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WikiVIP initiative aims to preserve celebrity voices on Wikipedia

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A new initiative called WikiVIP was announced by the Wikimedia Foundation on Saturday. The idea is for WikiVIP to gather spoken voice files of celebrities, sports figures, and other notables to the Foundation's online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

The brainchild of Wikipedia editors Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing) and Andrew Gray, WikiVIP asks those who are the subject of Wikipedia articles, be they standard celebrities, or even scientists or artists, to record short clips of their voices. The desired length is short, about ten seconds or so, and will not just let Wikipedia’s readers know what the subject sounded like, but in some cases how to correctly pronounce their names.

In a move that the BBC has never made before, the broadcasters is working with Wikipedia to provide short voice clips from some of its programming. This is the first time that the BBC has openly licensed content from its broadcast programs.

While the project is reaching out to some, it also encourages those with Wikipedia pages about them to proactively contact the WikiVIP team with a voice recording of their own. If you’d to help, not just donate a voice file, more details can be found by emailing stevie.benton@wikimedia.org.uk.

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