Help:Beginner's guide to sources

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Beginner's guide to sources
How to add a book to Wikisource for proofreading.

The source for a work on Wikisource should be a scanned copy of the original, usually stored in the DjVu (pronounced "déjà vu") or PDF file formats.

The file should be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and an Index page with the same name should be created on Wikisource. After this, proofreading can begin.

Which file format?[edit]

DjVu is the preferred file format for all scans on Wikisource. You can also upload a scan in the PDF file format. See Wikisource:DjVu vs. PDF for a comparison. If there are only a few pages, you can also use image files (such as JPEGs) of individual pages, but this is harder. See the Help:Index pages for more information.

Where to get them[edit]

You can either scan a book yourself or find a scan that someone else has already made. DjVu files are the most common on Wikisource but PDFs can also be used. If necessary, single image files can be used for each page scan but this is not a good idea for large works.

The easiest place to find DjVu files is at the Internet Archive. That website stores thousands of scanned books and magazines in a range of different file formats. You can download the file from the archive and upload it to Wikimedia Commons.

Scans are available from other sites as well, such as Google Books and HathiTrust.

There are many ways to create your own scan, using special book scanning machines or just a digital camera. If you have scanned a book yourself you can convert it to either DjVu or PDF format with the your own software. You can also upload the scans to a website like the Internet Archive, which will be easier. They will convert your scans and you can download the file you need from their website.

For specific information, see:

How to add a new text to Wikisource[edit]

Points to consider before uploading[edit]

Before adding a new text, please make sure to read the following guidelines.

Basic procedure[edit]

Fully integrating works into Wikisource can be a very complicated process. We don't expect new users to learn the ins and outs of doing this before submitting texts. However, there is a basic procedure that should be followed when adding any texts.

First, you should check that Wikisource does not already have the work. Do this by searching for it:

  • Use the search box which is on every page. A drop down list of titles will match the characters as typed.
  • Look on the author's page, which should list their works.
  • Perform an advanced search on the title, author, or a short phrase from the text.
  • Perform a Wikisource-specific search using an external engine, eg. Google

Uploading the scan[edit]

Usually, the DjVu or PDF file should be uploaded directly to Wikimedia Commons (one of Wikisource's sister sites that holds images and files for general use). However, Commons chooses to respect the copyright laws of the home country of any work, which Wikisource does not. In cases where non-United States publications are in the public domain in the United States but not in their home countries, they should be uploaded directly to Wikisource instead. This method is the same as the method to upload and add images.

To upload to Wikimedia Commons:

To upload to Wikisource:

Starting an index page for your new text[edit]

Once the file has been uploaded to the correct place, an index page needs to be created on Wikisource. Index pages need to have the same name as the file you just uploaded. For example, the file Book.djvu will appear on either Commons or Wikisource as File:Book.djvu and the index page must be called Index:Book.djvu.

  1. Create an Index page for the scan. To do so, do one of the following:
    1. Type the word "Index:" and the name of your scan in the Wikisource search box at left, click 'Go.'
    2. Enter the word "Index:" and the name of your scan in the box under "Create a new page" below.
    • For example, if you uploaded a scan called "My book.djvu" (which will appear on Wikimedia Commons as "File:My book.djvu") you need to create an index called "Index:My book.djvu" — see Help:Beginner's guide to Index: files for more information.
  2. Click the 'create' link at the top to create the page.
  3. Fill in any information you know, leaving any unknown or inapplicable information blank.
  4. Preview your work, then save. If successful, you should see a list of page numbers below the cover image and the information you just entered.

What about works without scans?[edit]

Ideally all works on Wikisource will eventually have scans, replacing the works already present that do not. However, it is still OK to add proofread texts from other sources.

Sites such as Project Gutenberg host lots of texts that can be copied and pasted directly to Wikisource. See Help:Adding texts for more information. In these cases, you should add a {{header}} template at the top of the page and also add the parameter edition = yes. On the talk page (marked "Discussion" at the top of the page) add the {{textinfo}} and {{second-hand}} templates. Fill in all of the information possible, especially including a link to the source in the textinfo template.

If manually copying text from a physical book, for example a library book that you cannot scan, the process is similar. Use {{header}} on the main page with the text; use just the {{textinfo}} template on the talk page. If possible, in the textinfo template, add a note to explain the situation to readers and allow other users to check and proofread the book.