Wikisource talk:Community collaboration

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The behind the scenes choosing of potential collaborations - please exercise some restraint and demonstrate common sense. If an author really only wrote two books, or has few public domain texts - it might be better for you to focus on the improvement yourself, rather than tying up a handful of members for a week.

Please include reasons why you believe this author deserves special attention, perhaps wiki-linking to important works by the author. Providing a few potential sources of online text grabs wouldn't hurt your chances either.

Works will be listed to the growing list of waiting Collaborations, assuming that one or two other people support the addition of the author, and there are no complaints from others about the notability, texts or otherwise of the author.

You may consider using Category:Authors with no works as a springboard for ideas.


Tentative Schedule
subject to change

Thoreau (2017 Feb-May)
Edward VII (2017 Jun-Sep)
Eminent Women Series (2017 Oct-2018 Mar??)
George Sand (2018 Apr-??)
Afr-Amer. biographies (??)

Next collaboration[edit]

We've got Edward VII up in the interim. Not sure whether he'll attract new editors, but it is something very different from what we've done before, and he's desperately short of coverage here. Even the featured article on Wikipedia doesn't mention any contemporary sources in the bibliography, so this will be content added.

We've got a single nomination on the page for now (the "Eminent Women" series), and it looks like a good choice for a CC. My only doubt is that the series could take a long time, and we have the 200th birthday of Frederick Douglass coming in February, 2018. Since 200th anniversaries are rare, I'd want to give this a chance, but I'm also unsure whether Douglass is a viable CC per se. I'll be posting a proposal below shortly to explain. --EncycloPetey (talk) 19:55, 2 June 2017 (UTC)

Time to switch?[edit]

Interest in Edward VII seems to have stalled. Should we wait for a bit longer, or do we think it's time to move forward and start the "Eminent Women" series? --EncycloPetey (talk) 20:42, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

I'm not really invested in it either way, so I'll stay neutral. I see a lot of incomplete transcription projects on his author page though; should we try to get more completion on those before moving on? —Beleg Tâl (talk) 14:47, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

Probably flawed idea[edit]

I think most of the people who consider coming here to edit come from wikipedia. Over there, you can generally take something from nonexistent to a high standard of quality on just a few days, and make substantive improvements to a finished product on your own in hours or less. It is rather harder to do the same thing here. Maybe one way we might be able to be seen as more appealing to that somewhat ADD crowd might be to make a future collaboration be a combination of full books and shorter works, like encyclopedia and journal articles and other shorter works, possibly all relating to a single sort of broad topic. It might be useful if we could maybe get the main page to feature more works, maybe something along the lines of a wikipedia portal, which could feature poems or essays or articles as well as full books, possibly with all of them relating to a specific topic. Like maybe a particular writer. Of course, that would involve a lot more work on main page maintenance, and that might be problematic, but it might be possible to preselect some texts in advance, like I did with some of the content of some wikipedia portals, and maybe set up a rotation which could have new items included by having the next higher number. That would be a hell of a lot of work, but it might get more people involved. John Carter (talk) 18:58, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

We tried that. It worked well once (see Thoreau), but has failed miserably other times we tried it (see King Edw. VII). Any collaborations depend on people staying active in them, and even over there, most of the collaborations that happened years ago have disappeared, except in very small, highly specialized communities with active membership.
I question your assertion about how most people come here, and about making substantive improvements there, but not here, but that's a separate discussion. I'm also not sure whether you're talking about Featured works, or the Monthly collaboration, or this Community collaboration. I'm also not sure why a change would be needed. Our current collaboration has been very successful. --EncycloPetey (talk) 20:17, 6 April 2018 (UTC)


Wikipedia promotion[edit]

Wikipedia loves talk tags! So, I have tagged the James Cook talk page, and suggested something similar be added to the Australia Portal (see w:Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Australia#Wikisource_advertising) in the hope to promote Wikisource collaboration on Wikipedia. Any objections to this? John Vandenberg 05:42, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I think this is a great idea! Advertising like this might help us get more sources for our current collaborations as well as maybe lure some Wikipedians to stay around for a while as well.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 05:57, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Excellent idea! Might also be a good idea to just add a note to the talk page pointing at it, in case people scroll past templates without reading them, just saying "It's the COTW, we'd appreciate if you could help us find and add texts" or somesuch. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Captain Cook 06:01, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
It's been picked up and placed on the Australia noticeboard. John Vandenberg 06:03, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Eminent/Famous Women series[edit]

W. H. Allen (UK) /Roberts Brothers (US) published a series of women biographies written by women (bar one) from 1880-90s, edited by John Henry Ingram. It would be neat to get that series of works together. I haven't found an authoritative and complete list, so this is what I have deduced so far, and I need to add links to scans.

  1. George Eliot by Mathilde Blind (External scan)
  2. Emily Brontë by A. Mary F. Robinson 2nd ed.:(External scan)
  3. George Sand by Bertha Thomas New ed.: (External scan)
  4. Mary Lamb by Anne Gilchrist (External scan)
  5. Maria Edgeworth by Helen Zimmern
  6. Margaret Fuller by Julia Ward Howe
  7. Elizabeth Fry by Emma Raymond Pitman
  8. Countess of Albany by Vernon Lee
  9. Harriett Martineau by Florence Fenwick Miller
  10. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin by Elizabeth Robins Pennell (transcription project)
  11. Rachel by Nina H. Kennard
  12. Madame Roland by Mathilde Blind
  13. Susanna Wesley by Eliza Clarke (transcription project)
  14. Elizabeth Barrett Browning by John Henry Ingram, 5th ed Yes check.svg Done
  15. Margaret of Angoulême, Queen of Navarre by Mary Robinson
  16. Madame de Staël by Bella Duffy
  17. Mrs. Siddons by Nina Kennard
  18. Hannah More by Charlotte Mary Yonge
  19. Mary Shelley by Lucy Madox Brown Rossetti (transcription project)
  20. Life of Her Majesty Queen Victoria by Millicent Garrett Fawcett
  21. Jane Austen by Mrs. Charles Malden
  22. Saint Theresa of Avila by Mrs. Bradley Gilman
  23. The Life of Dr. Anandabai Joshee by Caroline Healy Dall
  24. Adelaide Ristori by Adelaide Ristori

billinghurst sDrewth 02:24, 17 May 2017 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support I've added external scan links to the first four. Would this series be better served by having a Category or a Portal? --EncycloPetey (talk) 19:49, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
Definitely a portal, or perhaps a section within the WH Allen / Roberts brothers portal —Beleg Tâl (talk) 22:25, 2 June 2017 (UTC)
A list and portal are now set up (W. H. Allen had no portal!) at Portal:W. H. Allen & Co.#Eminent Women Series. I'm setting the series in place at the Comm Collab now. --EncycloPetey (talk) 02:14, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support and Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I noted a later version of Mary Wollstonecraft by Pennell in the series that has an updated title (Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin) &c. from the original "Famous Women" series. It may be worth looking into whether the original or later "Eminent" version is added to WS. Whichever is decided, I can proofread that work. Londonjackbooks (talk) 18:29, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
The "Eminent" series is the original UK title for the series. The "Famous" title came later, and was used in the US editions, mostly out of Boston. --EncycloPetey (talk) 18:58, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
Ah. Which is to be used? Londonjackbooks (talk) 19:05, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
I've posted the "Eminent" series for now. The link from the main page goes to Portal:W. H. Allen & Co., which was the UK publisher, and so only "Eminent" title should be posted there. At some future date, we'll cycle through other topics, and then can return to do some of the "Famous" titles. Why? I've been searching through IA and found that some titles have only the UK edition scanned, while others have only the US edition scanned. So we can tackle UK titles for now. Doing a split like this would also allow the community to cycle through a greater variety of topics, and to revisit this one to catch US titles; the importance of the series merits "double dipping" I think.
Of course, if the Community takes enthusiastically to this series, and begins transcribing US titles as well, there's no reason to dissuade that. The whole point is to add value to Wikisource, and encourage community effort. --EncycloPetey (talk) 19:11, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

Frederick Douglass and African-American biographies[edit]

This February (2018) will mark the 200th birthday of the American author, orator, and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. We currently have a selection of encyclopedia articles about him, and a single biography (unsourced and oddly formatted). We have a fair selection of Douglass' works, but none of them are backed by a scan.

So, two questions:

(1) Would it be worthwhile as a community to track down the earliest sources as scans and format the content for a CC?
(2) Should we instead celebrate Douglass' 200th birthday by adding biographies of 19th-century African Americans? We are sorely lacking in that content area.

And a follow-up:

(3) If we choose option (2), should we worry about timing this effort to coincide with Douglass' 200th birthday?

--EncycloPetey (talk) 23:30, 2 June 2017 (UTC)

Individual biographies to find / consider:
(collected from earlier discussion in the Scriptorium)

  1. w:Charles Ball (transcription project)
  2. William Grimes' autobiography (available for online reading)
  3. James Mars @ Hathi trust
  4. G. W. Offley @ Hathi trust
  5. James L. Smith @ IA
  6. Venture Smith @ Hathi trust

Symbol support vote.svg Support for either of those. What if we do Douglass' works for his 200th birthday and then do the other bios as a separate collaboration later on? —Beleg Tâl (talk) 11:41, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
We could split the two ideas certainly. My concern regarding Douglass is that we wouldn't really be adding new content, just raising the level of quality by adding sources. Do you think we'd get sufficient participation for that to make it worthwhile? --EncycloPetey (talk) 15:57, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
I propose doing some biography work early, so that he can be the featured text(s) in February and then use that momentum to kick off the biographies collaboration. Beeswaxcandle (talk) 18:50, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
@Beeswaxcandle: To clarify, you propose a sequence of Edward VII > Frederick Douglass > Afr-Amer. biographies > "Famous Women", with the switch from Douglass to other biographies happening at the start of February? --EncycloPetey (talk) 20:51, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
@EncycloPetey: I'm more thinking that we put Douglass into PotM for September (and complete any validations needed in November). We can then put him in FT for February. With respect to the flow of CC, Edward VII > Famous Women > Afr-Amer. biography (from Feb.). If we get enough of the Famous Women series done, we could looking at making the series FT for March to sync with WP. Beeswaxcandle (talk) 23:39, 3 June 2017 (UTC)
We've done a lot of biographies and autobiographies lately, so I'm beginning to feel we might hold off on this option until we've spent time doing other sorts of collaborations first. --EncycloPetey (talk) 17:06, 3 October 2017 (UTC)


Looking at Portal:Sikhism and Category:Sikhism we have almost nothing on the world's fifth largest religion. Is there community interest in adding texts, and do we have members with enough knowledge and drive to locate suitable texts for inclusion? If we can assemble a better list of works at the Portal, with links to quality scans at IA, then this looks like a good subject area to tackle. --EncycloPetey (talk) 17:11, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

I could be interested in this, though I know nothing about Sikhism and Sikh texts. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 03:38, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
@Beleg Tâl: I know little myself, but did find some scans of histories, which are linked at the Portal. --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:41, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
@EncycloPetey: I've started a small list at User:Beleg Tâl/Sandbox/Sikh. It looks like The Sikh Religion is the most important English work on the subject. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 15:12, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Given that it is six volumes long, we might select just that one work for the Community Collab. --EncycloPetey (talk) 15:18, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
Agreed. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 15:43, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

Karl Marx[edit]

2018 is the 200th birthday of Author:Karl Marx, whose writings became hugely influential in 20th century philosophy and politics. Yet we are missing many of his well-known works, and those we do have are cut-and-paste from other websites.

Three questions: (a) Is there enough community interest in transcribing his works? (b) If not, would we want to try a short run in the hopes of attracting newcomers to help? (c) Are there enough available scans to support transcription? I had trouble locating scans even through IA. --EncycloPetey (talk) 00:16, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

I'd support this as a community collab, but I'm not likely to contribute as his works don't interest me. If there are a couple of very short works, I could probably take care of those. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 03:37, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

Banned books[edit]

Looking a long time into the future here, but maybe in conjunction with Banned Books Week in September, we might see if we could add a few more banned or challenged works in the PD here and make them a collaboration. Maybe. There are books listing those works which have been banned or challenged somewhere that I could consult if anyone thought the idea a good one. John Carter (talk) 20:42, 24 February 2018 (UTC)

It's an interesting idea, but we've always lacked a suitable list from which to pick. More often, we've selected just one such work for PotM. --EncycloPetey (talk) 20:47, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
I will try to get together a list. I forgotten initially about the Vatican's index, but if I can get a listing of everything in it and books challenged elsewhere I think it might well wind up really, really long. John Carter (talk) 22:14, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
One could potentially tackle this by choosing an existing list (preferably one that we could host directly, such as the Vatican index), and then collect works on that index. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 22:43, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
I contacted the National Library of Norway which has a searchable database of 50,000 entries in several languages for their list of PD English works. If anyone wanted to contact the WMF and see if it might have interest in taking this on across languages and publicizing an at least theoretical attempt to do this, that might draw more interest and activity here.John Carter (talk) 16:20, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

George Sand[edit]

I've noted before (elsewhere) that we have nothing at all by George Sand. We don't have any of her novels, nor a biography. In fact our coverage of French literature in general is very poor, but we have to start somewhere.

We have other proposals above, but most of them need more work to become feasible, and I'd want to hold off on doing yet more biographies, injecting a variety into the Community Collab. We've also had our current collaboration for six months now, so it feels like it's time to push on. People can still work on the Eminent Women Series, but I think we ought to change our front page advertising at this point. --EncycloPetey (talk) 02:37, 26 March 2018 (UTC).