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.
Dr 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.
Wikipedia is the world’s most popular online encyclopaedia of which Uicipeid forms one part.
It has been in existence since 2004 and currently has more than 14,000 pages of information in Gaelic.
Dr Ross will work with the existing community of users to identify priorities for development and encourage new users to begin contributing.
Over the coming year Dr Ross will collaborate with Gaelic speakers, community groups and organisations to improve Uicipeid content by offering training and edit-a-thons.
The work will also seek to promote use of the extensive Gaelic resources held by the National Library of Scotland, many of which can be accessed online.
Dr 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.”
The National Library has some of the best collections of Gaelic material anywhere in the world and has been working hard in recent years to make much of this material as available online. This material demonstrates the key role played by Gaelic in Scottish history and culture.