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Introduction to Wikipedia’s sister project: Wikisource – the Free Digital Library

June 28 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Safeguarding digital heritage and ‘the democracy of reading’ (Smith in Shaffi, 2015) has never been more important.

In this session we will introduce you to Wikisource: Wikimedia’s free library of openly-licensed source texts.

Libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication. They are about education (which is not a process that finishes the day we leave school or university), about entertainment, about making safe spaces, and about access to information.” (Neil Gaiman, 2013)

In this session we will explain:

  • How Wikisource adds value to the work of researchers, librarians & archivists.
  • The crucial role Wikisource plays in raising the visibility, accessibility & appreciation of out-of-copyright texts & their authors.
  • How Wikisource links to its sister projects: Wikipedia, Wikicommons and Wikidata.
  • How everyone can involve people around the world in having authentic contact with the past through Wikisource.

Quotations or images from centuries ago can still touch or inspire, and as readers share this reaction online, the interested audience grows. The Wikimedia projects make it easy for people to enjoy and share out-of-copyright text, creating and satisfying a modern curiosity about past authors.”(Martin Poulter, 2015)

What will the session include?

  • An introduction to what Wikisource is and how you can engage with it.
  • A short practical activity where you will learn how to navigate Wikisource and proofread a page of text.
  • An example of how an out-of-copyright/openly-licensed PhD thesis has been transcibed to Wikisource so the text is now 100% searchable, quality-checked and linked to from Wikipedia just 1 click away.

Basic knowledge of using the internet and some understanding of HTML markup would be beneficial to get involved in the practical activity, but there are no other pre-requisites.

What should I bring?

Desktop computers are not provided so you will need to bring a laptop with you. If you need to borrow one, please email ewan.mcandrew@ed.ac.uk at least 24 hours in advance.

In addition, please have a think if there are copyright-free source texts you would like to see transcribed to Wikisource.

Please also create an account on Wikisource before arriving. If you have ever edited Wikipedia before, you can use the same login details.

References

Flood, Alison (2016). “Joanna Trollope: ‘UK cannot afford to close one single public library’”.

Shaffi, Sarah (2015).“Smith warns library closures threat to ‘democracy of reading’ | The Bookseller”

Gaiman, Neil (2013). “Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming”.

Poulter, Martin (2015).“The Shiver: communion with the past in a digital age | Wikimedia UK Blog”.

 

Bookings via MyEd: https://edin.ac/2y1PvXj

Details

Date:
June 28
Time:
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Website:
https://edin.ac/2y1PvXj

Organiser

Ewan McAndrew

Venue

Room 1.07, 1st Floor, Main Library (Central Area)
George Square
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
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