Nominator(s): Wittylama 09:07, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
I am renominating Norman Selfe for FA status after the first nomination was recently closed due to lack of commentary. I have been encouraged by the closer to relist it. This is my first [potentially] FA class article. From the original nomination statement:
Norman Selfe is, as I'm sure you'll agree, a fascinating character who clearly cared deeply about providing access to practical education to everyone. I'm sure he would have been a Wikipedian if he were alive today! The unusual thing about how this article is that the original content on which it is based comes from an original research essay in the Dictionary of Sydney which I imported as it is CC-By-SA licensed. Therefore, for many of the facts both the source content and the direction of the reference is the same thing - unusual but not against the rules if done correctly (which I've had checked in three prior peer reviews). Wittylama 09:07, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
"Unusual but not against the rules if done correctly"; well indeed. Have you checked all the references or just imported them unexamined from your source? Some of these sources would be pretty hared to check. What's the rationale for the image use? It looks somewhat eccentric with apparently random image sizes all over the article. Why is "velocipede" capitalised? The prose quality looks a little choppy; what's been your approach to copyediting? I am leaning towards opposing at this stage. --MarchOrDie (talk) 09:52, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
The image choice is almost entirely on the basis of what is available - there isn't that much of his stuff that is digitised! I've removed the forced image size for the picture of Gilligaloola (the house). This means there's now only one picture that is larger than "thumb" - the drawing of his proposal for remodelling "The Rocks" area of Sydney. I've kept that one large because it is so detailed and wouldn't be clear at the thumbnail size. Otherwise, there are no other "random image sizes".
My approach to copyediting has been to ask lots of people to go over it with a fine comb - including all the previous reviewers :-) Wittylama 10:13, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Image check - mostly all OK (sources and authors provided, PD-age). 1 issue and some comments:
File:The_Katoomba_Colliery_Scenic_Railway.jpg - fails PD-70 (Phillips, the photographer, died 1944 according to a google search - if i got the correct "Phillips"). Also needs US-copyright tag (PD-1923, PD-old-100, ...) - needs fix or removal.
I think the Template:PD-1996 would be applicable in this case. Is that right? Wittylama 10:35, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
✔ Done Yes, that's right, I've already applied it (edit conflict). --99of9 (talk) 10:37, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Commons images need to be PD in their country of origin and the US, both PD-claims should be established with appropriate tags (added tags for all but the Phillips photo - OK).
Thanks for adding those. Wittylama 10:35, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
"Gilligaloola" - that caption could use a bit more detail, so the image is clear on its own. What's the Gilligaloola?
Updated and expanded the caption. Wittylama 10:35, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
quotebox "Letter to the editor, Sydney Morning Herald," - per quoting policy quotes should be limited to their necessary minimum. This letter provides some nice background, so it's a great addition. But the second half starting with "..., they were well justified in being proud ..." adds little encyclopedic information (it's merely a subjective personal observation of the author). Suggest to trim the quote up until "contraption, ...".
Done. Although, the extra text did give a primary-source reference for the fact that his sister was Maybanke Anderson which is pretty neat, but that's not needing extra proof I suppose. Wittylama 10:38, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
I haven't checked quote usage within the article text, just images and the stand-alone quotebox. GermanJoe (talk) 10:19, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Done - all above points have been adressed, thanks. GermanJoe (talk) 11:38, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Comments on reference formatting:
ISBN-10s should be replaced with ISBN-13s whenever possible.
I've replaced nine ISBN 10's with ISBN 13's. That should be all of them. Wittylama 07:32, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
ISBNs need to follow page numbers, unlike in ref 2 and others.
I've placed the page numbers outside the 'cite book' template so that when I later use the 'short footnote' template I can specify a different page number (otherwise I'd be writing out the whole reference each time. Can you tell me a better way of doing this? Wittylama 07:47, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Wittylama asked me to fiddle around with this. Pages are now within the template, and short footnotes still work. Is this ok by everyone? --99of9 (talk) 10:43, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Page number ranges are not used consistently; compare ref 4 and 20. Pick one style and stick with it.
Do you mean the way they're before or after the ISBN (which I think is the same issue addressed by the previous bullet point) or do you mean something else? Wittylama 07:47, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
No, Squeamish means that either you say (24–25 and 88–89), or (24–5 and 88–9), but not (24–25 and 88–9). I prefer the former because then there's no inconsistency when they span the decade. --99of9 (talk) 10:47, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Correct, and I also prefer verbose page number ranges, but that's a matter of editorial discretion as long as its standardized. Squeamish Ossifrage (talk) 13:26, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I've Changed refs 20, 40, 47 to match the style of the rest of the article now. Wittylama 05:21, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Publication location is inconsistent for books. It's optional, but all-or-nothing. You usually have it, but see ref 20, maybe others.
Fixed ref.20 and looked for others but I believe that's the only one that was missing. Wittylama 07:47, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Ref 2 also lacks the ISBN present in the Bibliography.
Fixed, with ISBN 13. Wittylama 07:47, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Something is wrong with ref 24. I suspect that's actually a journal article (in Minutes of proceedings of the Engineering Association of New South Wales), but the reference isn't formatted that way at all.
Refs 37/38 lack page numbers.
These references are both to the first volume (respectively the fourth and sixth edition) of a journal - in 1902. The journal is not digitsed that far back (the earliest available online is 1994 (volume 80) (that link may not work without an academic subscription, not sure). When you go back to the first edition they didn't specifically number the pages - it was quite a small publication too. I could go and count the pages manually if you think it's necessary - but I don't think adding page numbers would make it any easier for a hypothetical reader to go and hunt out the original if they wanted. Wittylama 08:02, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
No need to count. A lack of pagination is a perfectly good reason for a lack of page numbers. Squeamish Ossifrage (talk) 13:26, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Ref 63 is available in the print publication of the cited journal, published in 1988: 73 (4): 243–246.
Thank you for spotting that - I've put it in now. Wittylama 08:20, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
With all that said, the elephant in the room is the "cited in" references. I don't like them for an FAC article, at least not like this. There are times I'd be okay with this. For example, if you really needed to include material verbatim from a very obscure (or even no longer extant) source, itself quoted in some intermediate publication. But here, some of these sources that you're referencing by indirection are ... just sources. I don't see anything special about Mandelson (1972). It's just a chapter in a book. In fact, you lean on that source fairly heavily, but you give it one of those "cited in" citations. Basically, there's just way too much of this. Either the intermediate source is the one with the important voice, in which case that's where the referencing should point, or the original voices are the important ones, in which case you do need to try to get access at least to the ones that are published and distributed by conventional methods. Squeamish Ossifrage (talk) 14:26, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Hi Liam, Mandelson is available at Usyd. If you like I can borrow and bring a copy to the workshop next Friday. --99of9 (talk) 23:02, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
I will go through and address the footnoting comments one-by-one after the Easter holiday I have now gone through and fixed all bar one of the bullet points. 99of9, if you could borrow Mandelson so I can cite it directly that would be fantastic. Actually 99of9, I can get it from the UNSW library I'm pretty sure earlier in the week, so no need to worry :-) Wittylama 00:46, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I now have this book in my hands, so I can personally confirm the page refs for each of the citations - therefore I'm removing the "cited in Freyne" section of this footnote. However, there are also a variety of other references that this book points to many of which might now be available to be found digitised online (especially via the Trove newspaper service). So, I will be mining it some more over the coming week for some extra refs some of which may end up being "cited in Mandelson". It is quite clear that this, being volume 2 of a 3 volume set (with copious primary source references) is THE source and is therefore understandable why Freyne cited it so much herself. Wittylama 08:43, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
I've gone through the chapter now and added a few more primary sources that Mandelson refers to which I could find digitised in Trove. Most notably, I've been able to add the Sydney Morning Herald obituary article and cite it a half-dozen times through the article now. Wittylama 13:53, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Well... I don't know what that is about! I'll have a look into it next week.... Wittylama 08:20, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Having read this more closely now, I understand what's happened. The structure of the birth notice is written oddly to our eyes, but what it is saying that Emily Ann had a daughter (stillborn) called Irene. I've added this into the personal life section now (diff). Well found, if sad, reference though! None of the other biographies have picked this up. Wittylama 14:08, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
✔ Done. Ah, you're right the structure is strange, but it's even stranger than you thought. "Irene, Ashfield" turns out to mean the house called "Irene" in Ashfield (see for example the next entry which has "Public School, Marulan" in the same context). I've cross-checked with another source (in my edit summary) that says the Selfe's lived in a house called "Irene" on Church St while Amesbury was being built. --99of9 (talk) 04:13, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
PS I wouldn't have found it (and nor did the biographers) if the NLA hadn't digitized Australia's newspapers. Another small win for their program. --99of9 (talk) 04:28, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
You are indeed correct sir! Do you think it's worthwhile inserting something about the house named Irene in the paragraph that describes Amesbury? Or, is it too minor a point? It might also disrupt the chronology somewhat. Wittylama 23:11, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
If you can work it in smoothly, great, but I wouldn't insist. --99of9 (talk) 23:27, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Comments This is a very interesting article on an interesting person, and I have the following comments:
What's an 'urban visionary'?, and 'outspoken advocate of technical education' seems a bit too much like WP:PEACOCK wording (it's not like advocates of VET have ever been a persecuted group!)
Changed to "urban planner" (although I worry that this might be construed to mean he had formal qualifications as such). I would argue that 'outspoken advocate' is the best way of describing him - as he clearly was an advocate who got in trouble for his advocacy. I disagree that advocates of vocational education haven't been persecuted - especially at the time the prevailing mood was for more 'elite' and 'progressive' education such as provided by the classical education of the new University - Selfe's advocacy was staunchly against that. Wittylama 05:14, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough (the only time I've worked in VET I was surrounded by people who were pretty convinced over it's superiority to all other forms of education) Nick-D (talk) 05:21, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Indeed - and I too have grown up around people involved in TAFE so I know what you mean! But have a look at the blockquote in the "Reformer" subsection (from Mandelson) - I think that well illustrates the point about how he was a stubborn figure who was contemptuous of "liberal arts" and anyone who didn't love Technical education as much as he did. It's a longstanding fight - especially in Australia with our tall-poppy syndrome culture. Wittylama 23:17, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
"Selfe went on to design many bridges, docks, boats, and precision machinery, as well as bringing new refrigeration, hydraulic, electrical and transport systems to Sydney" - reads awkwardly (especially the first half)
Rewritten as "Selfe designed many bridges, docks, boats, and much precision machinery for the city. He also introduced new refrigeration, hydraulic, electrical and transport systems." Wittylama 05:14, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
"They initially resided in the nearby Rocks district in a house that had previously been occupied by Mary Reibey, a former convict who became Australia's first businesswoman" - this doesn't seem very relevant
It was notable enough a fact for the biography of norman's sister maybanke anderson to mention at least. It's an obscure fact, yes, but it does show the interesting connections of the city at the time. Reiby is a very important figure of the day and still appears on our $20 notes. Wittylama 05:14, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
"The brothers were already earning a reputation for invention" - when was this?
During this period while living in the rocks, all together as a family. I think the time period is clear by the placement in that specific paragraph and also by the quotebox about the velocipede associated with it. Wittylama 05:14, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
The tense sounds a bit odd - I'd suggest changing this to 'The brothers earned a reputation for innovation during their youth, and were the first to construct a velocipede in the country" Nick-D (talk) 05:21, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
"One of the reasons they emigrated to the colony of New South Wales was to enable him and his brother Harry to undertake engineering apprenticeships without having to pay the heavy premium required by large firms in London." - suggest moving this so that it flows on from the family's arrival in Australia
Moved the sentence higher up in the paragraph. Wittylama 05:14, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
"The decades following Selfe's arrival in Australia were watershed years in the development of refrigeration technology, and Selfe was closely involved " - try to avoid repeating the person's name in a sentence (eg, the second 'Selfe' can be replaced with 'he')
"On his return in 1886 from an overseas trip" - mention here that he spent two years in the US and UK (and can you say why he undertook this trip? Was he a tourist, or was it for professional development?)
This was explained lower down in the postcard section (subsection about the harbour bridge). I've now moved it up here. Wittylama 05:38, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
"In the late 1890s he employed William Dixson as an engineer, whose collection of Australiana manuscripts and pictures was donated to the State Library of New South Wales upon his death in 1952" - what's the relevance of Dixson's non-engineering work here?
This isn't addressed yet. Nick-D (talk) 05:21, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Sorry - I did respond initially, but it appears I forgot to press "save" on the edit. The point in mentioning Dixson is trying to tie into the fact that Norman's own papers are now held in the same library that his former employee helped to create. Also, its part of situating Selfe in the historical context of being an influential person person in his day who all the influential people of the following generation knew. Is there a better way of phrasing this? Wittylama 23:11, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Dixson's role in creating the library doesn't really come out here - perhaps say this more explicitly in the article? Nick-D (talk) 10:36, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
I've workshopped that a bit with Awadewit in a similar comment further down - should be ok now. Wittylama 12:06, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
That looks good, but it needs a citation Nick-D (talk) 10:27, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
"He presented these schemes to the Royal Commission on City and Suburban Railways in 1890; but nothing resulted from this Royal Commission" - bit repetitive
Replaced with "...but nothing but nothing was to come of it...". Wittylama 05:14, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
"Selfe strongly opposed the government's taking control of technical education which had been underway since 1883 when the government first declared its intent" - this is a bit unclear
Changed to "Selfe strongly opposed the government's taking control of technical education, which had been underway since the government first declared its intention to do so in 1883." Wittylama 05:14, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
"Selfe did not win friends by being critical of two powerful institutions: the newly formed Department of Public Instruction and the University of Sydney. In 1889, the government abolished the Board of Technical Education and transferred its responsibilities to the Technical Education Branch of the Department of Public Instruction" - both facts have been previously noted in the article Nick-D (talk) 00:18, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
I've merged the duplication of these facts together to make what I think is now a better flow. (diff). Wittylama 23:27, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Support My comments are now largely addressed, though please see the above note about a citation being needed to cover the State Library of NSW connection. As this should be really easy to reference I'm pleased to support this article's promotion. Nick-D (talk) 10:27, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Support This is a well-written, well-structured, well-referenced article. I think this is an interesting test case for how we use other CC-licensed material. While I think it is ideal that an editor checks every piece of information before adding it to the encyclopedia, that is also not conducive to Wikipedia's mission of distributing free content and improving knowledge on every topic. If importing CC-by content allows us to better cover topics that would not otherwise be covered, we should do so.
They initially resided in the nearby Rocks district in a house that had previously been occupied by Mary Reibey, a former convict who became Australia's first businesswoman. - I'm not sure this fact is relevant, as it doesn't link to anything Selfe did.
As mentioned in comments to Nick-D: It was notable enough a fact for the biography of norman's sister maybanke anderson to mention at least. It's an obscure fact, yes, but it does show the interesting connections of the city at the time. Reiby is a very important figure of the day and still appears on our $20 notes. Wittylama 05:14, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
In the late 1890s he employed William Dixson as an engineer, whose collection of Australiana manuscripts and pictures was donated to the State Library of New South Wales upon his death in 1952. - I'm not sure the info about his manuscripts is important - this is not an article about Dixson.
The point is trying to tie into the fact that Norman's own papers are now held in the same library that his former employee helped to found. Is there a better way of phrasing this? Wittylama 05:14, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
How about saying just that! Wadewitz (talk) 20:49, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Among the collection of items in the Mitchell library of the State Library of New South Wales relating to Norman Selfe – photographs, articles, plans, diagrams, letters and newspaper clippings – there is also a large collection of postcards featuring bridges from across the world. Some have affectionate notes to Selfe from friends and relatives, sent from Japan, Italy, New Zealand, and Switzerland. Others are blank, perhaps collected on his own travels through America, Britain and continental Europe in 1884–85, visiting engineering works and technical education facilities, searching for new ideas to take back to Sydney. - This seems out of place in the "Bridge" section - is there a better place to put it?
I've removed some of the speculative commentary, but this does belong in this section - as these are the proof that he undertook as good an "international survey" as could be done in the day for what the best practices in contemporary bridge design were. Wittylama 05:14, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
To me, the reason it seems out of place is because it is focusing on the library rather than bridge. Perhaps rewording it in terms of the bridge or putting it as part of an image caption could fix the problem. Wadewitz (talk) 20:49, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
I've now written this to address this point. Better? Wittylama 10:27, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
The "Reformer" section seems to give too much weight to lesser activities, such as just supporting. I'm wondering if this material could be cut down.
I think the issue is more to do with the section heading - since this is not so much about his personal reforms, but his ongoing political involement in later life, and recent historians' views of him. Can you think of a better way to phrase the heading or different place to put this section? I think it works well at this point (and this level of sub-heading) but am open to suggestions. Wittylama 05:38, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I'll keep thinking about this. Nothing is coming to me at the moment.Wadewitz (talk) 20:49, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Just reading about all Selfe did made me feel tired! Wadewitz (talk) 18:59, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Maybe "Warwick, Bland Street, Ashfield" also means the name of the building is Warwick, not necessarily the school name. --99of9 (talk) 11:55, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
Yep, would seem to be the case. I've adjusted the syntax now. Wittylama 12:06, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
It's been well over a week since the last comment, and a fair bit longer since the last issue was raised that needed addressing. I believe I've addressed all the comments that have been made so far - please tell me if I've missed something. Wittylama 01:35, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
SupportComment - the article feels comprehensive, well-written and sourced, close to FA. Some long listings of his works read a bit uhm listy, but that probably can't be avoided. A few points for improvements and some questions: (all points Done)
Family "They initially resided in the nearby Rocks district in a house [that had previously been occupied by Mary Reibey, a former convict who became Australia's first businesswoman]" => How is that relevant for Selfe? Did Selfe and Reibey have any connection or influence on each other?
This has been asked by other reviewers - see above. The reason this is here is to demonstrate the interconnectedness of the colony at the time, and the interesting historical coincidence. I've amended the text to emphasise that, as was also for the Selfe family, this was the "first house" of a new arrival who later became famous (diff). Wittylama 13:20, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Inventor "for [one of the] first refrigerating machines. [One of these] machines was installed in Sydney's first ice-works, behind the Royal Hotel in George Street – [one of the] earliest commercial refrigeration plants in the world." => Repetitive structure, possible to rephrase a bit?
I've made a somewhat cosmetic change to the sentence to remove the re-use of "first" and change the structure. (diff). Wittylama 13:20, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
"....to break the "capricious monopoly"" => Did Lilley use that phrase? Why not just monopoly without quote?
It is the subheading of the newspaper article describing the event - too exciting a quote not to use :-) I've rephrased it to clarify that it's not Lilley's words. It comes from the newspaper article which is footnoted at the end of that sentence. Wittylama 12:42, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Historian "Selfe was interested in Australian history at a time when few others were." => A bit emotional, could we just state a plain fact, like since when was he interested in history? Or what sparked his interest? Is there any information about his personal connection between "engineer" and "historian"?
I've simply removed the sentence - you're right it's a bit superfluous to say he's interested in the topic. Wittylama 13:22, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Teacher "A desperate need in the colony for skilled labour ..." => some background would be nice here for non-Australians, why was the need so urgent then?
I've adjusted the sentence to identify the rapidly increasing population as the main cause (though this also implies a rapid growth of the city and industrialisation at the time etc.). Wittylama 12:42, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
citations => page numbers, check p. versus pp. usage, article has several p. for ranges and pp. for single pages.
Fixed a whole bunch of these now (diffs). Should be all consistent. Wittylama 13:20, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
article structure => i was wondering about the lack of a "legacy" section and the inclusion of such information into several separate sections. See for example "Inventor and engineer" the end of 3rd para (collection of Australiana and papers), "Sydney Harbour Bridge" 3rd para (postcard collection) and "teacher" 2nd para (award) aswell as his future influence on educational reforms (not what he did, but what others did following his ideas). The details are present, but interwoven into his biographical narrative. Could you explain, why this aspect isn't covered in a separate section?
I'd prefer not to create a specific legacy section as, in my opinion, his legacy really is so wide and in so many areas of the city that the whole article is kind-of a list of his legacies! It would greatly truncate the main article to remove things that could be considered "legacies" from their historical/topic contexts and put them all together at the bottom. Also, since this article has already been reworked quite a lot over several peer-reviews, I suspect that to make such a large change would introduce more problems than it purports to solve. Wittylama 12:42, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Point taken, no problem. GermanJoe (talk) 15:08, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Most are minor issues - the legacy point is more out of curiosity, as most other biographical articles use a legacy section. Maybe his legacy would be easier to describe in one section rather than splitted up. GermanJoe (talk) 12:00, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Changed to support. All nitpicky points have been addressed, great work with the article as a whole. GermanJoe (talk) 15:08, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
He first obtained international recognition via his designs for the first refrigeration system... but we don't have a picture of those designs? Any reason? (I know I've heard you talk of these designs, so I've probably just forgotten what you said). --99of9 (talk) 19:02, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
There IS a digitised image - it's on the Dictionary of Sydney, from the SLNSW collection here. However... this is behind Google's image zooming software and I can't extract it, and the image is not available on the SLNSW catalogue website - it's just "in a box" (probably Series 7) in the Selfe family papers (hence why I can't link to it directly). I could add it as a footnote but the image has no further metadata than the library catalogue number... Wittylama 02:09, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
I've linked it as J.J. Bradfield now as the proposed name you listed was a redlink (I've since created it) which is more a more commonly known name. Wittylama 02:09, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
Support I've had a thorough read now. I made a few edits which you might like to check. I'm happy to say that I can't suggest much more, so am happy for this to be featured. --99of9 (talk) 21:17, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Checked all the edits - thanks for those (nonbreaking spaces etc.). Cheers Wittylama 02:09, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
Delegate comment -- This appears ready to promote but, before that, I've taken the liberty of placing the quote box on the left and alternating the image placement -- obviously it's hard to get a perfect arrangement that covers all screen types but the previous placement did look particularly cluttered on my 14-inch widescreen. Let me know how it appears to you now... Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 22:59, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Happy with the readjusted image placements :-) Wittylama 02:09, 6 May 2013 (UTC)