Globi is a cult figure in German-speaking Switzerland for children and anyone who has been a child in German-speaking Switzerland since 1944. Wikipedia lists 98 volumes of these illustrated stories in the article about Globi. The latest, 98th volume is called “Globi at the Museum”. Until June 8, 2024, it is the only Globi story within these 80 years to have its own Wikipedia article and can thus be seen as an example of the work done by Wikimedia CH.

The Wikipedia article on the 98th volume was written during the writing workshop on April 5, 2024 in this very museum, the National Museum in Zurich. Interesting in this context is a sword with an inlaid inscription, around which this story revolves. It was forged especially for the story and can currently be admired in the National Museum. The Wikipedia article explains what is behind it: This concept is intended to clarify the boundary between fiction and reality. This was preceded by considerations of whether the plot of a character story belongs in a museum and – excitingly for Wikipedians – whether a sword or the story behind it meets Wikipedia’s criteria for relevance.

At the request of our Community Manager Ulrich Lantermann, the museum managers were able to motivate the Globi publishing house to make an illustration of Globi – in this case the cover of the 98th volume – available under a free license on the Wikimedia Commons media platform. The fact that this was successful is a stroke of luck. “Otherwise we would have had to wait at least another 70 years for the general release of this Globi cover due to current copyright law,” emphasizes Ulrich Lantermann.

GLAM lead Sandra Becker sheds light on another aspect of Wikimedia CH’s work that this story makes tangible: Just like the Wikimedia Movement, museums also have problems recruiting new talent. In May 2024, the GLAM program – “an acronym for « Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums” – initiated the international museum campaign on education, Sustainable Development Goal 4, together with the Wikimedia Foundation. “Young people in particular are on TikTok and Instagram. How can we get them to visit a museum? By offering them narratives that reflect their reality,” says Sandra Becker. “This is where our cooperation comes in: Globi reaches young and old.” If the object mentioned in the story and in the Wikipedia article is actually on display, it will be particularly interesting to go to the museum.

Wikimedia CH works to convince GLAM institutions and offers a helping hand in transferring knowledge to the Wiki World and thus making it freely accessible. This worked wonderfully in the case of the 98th Globi story and is an example of the best way to promote young talent. The result is exactly in line with the GLAM program’s current strategy of helping to implement the new global definition of museums and thus make them accessible to a wider audience especially young people.

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Illustration: Daniel Frick/Globi Verlag, Globi im Museum Buchcover, Bildschnitt von WMCH, CC BY-SA 4.0