Grants:Project/Rapid/Digitisation of rare books

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WM OR/Digitisation of rare books
I plan to digitise some 100-200 rare old books in Oriya- by travelling to numerous historic libraries and universities of my state, in association with them and from old publishers. These books contain mostly ancient literature (8th c.-20th c.) but are now in a state of destruction due to the lack of an audience and hence, need to be preserved. My aim is to collect these and then scan them, OCR them for preservation in the Odia Wikisource project.
targetOdia Wikisource, Odia Wikipedia, Odia Wikimedia, Wikimedia Commons
start date3rd March
start year2017
end date6th June
end year2017
budget (local currency)17000
budget (USD)249.772
grant typeIndividual

Project Goal[edit]

  • To collect rare old books published anywhere between (1850-2000) and Digitise them
  • To add rare books that are unavailable elsewhere to Wikimedia projects, especially Wikisource
  • To partner with historic museums and universities in order to digitise relevant books from their libraries
  • To add audio-visual resources to Commons regarding the subject

Project Plan[edit]


Tell us how you'll carry out your project. What will you and other organizers spend your time doing?

I will make numerous trips to most historic libraries and universities in the state, and also old publishers. I will search for relevant books from both sources and get them scanned and then add the valuable resource into Wikisource. I have also looked into personal libraries of some friends who are willing to help.

How will you let others in your community know about your project (please provide links to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions)? Why are you targeting a specific audience?

I have already proposed the idea to a few members who are enthusiastic to help me out in many ways- some of them even are willing to give me access to their personal libraries.

What will you have done at the end of your project? How will you follow-up with people that are involved with your project?

At the end of the project, anywhere between 50-100 books would have been preserved and digitised. This is important because currently, printed books of centuries-old manuscripts are being destroyed due to utter neglect and disinterest. Hopefully, timely digitisation will revive those.

Many of these books are no longer of any value, so the publishers are willing to give them at nominal prices. So, one can certainly hope for >100 books.


How will you know if the project is successful and you've met your goals? Please include the following targets and feel free to add more specific to your project:

  1. Number of total participants : 10
  2. Number of articles created or improved (if applicable) : 50
  3. Number of photos uploaded to Wikimedia Commons (if applicable) : 100
  4. Number of photos used on Wikimedia projects (if applicable) : 50


What resources do you have? Include information on who is the organizing the project, what they will do, and if you will receive support from anywhere else (in-kind donations or additional funding).

The Odia Wikipedia Community has a scanner specially built for this purpose. The community is willing to help me out by allowing me to use it.

No, I will not be receiving any donations from any other source.

What resources do you need? For your funding request, list bullet points for each expense:

  • Travel : 5000
  • Procuring Rare Books : 12000

Net : 17000 INR, or about $260 U.S.


  • User:Shrijagannatha has been active as a community member for quite some time and has taken several initiative as a Wikisourcer. He has been constantly trying to reach out to many publishers and libraries to get access to rare books. I think this project will be really beneficial for the Odia Wikisource and Odia Wikipedia. Subhashish Panigrahi (talk) 23:28, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Many 20th-century books from India were printed on paper from wood pulp and the acidic pages can crumble from even gentle handling. Books before the 19th century may be palm-leaf manuscripts which exist only because of having been copied and recopied by pious scribes. They can be damaged by insects and other hazards present in a tropical environment. Scanning such literature is an important way to conserve their content while we still can. The proposed cost is not excessive, and uploading scanned images of the pages will be a worthwhile contribution to internationalizing the content of Wikisource. Objectivesea (talk) 01:27, 15 October 2017 (UTC)