Wikivoyage: Wikisource's new adopted sisterEdit

Wikivoyage logo

Wikivoyage was launched on January 15 as the Wikimedia Foundation's 12th official project and Wikisource's newest sister project. Wikivoyage is a project to maintain up-to-date travel guides and travel information. As with any of Wikisource's other sister projects, the intent is for these guides to be freely used and edited by anyone. Its focus is on catering to travellers rather than acting as a gazetteer and its style is more relaxed and informal than some other projects.

Wikivoyage was born as Wikitravel in 2003, a travel website using MediaWiki software but not connected to the Wikimedia Foundation. In 2006 the Wikitravel trademark and servers were bought by the company Internet Brands, which introduced advertising to the site. This was opposed by some of the existing users, especially Germans and Italians, who left to create their own equivalent called Wikivoyage. Thanks to the open licensing of Wikitravel, they were able to take their existing material from Wikitravel and "fork" the project; each going its separate way. In 2012, further dissatisfaction among the Wikitravel community led to discussion with the Wikimedia and Wikivoyage communities. As a result, the Wikitravel projected forked again and merged with Wikivoyage under the latter's name as a new Wikimedia project. Internet Brands attempted to block the relaunch by filing lawsuits against two administrators, one of Wikitravel and one of Wikipedia, for breach of trademark and commercial misconduct. These claims were dismissed by the United States District Court of Central California in November 2012. The travel project is now part of the Wikimedia family.

Wikisource and Wikivoyage may not interact very much: By its nature Wikisource is mostly concerned with the past, while Wikivoyage attempts to remain as up-to-date as possible. However, there be some connection between the two. Wikisource's national portals, such as Portal:Australia, already link to the corresponding travel guide on Wikivoyage and this could apply to other pages through the normal sister links of any header. Travel writing or historical travel guides, for example, could reasonably link to Wikivoyage's current travel guide for those that are inspired by the works. Wikivoyage does not currently support sister links to Wikisource and there is no policy in place yet about doing so; partly due to the relevance of old material to modern travellers; partly due to the Wikivoyage project's commitment to being usable offline, either printed or saved on an electronic device, for travellers without active internet connections. Nevertheless, there still remain some possibilities for links to Wikisource's texts, such as from descriptive texts in destination articles (for example, Heart of Darkness from Democratic Republic of the Congo) or as part of an itinerary (for example, Literary London).

New Wikisource for Assamese-language textsEdit

Assamese Wikisource logo

The Assamese-language Wikisource was created on January 3 as the 64th Wikisource language subdomain. Assamese is the official language in the state of Assam, India and is also spoken in Bhutan, Bangladesh, and other north-eastern Indian states. There are now language subdomains for eight Indic languages: Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Sanskrit, and Tamil. As stated in the 2011–2015 Wikimedia Foundation strategic plan, India is a key area for increasing the participation to Wikimedia projects, as well as Brazil and the Arab world.

Quirky textsEdit

January saw the addition of several short, quirky and unusual texts via the Proofread of the Month project. This is a departure from the project's normal approach of proofreading one larger work every month. These works are:

Wikimedia moves to VirginiaEdit

Wikimedia servers, Ashburn

Wikisource has a new home. The Wikimedia Foundation, the parent organisation of Wikisource, moved its sites to a new Equinix data centre in Ashburn, Virginia on January 22.

Ashburn is a suburb of Washington, D.C., just north of Washington Dulles International Airport. It is part of the "Dulles Technology Corridor", which Time magazine has said is "home to more telecom and satellite companies than any other place on earth." Wikisource shares its new home with several technology companies, George Washington University's Virginia Science and Technology Campus and the Washington Redskins' training camp, Redskins Park.

This is the third data centre for Wikimedia. The previous data centre in Tampa, Florida has been in operation since 2004 and will still be used as a back-up for the Ashburn servers. The earliest servers were in San Diego, California. The new data centre is expected to result in faster, more reliable performance with a reduced chance of hurricanes. Wikimedia have also taken advantage of this opportunity to upgrade some other things, such as the text and media storage systems.

According to Guillaume Paumier, WMF Technical Communications Manager, the Foundation "currently operates a total of about 885 servers, and serves about 20 billion page views a month."

Featured text for February 2013Edit

The featured text for February 2013 is Rambles in New Zealand, an 1841 travelogue by John Carne Bidwill. This featured text coincides with the 173rd anniversary of the foundation of the nation of New Zealand on February 6, 2013; known as Waitangi Day after the Treaty of Waitangi (1840).

Bidwill was one of the first Europeans to travel into the centre of the North Island of New Zealand. As a part of his travels he climbed Mount Ngauruhoe. As the Māori regarded the mountain as tapu he was quite possibly the first person ever to do so. Although primarily a botanist (he later became the first director of Sydney's botanic gardens), in this book he discusses philology, geology and anthropology of the pre-colonisation Māori.


I arrived at Sydney in September 1838, and soon received the first of those useful lessons which disappointment teaches. I allude to the system observed in the sale of crown lands, which, instead of being surveyed and ready for auction, so that the emigrant may commence operations with undiminished capital, compels him to waste months in idleness and expense ill adapted to the cultivation and advancement of a new colony. As the spot I had selected was at a considerable distance from Sydney, and the time to be wasted between the application and sale proportionately long, I determined to render it as little irksome and unprofitable as possible by rambling in search of information.

Collaborations for February 2013Edit

The Proofread of the Month for February 2013 is Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. It is a satirical Victorian novel first published in serial format between January 1847 and July 1848. Thackeray's work is a significant piece of English literature, a classic and part of the Western Canon, but has never been complete on Wikisource.

Vanity Fair was partially added to Wikisource in 2007, based on a Project Gutenberg text, but has remained incomplete until now and completely devoid of any of the original illustrations. The serial, and the 1848 bound edition on which the new Wikisource text will be based, featured Thackeray's own illustrations, which are important to the work beyond simple decoration. They often symbolically hint at the plot or characters in ways that are not made explicit in the text alone.

Wikimedian in Residence in the UKEdit

The Science Museum and Natural History Museum (London, UK) are looking to appoint a Wikimedian in Residence. Working with Wikimedia UK, the British chapter of Wikimedia, the museums are seeking someone to fill a joint position on a 4-month fixed term contract.

The official Wikimedian in Residence will be expected to add to the public’s knowledge of the work of both institutions and their collections, as well as promote the use of Wikimedia to the museums' staff, provide training and develop links between the institutions and the Wikimedia community.

The Science Museum and Natural History Museum are both located on Exhibition Road in the "Albertopolis" area of central London. Both were established in the nineteenth century and are prestigious institutions with important collections. Of interest to Wikisourcers, while the Science Museum's library collection is not held in London, the Natural History Museum Library is on site, the museum has in-house scanning facilities, and it has a collection on the Internet Archive.

Further details can be found, and applications made, through the Natural History Museum website.

Administrator confirmationsEdit

Two administrators have been confirmed in January 2013:

Four administrators will have their confirmation discussions in February 2013:


On January 10, English Wikisource reached 5,000 uploaded files, despite uploads directly to Wikisource being discouraged. Other Wikisources also reached milestones in their content, with Italian Wikisource achieving 30,000 validated pages on January 10, Gujarati Wikisource attaining 2,000 text units on January 22 and Norwegian Wikisource hitting 5,000 units on January 25.

Technical changesEdit

The {{edition}} template has been merged into the {{header}}. The parameter edition = y should now be used in the header, instead of the separate template. Either version directs the reader to the talk page for information about our edition of the text; this is for use in cases where proofreading from a scan has not been used.