Wikisource:Maintenance of the Month/Creating a YouTube video about Wikisource

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What is Wikisource?


Wikisource is a free online library. It’s free because the texts that it hosts are free for everyone to use and its access is free of charge on the Internet.

Wikisource is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, which also hosts other projects, including the well-known Wikipedia.

Wikisource multilingual portal is at, while the English-language collection is at

Wikisource is made by people like you. Anyone can create an account and start editing.

Wikisource has got a software extension which is used to make an e-book from a scanned physical book. Though, inserting texts without scans is still possible.

What can I add to Wikisource?


The English Wikisource community has approved a few policies, including the inclusion policy and the copyright policy.

The inclusion policy states that any work on Wikisource must come from a verifiable source: The scans are preferred. Translations from other languages are suitable, too.

Unpublished original contributions (with a few exceptions), current advertisements, anonymous texts with a doubtful copyright status, excerpts of larger works, evolving works, and mere reference material are not suitable for Wikisource.

The copyright policy states that Wikisource content is released under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike license, which allows sharing, adaptation, and commercial use.

Thus you can only add works that are either in the public domain or under a license that grants these freedoms.

Public domain is determined by the United States law—all works published before 1923 are in the public domain.

How can I add a book?


The first step is uploading the scans to Wikimedia Commons. The preferred file format for scans is DjVu.

You don’t have to create another account there if you have already created one on Wikisource: Accounts can be used on all Wikimedia projects.

The second step is creating the Index page on Wikisource. The Index page will show links to individual pages.

The third step is proofreading the pages. Click a red page link, edit the text to match the original in spelling and formatting, and mark the page as proofread. Do the same for the other pages of the book.

The last step is publishing the finished book. Click the title link and use the "pages" tag to transclude the book. If there are internal subdivisions (like chapters), transclude just the frontispiece, the preface, and the index; then create a subpage for each subdivision.

Adding a book may seem difficult, but don’t worry: Experienced users enjoy helping newcomers. Looking at already finished books is also helpful.

Where can I read works?


Works can be read online on either the desktop version or the mobile version of the site. The mobile version is the default for all mobile devices excluding tablets.

If you click the "Printable version" link in the toolbox, you’ll get a page with the same content but no navigation links. Such page is ideal to be printed or downloaded as HTML.

Another link in the toolbox allows to create collections of Wikisource pages, which can be downloaded in various file formats. You can save the collection you create to make it available to others in a specific category.

There is also an export tool for Wikisource on Wikimedia labs, but it’s still in development.

How is the site structured?


The site has a main page which includes the newly added texts, the current featured text, and the current collaborations. Fully proofread books can be added to the new texts, and fully validated ones can be featured text candidates.

Collaborations are a great way to start contributing: You can practice with the editing process without having to do everything yourself.

Wikisource has got several namespaces, including the "Author" namespace. An author page lists works written, translated, edited, or illustrated by a certain person. It may also list works about him or her.

Another namespace is for portals. A portal is usually related to a specific topic, but there are portals about associations and bodies of various kind, people who are not authors, and Wikisource processes.

Another namespace is for categories. A category groups items with a specific characteristic. Some categories are added to pages automatically; others need to be added manually, but it’s easy if you enable the HotCat gadget in your preferences.

Wikisource is a hypertextual library. When a text mentions another text or an author that is on Wikisource, it can be hyperlinked.

There are also links to other Wikimedia projects and to other language editions of Wikisource.

How is the community organized?


The volunteer community is the lifeblood of Wikimedia projects. We are all peer fellows, but we entrust some administrators with specific service tasks like protecting or deleting some pages and blocking users who misbehave.

Decisions on Wikisource are made by consensus. We discuss a lot: The central discussion is at the Scriptorium, but every page has got a talk page to discuss improvements.

The community portal is the central place where we find things we need to know and things we can do. Help pages document the whole project.

Users have got user pages with their profile, and user talk pages where others can post messages for them.

Why should I bother with Wikisource?


Wikisource volunteers contribute in many ways. Their reasons for being on Wikisource vary from person to person and their projects are often independent because they have got different preferences. These volunteers know they are all helping to build one of the most reliable collections of free and informative texts that the world has ever known. Wikisource is like the great library of Alexandria except Wikisource is easier to search and more difficult to destroy. Books are downloaded from the site in many formats or just read there. Some are printed, thereby using old, frail, discolored books to create thousand of new books. Validated transcriptions from scans are very accurate, so they are ideal for academic use. These forms of education and adventures of a long-ago past will endure, amuse, and teach generations of the future.

Wikisource volunteers contribute in many ways and all are volunteers. Their reasons for being on Wikisource vary from person to person but it comes down to the fact that they volunteer solely because they want to be involved and perhaps because it is, and will remain, something greater than any individual. The projects of volunteers are often independent because not everyone likes the same topics. Still, some gather together and help each other. These volunteers, often called editors, and administrators, know they are all helping to build a most reliable collection of free and informative library texts that the world has ever known. Prior to this was the great library of Alexandria that was easily destroyed. Wikisource is not so much unlike the library at Alexandria except it is not so easily destroyed. Books are saved from here to many formats or just read here. Many get printed out thereby using one old and often frail and discolored book to create thousands or millions of new originals. Therefore these forms of education and adventures of a long ago past will endure, amuse, and teach generations of the future. This also true of the editors here today. They do what they do because it is worth doing and because they like what they do. —Maury (talk) 23:30, 1 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Good! I integrated this with Londonjackbooks' reasons (below) and put it in the grey box.--Erasmo Barresi (talk) 16:38, 2 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • If I should find I like Wikisource then what can I do to promote Wikisource aside from editing?
One idea is to make a small or larger videos. For example,using a portion of a recently completed book on Cycles by the Wikisource Community, entitled The Cycle Industry housed on Wikisource and showing the url (link) to connect to the book immediately, we may find:

WikiSource Free Books- Cycles - YouTube

William Morris

Published on Feb 1, 2013

WikiSource Library. This is an old book placed on WikiSource and available to anyone for free.. The text and images come from pages that are copied from original book scans. In one area these are shown as individual scans with new text or images copied beside the old book scanned. In another area you can read these new free books. Some are illustrated and some are not illustrated. This video is a 1st attempt to explain some of WikiSource. The main page will show 1st and the link will show last. This particular old book that has been saved is about "Cycles" - all kinds of old riding cycles of long ago. Unlike some free book sites WikiSource shows the old pages beside the copied new pages.

WikiSource English version:

Category: Education

License: Standard YouTube License

—Maury (talk) 01:41, 2 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

More on Why Wikisource


(not merely why contribute, but also why use/visit, etc.)

  • searchability of text
  • [not perfect but] more accurate transcription (with indexed sources) [similar to "reliable" as used above in quotation box; but maybe explain more about what makes the content more reliable—accuracy is only one aspect]
  • more aesthetically pleasing

Londonjackbooks (talk) 02:31, 2 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

A keyword for Wikisource is Trust. This trust I refer to comes from the process of placing the original book pages in a scan format. Then the editing is done beside the book page scan. When this is done it is easily seen that the transcribed text is the same as the scanned image. Therein is "truth" of the work done, an accuracy like no other on Internet. There they remain, side by side, the scanned image page and the transcribed text. The same holds true for images. Nothing can be hidden so there is trust in accuracy of the original book compared to the transcribed book. These scans are linked to the transcriptions of the originals located in another area. There is no getting around the validity of the transcribed works. This is totally different from books on Internet that do not use this same method for creating and printing new books from original old books often dating far into the past. There are all kinds of books here. There are books on just about everything and Wikisource is still growing. Wikisource library is yet young and will continue to grow into the future. E-Book readers cannot do this matching of a scanned original to a transcribed book of text and images. People who buy those publications have to assume other areas on Internet have accurate transcriptions. They have to pay and trust the accuracy of other e-books and webpages. People have to take for granted that what they buy and read are accurate. But there is no necessity, or hope, that the transcriptions in Wikisource's library is accurate because they can see for themselves simply by looking at the original scanned book pages. The volunteers here, called editors, are here, in part, because they love books and probably always have. Many of them grew up loving books of places, adventures, knowledge, &c. Because of this attitude the editors here have no desire nor reason to alter original scanned books—page-by-page—they do what they do out of a love for books themselves and a desire to share Wikisource's old books and other materials such as the Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation or Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence with the rest of the world. In this manner the entire world is becoming more and more united. Another point to be addressed is that this particular area on Internet, en.Wikisource is only one of many areas of Wikisource. There are many nations with "foreign" languages that also have areas on Wikisource just as Wikipedia does. is english Wikisource, is Italian Wikisource, es.Wikisource is Spanish Wikisoure. There are [ number ?] Wikisource areas from around the world and we all have the same goals in sharing Arts, Biography, Geography, History, Mathematics, Sciences, Society, Technology, Portals, and that is still not all because Wikisource continues to grow in all of these and other areas and yet it is all done by volunteer editors from nations from all around the world and still all of this is free to people of all nations that have Internet access to these many works. Still, all of this is only the tip of an iceberg

—Maury (talk) 17:49, 2 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]


If you'd like to be an announcer in the video, sign your name below. By doing this, you agree to release any video or audio recording for the video under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 license. The portion of video for each announcer depends on the number of announcers.
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