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Basic categories

This page helps editors quickly find the basic categories to place works in. For advanced help with the category syntax, see m:Help:Category. Category:Categories is the top level category.

The base page of every work in the main namespace should be placed in the basic categories which are outlined below. The approach is slightly different to that used in Wikipedia as it's not just about the subject of the work, but about the type of publication, date and copyright status.



Works (main namespace) have four basic types of Works category:

  1. What it is: Category:Works by type.
  2. What it is about: Genre (for fiction) or Subject (for non-fiction)
  3. When was it published: make sure the date is in the header, if it's known. Otherwise find the nearest fit in Category:Works by date‎.
    • This category is added by the |year = parameter in the header. You only need to add it there. You do not need to add it with the rest of the categories at the bottom of the page.
  4. Why it is free. If it is in the public domain, and why, or the free licence under which it has been released. Category:Works by license
    • This category is added by the licence template. For a list of licences, see Help:Copyright tags.
    • If there is no licence and you are unsure which one should apply, add the {{no licence}} maintenance tag instead.

Other, more specialised, categories are available. These do not apply to all works and will only sometimes be appropriate. The complete tree of categories for works starts here: Category:Works. It includes the following, which are slightly more common but still rare:

Sometime these categories may be combined into one category (eg. Category:Horror short stories). Categories may also cover the era (eg. Category:1910s plays), the country of origin (eg. Category:American poetry) and other identifiable groups.

Author pages (author namespace) have a similar set of basic Author categories

  1. Type of author - novelist, poet, diarist etc.
  2. Genre they are known for - children's authors, biographers, political authors, etc.
  3. Nationality
  4. Affiliation and occupation if known.

When categorizing, it's also important to add a link to the work in the appropriate portal. See Help:Portals.




The following categories are automatically added by the templates if the relevant information is provided:

Click on a + sign to expand any category.


The type of work; for example, The Gods of Mars is categorized to Category:Novels.


The genre the work best fits in (some works fit in several genres). If the genre you're looking for isn't listed, try looking in one of the general categories

(like Fiction), or ask Pathoschild or the community.


Major subjects covered in the work. This category requires judgment and often requires that you carefully read the work. Subjects are classified into general categories; try looking through them all.


The country the work is primarily published in.

Author pages



The following categories are automatically added by the templates if the relevant information is provided:

Where Wikidata contains information about

etc. then these categories are automatically added where the community has suitably configured that categorization. Requests for additional automated categories should be made at either Module talk:Author/data or at Wikisource:Scriptorium.

Note: Users can identify automated categorization when they have Gadget-HotCat active, as manual categories have the +/- beside their categories.





The country the author primarily published from. For example, Author:George W. Bush is categorized to Category:United States authors.


The author's primary occupations (president, janitor, et cetera).

Excluded categories


Other types of categories beyond those listed above are not used on English Wikisource and may be proposed for deletion. In particular, the following types of categories may be present on other language Wikisources but are not accepted on English Wikisource and are grounds for speedy deletion:

  • Person-based categories: Categories where the defining characteristic is person-based. This includes, but is not limited to, author-based categories like "Works by author name" intended to contain works by a particular author (instead, list the works on the Author page).
    There are exceptions for categories where the person's name signifies an administration (the administration associated with a specific US president), regnal period (the government of a given British monarch), or similar, which are not subject to speedy deletion under this criterion.
  • Work-based categories: Categories solely intended to contain pages within a particular work (instead, provide a table of contents on the work's main page).