Women of the VCH Wiki edit-a-thon

By Amara Thornton (Co-Investigator, Beyond Notability Project)

The Beyond Notability project is collaborating with the Victoria County History and the Women’s Classical Committee for an online Wiki editathon on 15 December. Since its foundation the Victoria County History has employed women as researchers and writers of these important county-level histories. Some of the women working for the VCH are already represented on Wikipedia and Wikidata, but many of them are not.

Attendees of the Wiki editathon will be adding women VCH contributors to Wikidata and Wikipedia, and augmenting entries for women who are already included to reflect their association with the VCH.

There are 21 women who contributed to the VCH currently included in our Beyond Notability database:

Of these 12 (Graham, Taylor, Armitage, Sellers, Bateson, Chapman, Harris, Wood, O’Neil, Stokes, Toynbee and Lobel) are on Wikidata, and 9 on Wikipedia (Graham, Taylor, Armitage, Sellers, Bateson, Wood, O’Neil, Stokes, and Lobel).

The Women’s Classical Committee has been working on adding women working in classics (broadly conceived) to Wikipedia in monthly editathons. There were 5 women involved in writing about Romano-British archaeology for the Victoria County History:

  • Charlotte Margaret Calthrop  – Romano-British Berkshire
  • Sophie Shilleto Smith – Romano-British Buckinghamshire
  • Edith Murray Keate – Romano-British Leicestershire (co-authored with William Page), Rutland (co-authored with HB Walters), Staffordshire (with Page)
  • Margerie Venables Taylor – Romano British Huntingdonshire, Kent (with Francis John Haverfield), Oxford, Shropshire (with Haverfield)
  • Ella Sophia Armitage – Ancient Earthworks for Yorkshire 1 (co-authored with Donald Montgomerie, this includes Romano-British Earthworks)

Of these, 3 are on our database (Keate, Taylor and Armitage), but only Taylor and Armitage are represented on Wikipedia and Wikidata.

15 December 2022: Editathon Programme

Purpose of event

  • Create, improve and enrich Wikidata and Wikipedia entries for women connected to the Victoria County History project
  • Introduce attendees to editing Wikipedia and Wikidata.
  • Provide a supportive environment for learning and sharing.


  • Create/augment Wikidata/Wikidata entries for women contributors to the VCH
    • If extant, are Wikidata/Wikipedia entries tidy? And do the links work?
    • HARDER Are there missing links to key identifiers (ie WorldCat, Archaeology Data Service) in Wikidata entries.
    • HARDER use “contributed to creative work” property to add VCH work to women’s entries as in this one for Mary Bateson (see her contributing to the DNB) https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q6779021.
  • ONE PERSON TASK Augment VCH entry on Wikipedia to clarify staffing structure, including work of contributors as well as editors
  • Use Beyond Notability database as a trusted source for referencing in Wikidata/Wikipedia entries

Event Plan

3-3.20 Intro talks

3-3.05 Brief welcome (Amara)

3.05-3.10 Intro to VCH (Adam)

3.10-3.15 Intro to BN (James)

3.15-3.20 Intro to WCC (Victoria)

3.20-4.30 Training & Editing

Training on Wikipedia editing (Victoria)

Training on Wikidata editing (James)


Further Reading/References

Link to VCH Volumes online (not all volumes are available for all counties): https://www.history.ac.uk/research/victoria-county-history/county-histories-progress

Beckett, John, 2011. Writing Hampshire’s History: The Victoria County History 1899-1914, Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club Archaeological Society 66.

Chapman, Adam and Townsend, Mike, 2022. Bringing the VCH Past to the Wikipedia Present. IHR Blog.

Elrington, CR (Ed.), 1990. The Victoria History of the Counties of England: General Introduction Supplement 1970-1990 (Oxford University Press).

Pugh, Ralph (Ed.), 1970. The Victoria History of the Counties of England: General Introduction (Oxford University Press).


Special thanks to Adam Chapman, Victoria Leonard, James Baker, Shani Evenstein-Sigalov.

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