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Queens Residents Take to Wikipedia to Update the Borough's History

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | November 22, 2013 7:00am
 The Queens Library wants to promote the borough online.
The Queens Library wants to promote the borough online.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

QUEENS — Curious about Queens?

The Queens Library is hoping to bolster the borough's position in the world by asking history lovers, long-time residents or anyone with knowledge about the area to participate in a “Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon.”

“Wikipedia doesn’t have a lot of resources about Queens in particular,” said Joanne King, spokeswoman for the Queens Library.

During the first-ever “Edit-A-Thon,” which will be held at Central Library in Jamaica on Dec. 6, residents will be asked to create new entries or supplement those that are already part of the online encyclopedia.

The library asked members of local historical societies to contribute, but anyone is welcome to participate, King said. Trained librarians will be present to help people write their entries and back them with citations.

Among the topics that the Queens Library chose to target are: the Store Front Museum, which once served as a center for African-American art and culture in Jamaica; LIRR historian and photographer Ron Ziel; and the Sunnyside Gardens arena, a former boxing venue which used to stand on the corner of Queens Boulevard and 45th Street.

But participants can work on any Queens-related topic that they think needs more information on Wikipedia, King said.

“If someone wants to do something about the Jamaica race course, we can do that as well,” she said.

Residents can bring their family documents, photographs and letters which can be scanned and posted online as part of an entry, King said.

The library will also ask people whether they want their documents to be added to the Queens Memory Project, which collects photography, maps and other documents and combines them with oral history interviews of Queens residents.

Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon will be held on Friday, Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Queens Library-Central at 89-11 Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica.