User:Dick Bos/source2015

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From 20 to 22 november 2015 the First International Conference on Wikisource was held in Vienna, Austria.

Wilma and I attended the conference. We will try to give here a short report of what happened. This will be partly in English, but perhaps also partly in Dutch, as it is a preparation for our presentation on WCN2015.


The index page of the Etherpad is here.
And the photos can be found on Wikimedia Commons.
The list of participants of the conference.


Friday morning[edit]

  • Hello by Claudia of Wikimedia Austria
  • User:Aubrey, Andrea: goal of this first international conference on Wikisource is to create an international Wikisource community.
  • A very interesting introduction to Wikisource by Charles Matthews.[1] See his presentation and the Etherpad. Somewhere along the road the writing in the etherpad stopped. The lecture had so much information in it..... It would be really worthwhile to get his lecture summarized in some way!
    • Very important is the development of the proofread-extension; is there a good history of it, already?
    • Another important point: the relation between the sisters: Wikipedia, Commons (with Wikisource as the Cinderella); and recently of course the relation to Wikidata.
  • About the technical infrastructure: an introduction by Thomas Pellissier Tanon from France.
    • Interesting is for instance: the IA-Upload tool to easily upload from Internet Archive (and from Google Books).
    • But first of all it is necessary to show the importance of Wikisource, inside the Wikimedia-community (and the Wikimedia Foundation etc.): (1) identity ("Manifesto") and (2) roadmap for the future.
  • User:Slowking4, Jim Hayes from Washington DC about the relation with GLAMs; for instance the Smithonian Institute. (vgl. "Vele Handen" in nl). Important question: what do we give back to GLAMs? Connecting Wikisource and Wikidata in a good way will provide a good entry for this (for instance by having a link to WorldCat).
    • btw: the "workflow" now is often (as Aubrey tells): put your pdf or collection of jpgs or so in They will do all the work in creating djvu etc. We can use that.
  • Time for a short interlude: User:Ijon, Asaf Bartov who is a staff member of the Wikimedia Foundation, about a project to "crowdsource" a Hebrew encyclopedia: Ben-Yehuda (outside Wikimedia). The idea might be to export it to Hebrew Wiktionary one day.
20151120Conference Wikisource 02.JPG
Dick - Les pirates du golfe St-Laurent, 1906.djvu

Friday afternoon[edit]

  • We spend quite some time with a Belgian friend, Mark van den Borre, who presented to the conference his diybookscanner.

see: and The scanner is quite a huge apparatus, that can be built from parts that can be made on a laserprinter, together with other cheap components. The central part of it consists of two low level cameras, on which dedicated software is loaded. These cameras are connected to a raspberry pi. The book is entered in a 100° corner. Two pages are photographed at once. There is a kind of handle that brings the book to its right place. The photo is made by pressing a foot pedal.

  • User:Ernest-Mtl, Ernest Boucher from Quebec, Canada tells us about his experience with collaboration with BAnQ: (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec). Started 2014
Les pirates du golfe St-Laurent, 2015.JPG
    • See etherpad
    • Some very interesting experiences: found a lost book from the beginning of the 20th century and republished it (in a very small number, by Wikimedia Canada), so that it could be placed in the library: Les pirates du golfe St-Laurent.
    • Don't create to high expectations at first! It's much better to tell that you can proofread 25 books, and do 61, then promise to do a hundred, and only produce 61.
  • Short presentation about MARC in Wikibase from a librarian/it-guy from Italy (Giovanni Bergamin / Cristian Bacchi).

Saturday morning[edit]

For an extensive report: see the etherpad.

We start at 09:45h. We are here all day for discussing the Identity of Wikisource. What do we have to realize to create an international community?

Intro by Andrea.

Intro by Asaf. We never had the conversation about the identity of Wikisource. It emerged from the fact that primary sources where put into Wikipedia. So it resolved a problem on Wikipedia. But it did not have a strategy of itself. There is no real support from the Foundation. It has a good number of very good primary sources by now. It is not in danger. But if we want to develop it further, we need to define it closer. What is the value of a Wikisource text that already exists in Project Gutenberg? What can we offer?

Florian from Munich is a digital strategy consultant. He will facilitate the discussion of today.

He distinguishes different stages of Wikisource in countries:

  • Prestart: Doesn't exist right now or maybe it doesn't work right , but maybe should exist (field to explore)
  • Start: A few people have some pretty cool projects, but maybe not so much organization/not so many people. Some goals and focus already developed.
  • Working level: Have organization, community, working with outside organizations, gets along
  • Effective (former Professional): All the oportunities are taken and enough people work on it.

After a very quick scan we find out that there are two main goals: a group of Wikisources that wants to go from prestart -> start; and a group that wants to go from level 3 tot level 4.

How could we define WS? Charles Matthews: "Wikisource curates open texts".

Different alternative providers are discussed:

  • Google Books
  • Gutenberg Project
  • Internet Archive
  • Library Projects.

What are the differences of WS, compared to these? And what are the most important features of WS?

  • Community
  • Integration
  • Reuse in the future will be guaranteed
  • Flexibility / possibilities to innovate
  • Exposure
  • Languages / + zero

Example of library that does have a "community" (according to User:Wittylama): Trove (related to National Library of Australia); but see for instance this book, that does not have any formatted txt; or the link to this map, that can be bought for 80 Australian dollars.

lunch / group photo

14:00u. Frances Hocutt, Fhocutt (WMF), WMF Community Tech, gets on stage.

What are the opportunities for WS?

ref: Massively-Multiplayer Online Bibliography

Mission statement: see e.g. s:User:Charles_Matthews/Concise_draft_manifesto, and: s:User:Leutha/Mission_concepts

Sunday 2015-11-22[edit]

This session is also started by Frances H. What are priorities in our wishlists? (see "priorities" etherpad)