name = Wikisource
commercial = No
Libraryof source texts
registration = Optional
author = User-generated
launch date =
current status =
slogan = The Free Library
Wikisource collects and stores in digital format previously published texts; including novels, non-fiction works, letters, speeches, constitutional and historical documents, laws and a range of other documents. All texts collected are either free of copyright or released under the
GNU Free Documentation License. Texts in all languages are welcome, as are translations.
Wikisource does not host "
vanity press" books or documents produced by its contributors.
Wikisource had an eventful early history (2003-2005) that included several changes of name and location (URL), and the move to language subdomains in 2005.
The project was originally called during its planning stages (a play on words for
Project Gutenberg). It then began its activity at a mistaken location, when source texts were placed at ps.wikipedia.org. The contributors understood "PS" to mean either [http://nostalgia.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia_commentary/Project_Sourceberg&diff=prev&oldid=54331 "primary sources"] or , and they erroneously took over the subdomain of the Pashto language's Wikipedia.
Project Sourceberg started officially when it received its own temporary URL on
November 24 2003(http://sources.wikipedia.org); all texts and discussions were moved there from ps.wikipedia.org. A vote on the project's name changed it to Wikisource on December 6 2003. Despite the change in name, the project did not move to its permanent URL (at http://wikisource.org) until [http://wikisource.org/w/index.php?title=Wikisource:Scriptorium&diff=11750&oldid=11747 July 23 2004] .
Within two weeks of the project's official start (at sources.wikipedia.org), over 1000 pages had been created, with approximately 200 of these being designated as actual articles. On
January 4, 2004, Wikisource welcomed its 100th registered user. In early July, 2004 the number of articles exceeded 2400, and more than 500 users had registered.
April 30 2005, there were 2667 registered users (including 18 administrators) and almost 19,000 articles. The project passed its 96,000th edit that same day.
A separate of Wikisource () was created in August 2004. The need for a language-specific Hebrew website derived from the difficulty of typing and editing Hebrew texts in a left-to-right environment (Hebrew is written right-to-left). In the ensuing months, contributors in other languages including German requested their own wikis, but a December vote on the creation of separate language domains was inconclusive. Finally, a that ended
May 12 2005supported the adoption of separate language subdomains at Wikisource by a large margin, allowing each language to host its texts on its own wiki.
An initial wave of 14 languages was set up by [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Brion_Vibber Brion Vibber] on
August 23 2005. [ [https://wikitech.leuksman.com/index.php?title=Server_admin_log/Archive_5&oldid=6091#August_23 Server admin log for August 23, 2005] ; a fifteenth language (sr:) was created on August 25 (above).] The new languages did not include English, but the code en: was temporarily set to redirect to the main website ().
At this point the Wikisource community, through a mass project of manually sorting thousands of pages and categories by language, prepared for a second wave of page imports to local wikis. On
September 11, 2005the wikisource.org wiki was reconfigured to enable the , along with 8 other languages that were created early that morning and late the night before. [See the [https://wikitech.leuksman.com/index.php?title=Server_admin_log/Archive_5&oldid=6091#September_11 Server admin log for September 11, 2005] at 01:20 and below (Sept 10) at 22:49.]
Three more languages were created on
March 29, 2006, [ [https://wikitech.leuksman.com/view/Server_admin_log/Archive_7#March_29 Server admin log for March 29] ] and then another large wave of 14 language domains was created on June 2, 2006. [ [https://wikitech.leuksman.com/view/Server_admin_log/Archive_7#June_2 Server admin log for June 2, 2006] ] Currently, there are individual subdomains for Wikisources in 50 languages, [See the organized lists at Wikisource's and Meta's .] besides the additional languages hosted at , which serves as an incubator or a home for languages without their own subdomains (31 languages are currently )
During the move to language subdomains, the community requested that the main website remain a functioning wiki, in order to serve three purposes:
#"To be a multilingual coordination site for the entire Wikisource project in all languages." In practice, use of the website for multilingual coordination has not been heavy since the conversion to language domains. Nevertheless, there is some policy activity at the , and multilingual updates for news and language milestones at pages such as .
#"To be a home for texts in languages without their own subdomains, each with its own local main page for self-organization." [For an automatic list of local main pages, see ; for a formatted list, see the wikisource.org section of the .] As a language incubator, the wiki currently provides a home for over 30 languages that do not presently have their own language subdomains. Some of these are very active, and have built libraries with hundreds of texts (such as Esperanto and Volapuk), and one with thousands (Hindi).
#"To provide direct, ongoing support by a local wiki community for a dynamic multilingual portal at its Main Page, for users who go to ." The current was created on
August 26 2005by , who based it upon the [http://wikipedia.org/ Wikipedia portal] .
The idea of a project-specific coordination wiki, first realized at Wikisource, also took hold in another Wikimedia project, namely at
Wikiversity's . Like wikisource.org, it serves Wikiversity coordination in all languages, and as a language incubator. But unlike Wikisource, its does not serve as its [http://wikiversity.org/ multilingual portal] (which is not a wiki page).
Logo and slogan
Since Wikisource was initially called "Project Sourceberg" in a play on words for
Project Gutenberg, its first logo was a picture of an iceberg. Two votes conducted to choose a successor were inconclusive, and the original logo remained current until 2006. Finally, for both legal and technical reasons – because the picture's license was inappropriate for a Wikimedia Foundationlogo and because a photo cannot scale properly – a logo-style iceberg inspired by the original picture was mandated to serve as the project's current logo.
The first prominent use of Wikisource's slogan — "The Free Library" — was at the project's , when it was redesigned based upon the Wikipedia portal on
August 27, 2005( [http://wikisource.org/w/index.php?title=Main_Page&oldid=158605 historical version] ). As in the [http://wikipedia.org/ Wikipedia portal] , the Wikisource slogan appears around the logo in the project's ten largest languages.
Clicking on the portal's central images (the iceberg logo in the center and the "Wikisource" heading at the top of the page) links to a for "Wikisource" and "The Free Library" in 60 languages.
November 27, 2005the passed 20,000 text-units in its third month of existence, already holding more texts than did the entire project in April (before the move to language subdomains).
February 14, 2008the passed 100,000 text-units. [ [http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Wikisource:Scriptorium#100K] ]
*"" (proofreading of scanned texts)
** [cite web | work =
Newsweek| url = http://www.newsweek.com/id/141516 | author = Matthew Philips | date = June 23, 2008 | title = God’s Word, According to Wikipedia ]
All Projects will be proofread by scanned texts.
* ( article).
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.