Share and share alike

Cultural and built heritage are shared things. And there’s lots to celebrate this month. Scottish Archaeology Month (coordinated by Archaeology Scotland), and Doors Open Day (the Scottish Civic Trust), are running events across Scotland.

Scottish Archaeology Month  & Doors Open Day

While you’re out there snapping photos of our heritage, there is another event which takes place every September, this one international with a clutch of prizes:

Wiki Loves Monuments

Here’s what they say on their website:

The competition brings together amateur and professional photographers alike to capture images of the world’s historic monuments.

These photos are then shared under free licences via Wikimedia Commons, a free media repository which provides most of the images for Wikipedia sites around the world (currently available in 294 languages).

Wiki Loves Monuments is special:

  • Since the global competition began in 2011 there have been more than 1 million entries.  Over 50 countries participated in 2017
  • The winners, and indeed many entrants, will see their photos used in Wikipedia articles with a potential audience in the hundreds of millions
  • All entrants help to provide a range of locally-sourced images that are available for use on Wikipedia and elsewhere.

Aside from being great fun, Wiki Loves Monuments is a way of capturing a snapshot of our nation’s cultural heritage for future generations and documenting our country’s most important historic sites. The collections gathered throughout the years of the competition are growing into an incredibly useful historical resource.

Taking part is easy. Check out our very simple rules, follow the guide here, and get involved! You can enter images taken specially for the competition, or photographs you have taken in the past.

As well as overall prizes for the UK, there are prizes for the top three in Scotland, including one for the best photograph of a site in Scotland, sponsored by the folks at Archaeology Scotland.

AND Prizes for “missing” monuments

There are also prizes for the photographers who capture images of the greatest number of “new” monuments – those that are lacking an image on Wikidata.

This is a great opportunity to improve the coverage and representation of Scotland’s rich heritage to a global audience.

I’ve just had a look over East Lothian and most of the listed buildings have no images attached, so for someone this should be a very easy prize to win, so long as they are cool about sharing.

Every detail of this church is packed with interest, from the joins between old and new down to the lichen growth.