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Collaboration with Project GutenbergEdit

I suggest that an effort be made to contact Project Gutenberg and perhaps other 1911 Encyclopedia projects and see if there is a way our project can work together. It seems foolish for us to be working independently on the exact same project.--Lempereur1988 03:21, 10 August 2005 (UTC)


  1. Place all Article names in proper order
  2. Post OCD scanned text for all articles
  3. Edit OCD scanned articles
  4. Place pictures and graphs etc

Steps 1 and 2 are jsuta matter of copy and pasting and should be able to be completed fairly quickly.

With regards to item 1, that should not be done unless very carefully considered. The encyclopedists had their reasons for the order, and sorted according to common spellings of the time. Altering the order would also make life harder when checking entries. PG already scan the text and edit it. It would be very useful to get in touch with PG via their forums and see how far they have got with the other volumes. I am registered there, but do not have the time at the moment to get the full details of their progress. I see the goal as taking their text and trying to represent that in a Wiki-manner to make it more dynamic in terms of linkage and context. Greg Robson 22:34, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

Just wanted to clear up by step 1 all I mean was to list all the articles in a link format before the actual articles are posted. By proper order I simply meant A to Z.--Lempereur1988 00:37, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

As a follow-up, I now have a copy of the EB scans from SpinSmart (the same copy as the scans we have here on Wikisource. I'm going to endeavour to get the first volume typed up and run through a script to automate the process of creating the "index page" tables. GregRobson 18:40, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Article Naming StandardsEdit

There have been several article naming standards that have been proposed. The purpose of this is to help avoid ambiguity between various articles if there is more than one article with the same name from multiple source texts, in the case of Wikisource. Obviously an effort to merge different articles should not happen here at Wikisource, unlike what would occur at Wikipedia. There are several schools of thought regarding how to accomplish this task. Both methods will successfully help keep separate editions and sources of encyclopedias from each other.

Please feel free to add to pros and cons as you percieve them. This is (to start with) my own opinions on the subject. Robert Horning 19:54, 9 July 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia disambiguity formatEdit


Aa (EB1911)

This is usually done on Wikipedia when there are multiple primary subjects on the same concept. For example, w:Venus (planet) and w:Venus (mythology).


  • Veteran Wikipedia users are comfortable with this format and is traditional from that vantage.
  • Can be found more easily with MediaWiki search tools


  • Wikisource is not just a collection of articles, and going this route encourages Wikipedia thinking that people can merge/update/modernize the text.
  • Random searching fails to link to main project (categories not withstanding) based purely off name of article.
  • Doing disambiguity of similar named articles that are found in Encyclopedia source text will add more complications. Example: Venus (EB1911) (planet)

Votes to use this format:

Wikibooks subpage formatEdit



This is where you have a primary project name (preferably as small as reasonable) and sub parts of the text (chapters or in this case separate articles of the 1911 Encyclopedia) are simply branched off from the main article with a colon : or a slash / (colon seems to be prefered here on Wikisource).


  • Ties separate articles together as a collection of many different pieces.
  • Individual articles are not percieved as being independent wikisource texts.
  • Leaves "cookie crumbs" to help locate parent article. Currently this feature is not implemented in Wikisource, but the code is available and a part of Wikibooks, so could easily be added to Wikisource.
  • This method was developed to help deal with issues in Wikibooks, which is more similar to Wikisource than Wikipedia.
  • Allows for diambiguity within the group of historical article collectiops. For example: W1911:Venus (planet)


  • Veteran Wikipedia users are not as familiar with this naming system. (A source of potential recruits for this project, and a source of confusion).

Votes to use this format:

  1. Robert Horning 19:54, 9 July 2005 (UTC)
  2. Mike 21:11, 9 July 2005 (UTC)


I would prefer the : or / notation, as so many articles may clash (names of authors), and I rather like the idea of having all 40,000 articles under the same "umbrella" if that makes sense? Templating would be easier too... I'm having great fun with my sand pit at the moment! — GregRobson 19:51, 9 July 2005 (UTC)

Because you are adding the entire encylopedia and not just selected articles, using the Wikibooks subpage format (with a colon) seems to be the best format. That would be treating the encyclopedia similar to what we do for books with separate chapters and/or volumes.—Mike 21:11, 9 July 2005 (UTC)

Project name for disambiguityEdit

In addition to trying to decide on what format to use, there have also been several proposals for what this project name should be used. I don't want to get bogged down in this discussion like Wikijunior has been (with a number of problems resulting from simply coming up with a name and not making any progress with the task at hand). This is more significant because there are already multiple names for existing content, and it would be nice to rename articles and move them to a standard naming system, however that is decided.


Suggested by: Yann


  • Avoids trademarks similar to W1911
  • Identifies correctly as a Wikisource project, not having anything to do with Wikipedia.


  • Same problems as W1911.

Votes for:

  1. PhilHibbs 16:43, 12 September 2005 (UTC)


Suggested by: Member


  • Correctly identifies content as being a part of Encyclopædia Britannica source material.
  • For practical purposes is just as small as W1911.


  • Potential room for trademark problems in the future, and may cause incredible headaches if it has to be renamed in the future with all related articles also having to be renamed. Potentially could "crash" Wikisource as a whole if a buggy automation is performed to do a mass renaming.

Votes for:

  1. Robert Horning 19:30, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
  2. GregRobson 18:54, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

1911 Encyclopædia BritannicaEdit


  • Correctly identifies source text, with little room for ambiguity in the future.
  • Will return search results when people search for "Encyclopædia Britannica".


  • Potential trademark problems like EB1911.
  • Long name that causes problems when creating new articles, and adds unnecessary text to Table of Contents pages.

Votes for:

  1. CSN 21:50, 14 July 2005 (UTC) - I thought this was mostly settled but since this is the only correct title it should be used. I like Mike's idea of using 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica for the title page and then EB1911 as the prefix for subpages.
We are less than 2% of the way through even putting raw text articles in. About 25% through only volume 1. While I am trying to plug through to get some content in, we aren't too late to change to another format or naming scheme, if necessary. The later it gets, however, the more it is going to be harder to change. --Robert Horning 06:03, 16 July 2005 (UTC)


This is the originial name for the project as it appears in metawiki. while it is not historicaly accurate and leaves room for confusion it is very similar to the path taken by Project Gutenberg who named the project Encyclopedia Gutenberg. Whatever arguments convinved the gutenberg editrs apply to this project.--Gary123 00:00, 12 July 2005 (UTC)


  • Original name of project
  • Avoids trademark issues with EB


  • Lengthy name problems adding considerable text to Wikisource database (keep in mind this is not the project name, just the disambiguity name for distinguishing content from other Wikisource articles)
  • Potentially confuses new users that this is just like Wikipedia, and that they can add/edit content to modern standards. As correctly stated elsewhere, that is what Wikipedia itself should be doing.

Votes for:


(Hasn't voted.) I would probably do it something like what I have done with my own informal project for National Geographic Magazine. You can have the page 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica link to separate index pages. I'm not sure how you would divide it up—maybe by letter or volume. And each of those pages would link to the individual articles. The individual articles could be titled "EB11: Title". —Mike 21:25, 9 July 2005 (UTC)

The one issue that we are facing right now is that there is almost guarenteed to be some sort of naming collision between articles on Wikisource without this "prefix" somewhere in the name. That is why I am pushing for EB1911, but it is something that has to be decided in a real hurry. I'm getting impatient to put in content, but at the moment it would only be a minor job trying to rename everything that has been done so far. As more content is added, it is only going to get much worse. Robert Horning 04:41, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Trademark usage and Wikimedia FoundationEdit

I tried to get some feedback from the Wikimedia Foundation List (Foundation-l), and I posted this e-mail message on the list. I got some interesting replies, but on the whole at the moment nobody over there seems to be concerned about the issue, with some even suggesting to completely ignore the issue altogether.

As to specifically why Michael Hart and Project Gutenberg called it "Project Gutenberg Encylopedia", Mr. Hart didn't really have a good explaination. When refering to the project externally, I think 1911 Encyclopedia may be a good term, although even that seems to be a trademarked term potentially.

I did privately try to e-mail Mr. Hart for an explaination, but so far I haven't had a reply. If one comes, I will try and post the reply (given his permission to do so).

I see trademark issues becoming a huge issue in the future, but I can't seem to get any acknowledgement from board members that this is an issue at all. This problem will eventually spill into something else on Wikipedia or some other Wikimedia project, and then it will have to be dealt with. For now, all we have to consider is a strong disclaimer on the front page that acknowledges that Encyclopaedia Britainnica does not endorse this project, and indeed has nothing to do with it other than the fact that once upon a time close to a century ago they once published a collection of books we call an encyclopedia. --Robert Horning 19:36, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

Moved pageEdit

I moved the project pages over to "Wikisource:WikiProjects *" to be more consistent with Wikipedia. Hopefully this won't throw anyone off too much. —Mike 20:44, 9 July 2005 (UTC)

Links from WikipediaEdit

User:Member added a few links in Wikipedia to articles that would be in this Encyclopedia project. I think it is a good idea, but the links currently point to Wikibooks instead of here. That should be changed.

I would also like to see something done in terms of making a small template that could be generally used to link articles from Wikipedia to this project as well, possibly including the Wikisource logo or something along similar lines. It is also a small way to help advertise this project as well. Robert Horning 13:56, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

While it's not what you're looking for, when the project has imported the articles it can modify w:Template:1911 with a link. Steinsky 22:34, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
I just made a new template at wikipedia:Template:Wikisource1911Enc. I am going to add it to some of the articles, and I suspect that there will be some feedback. --Robert Horning 17:45, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

An introductionEdit

It might be useful to have a brief introduction that explains the importance of the 1911 edition and its significance. In a recent book about the Encyclopædia Brittanica w:The_Know-It-All:_One_Man's_Humble_Quest_to_Become_the_Smartest_Person_in_the_World under the passage on "encylopedia" it mentions a new yorker article that goes in depth on the 1911 Brittanica. I think that article and the passage from the book itself would be very useful for this intro.--Gary123 16:53, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

Try to keep this introduction discrete on the main page, but BE BOLD and write the introduction off from a small hyperlink. Perhaps a small hyperlink, or something going off from the opening sentence. BTW, this sentance needs to be modified because it certainly is not a NPOV opinion that EB1911 "is considered the greatest piece of reference material ever." Perhaps more along the lines of "considered to represent the sum of human knowledge at the beginning of the 20th Century" is more appropriate, and hyperlink from sum of human knowledge? -Robert Horning 04:19, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

Disclaimer IssuesEdit

Based on discussion at Foundation-l, I added a project disclaimer for this Encyclopedia on the front page. I would appreciate any feedback about the disclaimer, and feel free to edit/modify/add to this disclaimer as you see fit... particularly if you happen to have some sort of law background. My goal here is mainly to cover our behinds just in case Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. decides to start breathing down our necks to remove this content, or at least change the name. I also want to make it clear that the trademark holder has not given us permission to do this, nor are we obligated under law to get that permission.

In addition, it is important how this project is discussed outside of the immediate namespace of Wikisource. Any suggestions for naming the project (like 1911 Wikipedia) would be useful. --Robert Horning 06:12, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

Some commentsEdit

I am delighted to have found this and am happy to get involved. My day job is as a publisher's editor so proof reading is no hassle to me.

A project we might consider when this one is done is to undertake the same for the 3 volumes making the 12th edition of Britannica which were published in 1922 and so are out of copyright. Tbis covers the period of World War 1, and is an incomparable source for this. Apwoolrich 20:41, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Is there a view on the practicality of locking the final versions of each page once the editing and proofreading has been done of the Wikisource EB11. As I read it we are liable to find in the future stray editors and trolls modifying these texts. It seems to me that we are aiming to provide an on-line edition of the print version, which can then be cut and pasted into, say, Wikipedia for further work. For this to work the Wikisource version needs to be uneditable once it can be shown to be a precise copy of the print version, with the illustrations, and proper italicisation, accenting, and the use of Greek and Hewbrew fonts where appropriate. This means an awful lot of final editing, of course. I have a set of the compact edition, and I see from ABE that several sets are for sale at a price of about UK200. Apwoolrich 08:00, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
Wikisource policy is such that once a page gets to near a final form, that pages can be "protected". There are a few contributors to this project that have admin status (required to protect pages), and certainly if you are contributing to Wikisource and put quite a bit of effort into not only this project but other parts elsewhere in Wikisource that you too can be granted admin status, part of which can be to help protect these pages from random vandalism once the content has been put into place. I'm excited to see that more people are contributing to this project, which is going to make the job of getting this put together all that much easier. Somewhere (probably on the project page) there is going to be a list of suggested articles that need protecting. At the moment, however, I am not sure if there is even a single article that meets that standard yet? --Robert Horning 22:42, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Title errorsEdit

Hello, I've been editing a couple of the articles based on the style manual. I am finding errors in the titles, and am not sure what to do about them. That is, the name of the article here in Wikisource doesn't agree with the spelling at the head of the article. An example is Abu Hanif An-Nu'man Ibn Thabit, where, in the article, it is "Abu Hanifa ..." not "Hanif". Also, Abu-l-'ala Ul'ma.Arri appears to be a garble of what was probably in the original (based on the text here and at 1911encyclopedia and jrank) "Abu-l-`Ala ul-Ma`arri".

Note that based on what I'm seeing, the original 1911 text appears to have distinguished ' ('alif) from ` (`ayn) in Arabic transliterations (I assume with a right single quote mark and left single quote mark respectively). The Project Gutenberg transcription seems to mix these up within articles. I assume their use was more consistent in the original. For example, in the ul-Ma`arri article, the same city is shown as Ma`arra and Ma'arra. It was probably spelled Ma`arra both times in the original. (I have edited this.) --Jmb 19:19, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

The actual title, as written in the book, is in bold captials as ABŪ HANĪF AN-NU'MĀN IBN THĀBIT Note the use of the Macron above some of the characters as a guide to pronunciation. JMB raises an important point, in that the on-line versions of EB11 garble the typography of the original pages. The Gutenberg version is probably the least inaccurate, but they do not include the HTML codes for the proper rendering of character sets in MediaWiki like Greek.
I feel that if this project is going to succeed some editors will need to be working from the printed versions when making final corrections. I wonder if a template might be added to each article's discussion page listing the proof-checking tasks that need to be done, so that editors can tick them off when complete. I suggest the topics should include: 1) Check that the text is correct and that nothing has beem missed in the scanning and OCRing. 2) Code for special characters such as Greek, 3) Modify format for references and bibliograpies 4) Confirm that all images are scanned and are on Commons. Any other comments on this? Apwoolrich 07:28, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
Agreed, I have put in most of the titles, and I know that some are incorrect. I assumed most of those starting with the Æ ligature as the text used "AE" when mentionning other names. I'm assuming that it was the convention when typing up entries to use AE in the text for the ligature. Feel free to correct any you can find that are incorrect, and we'll have to see if we can fix we can get a hold of something that is more accurate. Greg Robson 18:43, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

This issue - and other markup issues - would be alleviated if we could access scans of the encyclopædia itself. Are they available anywhere? PhilHibbs | WP:talk | talk 09:26, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Yes, see User:Tim Starling (under Internal Links on the project page), he has set up a browsable repository of scans for use. GregRobson 20:58, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Problems on move to en.wikisourceEdit

I have just checked a series of articles (from A onwards)which I marked up for italics etc during August, and find that on the move to En all have been lost and we are now back to the original text, so they have to be done again:( Apwoolrich 19:09, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Return to the project page "WikiProject 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Archive 1".