Volunteers work to bolster Canadian women's biographies on Wikipedia
Jean Augustine is seen in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 12, 2003. It's often the first source students turn to when doing research, but an archivist says many Canadian women's accomplishments are left off Wikipedia.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, March 8, 2019 4:39PM EST
TORONTO - It's often the first source students turn to when doing research, but an archivist says many Canadian women's accomplishments are left off Wikipedia.
A group of librarians, archivists and students is working to fill in these gender gaps at an "edit-a-thon" hosted by York University Libraries in honour of International Women's Day.
Anna St.Onge, director of digital scholarship infrastructure for the Toronto university's library system, says participants have been scouring the stacks to back up their edits and citations on the open-access online encyclopedia.
The list of biographies slated to be bolstered includes the late poet Libby Scheier, Toronto-based filmmaker Ann Shin, and trailblazing former MP Jean Augustine, who also served as Ontario's first Fairness Commissioner.
New articles have also been created for York University history and women's studies professor Varpu Lindstrom, who died in 2012, and Sherrill Cheda, the late chief librarian of Seneca College.
According to the Wikimedia Foundation, only 17 per cent of Wikipedia's biographies are about women, and St.Onge says Friday's event is part of a broader effort to improve those numbers.