NLS appoints world’s first Gaelic Wikipedian

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Gaelic is set to be better represented on the popular reference website Wikipedia thanks to a new role based at the National Library of Scotland.

Dr Susan Ross has been appointed as the world’s first Gaelic Wikipedian, a year-long post that will see her working with the Gaelic community across Scotland to improve the content on Uicipeid, the Scottish Gaelic Wikipedia.

Over the coming 12 months, Dr Ross will also be offering training and “edit-a-thons” with Gaelic speakers and groups across the country in a bid to broaden the website’s content.

Uicipeid has formed a part of the main Wikipedia encyclopedia since 2004.

There are currently more than 14,000 pages of information in Gaelic on the site.

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Dr Ross, a contributor to Uicipeid since 2010, began learning Gaelic as a teenager and has gained a doctorate in Gaelic Studies.

She said: “Contributing to Gaelic Wikipedia builds a 21st century information source where knowledge, in Gaelic, about both the Gaelic world and the wider world, can be stored and shared.

“It is a great opportunity for Gaelic speakers to exercise reading and writing skills in a creative, informal, collaborative environment and I’m excited about the possibilities to get more people involved.’

It is hoped the move will help to promote the NLS’ extensive Gaelic resources, which are widely available online.

The Wikipedian initiative is a partnership between the NLS and Wikimedia UK, the charity that supports and promotes the free online encyclopaedia.

The work will be finincially supported by grants from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the agency responsible for promoting Gaelic language throughout Scotland and internationally, and Wikimedia UK.