Wikisource:News/2013-10

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Dominic McDevitt-Parks goes pro[edit]

Photograph of Dominic McDevitt-Parks showing a National Archives tattoo on his right arm.
Dominic McDevitt-Parks. Photo by Benoit Rochon.

Wikisource administrator Dominic McDevitt-Parks (User:Dominic) has become the world's first full-time Wikimedian-in-Residence. He joined United States National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) Office of Innovation as a permanent employee in late September.

McDevitt-Parks joined the National Archives on a part-time basis as a Wikimedian-in-Residence in May 2011. He was a student at Simmons College at the time, studying for a master's degree in history and archives management (which he achieved in 2012). He spent one and a half years in the post, leaving the archives briefly in October 2012. In May 2013, he started in the same role at the Smithsonian Institution. McDevitt-Parks is also Cultural Partnerships Coordinator for Wikimedia District of Columbia (WMDC), the local Wikimedia chapter for the north-east of the United States.

As a Wikisource administrator, he is responsible for organising Wikisource:WikiProject NARA, a collaborative effort to transcribe some of the thousands of documents from NARA onto Wikisource. It is thanks to this effort that the project has works such as Susan B. Anthony petition for remission of fine (1874), which is linked from the National Archives website as an online resource.

NARA is the US government agency in charge of preserving the country's historical records. Wikimedians in Residence, initially just Wikipedians in Residence, are editors embedded in an organisation, usually a gallery, library, archive or museum (GLAM), who helps to co-ordinate efforts between the institution and Wikimedia. The first Wikipedian in Residence was Liam Wyatt at the British Museum in 2010.

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Wikimedia community logo

The legal team of the Wikimedia Foundation opened a request for consultation about whether the community logo should be registered as a collective membership mark. The legal team supports the registration as it would protect the logo from being misused by someone else. This is particularly relevant when the logo is in the public domain and copyright protection is therefore unavailable. Although registering the logo as a collective membership mark would still allow community members to use it flexibly, some oppose the registration as the creator wanted it to be totally free.

Featured text for October 2013[edit]

There are two Halloween-related featured texts for October.

The first one is "The Canterville Ghost" (1887), a short story by Oscar Wilde. It is a humorous ghost story about an American family moving into a haunted British country house. Wilde uses the story to contrast British and American culture. The humour comes from the American family's complete lack of fear in the ghost and its increasing frustration at this. The roles become reversed and the ghost becomes the victim of the family. The story was very popular and has been adapted into plays, operas, television dramas and films. (Main page template)

CantervilleCover.jpg

WHEN Mr. Hiram B. Otis, the American Minister, bought Canterville Chase, every one told him he was doing a very foolish thing, as there was no doubt at all that the place was haunted. Indeed, Lord Canterville himself, who was a man of the most punctilious honour, had felt it his duty to mention the fact to Mr. Otis when they came to discuss terms.

"We have not cared to live in the place ourselves," said Lord Canterville, "since my grandaunt, the Dowager Duchess of Bolton, was frightened into a fit, from which she never really recovered, by two skeleton hands being placed on her shoulders as she was dressing for dinner, and I feel bound to tell you, Mr. Otis, that the ghost has been seen by several living members of my family, as well as by the rector of the parish, the Rev. Augustus Dampier, who is a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. After the unfortunate accident to the Duchess, none of our younger servants would stay with us, and Lady Canterville often got very little sleep at night, in consequence of the mysterious noises that came from the corridor and the library."

(Read on...)

The second one is "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (1864), an edition of the 1820 short story by Washington Irving. The story of a headless horseman chasing a schoolmaster is one of the earliest examples of enduringly popular American fiction. The nature of the horseman is left for the reader to decide. The story borrows elements from the folklore of several European countries and transplants them to late 18th century New York state. The story has been widely reprinted and adapted since its publication in 1820 in a collection called The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon. This is a later, self contained, 1864 edition published by G. P. Putnam with additional illustrations. (Main page template)

Sleepy Hollow (1864) 49.jpg

ON the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail, and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market-town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town. This name was given, we are told, in former days, by the good housewives of the adjacent country, from the inveterate propensity of their husbands to linger about the village tavern on market-days. Be that as it may, I do not vouch for the fact, but merely advert to it, for the sake of being precise and authentic. Not far from this village, perhaps about two miles, there is a little valley, or rather lap of land, among high hills, which is one of the quietest places in the whole world. A small brook glides through it, with just murmur enough to lull one to repose; and the occasional whistle of a quail, or tapping of a woodpecker, is almost the only sound that ever breaks in upon the uniform tranquillity.

(Read on...)

Collaborations for October 2013[edit]

The Proofread of the Month for October 2013 is Stabilizing the Dollar (1920) by Irving Fisher, a topical subject at time of writing.

The Maintenance of the Month task for October 2013 is Move to the Translation namespace. It was started in September, but it needs to be completed. The English Wikisource has long been hosting user-made translations, but there used to be no agreed policies. A few months ago, the community decided to host those translations in a dedicated namespace.

Administrator confirmations[edit]

An administrator was confirmed in September 2013:

1 administrator will have their confirmation discussion in October 2013:

Milestones[edit]

At the very end of August, on Samedi, 31 August, French Wikisource reached the point of 80% scan-backed content. On that day, the project added 104 scan-backed pages and lost 28 pages without scans, a nett increase of 76 pages. This brought them to a total of 108,684 scan-backed pages against 27,170 without. This is currently the highest percentage of scan-backed content for any of the large Wikisources. Polish trails them at 70%. Norwegian is 94.7% scan backed but this is weighted by having on 3,728 content pages (or "text units"). By comparison, English Wikisource is at 27% scan-backed content with 292,005 content pages.

In other milestones for the month, Hebrew Wikisource reached 100,000 text units on 17 September and Estonian Wikisource reached its 1,000th on 28 September. The two non-content milestones were Venetian Wikisource recording its 1,000th registered user on 2 September and Norwegian Wikisource having its 100,000th edit on 24 September.

In a milestone too late for inclusion in the last issue, Belarusian Wikisource reached its 2,000th text unit on 31 August.