Commons:WikiProject Museums

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Musée - Museo - Museu - Museum
Muzeum - Музей - 博物館 - 博物馆


WikiProject Museums

The WikiProject Museums aims to rationalize the work on museums in Commons, by improving the usability of photographs taken in museums. To do so, the project proposes flexible guidelines to face problems such as: naming museums, managing museum category trees, naming and describing photographs...

Our final goal is to make Commons a high quality free photos collection as much as a high quality scientific database.

Don't hesitate to bring your updates, critics, comments and suggestions (leave a message).


Internal and external resources

Online collections by museum
Online collections by type of work


Conventions on categories
Naming of museums

Museums are institutions whose name is generally officialy defined. For categories and articles related to a museum, we should always follow this official name.

When several museums are likely to share the same base name, they could be distinguished by appending the city name, using a comma as separator.

For accessibility reasons, using the latin alphabet is recommended (specially for categories because redirections don't work). For museums whose official name doesn't match, the most current “latinized” name should be used instead. This will generally be the English translation, as found on the English Wikipedia, but the situation must be evaluated for each case.



Conventions on categories
Categorization of museums

Categories are the most convenient way to manage the whole collection of a museum.

As there are many different situations depending on the museum type/size/policy, it is not possible to provide a global unique solution for museum categorization. Nevertheless, general schemes are the same everywhere, and upper categories should be in form of:

Subcategories of “Building” and “Temporary exhibitions” are then easy to imagine

The point concentrating the main problems is the substructure of “Permanent collections”. The experience showed that multiple approaches were possible and mutually beneficial, mainly by room and by type of work:

Of course, this example will have to be adapted for very big museums, where the collections are divided by departments; and for the most little ones also, where too much categories could be harmful. But in most cases, it should be fine.

Example (browse inside the cats)


Participants list


Conventions on images
Naming of images

Image names should be as descriptive and relevant as possible, following upload guidelines. For museum items, reaching this goal can be achieved by providing such necessary information as:

  • Keywords describing the work:
    • Author (if known/relevant),
    • Title or name (if any),
    • Type of work (if no title/author),
    • Subject (if no title/author),
    • Date of work (in case of ambiguity);
  • Name of the museum (follow the category name as much as possible);
  • Accession number (if known, should always be mentioned; could be concatenated to avoid confusion);
  • Version information (when several versions of the same work are taken, a numbering—n1, n2—, a photograph date—2022-08-11—or any detail name—front, arm—could be used).

Further information could be added, but remember to keep image names short and useful for everybody.



Conventions on images
Description of images

Too many images on Commons are unusable because they are uploaded without sufficient description.

However, providing relevant information on photos taken in museums is generally painless because these information are often indicated in the museum caption (tip: always shoot it after the object itself). Notable among them are:

  • Author of the work
  • Title or name
  • Origin and date
  • Medium and dimensions
  • Comment
  • Accession number and credit line
  • Location inside the museum (room/case numbers)

To help users doing this stuff, and as the {{Information}} template is too generic for these purposes, several museum templates were elaborated, which provide an easy-to-fill layout with appropriate fields (see for instance {{Information British Museum}}). These templates are made from a meta-template, {{Meta information museum}}, so that if one is lacking for a museum it could be easily created.

Examples (see image descriptions)

See also