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The Wikisource logo, a circular device containing a stylised version of an iceberg above and below the waterline.
Wikisource logo

Wikisource is a digital library of public domain texts, films and similar material. Like Wikipedia, it is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation. It can be used by Wikipedians to provide the full text of documents, further reading or sources for citations.

What is Wikisource?[edit]

Wikisource is a library of primary sources. In relation to Wikipedia, Wikisource provides:

  1. The full text of documents (including song lyrics, where appropriate).
    For example: Wikipedia's United States Declaration of Independence is an encyclopaedic article about the Declaration of Independence; Wikisource's United States Declaration of Independence is the text of the Declaration of Independence itself.
  2. Documents related to the subject of an article, for further reading.
    For example: Wikipedia's USS Indianola (1862) is supported with a link to Capture of the Indianola on Wikisource, a first-hand account of a significant event in the article.
  3. Reliable sources for citations to properly reference an article on Wikipedia.

For specific information on how people more familiar with Wikipedia can contribute to Wikisource, see Wikisource:For Wikipedians.

Linking from Wikipedia[edit]

Wikisource articles can be linked from WP articles as described at Help:Interwikimedia links, namely by using a normal wikilink but prepended with either "s:" or "wikisource:", as in [[s:The Life of Captain Matthew Flinders, R.N.|The Life of Captain Matthew Flinders, R.N.]] which produces The Life of Captain Matthew Flinders, R.N.

Wikisource templates[edit]

Several sister project templates exist for Wikisource.

Wikipedia template Wikisource target Purpose
{{Wikisource}} Main texts Creates a link to a text on Wikisource. Generally useful for all Wikipedia articles.
{{Wikisource author}} Author pages Creates a link to an author page on Wikisource, which contains brief information about the author and lists of both their works and works about them. Useful for Wikipedia biographies of authors.
{{Wikisource portal}} Portals Creates a link to a portal page on Wikisource, which act as subject indices or special collections in the Wikisource library. Useful for Wikipedia articles about general subjects rather than one specific text.
{{Wikisourcecat}} Categories Creates a link to a category on Wikisource, which work in the same as Wikipedia categories. Useful for Wikipedia categories and Wikipedia articles about general subjects for which no Wikisource portal currently exists.

Using Wikisource as reference[edit]

Inclusion of text in Wikisource does not automatically justify mentioning of it in Wikipedia, because of potential differences between what Wikisource includes and what Wikipedia includes. Also, generally, entries in Wikipedia are optimally much more short and concise than entries in Wikisource. For example, Wikisource includes the entire work of On the Origin of Species, while the Wikipedia article on Evolution may mention it in a format such as: "In his publication of On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin formulated a scientific argument that natural selection is a mechanism for evolution".

Citing Wikisource in Wikipedia[edit]

Wikipedia has special citation templates for citing a text on Wikisource. There is one generic template, useful for any text on Wikisource, and several specific templates, useful for certain, specific texts on Wikisource.

{{Cite wikisource}} is the generic template. The simple form of this template is:

{{Cite wikisource
 | title = Title of the text on Wikisource.
 | last  = Last name of the author of the text.
 | first = First name of the author of the text.
 | year  = Year the text was originally published.

Moving texts from Wikipedia to Wikisource[edit]

If a primary source document has been added to Wikipedia, it can be moved to Wikisource instead. This covers the addition to an article of the full text of a document or full lyrics of a song.

To move complete pages, please see Help:Transwiki and/or Help:Import. This will preserve the editing history of the article after it is moved, which may be required for licensing purposes. However, because almost all texts in question are in the public domain, and no one can therefore claim any licence over them, it will usually be possible to cut and paste the text directly into a new page on Wikisource.

Please note that Wikisource prefers texts to be proofread from online scans, which act as Wikisource's equivalent to reliable sources. Simple text is still acceptable as long as a source is provided (e.g. an offline book or a copy in another digital library).

See also[edit]