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Otago Museum Images to be Freely Available in Wikimedia Commons

On Saturday 4 May, Otago Museum is releasing more than 700 images of collection items and galleries in Wikipedia for use under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

These images will be freely available for any purpose at, providing the Otago Museum is credited (see below), and include historical objects, shells, moa bones, marine mammal skulls, geology specimens, and taxidermy birds.

The Museum has been hosting New Zealand’s Wikipedian-at-large, Dr Mike Dickison, for the past month. He is working to enhance the stories from galleries, libraries, archives, and museums around New Zealand in Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, and Wikidata and has been recruiting and working with volunteers to upload open-licensed images to Commons.

Dr Dickison says, “It’s a pleasure to work with Otago Museum on this project as they recognise the importance of making their collections as accessible as possible to the world. Most heritage institutions in New Zealand are moving in this direction.”

Robert Morris, Otago Museum’s Director of Collections, Research, Education, and Design, explains: “The Museum houses an incredibly diverse collection from around the world. Making collections available through as many channels as possible not only asserts their value to our communities but ensures their relevance in an ever-changing world. Wikipedia will serve as a valuable portal to the collections we house and the knowledge we seek to share.”

The same day, Dr Dickison will lead a public "edit-a-thon" workshop to improve Wikipedia pages around the theme “History of the Otago Museum”. The event will be held in the H D Skinner Annex from 10.30am.


Credit to be included when using Otago Museum images:

(Photographer’s name • Copyright Otago Museum • CC BY)


About Creative Commons
Creative Commons is a globally-focused non-profit organisation dedicated to making it easier for people to share their creative works, and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. It provides free licenses and other legal tools to give individuals and organisations a simple, standardised way to grant copyright permissions for creative work, ensure proper attribution, and allow others to copy, distribute, and make use of those works.

There are nearly one billion works licensed under Creative Commons, hosted on some of the most popular content platforms in the world and used on more than nine million individual websites.


Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Free – light snacks provided, just bring a laptop

10.30am–4pm, Saturday 4 May

OCT Conservatory, H D Skinner Annex


For more information

Kane Fleury

Otago Museum Acting Curator, Natural Sciences

027 3073073