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Boston Rock City

Explore Wikidata

Wikidata Harvard Library is partnering with Boston Public Library for an online crowdsourcing event based on the Arthur Freedman Collection, an audiovisual archive that captures over four decades of Boston rock music performances. The goal of the event is to describe in more detail the musicians, bands and venues that were a part of the Boston scene. This description takes the form of Wikidata (aka linked data), a body of free and open knowledge that can be read and edited by both humans and machines (its data is used by sites like Wikipedia). Adding new Wikidata entries (known as entities) gathered from the Freedman Collection will help to make the people and places of the Boston scene more widely visible to the world. Here's an example of a Wikidata entry.

Beginning in the late 1970s, Arthur Freedman recorded countless shows, adding to an enormous home archive. In 2011, Arthur Freedman donated this collection to Harvard Library. It is now fully catalogued and library staff are working on permissions so that many of these recordings can be freely streamed online.

Wikidata Join us for two days of music and Wikidata editing! No prior experience necessary! Project staff will provide you with everything you need to generate new Wikidata entities. No linked data experience or music-reading ability is required. This edit-a-thon will take place on Friday, May 21 and Saturday, May 22. It is a public online event, free to all, and will take place via Zoom; please register in advance. Join for either day or both, and for a little or as much time as you’d like. (See below for a detailed schedule.)

We’ll provide: instructions, tools, data sources, visualizations, optional Discord chat, and a soundtrack. If you have questions, please contact Harvard Library staff member Peter Laurence at And if you're ready to join us, sign up here to reserve your spot!

Friday May 21 Wikidata
  • 2pm - 2:30pm: Intro to the Arthur Freedman Collection and Wikidata how-to
  • 2:30pm - 4:3opm: Edit-a-thon!
  • 4:30 - 5:00pm: Wrap up and high-five
Saturday, May 22
  • 11am - 11:30am: Intro to the Arthur Freedman Collection and Wikidata how-to
  • 11:30am - 2:0opm: Edit-a-thon!
  • 2:00-2:30pm: Wrap up and high-five


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