The Folger community—staff, docents, performers, program participants, and readers included—is filled with really smart and interesting people who have knowledge about the Folger, the Library’s collection, and the activities associated with it. Not all this knowledge fits into publicly available books, catalog records, or even the Folger website. Other information is only briefly available publicly: theater programs, exhibition item labels, docent talks, etc. Folgerpedia’s goal is to gather Folger-related knowledge that would otherwise be lost so that others may find it, engage with it, extend it, and enhance it on the open web.
The following outline is meant to guide efforts and expectations as Folgerpedia “goes live” and incorporates the viewpoints of the thousands of non-staff members of the Folger community, broadly defined.
Qualifications for contributors
We invite Folgerpedia contributions from all those who have developed material or who have knowledge relating to the Folger, its holdings, and its many and overlapping activities and communities. The following describes the rights and privileges afforded to editors, authors, or contributors of Folgerpedia content. Generally speaking, we are looking for those who
- currently hold or are eligible for Folger reading privileges (e.g., postdoctoral scholars with privileges at our peer institutions), or
- are or have been part of a Folger-sponsored program (e.g., performers associated with Folger productions), or
- are current Folger staff or docents, and
- have knowledge or materials that relate to any aspect of the Folger community’s interests.
If this describes you, please consider applying to be a Folgerpedia contributor. Simply send a message with your contact information and a brief description of your interests and expertise to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternately, should you have materials or resources to contribute but do not wish to become a Folgerpedia contributor, please contact us at the same address.
Once you are in the Folgerpedia system and have your personal login credentials, you are authorized to make improvements wherever they are needed. You may edit someone else’s writing, delete inaccurate information, or post entirely original articles. There are no word counts, permission controls, or other checks on your ability to contribute as you see fit.
If you have what you think is an interesting idea for an article, enter key terms into the Folgerpedia search box. If that doesn’t produce any results, chances are that the topic is new. Don’t be shy about creating an article. Others will be interested, too. Just remember that Folgerpedia covers a wide range of topics.
If you have an idea that is related to another article, expanding on that article is a good way to start. Folgerpedia is a collaborative content-producing community; no one “owns” an article. But do respect that someone (or many someones) wrote that article. And, when you contribute, recognize that others may edit or alter your contributions. This is part of the ongoing dialogue that makes an open wiki a rich information platform.
Remember that what you post is immediately available for all to see, so feel free to start small. You don’t need to create a detailed multi-section article on the first attempt. Wiki articles are meant to grow and develop, and as the modified phrase goes, “the perfect is the enemy of a start.” Do, of course, proof-read your writing to make sure it’s intelligible and doesn’t have any glaring mistakes.
Only contribute what you have a right to contribute (i.e., your original content). If you do refer to other sources that are not your own work, create a “References” section at the end of your article, and give credit in a citation, preferably with a link.
In cases of egregious flouting of the rules and the spirit of Folgerpedia, contributor privileges will be revoked.