Wikisource talk:WikiProject DNB

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John Poyntz[edit]

At the end of the article Poyntz, Sydenham (DNB00). There is a short biography on am older brother of Sydenham. However it appears that the ODNB has decided that the DNB has mixed up several different people in the sources, the DNB lists. The ODNB has an article called

  • John Poyntz (1629/30–1712) that includes "Another John Poyntz (fl. 1639–1665),"

The ODNB states that John Poyntz (1629/30–1712) "was probably the third son of Sydenham Poyntz's youngest brother Newdigate (bap. 1608, d. 1643), a royalist killed at Gainsborough" He is this one who was probably involved with the expedition to Tobago.

"Another John Poyntz (fl. 1639–1665)," "may have been a kinsman of Sydenham Poyntz, who was governor of the Leeward Islands (1650–51)"

Given this information in the ODNB I have not created an article based on the description of John Poyntz at the end of the article Poyntz, Sydenham (DNB00). -- PBS (talk) 23:02, 23 September 2017 (UTC)

John Poyntz (fl. 1639–1665) is a co-subject (subarticle) in the ODNB, and so there is no automatic assumption of notability. On what the ODNB currently has, he would be marginally notable, at best. There may be some other sources. Charles Matthews (talk) 06:59, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Hyphens, en dashes and redirects[edit]

There is a conversation taking place at Wikisource talk:WikiProject DNB/Style Manual#Hyphens, en dashes, but as its not proposed to change the content of an article (ie its style), I think this is the more appropriate place to hold the conversation.

  1. - a hyphen/dash
  2. – an ndash
  3. — an mdash (not pertinent to this discussion)

Pinging the participants of the conversation to date SMcCandlish and billinghurst.

Neve-selbert started a thread on Wikipedia at w:Template talk:Cite DNB#Hyphens and dashes again wishing to change the link style so that it display ndash in the dab extensions where daterange has been used. Trappist the monk wrote some code to display the daterange extensions with ndashs on wikipedia but still allowing the link to the dash version on Wikisource. billinghurst reverted that change stating on the talk page "The articles at English Wikisource use a hyphen in their name and that should be respected. ...".

There are some articles that already have redirects from ndash versions, (usually existing because they were created with ndash and then move to dash/hyphen), is there any reason for not creating such redirects? -- PBS (talk) 09:56, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

Not quite true what I did. The code that I wrote allowed an editor at to choose to write the value assigned to |wstitle= with either a hyphen or an ndash in the birth/death date disambiguator but always set the interwikilink separator to a hyphen so that that link was never broken.
I guess I don't understand why you think that this venue is a better place to discuss a topic primarily concerned with how displays wikisource titles at If this conversation is to continue here, and at the moment, I don't see why it should, a courtesy link from the conversation is appropriate.
Trappist the monk (talk) 10:45, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
@User:Trappist the monk My appoligies for getting the details wrong. This section it is to investigate the view of people to contribute to Wikisource, because if redirects are acceptable on Wikisource then there is no need for any sort of solution on Wikipedia. If they are not, then we can see what if anything is an acceptable solution on Wikipedia. Once the options here have been discussed and a consensus reach we can have a more informed discussion on Wikipedia-- PBS (talk) 13:41, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

@PBS: Why would we want to create 1000s to 10s of thousands of redirects? What is the benefit? Redirects have been created when needed and I think that you would find many be me, and even then I faced criticism for it with it being suggested to me that I should fix the underlying links, not create redirects.

The existing (hyphened) pages are linked from Wikidata, and English Wikipedia. They are only changed at enWP when someone incorrectly changes the hyphen to an en dash. I would agree with Ttm that the discussion about the template belongs at enWP, and I previously took my opportunity to comment there. — billinghurst sDrewth 11:24, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

It is more than 1,000, but I don't think it is that many as 10,000. Taking the first volume as an example there are just under 100 articles that use a daterange disambiguation extension and just over 90 in the second (call it 95 a volume) that means 95*63 ~ 6,000 in total. -- PBS (talk) 13:41, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
I will be very surprised if WikiSource editors think it better to make ~6000 fixes here so that one template fix is not needed at
Trappist the monk (talk) 15:06, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
As long as the result is that we get en dashes in date ranges, I don't care how it's done or where. SMcCandlish (talk) 11:49, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
Here they are labels/page names, they are not date ranges. enWP's MoS indicates that these should not be obfuscated, so I do not understand your position they do not fall under your date range provisions. — billinghurst sDrewth 13:05, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

I have no vested interest in the DNB project (besides mild annoyance that the titles aren't formatted as Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Article name), but my take on the subject is as follows:

  • There is a similar phenomenon in Author pages, such as Author:William Roberts (1862-1940). In Author pages, hyphens are always used in the page name.
  • In DNB, ndashes could be used instead of hyphens provided the usage is consistent with the source text iteslf and also consistent with other page names throughout the DNB.
  • Regardless of the decision, redirects should not be created. Such redirects when created in the past on other works have been found to be candidates for speedy deletion as "unneeded redirects" (M2). This is a general principle for encyclopedia article pages or any other type of work subpage.

Beleg Tâl (talk) 12:18, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment @Beleg Tâl: within DNB we as always transcribe what is there, and most of the dates in the works are en dashes. Hyphens is the nomenclature for the titles used. Re moving the articles to subpages of the work, that discussion is around, and it is still my wish, though CM makes good argument that there needs to be resolution to find these works first in the lookahead search function, and the long names of the work are somewhat obscuring, though steps have been made to resolve this. — billinghurst sDrewth 13:02, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
@Billinghurst: Yes, I was referring specifically to hyphens in the page name/title, not to any page content or the page header or any other place. In other places I would suggest that ndash is always more appropriate. Also: I am glad to hear that there is discussion and interest to potentially move articles to subpages :) —Beleg Tâl (talk) 13:07, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment No clear statement of the purpose or goal of this thread has been made. I personally have some idea of what it is about, because I have been around for awhile and worked on both projects. But for most people here, this thread will be esoteric, abstract, and meaningless. If you want a community to comment, please tell them clearly what it is you would like them to comment about. --EncycloPetey (talk) 16:58, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment i think it is great we can live vicariously, with the broken inter-wiki links, template work arounds, and policy by edit warring. no action required here, they have it in hand over there. it is an instructive lesson in failure to collaborate. Slowking4SvG's revenge 19:14, 24 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment So, if I understand this long-standing issue. Certain English Wikipedia templates display currently a hyphen, where the Manual of Style prescribes under its dates section an endash. A solution can lie in replacement text for the link to Wikisource, i.e. link remains with hyphen, endash is shown.
This appears to be an exercise in Lua programming. In other words finding and parsing instances like "1666-1715" and replacing them with "1666–1715", setting up a piped interwiki link.
Not rocket science, I think. Also, as has been pointed out, an enWP problem rather than ours. In a problem-solving tone, I'd like to suggest that someone who cares about this issue find a competent Lua hacker to look at it.
That is apparently what has been done? In which case I would suggest that "defending" the convention here against the convention there is not required. There is no fantastically good reason to impose the MoS convention for text mentions of dates on enWP templates, as far as I can see; but neither is there a fantastically good reason to defend the hyphens, downstream. Charles Matthews (talk) 12:05, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I agree with Charles. Basically, we arbitrarily established an article naming convention here at Wikisource for this project: we use the hyphen. If WP want to link to our articles, they must use the hyphen in the link. If they wish to display an en-dash, then they are free to do so, and in fact they have already solved the problem by adding code to their template. That code displays an en-dash but links using a hyphen. This change should be re-instated there, and any discussion should occur there. We should remove all of our redirects here, as they may cause problems with Wikidata. -Arch dude (talk) 03:51, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Incidentally, I made the decision to use hyphens in 2008, because the article title becomes part of a URL, and URLs are simpler when they use plain old ASCII characters. -Arch dude (talk) 03:57, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
  • We should use en dashes where it's appropriate to use them, e.g. in date ranges – and not just according to w:en:Wikipedia:Manual of Style, but The Chicago Manual of Style, New Hart's Rules a.k.a. Oxford Style Manual, Garner's Modern English, Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English, and most other English-language style guides that are not specifically for news journalism.
    [News writing is its own weird animal, aimed at compression and expediency; in most cases, news style guides do not even recognize the existence of multiple dash characters, and call for unspaced em dashes to be used for all the clause-level purposes of dashes, but for the hyphen (in Unicode terms, the hyphen-minus, the - found upper-right on most keyboards) to be used for all conjoining instances of dashes, as in Mexican-American War and 1998-2002). News-style guides don't tell us anything about how to write a reference work like an encyclopedia, dictionary, database of non-copyrighted source material, etc. Maybe news-style guides are relevant at WikiNews, but I can't think of any other WMF project that should pay any attention to them, and even WikiNews probably should not, since not of the compression and expedience concerns apply to it – it doesn't need to save paper and column width, and there is no pressure to meet a 4 PM deadline for printing an evening edition.]
    Anyway, yes, it will result in redirects, and that is perfectly fine. That's what redirects are for - getting people (and software agents) to the actual location of the sought material despite minor orthographic variances (or bigger differences like alternative names for things). Redirects are cheap, especially when scripts can auto-create them. PS: I decline to use the silly {{comment}} tag that seems popular on this site (for no explicable reason); the fact that I'm commenting on a talk page already indicates that I'm leaving a comment, by definition. SMcCandlish (talk) 03:46, 3 February 2020 (UTC)
In the body of works we replicate what is typed. In page titles, they are labels, and we use the house style, and that is hyphen/dash. So can we please stop this continuing commentary. How irritating is it that enWPers come and complain that we should do what they have when it isn't pertinent. — billinghurst sDrewth 12:27, 3 February 2020 (UTC)

Mason, Charles[edit]

The second "Mason, Charles" is missing. This might not be the place to put this info, but I can't find anywhere more appropriate.

Thanks, done: Mason, Charles (1730-1787) (DNB00) now exists. Charles Matthews (talk) 16:50, 3 February 2020 (UTC)


I have substantially cleaned up the DNB entry at OpenLibrary. It is now an easier way to locate clean scans on in order to address problem page scans. Go to it, folks! LeadSongDog (talk) 14:08, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

1921 volume, which?[edit]

@Charles Matthews: which 1921 scan do you think is preferable?

billinghurst sDrewth 13:40, 3 February 2020 (UTC) striking that they are 1927 publication. A few more years to wait. — billinghurst sDrewth 13:44, 3 February 2020 (UTC)