[Foundation-l] Info/Law blog: Using Wikisource as an Alternative Open Access Repository for Legal Scholarship

John Vandenberg jayvdb at gmail.com
Sun Jun 21 08:17:58 UTC 2009

On Sun, Jun 21, 2009 at 1:41 AM, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com> wrote:
> http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/infolaw/2009/06/19/using-wikisource-as-an-alternative-open-access-repository-for-legal-scholarship/
> Interesting. How well does this fit with what Wikisource does?

Tim Armstrong is a sysop on Wikisource ... :-)  more below..

On Sun, Jun 21, 2009 at 4:17 PM, Ray Saintonge <saintonge at telus.net> wrote:
> Samuel Klein wrote:
> > There is a wealth of work done all the time by primary source
> > researchers and publishers, which could be improved on by having
> > wikisource entries, translations, &c.
> >
> > Related question : how appropriate would large numbers of public
> > domain texts, with page scans and the best available OCR [and
> > translations of same], fit with what Wikisource does now?  This is
> > clearly a wiki project that needs to happen : OCR even at its best
> > misses rare meaning-bearing words.   If not Wikisource, where should
> > this work take place?

If it was published, Wikisource accepts it.  Notability is not a consideration.

The only other "open" project of comparable size is [[Distributed
Proofreaders]].  Here are our statistics:


Most of the Wikisource projects accept free translations.


The two English Wikisource featured translations are:

  (also translated into Dutch)

The two biggest translation projects that I know of are:


Another good one is


We also have translations of laws, usually relating to copyright.


>  From my perspective it fits perfectly with the vision that I had of
> Wikisource on the first day of its existence.  Tim Armstrong
> [[User:Tarmstro99]] has already done a considerable amount of valuable
> work relating to law on Wikisource.

Tim has been doing high impact work in this area.

   H.R. Rep. No. 94-1476


   U.S. Statutes at Large



In regards the USC, the majority of it is a mess, but Title 17 is a
great example of where we are heading.


We also have transcription projects for the UK 1911 copyright act,
which has influenced so many other countries.


More can be found from our freshly minted Law index:


Our two featured texts are:

> Most regular Wikisourcerors already have long personal to-do
> lists to keep them busy.  So the question is not really about whether
> Wikisource should host these goods, it's about recruiting volunteers to
> do the hard work.

If people want to help, but dont know where to start, my
recommendation is that they start proofreading the Stat. volume 1, as
this is goldmine of interesting documents, and will be an excellent
example of crowdsourcing of transcription.


John Vandenberg

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