I thought it would be a good idea to share some news about another project,
the English Wikisource, which has been doing some remarkable work in the past
few months, thanks to a small group of dedicated editors and contributors.
First for some background: Wikisource is much more than a library of old and
PD texts. It can, and should, operate in tandem with the other projects, by
providing the background to the information we offer. For instance, take a
look at our English Wikipedia article on the Book of Omni, one of the books of
the LDS scriptures. (_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Omni_
) ). By clicking on any of the verses mentioned
in the citations, you will be taken directly to the actual verses in
Wikisource, set in the context of the entire chapter. One of our goals is to make this
possible for a wide range of texts, including the Qur'an, the Vedas, and, of
course, the Bible, as well as classical Greek and Latin texts, which have a
standardized verse numbering system. One of our contributors, Robth1, is
already working on a version of Xenophon's Hellenica which will be integrated as
source material into the relevant Wikipedia articles, where chapter and verse
will link to chapter and verse.
Wikisource, however, is not just for old sources that already exist. We are
also doing some fascinating translation work, some of it never before seen.
One contributor, Dmitri Smirnov, is hard at work creating stunning translations
of some of the major Russian poets, including Baratynsky, Mandelstam, and
Pushkin. Here is just one example:
BirgitteSB managed to find a document in French, describing the establishment of
colonies along the Mississippi. It has already been transcribed and posted to
French Wikisource, and a new English translation is on the way. You can see it
) . In
breaking news, we are about to collaborate with the Italian Wikisource to
transcribe and translate a series of manuscript letters by Michelangelo and
Galileo, found by Sherurcij. These letters appear nowhere on the Internet, and
will be a great addition to our collection.
We are also examining ways to handle multiple versions and translations of
texts. This month, our featured text is Donne's Elegie II, a poem for which we
have two editions (1663 and 1896). You can read the editions individually, or
find a comparison here:
) . The Bible
offers a particularly challenging problem, when it comes to multiple transl
ations. To see one way that we are handling it, check
the first verse of the Book of Obadiah.
Journals are a great addition to Wikisource, and can provide some great
references for articles in other projects. For instance, in 1917, National
Geographic published an article about the Russian Revolution and its impact on
America. You can find the article, along with the images here:
icance_to_America) . That same year, NG published a series of sketches on
warblers, complete with paintings by famed Swiss-American naturalist Louis
Agassiz. You can find an example here
17/Friends_of_Our_Forests/Golden-winged_Warbler) ), complete with links to
the English Wikipedia (click on the link above the painting) and Wikispecies
(click on the Latin name).
Finally, a word about other encyclopedias – we have them too, and many
different ones to keep us busy. Laverock is hard at work adding the original
letter B articles from the 1911 edition of Britannica, but we also have
specialized encyclopedias of Catholicism, the Bible, and more. Shanel, BookofJude,
Shimgray and others have been adding to The New Student's Reference Work, a 1914
edition of an encyclopedia for young people: Here is an article about
Some of our texts appear nowhere else on the Internet. These include poems
by Francis Ledwidge (_http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Author:Francis_Ledwidge_
) ) and the Historical
Library of Diodorus Siculus, is being developed by Zhaladshar. Soon to come are
the diaries of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Also, keep an eye out for our new French
Literature portal, which was developed by our friends in French Wikisource.
You will probably notice the specialized headers on each of these pages,
which were created by Pathoschilde. They help to create a uniformity among all
the texts, and make it easier to skip from one chapter to the next.
This is just some of the news from the English Wikisource. I hope people
will drop by and suggest ways that can help their pet projects by providing a
reliable system of internal sources. With all these projects underway, we are
also looking for volunteers to help transcribe, translate, scan, proof, link,
and add their favorite texts. All of the projects mentioned above are "in
progress," and we need all the help we can get. For more information, drop by
the #wikisource channel on IRC.