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Susan becomes first ever Gaelic Wikipedian

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It is a job that represents the ultimate marriage of old and new traditions.

The Gaelic language is to be promoted through one of the world’s most popular websites thanks to a new role based at the National Library of Scotland.

Susan Ross, who learned Gaelic as a teenager and has since gained a doctorate in Gaelic studies, has been appointed the world’s first Gaelic Wikipedian.

The year-long post will see her working with the Gaelic community across Scotland to improve and create resources on Uicipeid, the Scottish Gaelic Wikipedia.

Uicipeid has been in existence since 2004 and currently has more than 14,000 pages of information in Gaelic.

Ms Ross, who has been contributing to Uicipeid since 2010, said: “Contributing to Gaelic Wikipedia builds a 21st century information source where knowledge, in Gaelic, about both the Gaelic world and the wider world, can be stored and shared.

“It is a great opportunity for Gaelic speakers to exercise reading and writing skills in a creative, informal, collaborative environment and I’m excited about the possibilities to get more people involved.”

Gill Hamilton, digital access manager for the National Library, said: “We were impressed by the number of high quality applications we received from Gaelic speakers to fill this role which demonstrates the importance in which it is held. Susan emerged as the best candidate and we look forward to working with her as she develops this exciting role.”

Daria Cybulska, head of programmes and evaluation at Wikimedia UK said: “Issues of diversity and equality are central to the Wikimedia UK’s vision and we work to enable people from all ethnic and linguistic backgrounds living in the UK and beyond to enjoy increased access to their own heritage.

“This project will be crucial in addressing this focus, and we are really looking forward to supporting it.”

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