

(Anyone may use, share or remix these works, as long as they credit me and share any derivative work under this license.)"
The Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia

Personally, I’ve made so many photographs of the three historic landmark cemeteries in Philadelphia – Laurel Hill, Woodlands, and Mount Moriah, that I’m okay with giving up my rights to a few. You get to see your name in the credit line on Wikipedia’s image page, by the way. (Turns out that the Mount Moriah Cemetery gatehouse is not a nationally designated historic landmark, but Wikipedia can possibly use it on another page. Here's the Wikipedia link to my upload. If you search on the site for "Mount Moriah Gatehouse," for instance, you will see all the gatehouse images uploaded by others.) The caption beneath my photographs in this article link you directly to each image as they reside in the Wikipedia Commons, "the free media repository."

References and Further Reading:
Visit the website: Wikipedia Summer of Monuments