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General notability notes[edit]

  • My basic formula or math for notability is RS (NYT) + V = N (WP). In plain English, a person or a concept that is referenced by multiple, high-quality secondary sources (such as a well-known text or historical book) or primary sources (such as the New York Times, the gold standard), and has verifiable significance almost always meets the basic standard of notability for Wikipedia. An example would be an obituary in the NYT; see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Adam Adamowicz specifically for how this works.
  • I use the "student standard" -- if it is probable that some high school or college student would find this article useful as a starting point for research, then keep it in.
  • If I've heard of a famous person, I think of that person as possibly notable; but if I haven't, he or she is not necessary "Not Notable".
  • I believe that Precisionism [1] often shades into Trollism.

Notability of High Schools at WP:AfD[edit]

English Wikipedia does not have a Policy on Notability of High Schools, but they are almost always kept. These are my own Standards.

A Public High School is inherently or per se notable, and thus will earn a keep vote from me at WP:AFD, regardless of anything else wrong with its article, according to these standards:

A notable High School is defined by these required factors (meeting at least 7 of 10):

  1. Has (or has had 50) or more students
  2. Has (at least) 10th through 12th grades
  3. Has been in existence for (at least) 2 academic years
  4. Grants a diploma, GED, or an International Baccalaureate
  5. Pays its teachers (who presumably have Bachelors' degrees or higher)
  6. Is a Public school, or an Accredited Private school, or an Accredited Charter school
  7. Has 2 or more notable alumni, who already have their own articles
  8. Has 2 or more reliable sources, as defined below
  9. Has 1 or more notable academic programs, major annual events, or scholastic sports.
  10. Is located in a country large enough to have significant media presence online (in order to verify its existence, and has competitive sports and other teams that garner media exposure).
  • New high schools, elementary schools, middle schools, junior high schools, "experimental" charter schools that open and close rapidly, those Yeshivas or Madrassas that do not grant diplomas, EOP's, EOC's, BOCES, and the like are not inherently notable, in my humble opinion.

Reliable sources for High Schools are one or more of these:

  • Daily newspaper articles on line, or a Magazine article.
  • Public school district web site.
  • A recognized accrediting body's web site.
  • A sports web site.
  • A scouting web site (such as Girl Scouts)
  • For a non-public school, evidence must be cited and referenced that a school meets the above criteria. Those references must come from reliable independent sources other than the school or sponsoring entity, and meet normal Wikipedia standards for reliable sources.
  • Notes and links to other, notable Wikipedia articles (although those by themselves are not acceptable).
  • Facebook, MySpace accounts, and the like, are not reliable.

I believe these standards are in line with the statement of Jimbo Wales on high school articles. These are also based upon the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Schools/Old proposal, and comments from other users.

See also[edit]

Notability of Streets[edit]

  • I agree with the standards enunciated by User:Grutness at WP:50k. Specifically: "Notable streets and roads can be divided into two types: those which are inherently notable due to some specific historical, geographical, or other quirk, and those which are notable simply by way of their prominence within a city or town." Also, "The "50,000 people per street" rule of thumb [is] ... For every 50,000 people in a city or town, there is probably one road or street prominent enough for a Wikipedia article."

1. Inherently notable streets have:

  • a subway, El, streetcar, or bus lines that runs down it (the more frequent the service, or more routes, the greater the tendency towards notability)
  • a center of a well-known industry or neighborhood(s)
  • historical buildings facing or having addresses on that street
  • a book, or major article, has been written about this street (a single passing mention is probably not enough, but if noted or used frequently in multiple books, then it is likely to be notable)
  • a notable person has ever lived on this street
  • a WikiProject to list every named street in X notable neighborhood.

2. Business districts, very long avenues, or streets dividing "slums" from "fashionable districts" are "notable simply by way of their prominence within a city or town." From WP:50k.

  • Obviously, with very important cities, such as Manhattan and London, the ratio is probably more like 1 street per 20,000 persons.

Notability of Rivers[edit]

I declare that a river is notable if it:

  1. is verifably real
  2. is at least 1 kilometer long
  3. is filled with water at least 3 months of the year, or, in Australia, 3 months in 10 years.

Notability of hamlets and other places[edit]

I declare that a hamlet, borough, city, town, or village is per se notable, for English Wikipedia, if it:

  1. is verifiably real by at least one reliable source
  2. is in an English-speaking country
  3. has at least 12 persons living year-round, according a government census taken in the past 12 years.

Estates and housing projects[edit]

In a large city, city as London, England, New York City, or Manila, thousands of people may live in a single project. I declare that an estate or housing project is per se notable, for English Wikipedia, if it:

  1. is verifiably real by at least two reliable sources
  2. is in an English-speaking country
  3. has at least 4,000 persons living year-round, according a government census taken in the past 12 years.

Some examples of notable projects in NYC are Co-op City, Waterside Plaza, and Kips Bay Towers. Obviously, smaller housing projects or subdivisions are usually not notable, but may be merged into a larger article for a street or neighborhood, for example, Sedgewick_Avenue#1520_Sedgwick_Avenue.

Rotten boroughs and ghost towns[edit]

Non-notable places[edit]

Classic examples of non-notable places would be:

  • Vacation resorts, holiday spots, golf courses, or country clubs.
  • Housing estates, condominiums, trailer parks, neighborhoods, subdivisions, or projects with fewer than 4,000 residents.
  • No reliable sources can verify its existence.
  • A collection of abandoned buildings that are part of a larger city, estate, or neighborhood.
  • Red flags of non-notability pop up: the exact location is not given, the title is written in small letters, it contains first person pronouns, etc.
  • Newly-created micronations.
  • Most of the almost 900 Barangays in Manila; many are only a few square blocks and lack even a name (e.g. Bgy. 483A).

Notability of historic churches[edit]

A church (or temple, synagogue, abbey, convent, or mosque) building may be notable if it has three or more of these factors:

  • The building is more than 100 years old (pre-1916). If more than 200 years old, this might be the deciding factor.
  • It is a National Historic Site, e.g. St. Paul's Church National Historic Site, UNESCO World Heritage Site, or equivalent in the jurisdiction.
  • It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • It was designed by a notable architect, and/or is notable for its architecture.
  • It has had two or more notable congregants.
  • It is notable for its church organ, choir, bells, or its music programme.
  • It has been notably large for its denomination, either in the size of the buildings or its congregation numbers.
  • It is the site of a major annual liturgical commemoration, or originator of a holy person's feast, or has been a major place of pilgrimage, beyond merely local or congregational interest.
  • It is a cathedral or basilica in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, or similarly large denomination; or the seat of a chief rabbi.
  • A major synod, or historically significant election of a bishop, was held therein.
  • A saint, or other notable holy person, worshipped or preached therein.
  • A significant icon, relic, or other holy item has been housed therein.


Notability of attorneys[edit]

"Lawyers are notable for what they do, what service they perform for the bar, for their academic expertise, and what the rights - not just the money - they win for other people." - Me.

To be a notable attorney, a person must have notable accomplishments as an attorney, backed up by references that are reliable. These accomplishments include:

  • a leading editor (managing editor, editor-in-chief, executive editor, president) of a law review or journal at an accredited law school
  • admission to an American law school honorary society known as 'Inns of Court' (but not to the English Inns of Court, to which all such lawyers belong)
  • winning and/or judging in a regional or national moot court competition
  • service on a major bar association committee or section (for example, chair of the young lawyers division or section, chair of a state bar -- see Steven C. Krane -- or ABA Board of Governors)
  • teaching at an accredited college or law school, as a chairman or tenured associate or full professor (preferably a distinguished professor per WP:PROF)
  • nominated for an appellate bench, but for some reason was not appointed or confirmed
  • trying a notable case, which has its own article in Wikipedia
  • being recognized as an expert in a specialized area of law (see Mark Zaid and John S. Lowe)
  • specialized admission such as patent law or admiralty, or to a specialized court such as the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • arguing one or more cases before the Supreme Court of the United States
  • running for public office or managing a statewide campaign (but that alone is not sufficient)
  • service as a law clerk at SCOTUS or having clerked for another famous judge
  • service as a district attorney in a larger county (150,000 population or more), or United States Attorney
  • service as a legislator at any level of government, from county to Federal
  • service as a mayor in a city, village, or borough (75,000 population or more)
  • service as chair of a major civic committee in a major city or state (300,000 population or more) (for example, a Big City Centennial committee)
  • service on one or more statewide committees, commissions, or boards (for example, an investigative commission, public integrity commission, major state party, or state parole board), especially as a chairperson
  • service as a judge in an appellate court, or a Federal court, or major state trial court, such as New York Supreme Court
  • service in an administrative capacity in a major court system agency (example, clerk of a Federal court, chief court administrator)
  • service as an ambassador, especially as a political appointee (such as Frederic Jesup Stimson)
  • Queen's Counsel in Canada, the United Kingdom, etc.


Having one or two of the factors noted above is not enough, but four or five are probably sufficient. Having three factors would be borderline.

  • Local trial courts (such as city, town, village, county, family, orphan's and widow's, surrogate's, probate, borough, and Superior Courts) do not count in my mind for notability, so judges at those courts are not notable enough.
  • Local boards, such as county or city planning, zoning, school, elections, and assessment appeals, are not notable enough; unless their status or situation provides them with national notoriety (such as Lewis F. Powell, Jr. when he was board president of the Richmond Public Schools).
  • A lawyer is supposed to argue appellate cases; that by itself is not enough.
  • A lawyer is supposed to try cases; that by itself is not enough.
  • A lawyer is supposed to perform pro bono publico, such as free political, electoral, or criminal defense work; that by itself is not enough.
  • If there is no bar exam, law journal, or court admission for whatever area of law, then there is no such "specialty".
  • Service on the ABA or a state House of delegates is not notable enough.
  • Admission to the Supreme Court of the United States is not notable enough.
  • Campaigning for public office, or managing a congressional campaign or office, by itself, is not sufficient for notability!
  • Service on a political party county or state committee, by itself, is not notable, because many attorneys use such service as a marketing tool or résumé filler.
  • "Superlawyer" lists merely indicate notoriety; that by itself is not enough.
  • Service as a deputy or assistant district attorney, assistant county attorney, legal aid lawyer, citizen's action officer, law clerk in the attorney general's office, or the like, is run of the mill - a very large number of lawyers have such experience.


  1. I have been a managing editor of a law journal at a law school, have judged a major moot court competition, served for years as county committeemen, managed campaigns, clerked for a DA, served on both the ABA and NYSBA House of delegates, and run and lost for public office, so I am below the margin of my own standards. Like most attorneys, I perform many hours annually of pro bono work; there's nothing special about that.
  2. Compare keeps for Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Eugene Michael Hyman and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/William Elfving, with deletes for Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Andrea Monti (lawyer), Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Michael Craig (judge), and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Christopher du Pont Roosevelt. See also my delete opinion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Jeffrey Gordon (lawyer).
  3. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Harry Whittington (2nd nomination) ended in a redirect, although, had I gotten the chance, would have argued for keep.
  4. Being an elected official at the local level is completely run of the mill, as there are 1/2 million officer-holders in the USA alone. See also Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Viviana_Parraguez. Many lawyers work in election law, often as election commissioners or inspectors, so that's nothing special.
  5. An especially poor example of lack of notability was found at Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Patrick_Knapp_Schwarzenegger.

Law firms[edit]

Notability of persons in premodern times[edit]

At Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Blastus, User:Ihcoyc, a/k/a Smerdis of Tlön, wrote:

Keep. A handy rule of thumb is this: people who lived before the Gutenberg era are notable if their names were written down in a text that's been preserved.

  • I agree.

Notability of bishops and chief rabbis[edit]

Further information: Wikipedia:OUTCOMES § Clergy
  • I agree.

Notability of classical music[edit]

As a general rule, penultimate and ultimate works of major composers are probably epitomes of their work, and written when they were already famous, so their last work or two are likely to be notable.

Unnamed albums[edit]

Consorts of nobility[edit]

Royalty are almost always notable, even their spouses, children, and grandchildren (queens, princes, and princesses).

First Ladies are always notable. The parents of a President of the United States are almost always notable.

Princes and dukes should be considered on a case-by-case basis, based on their relative rarity. There are only a dozen princes of the United Kingdom, and about 27 dukes existed in England for many years. They are not run of the mill. So individual articles on princesses and duchesses will not overrun the Project.

I am not sure about the notability of Landgrave, Graf, etc. in German/HRE nobility, so would vote weak keep for those, at least for now.

Spouses of earls, marquesses, barons, counts, baronets, and the like (countesses, marquessas/marchionesses, baronesses, ladies, Hon. Mrs., etc.), are rarely notable in their own right, and they do not automatically inherit notability from their spouses, so would go with a delete for them. If their charitable work gains them notice, or if they are included in some group biography, then they might be considered notable enough for their own articles, and I would go with a keep in such cases.

Spouses and minor children of deposed royalty are not inherently notable, unless their charity work or a notable scandal provides them with media attention. One way to prove their notability would be if the consort or minor child were listed in the first section (list of sovereigns) in the Almanach de Gotha.