Wikipedia talk:WikiProject National Register of Historic Places/Archive 56

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Elkman generator stubs debate settle for good

It's time we settle this debate for good. Maybe even get an RfC out of this because I'm tired of arguing back and forth about it. On WP:NRHPHELP, there has been a note about using the infobox generator created/maintained by User:Elkman in some form for more than a year, and on the main project page, a similar note has existed for more than 2 full years. The note on NRHPHELP says in its entirety,

Note: There is a consensus, accepted by most project participants, not to use the Elkman tools to create sub-stub articles en masse but rather to use the tool output as a starting point. It is desirable to at least include a paragraph or two in new articles explaining why the site is listed on the NRHP and/or any other major details, if you can ascertain such.

So basically, don't use the infobox generator to develop copy-and-paste, low quality, sub-stubs; actually put some effort into making an article.

User:Doncram removed this note on July 9, saying that it was a "non-consensus passage." The original text was added to the Resources page on March 24, 2012 by me, an edit inspired by words which had appeared on the main page of this project since April 4, 2011, when User:Royalbroil added them. The note has changed several times since its initial form but the main point has remained. After Doncram removed the note, I re-added it shortly thereafter, and he just reverted me. I'm about to revert to what I see as a two-year-long consensus and direct him to talk here.

My question for the project is what is the consensus? Should we allow sub-stubs to be generated from nothing more than a database dump, or should we have some kind of minimum standard? I would like to have an all-encompassing conversation about this to put it to rest for good. My position is that if an article is sourced only to the NRIS (e.g. a copy/paste of the generator output), it should be deleted or moved to user/project space until it is developed to actually give some relevant information about why the site is listed on the register and not just the fact that it is listed. I would even support a lower limit on length for "mainspace-ready" articles, possibly at 2000 bytes, which is where Template:Alr moves from all red dots to one yellow one. Regardless of the specifics, we desperately need to address this problem. What do other project members think?--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 19:36, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

IMO, an article should have at least one more reference in addition to the NRIS database, for a very practical reason: although I think being listed on the NRHP is a very strong indication of notability, not all listed properties are automatically notable, and an additional reference is required to establish notability with certainty. Granted, simply adding another reference won't automatically solve the "sub-stub" issue, but the incorporation of at least one additional cited fact ought to increase article content at least somewhat. Andrew Jameson (talk) 19:49, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
I noticed that it was editor Orlady, in this edit referring to "blather", I believe during or just before arbitration, changed the statement in wp:NRHPhelp to something stronger than I support there.
The wp:NRHPhelp guide was created by me and others as a help to NRHP editors, not as a tool to be used to beat up editors. Of course, if one's goal is to create coverage in wikipedia of NRHP topics, then having more and more sources and info is good, for any given article. So general encouragement to get more sources is fine. It does not follow, however, that having NO coverage is better than brief coverage. It can be important and helpful for good reasons, such as to stop a stupid Edit-War about a disambiguation, page, to start an NRHP article using very little information. And the Wikiproject NRHP has no right to impose a different standard for notability than Wikipedia policy holds. So, some mild encouragement to get more sources is fine. But divisive language put in to support bludgeoning, is not. --doncram 19:59, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
WOW, folks there quite a few things in the wiki world that could improve I agree. However to decide, today is the day is NOT the style of help and growth in any environment. As to stubs, lets discuss that shall we? As many of you know I LOVE to create geostubs on remote places in West Virginia and Kentucky. IF I am lucky, I can get extra refs, a PO number and zip etc etc. However, thats not the case normally because there is not alot of data out there on some of the remote places. I say that after hanging out in the WV archives for a year or 2 and looking at ANY text data that is legit on the topic. Additionally, I have actually lived in some of these remote spots. Like it or not, there are times when the data that can be currently retrieved is sparse......that cant be changed. Imposing your idea of what you think because you dont like it, is not a great approach honestly. The guide is just that, its a guide. I happen to agree with the guide. However its a guide. There are remote places on the NRHP that do NOT have alot of data....Does this mean, the place does NOT get documented because it does not fit an arbitrary decision? I hope not. ON THE OTHER HAND, there are some articles out there which are literally a sentence with a title and no refs......and YES, it would be nioce to have every article out there chock full of refs. Of course, that would thin out the work for editors, wouldnt it??? IF the issue is, you have a few users who are wrong, often and without ANY intention of changing, thats another deal.Coal town guy (talk) 20:47, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
Any attempt to stop people from writing short articles is going to be unenforceable and probably counterproductive. The project can encourage whatever it wants, but there's never going to be a Wikipedia-wide consensus to delete notable articles because they're too short or ban people from writing stubs. I really have a problem with the suggestion that all articles should be 2,000 bytes long. I've written several articles that fell a bit short of that for whatever reason but still explained why the property was historic and significant. They certainly could be expanded, but they're hardly terrible, and they're much better than a redlink that gives no information whatsoever about the place.
As for the two-line stubs that are entirely based on NRIS information, while I don't like them either, they're still marginally better than a redlink, and there's no enforceable way to stop people from creating them. I agree that every article should have a reference in addition to the NRIS, whether that be the nomination form, or a state database, or whatever local sources happen to exist. However, I'm also opposed to deleting articles which have useful information about the location and historic status of a place, even if they say nothing else useful. And telling people not to use the infobox generator for this won't help, since there are editors who have written these sorts of articles without the infobox generator. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 22:51, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
  • This is nonsense. If an NRHP site is notable (and without exception that I've ever seen, they all are), and there is a legitimate reference to the NRIS, then a stub is fine. It's not ideal, but a stub is supposed to be a start. Being hardass about "every article must be awesome up to my awesome standards before it goes live" is counter-productive. TL;DR: STUB>REDLINK--GrapedApe (talk) 03:08, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Sheesh, we're not talking here about Policies or Commandments. These statements are nothing more than advice that is provided alongside a helpful link to the Elkman tool. Here's a history of how the message evolved:
  • [August 2011] Elkman automated tool] (optional) - can be used as a starting point for articles. Consensus against using to repetitively generate without enhancing to "pretty good standards"
  • [March 2012] Note: There is a project-wide consensus not to use the Elkman tools to create sub-stub articles en masse but rather to use the tool output as a starting point. It is desirable to at least include a paragraph or two in new articles explaining why the site is listed on the NRHP and/or any other major details. The article doesn't have to start out as a featured article, of course, but at least do a little research before creating it.
  • [September 2102] Note: There is a preference by some NRHP project members not to use the Elkman tools to create sub-stub articles en masse but rather to use the tool output as a starting point. It is desirable to at least include a paragraph or two in new articles explaining why the site is listed on the NRHP and/or any other major details, if you can ascertain such. Other members have also generated reports directly from the NRIS database.
  • [December 2012] Note: There is a consensus, accepted by most project participants, not to use the Elkman tools to create sub-stub articles en masse but rather to use the tool output as a starting point. It is desirable to at least include a paragraph or two in new articles explaining why the site is listed on the NRHP and/or any other major details, if you can ascertain such.
In every case (including Doncram's version in September 2012) the thrust of the message is advising users not to use this tool for the automated mass production of stub articles. The salient difference between these versions is whether this message is presented as "project-wide consensus", "consensus accepted by most project participants", or "a preference by some NRHP project members" (while "other members have also generated reports directly from the NRIS database"). It is my impression that there is broad consensus across Wikipedia that articles should not be created solely by automation and that most participants in this Wikiproject would apply that here. I am the one who changed the language to "consensus accepted by most project participants", which I saw as a compromise between "project-wide consensus" (a consensus that I knew wasn't universally respected, as it was clear that Doncram rejected it) and "a preference by some NRHP project members" (which falsely implies that this is an opinion held only by a minority of fuddy-duddies). I hope this discussion of stubs doesn't mean that anyone seriously thinks that this advice should be replaced by a suggestion that new project participants should start using the Elkman tool for robot-style article generation. --Orlady (talk) 04:28, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oh, goody! Doncram has created a new version of his "a preference by some project members" language and inserted it on the "Resources" page with an edit summary that declares his wording to be "Per consensus of "showdown" wt:NRHP". I definitely don't see evidence that consensus support for his wording emerged in this discussion.
Moreover, seeing that his new version is quite a bit longer than the previous version, and noting that Doncram quoted one of my edit summaries that included the words "trim blather", I would like to point out that when I said "trim blather" I meant "reduce excessive verbosity". "Shorter" isn't always better, but I believe that "more concise" is almost always better when one is trying to communicate guidance. --Orlady (talk) 18:06, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
OK folks, now that we are in the full mode of screwing the pooch, I would kindly request that we understand that no singular person or persons claiming a consensus is meaningful. I am honestly and sincerely asking that when I start these types of articles, AND its remote, AND there is NOT alot of data in the public sphere, we have to let it go until there is a policy that makes sense. Otherwise, we enter a Dali world of useless verbage because, hey, CTG wow thats a remote place with no published data, how about you tell us its remote. Now, I have provided data that is as useful as a screendoor on a submarine.....Coal town guy (talk) 18:37, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
I concur with Andrew Jameson--Pubdog (talk) 01:44, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
Isn't Doncram topic banned by arbcom from creating new articles? Seems objectionable and very inappropriate to me that he should be doing any edit that is even remotely related to article creation. It's very easy to create a decent article with a few paragraphs on 99% of NRHP topics and it should take less than 10 minutes! Royalbroil 20:18, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Criteria in infobox

I've thought of proposing this for a long time but never gotten around to it. It's always seemed to me to be important to mention in the text why a place got listed; my typical way of doing this can be seen at Barney Kelley House. What if we added a "Criterion" entry in the infobox? We already include lots of basic listing data, such as refnum, listing date, and governing body; giving a place to put "A", "B", "C", and "D" would be more helpful, I believe, than Area or Governing body already are. We could include a link to National_Register_of_Historic_Places#Criteria to assist readers who would otherwise be confused. Nyttend (talk) 21:57, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

If we do add it, it should probably be about as free-form as the other fields in the infobox, since some are listed under multiple criteria. Related to this is something that has been bothering me for a while; do older listings use the Criteria system, or am I misinterpreting the forms? Old Fresno Water Tower (circa 1970), for example. I don't see any explicit lettered criteria (unless I'm missing it). There is level of significance (national, state, local) and checkboxes for "Areas of Significance". Chris857 (talk) 22:29, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, the older listings use "Areas of Significance" instead of the criteria. I'm not sure it will make a huge difference, since "Architecture" and "Engineering" correspond to C, the two Archaeology areas correspond to D, and it shouldn't be too hard to sort out the other two. There will probably a certain degree of subjectivity, though (for instance, if a historically significant business had a somewhat prominent businessman as its owner, does it fall under B or not?), and there's a certain element of original research in retroactively applyiing a set of criteria to nominations that never used it. We also couldn't apply it to any property that we don't have a nomination form for unless we just guess, since it's not in the NRIS and state lists probably don't mention it.
I'm also not sure how useful it would be, since most people won't know what the letter means without clicking the link. It's probably more useful than governing body or the area of a building, though that's kind of a low bar. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 22:58, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
Not a good idea, IMO. First, because this seems like a classic example of the phenomenon of infobox bloat that is the subject of the current Signpost article and discussion at Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost/2013-07-10/Dispatch. That article is reminding us that infoboxes are supposed to be a concise synopsis of key data from the article, not repositories for compendious detail. Secondly, I share the concern that the "Areas of Significance" aren't going to be meaningful to most people -- I estimate that 99% of the readership won't be familiar with the letter codes, and even terms like "Architecture" aren't necessarily meaningful because the NRHP definition doesn't always mean what the word means to the uninitiated reader. IMO, these codes are more "Inside Baseball" than they are encyclopedia content -- and they certainly aren't key facts. Rather than adding these codes to the infobox, let's encourage people to write article text that discusses the attributes of the property that were cited as reasons for listing it. --Orlady (talk) 02:24, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
"Area of Significance" is still included on current forms, at least for Indiana, while even the oldest listings have criterion/criteria indicated in NRIS (the APCRIT table in my copy of the database download); Elkman's generator already mentions criteria, as you can see here by searching for "Criteria". It's not original research to report what's in the database (and unlike with things such as coordinates, we should expect NRIS to be 100% reliable on this fact), so I don't think we need to worry about anything except "is it useful/a good idea". As far as that question, World Heritage Sites' infoboxes already have an entry for their criteria, and I don't see why we shouldn't do likewise; do you believe that our sites' criteria are less important than their governing bodies, or do I misunderstand you, Orlady? The method of qualifying seems to me important enough that it should be mentioned in the infobox, and since infoboxes are supposed to summarise what's in the article, it's a good way of providing a machine-readable summary of what people should definitely include in the article text. Finally, yes they're a kind of inside code, but that's why I suggested providing a link to the criteria section of the NRHP article — either you know what they are, or you can instantly find out. Nyttend (talk) 03:05, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
I made this exact same suggestion way back in the beginning of this WP. I still think it's a good idea. As for "inside code", no one questions the refnum, and it's been in the infobox since day one. Einbierbitte (talk) 22:10, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

New England articles

I was wondering, is there any desire to begin a focused push for GA and FA articles in this region? I can pull up some sources, but I don't have access to a lot - I could probably pull something together, but I would need some guidance and mentoring on establishing the structure and form required for GA and FA level work. I have some contacts and can do some legwork, possibly in my upcoming vacation to gather a few choice materials in this area. If anyone has any desire to work on these articles - please give me some options to target and I will attempt to quickly gather off-line book sources and scans of documents as I make my way through New England. An FA or two would be a nice souvenir of sorts. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 03:43, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Quick clarification: do you mean Massachusetts and Rhode Island (where substubs were created en masse), or the other four states (where this isn't the case), or all six of them? Nyttend (talk) 03:52, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
I can do Rhode Island and Massachusetts easily, I will be making my way up through New Hampshire, but I do not know how long I will be staying in that region. If I can stop by some historical societies and purchase materials or target information for photocopying at local libraries, I'd be quite happy to run a side project while I am in the states. I just need to know what kind of things I should be going for to maximize my efforts. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 04:20, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
Totally misunderstood you. I overlooked your penultimate sentence and thought you were just talking about a normal "let's write some articles" project. Nyttend (talk) 17:16, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
Since coverage is lacking and I'll be running around on my vacation, it'd make sense to have a secondary use for the trip. I got only a sub-par camera, but I'm sure it is fine enough for taking photos of buildings and things. I'll browse the lists and see if I can come up with some ideas; didn't know if anyone else had an interest in improving specific ones - something I could help out with. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 03:02, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
I would be interested, if others are too (a bit of project collaboration, rather than bickering would be a nice change of pace). I would suggest something famous, but with an article that is lacking, like the Massachusetts State House or the Boston Light. Niagara ​​Don't give up the ship 16:31, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Historic Districts

All- NHRP historic districts in cities tend to be comprised of several buildings. Would it be proper editing to include pics of the individual buildings mentioned in the district listing?Coal town guy (talk) 01:15, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Yes! These buildings are known as "contributing properties" and are the reason why the district exists! Take a look at the Russian Village District, a district I wrote up a couple years ago. Einbierbitte (talk) 01:28, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Dam good work EinbierbitteCoal town guy (talk) 03:16, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Agreed! It's nice to get photos of different buildings, as a sort of representative sampling. In residential districts, I try to get not only houses, but churches or other possible contributing properties. That's the wonder of digital cameras, as long as you have enough storage, you can take hundreds of pictures, and cull out the best ones. --Ebyabe talk - Border Town ‖ 01:42, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
It's definitely useful to have as many pictures of the individual structures as possible. How many and which ones should go in articles is dependent on the article, and should use common-sense judgement. Chris857 (talk) 02:30, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
I just added a bit to Wikipedia:WikiProject_National_Register_of_Historic_Places/Style_guide#Historic_districts, which links to about 20 good HD article examples, now mentioning Einbierbitte's suggested one. Yes, getting lots of pics, including at least one for each building in an HD would be great, to be included in a commons category at least, if not including all directly in the article. --doncram 02:33, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Do we really want pictures of every building? What if the district has upwards of 2000 contributing properties? Ntsimp (talk) 02:38, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
1,999 is GREAT but I agree, 2,000 is just crazy talk.Coal town guy (talk) 02:46, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Out of perhaps morbid curiosity, do you have some examples of such HDs? Chris857 (talk) 02:48, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes this one in McDowell County West Virginia and this one in Summers County West Virginia were you actually worried I was going to submit 1,999 pics.....Coal town guy (talk) 02:52, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I could contribute to a few of these I think! Actually, I'm sure if you had a whole set of CC-by-SA professional photographs of a district it could be perfect for other topics. I doubt we need more than a handful for each article though. ChrisGualtieri (talk) 02:58, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. I have to take another look at the Hinton District in Summers. I spent about 2 days taking pics there. The McDowell Welch District MIGHT be a bit more tough, I have only a few hours. As to the pro level pics, it would be funny , as in , ha ha, if many pro photographers took pics of some of these places on the NRHP, certainly in McDowell County, BUT, my pics I think are OK for quality, they should be fineCoal town guy (talk) 03:05, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm only familiar with Utah, where the Salt Lake City East Side HD has 2061, and the Ogden Central Bench HD has 2383. I assume these aren't the biggest in the country. I don't think an arbitrary limit makes sense, but I'm not sure a commons cat with every last building is useful either. Ntsimp (talk) 03:01, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
My own approach to photographing large HDs is: go through the nom form and see if any particular buildings are singled out, and make a particular effort to get them; and try to get a reasonable sample of the architectural diversity in the district. I think I can generally get a decent level of coverage, hitting 50-75 structures, in a couple of hours.
In articles about such HDs, I think it's particularly important to include a link to the Commons category. I don't care for the "Commons" template, with its rather generic phrase "media related to X". It'd be better to create an EL with more specific phrasing, like "Additional photos of X at Wikimedia Commons". Ammodramus (talk) 19:15, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
FWIW, Ammodramus seems to be far ahead of every other NRHP photographer in terms of providing multiple photos, set up properly in an individual Commons category, for individual NRHPs and especially for HDs. It is a pleasure, truly, to work at developing articles in Nebraska and neighboring states where Ammodramus has been most actively photographing. Ammodramus seems to prefer the EL as I just tried to provide, for one example, at Grant Commercial Historic District (Grant, Nebraska), where the addition was:

== External links == *[[:Commons:Category:Grant Commercial Historic District (Grant, Nebraska)|More photos]] of the Grant Commercial Historic District at [[:Commons:Main page|Wikimedia Commons]]

which is a format that I personally am fine about using for any Ammodramus collections.
Another idea, is to actually take a video as you drive around a historic district, with or without verbal narration about what you are seeing, and upload that to Commons. Then, the commons category-inline link speaking of "media" would make more sense. I don't think anyone has done that yet for any NRHP HD. I have personally done a video, with my own voiceover, of a designated walking tour in one city, though I am not willing to upload it to Commons; it was a test for me of smartphone technology. I drove, rather than walked. I like Smallbones' photo presentations; a proper movie would be in the same vein, but even more personal if you are sharing your own voice, live, as you drive and comment on what you're seeing. Anyone willing to do that? --doncram 01:55, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
"FWIW, Ammodramus seems to be far ahead of every other NRHP photographer in terms of providing multiple photos, set up properly in an individual Commons category, for individual NRHPs and especially for HDs." Ahem. :) --Ebyabe talk - State of the Union ‖ 02:28, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
An ahem for me, too. I may not have signed on the dotted line to be a member of this project, but in watching this page, I've noticed some pretty inflammatory comments from you lately, doncram. You don't need to denigrate or ignore people's contributions just to highlight good ones. All of us put in a lot of effort writing and/or taking photos, and to come here seeing you talk about "fringe views of some weirdly-anti-NRHP people", discouraging people from getting getting visibility to the project and topic through things like WP:FA, and wanting to create a "sucky photos" log? Come on... Spyder_Monkey (Talk) 03:05, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I partly don't see what you are speaking about, and would prefer to discuss what you mean off-line. But I am sorry, I was not aware of there being extensive commons categories as extensive as what Ammodramus has done, elsewhere.
At risk of making more of a mess, let me say: I am coming from Wikipedia and aim to serve Wikipedia readers, and I am not much swayed by the two "Ahem" links to extensive category systems existing over in Commons. There may be tons over there, sure. But for Wikipedia readers, if there is not prominent link from a Wikipedia article to a specific commons category, the commons photos may as well not exist at all.
About Florida's HDs, I am not aware that there are NRHP nomination documents available, usually, so how could one document the contents of a district, anyhow? I browsed and find one random example, Downtown St. Petersburg Historic District, where there is just one source given in the article, an external link to a www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com page for the county; there are two pics included directly in the article. At very bottom right is a Wikimedia commons link, in format less salient than an external link as suggested above. Frankly I seldom click through one of those. But I see the link does go to a collection of photos for the district. However, I am left wondering whether the buildings depicted are actually in the district; there is no documentation supporting that in commons or in the wikipedia article. I have the impression that the Florida NRHP articles were mostly developed back in 2007-2009 or so, and mainly I think it is great we have the coverage that was provided. But I don't think this HD, or the collection of FL NRHP articles, on average, compare very well to the best of what we can do now in areas where the NRHP nom docs are available. Hope that doesn't offend anyone too much; it just amounts to saying there's more that can be done in the future.
And about Alabama HDs and other NRHPs, sorry, i simply haven't worked much in the area and am not aware of how much linkage there may be from Wikipedia AL articles to corresponding Commons categories. In contrast, I happen to be developing a lot in Nebraska where there are both NRHP docs available and good corresponding Commons categories, where I myself can put the links into the Wikipedia articles. I hope this sort of explains where I was coming from in my comment. --doncram 20:17, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I am frequently confused as to how your brain works, Doncram. I cannot believe that I just witnessed you of all people telling someone that their work is not "the best that we can do" when the average article you create is at best marginally better than Downtown St. Petersburg. So tell me, what is the best that we can do, and when are you going to start doing it?--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 20:56, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
"there is no documentation supporting that in commons or in the wikipedia aricle" - except for the boundaries of the district which are clearly stated in the article, and the picture of a plaque which says the building pictured is in the district. If you're going to criticize other people's work, at least make sure you have the facts right first. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 22:42, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

I'll give a shameless plug for some of the things I'm doing - the main points will be that there are many different styles of covering a historic district, and that taking a lot of photos in an HD is not a bad idea. I've done a couple of NHL districts Colonial Germantown Historic District and Cape May Historic District in the form of tables, adapted from our county list style. Both of these districts have about 600 contributing buildings, but I've limited myself to about 100 buildings on each (maybe 200 photos total for each district). There's no particular reason to limit the number of buildings photographed, although exhaustion and a small marginal benefit of 1 extra building plays a role. I do have a bad feeling about many of the examples I've seen where people take multiple-dozens of photos of a single building - my usual (though not uniform) reaction, which I try to keep to myself, is "Why don't you edit and select the best photos, rather than just dumping all of this on Commons?"

It's important, though not always possible, to try to find an inventory of the HD. Usually the buildings are specified as being "significant", "contributing", and "non-contributing", though there are different classification systems. Germantown uses that system, but Cape May never included an inventory! Fortunately I was able to find 2 "official inventory substitutes".

It's important to note that User:Nyttend tends to do complete photo inventories, which I find to be marvelous. I also find User:Andrew Jameson's Detroit Financial District to be simply outstanding. A different approach is my Rose Valley, Pennsylvania.

Speaking of Rose Valley, please see the external media at the bottom for links to three videos. These aren't my videos, but are made by somebody I've never met or talked to, Wanda Kaluza. She is my inspiration, and all these videos are made from her photos, rather than being true video. Pretty amazing, aren't they? Getting true video to this quality would be much harder.

A Walk up Main Street, video (2 minutes)

I'm still working on my video technique - see at the right "A walk up Main Street, Adamstown, Pennsylvania" (not on the NRHP) which may be a different way to present an HD (or any Main Street, Anywhere).

So please take lots of HD photos and present them in HD articles as you think best describes the district. Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:34, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Smallbones thinks too highly of what I've done :-) Aside from tiny districts with three or four CPs, all of my complete photo inventories have been in Bloomington, Indiana, where I've lived for the past few years — when I'm anywhere else and taking pictures, I'm too busy getting something of all sites and don't have time to get everything for one or two HDs. I tried in Campbellsville, Kentucky when I had a week in town two years ago, but they had no inventory that I could find. If you want to see what I've done, check either Steele Dunning Historic District or Commons:Category:Bloomington West Side Historic District (and its parent, Commons:Category:Historic districts in Bloomington, Indiana) for examples, although note that Steele Dunning's table relies on the local district boundaries; it doesn't include two sidewalks that contribute to the NR district but that aren't mentioned in the local inventory book. Of course, if I were writing articles about lots of HDs (I rarely do any), I'd only include all-site tables for smaller districts; there's no way I'd give such a table for the Bloomington West Side HD, with over 400 contributing properties. Finally, you might want to consult Hartford City Courthouse Square Historic District and List of properties in Hartford City Courthouse Square Historic District; most of the images and all of the writing and design are the work of someone else. Ntsimp, part of my reason for uploading photos of tons of images is the hope of assisting Indiana's historic preservation efforts; they've been trying to get images for most inventoried properties statewide and put them on SHAARD, and I see it partially as a method of helping with that. Moreover, I recently saw something on an academic library listserv encouraging us librarians to participate in this kind of intensive community photography, if for no other reason than creating a more comprehensive "picture" of what the community looked like at a certain time. Nyttend (talk) 17:32, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks to everyone for their feed back on HDs in NRHP. So far as I am able to tell, I could create a cat on commons for the pics and populate the cat at commons. THEN, I would then use them HERE in a NRHP HD article which sounds OK by me. I would only offer a caution about "quality". My last trip to WV for McDowell, Fayette and Raleigh counties was about 1,200 miles in a weekend. I was able to get some pics for various NRHP in the counties mentioned and provide clear pics that were there which is fine. Luckily, I research WV on my own time, but as to the quality, I welcome ANYONE here to drive what I drove, and get the pics themselves if the quality needs to go higher. For those of you familiar with where I drove, ANY pic is NOT so easy to getCoal town guy (talk) 21:06, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Just remember that it's entirely appropriate to upload images of more sites than should belong together in an article, as long as you put them on Commons; do as many or as few as you want. Definitely agree with your relationship between images and driving time; back in April I did a thousand miles in three days, including substantial amounts of driving on dirt roads without signs at intersections, so it took forever to get the Illinois Iron Furnace, and I had to photograph Battery Rock from across the Ohio River and the Duffy Site from a mile away, because many former roads (both in the hills and in the floodplains) have become footpaths or no longer exist in any condition whatsoever. We need images that represent sites fairly; beautiful artistic images are wonderful when we can get them, but sometimes we have to settle for the dreary-sky image with a speed limit sign in front of the building. Such an image is still a good representation for the future of the appearance of the building, and that's the most important thing. Nyttend (talk) 22:10, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Burned out industrial hulk after killing a rat snake because I stood in the middle of a grove of trees is just as cool as Dreary sky with speed limit sign. Many thanks NyttendCoal town guy (talk) 22:46, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

NRHP and supporting properties

Hello All- I did indeed manage to get the historic properties listing for the Welch West Virginia Historic Commercial district. I will be updating the article soon. Sheer curiosity here, can I assume that all HD will have a handy map and listing as was the case for thr Welch district? If not, thats fine.Coal town guy (talk) 14:13, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

The nomination forms will include: written description of the boundaries, map(s), list(s) of contributing and non-contributing properties (if any), and photos. Einbierbitte (talk) 19:50, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
No, they don't necessarily. In general, newer forms are better, but many of the earliest-designated and most important districts (as well as individually listed properties) have forms that are really minimal. I quote Acroterion, who addressed the same issue in a slightly different context: "[A] lot of the early (and often very important) NRHP properties that were nominated and documented before there were preservation professionals, often written by Mrs. Timothy van Snootington of the local garden club or the DAR, unreferenced, and riddled with problems." Check the nominations for the Vincennes (no map, no inventory, only a few major CPs get mentioned) and Madison (one really zoomed-out map, no inventory, only a few major CPs get mentioned); these are two of Indiana's most important districts, and they were listed in 1974 and 1973 respectively. Compare that to the nomination for the Gosport HD, listed just last month; it's a small group of normal late-19th century commercial buildings with your regular vernacular houses, but it gets almost fifty pages because the standards have really gone up in the last forty years. It's that way in West Virginia too, as you can see for a couple of sites in Hancock County on the Ohio River — the William E. Wells House, a nice house listed in 2009, gets eighty-two pages, while the Peter Tarr Furnace Site, the first iron furnace in the whole country west of the Alleghenies and listed in 1976, gets seven pages. Nyttend (talk) 00:05, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

My first NRHP article

In order to precluse a potential fecal tsunami, I have in all good faith and honesty decided to let you all know, about my first NRHP article. I know you will find some suggestions fro improvement. BRING IT. As a note, this was a former redirect to the town it resided in. Thats right, IF you clicked the NRHP listing, in the county list, it took you to the town the place resided in as a redirect. SO, there is some good out of this. I am open to criticism, I am open to learn, I am eager to contribute.Coal town guy (talk) 00:58, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Please don't simply remove the redirect, because that will be even more confusing than having it redirect to the wrong place. Thanks for replacing it with an article! Two suggestions for you: (1) Add the country name in the text [I've done this], since not everyone knows where Kentucky is, and they shouldn't have to look to the infobox to notice that it's a US designation. (2) Format the citation to the nomination [again, I'm going to do this], since a full citation is much better for preventing problems such as linkrot. Some people use the styles that appear at Wikipedia:WikiProject National Register of Historic Places/Style guide, while others (including me) use other styles. Nyttend (talk) 01:47, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
GROOVY, Much appreciate the input, I also had Catlyst see it, Madison County KY has some oddities which I will address as I can. As long as I can contribute and learn, this is goodCoal town guy (talk) 01:49, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Article is good as far as it goes, but it should be longer! The nom form tells about how the Cornelison family was still operating the pottery as of the 1970s (is it still family-owned?) and about the changes over the years in the types of kilns used and the type of pottery produced -- that is appropriate and interesting content for the article. Also be sure to mention that the oldest part of the building is a log structure. Please expand the article and nominate it at [{WP:DYK]]! --Orlady (talk) 02:36, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
If I'm not mistaken, I think a merge with Bybee Pottery may be in order (just found the article). Chris857 (talk) 02:47, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
[EC] Argh! I did a little more research, and I discovered some unexpected issues. It seems that the pottery was doing business under the name "Bybee Pottery", and there's an article for it: Bybee Pottery. (This sort of thing happens rather often -- in this case, the NRHP nom form is almost 40 years old, so it's not all that surprising that things have changed...) I'm afraid that the two articles should be merged: I think that "Bybee Pottery" should be the article name, but "Cornelison Pottery" should be an alternative name, and of course the NRHP infobox needs to be in the article. --Orlady (talk) 02:52, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Have to agree with Orlady here...The town proper acquired the name from the Pottery company named BybeeCoal town guy (talk) 03:02, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

NRHP information not digitized

Does anyone know how I would get the NRHP information for Simmons Hardware Company Warehouse when the NRHP hasn't digitized the main document? SL93 (talk) 01:48, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

It looks like you were pretty successful getting information for the article, notwithstanding the lack of a National Register nomination document. Nice work! --Orlady (talk) 02:46, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I just wish that I could add more to the template. SL93 (talk) 02:48, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Follow instructions in wp:NRHPhelp to request, by email, a free copy of the NRHP nomination document, from the National Register. Although their system may say "not digitized", they may well be able to email you a PDF copy almost immediately. At worst it'll take a week or two to receive a postal-mailed hard-copy. You/anyone is entitled to this. Hope this helps. --doncram 02:54, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. I will do that even if it takes awhile. SL93 (talk) 02:55, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

See Hard Rock Casino - Sioux City and the rest of the extensive website. Just a guess, but the history section looks like it did double duty for the developers as part of the nomination as well. Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:46, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

I have received the nomination document, with three files, today. SL93 (talk) 19:18, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Historic District versus a town

All- I have taken a look at Thurmond, West Virginia. The town article and the NRHP article are one and the same. This KIND OF makes sense. HOWEVER, as it is a HD, there are a few pics I have which I can add. Problem is now the article is long, because the town and NRHP are the same, what do you think? Should they be seperated?Coal town guy (talk) 12:33, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Shortest time on Register?

I have just finished Dr. Hun Houses, a property in Albany that was demolished and delisted within three months of their being listed back in 1972. I am going to make my usual DYK nomination with a hook on that one.

Out of curiosity, does anyone know of any properties that spent even less time on the Register? Or do these have the record so far? It might make a better hook if we can say with confidence that this was the record. Daniel Case (talk) 05:01, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

You could probably query the NRIS for all properties with listing code "RN", which corresponds to delisted properties, extract the listing dates for each of them, and compare them to the delisting dates, assuming both are given in the NRIS. I know the Elkman generator erroneously gives (or at least used to give) the delisting date as the listing date in its generated infobox (so for example if a site was listed on January 1, 2000 and delisted on January 20, 2000, the infobox would show | added = January 20, 2000), so the NRIS may not actually have both dates in there. The delisting date may (although this would be the stupidest programming decision ever) simply overwrite the original listing date, losing that bit of information forever (although obviously there are other sources where we could recover it).
If it is the case that the original listing dates of delisted properties are not included in the database, you could maybe use the refnums as a rough guess of the listing date. The first two digits of the refnum generally correspond to the year the property was listed, so you could pretty safely throw out any delisted properties that begin with two digits that are more than one year prior to the delisting date. That would probably trim the list of ~1500 down to something that would be a little more manageable by hand.
That's really the only methods I can think of off the top of my head to get a quick answer to your question. And on top of all this, remember that the database available for download only includes properties up until a certain date (2010? 2012? Not sure what the latest version is), so this method wouldn't account for any properties listed after that cutoff date.
But then again, maybe there's a news article about it out there somewhere.. or heck maybe you could just email the NR and get them to do the work for you haha. I don't actually have a copy of the database on my hard drive (and its pretty full already so I don't want to download it) or I would write a database query that could do all this pretty quickly. I would like to have the full database available, though, rather than just the scrape that Elkman provides and the even smaller scrape that Focus has. Maybe I'll try to get an external drive and put it on there eventually, but definitely not fast enough to have it done before your DYK goes through.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 06:10, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I believe I'm going to have to disappoint Dudeman. Elkman's generator simply provides the date in the CERTDATE column of the PROPMAIN table of the NRIS database, and that column is apparently meant to reflect the date on which a property got its current listing status — as far as I can see, the delisting date really does simply overwrite the original listing date, losing that bit of information forever. I think you're going to have to go through old pages of recent listings to find what you need, although at least the refnum will generally tell you the year in which a property was listed. Nyttend (talk) 23:18, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Do you have a copy of the database on your machine? After I left this comment, I was inspired to download the database (which is actually not that big at all.. I assumed it would be several GB, but it's actually only a few MB! Crazy that they can get info about 80K+ sites into just a few MB of data!). Problem is, I'm on a Mac, and apparently the NRIS hates Mac. I have a bunch of dbf files sitting on my computer, and Mac can't open them natively. I downloaded a program called LibreOffice which allowed me to open the files, but they're in spreadsheet format now, kind of like Excel, and basically completely unusable from the standpoint of a database. LibreOffice does have a database program inside of it, but for the life of me I can't figure out how to convert these spreadsheets into something compatible with the database program. The internet is not much help either. Do you have any ideas? Possibly some other program that can open/manipulate dbf files on a Mac? I know some people on here have to work with Macs and definitely have a lot more computer knowledge than I do. Maybe User:Multichill can help me?
As to the database itself, if you have a query-able version on your machine, there is an "OTHCERTD" table which includes other certification dates (i.e. if the CERTDATE entry in PROPMAIN is not a listing date, the listing date is included as OCERTDTE in OTHCERTD). If I could get this database crap sorted out, it would most likely be possible to match up the refnums in OTHCERTD to those in PROPMAIN and then subtract OTHCERTD.OCERTDTE from PROPMAIN.CERTDATE for each of the matching refnums to get the total times on the Register. The smallest of these times would then correspond to the property which stayed listed for the shortest period.
In other words, it is most likely possible to extract the information we want from the database.... I just can't get the stupid thing to work on my machine.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 02:54, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
I do have a copy; I downloaded it months and months ago. Smallbones just the other day was telling me how I should consider getting a Mac, but I remember his machine's difficulties with the Pennsylvania CRGIS, and now you're having problems with this, and...This is why I have a computer, not a Mac :-) You need to get it in Excel or Access format; the dbfs are old, if I remember rightly. I was aware of the existence of OTHCERTD, but I'd not thought to look at it. Be back later; I'm off to photograph one upcoming listing and a few dozen ones that are already listed in eastern Illinois. Nyttend (talk) 12:33, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Not exactly what DC is asking about, but the File:Jewel Tea Building.JPG in Lake County, Illinois was listed while it was being demolished. Still listed, however, 9 years later! Now if we could find a site that was delisted before it was listed ... Smallbones(smalltalk) 04:21, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Check Holy Rosary Catholic Church (St. Marys, Ohio) — it was demolished in 1978 during the listing process for its MPS, and with the other MPS properties it was listed in 1979. And it's still listed, nearly 35 years later! Ohio tends to be bad on delistings; I've visited tons of empty lots that were still listed, while here in Indiana they're a bit better at delisting the empty lots. Nyttend (talk) 12:33, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
This listing notwithstanding, New York is very similar to Ohio—see here for all the zombie listings we've discovered so far. AFAIK NY has not had one removed since the late 1980s. My favorite is Poughkeepsie City Hall—listed in 1982, demolished a year or so later, but never delisted in the intervening four decades. Daniel Case (talk) 16:48, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
The Frances Packing House in CA was listed in 1977, after it was demolished according to the OC Register [1]. It's still listed. Einbierbitte (talk) 18:32, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Here in Illinois [not quite done with the aforementioned photo trip], there's at least one building wall listed by itself, the Alton Military Prison Site (just one wall of the prison) in Madison County. Was the Packing House listed as if the whole thing were standing, or did they list just that one wall for someone reason? Holy Rosary was already in the listing process when it was knocked down; it's hard to believe that six years could pass after the Packing House's destruction without the historic preservation folks realising that it had been mostly destroyed. Nyttend (talk) 01:45, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
The plot thickens; these photos of the still-standing Packing House from its nomination are dated 1976. Having the nomination form here would be enlightening, but unfortunately the link that's supposed to have the form has the maps from the nomination instead. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 02:06, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, I may have found the problem. The OC Register appears to have copied bits from this blog (based on the similar "wrecking ball" line), and it probably misquoted "After the packing house was closed in 1971, it was demolished", which doesn't actually mean it was demolished in 1971.
This LA Times article claims it was demolished in 1977. Chris857 (talk) 02:39, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Try this one on for size. I finally got my database software to work (switched to NeoOffice), and found that some properties were delisted before ever having been listed in the first place. Anyone care to explain that to me? Here are the results:

REFNUM RESNAME Delisting date Listing date
71001084 Grand Central Passenger Station 19710101 19710603
71001085 Crowell Mansion 19710101 19711112
72001564 St. Clair County Courthouse 19720101 19720517
72001589 Davis, Benjamin, House 19720101 19720207
72001591 Caleb Blood Smith Historic Site 19720101 19720131
72001596 Foster Block 19720101 19720717
73002244 Lincoln, Jessee, House 19730101 19730621
74002325 Spring House 19740101 19740503
74002330 Anselm Hall 19740101 19740508
74002340 Maennerchor Building 19740101 19740620
75002168 Park Avenue High School 19750101 19750117
76002258 LDS First Meetinghouse 19760101 19760430
76002286 McCormick House 19760101 19761021
76002293 Kendall Block 19760101 19760626
77001275 Commerce Avenue Fire Hall 19770101 19770816
77001584 Hughes, Phillip, House 19770101 19770411
78001765 Seamen's Mission 19780101 19780725

--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 07:40, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Since every delisting date is January 1, I'd guess that nobody recorded the actual delisting date and it defaulted to January 1. Though one of those was listed in November, so it couldn't have spent much time on the Register anyway. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 08:26, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
LDS First Ward Meetinghouse is found on National Register of Historic Places listings in Salt Lake City, Utah, where User:25or6to4 added it with this edit, with a delisting date of February 15, 1996. I haven't been able to find it on the 1996 List of Weekly Actions, so it would be good to find out where that user got that date. Ntsimp (talk) 14:57, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Here's the link to the pdf with that date. The original on the Utah heritage site [2] is gone, but found a backup at [3](page 28, 4th from bottom). Looks like the dates are "iffy" at best, as I took the "listed date" as the "removed date". Hmmm... 25or6to4 (talk) 22:16, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
And I was just kidding when I wrote "Now if we could find a site that was delisted before it was listed ... " Ask here and it shall be given. It also looks safe to conclude that the NRHP has a few data issues. Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:41, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
I've known for a while about the problems with Maennerchor and CB Smith; see the comments and partial lack of dates in their entries at National Register of Historic Places listings in Center Township, Marion County, Indiana. Indiana's SHAARD system provides the following information for them:
  • State Register Listed Date: 06/20/1974 (Maennerchor) 05/25/1970 (Smith)
  • National Register Listed Date: 01/16/1974 (Maennerchor) 01/31/1972 (Smith)
  • Listed in Both Nat. Reg. and St. Reg. 06/20/1974 (Maennerchor) 01/31/1972 (Smith)
  • Demolished 10/27/1974 (Maennerchor) [no data] (Smith)
Unfortunately, neither listing has a "Delisted" line. This is in contrast to the situation in the nearby National Register of Historic Places listings in Morgan County, Indiana; all three of its delisted sites have "Delisted" lines (but no "Demolished"), and the delisting dates it gives for them are the same as the delisting dates on our list. Nyttend (talk) 18:37, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
I was able to get a little bit more out of the database, and I found out that the Dr. Hun Houses were on the Register for a total of 83 days. The following table includes all properties which, according to the NRIS (and so they may be inaccurate?), were listed for a shorter period. Obviously the 17 properties above are weird, but there are also apparently 2 properties which were listed and delisted on the same exact day (one of them being a boundary decrease). Will the madness never end?
REFNUM RESNAME Delisting date Listing date Days on Register
72001034 Toledo News Bee Building 19830505 19830505 0
88003125 Between the Rivers Historic District (Boundary Decrease) 19890110 19890110 0
71001092 Miller House 19711106 19711105 1
75002163 Newell, George R., House 19750101 19741230 2
78003197 Herold, Sidney, Mansion 19780802 19780725 8
75002167 Brunswick Town Hall and School 19760101 19751218 14
03001091 Nanzattico Archeological Site 20031110 20031023 18
71001049 Traymore Hotel 19720101 19711213 19
77001582 Oneonta State Normal School 19770101 19761212 20
74002343 Gilbert, Calvin, House 19750101 19741204 28
74002229 Mayfair Theatre 19750101 19741202 30
71001078 Summit Stake Tabernacle 19710409 19710222 46
78002941 Covington, Dr. B. J., House 19790101 19781115 47
77001191 Sims, Joseph, House 19780104 19771114 51
74002274 Sellers House and Laboratory Building 19741213 19741016 58
04000586 Valle Crucis Historic District 20040816 20040609 68
76000624 Carnegie Library of Atlanta 19770101 19761022 71
74002273 Vendome Opera House 19750101 19741016 77
73002283 Brownsville Covered Bridge 19740101 19731015 78
Again, as TheCatalyst31 mentions above, many of these delisting dates are on January 1 of their respective year, suggesting a default date, but a few aren't, most notably the Miller House, which seems to have been listed for only a single day.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 19:37, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Time to bolster TheCatalyst's argument: SHAARD says that Brownsville was delisted on 16 October 1974 (this information's already in our list), so I expect it's a data entry error by NRIS. Nyttend (talk) 19:53, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
After having gone through the delistings during the last year, I have run into many sites where the dates were missing or the delisting was missing from the weekly announcement, the dates were wrong, or the date was a placeholder. I've found that any dates listed as 1/1 have the right year, but no date. All of the listings for 1/1/1999 are placeholders for an unknown date AND year. State resources have been a better source at times. If I added a delisting, I was able to source it from the weekly announcements or from a state database (mainly Mississippi and Utah). In my edited Access database, I still have 361 listings that I can't reference from something other than the NRIS Access database, including such entries as the 1/1/99 listings, 5 listings lost during the Grand Forks flood and fire, which I found a delist request, but no acknowledgement, and a couple dozen "Boundary decrease" listings which are now labeled as "RN". Another issue is that the scanned listing documents are being added to NPS Focus, but all states labeled "complete" do not include delisted sites, as far as I have found. Can the 371 sites listed as "RN" be added to the local lists, or should they be kept off until another source can be found? If anyone else has delisting sources, please let me know so I can wittle this down. Whew... 25or6to4 (talk) 22:16, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

RFC notice

Members of this project may wish to comment on an RFC at the Talk:Pythagoras Lodge No. 41, Free and Accepted Masons article. The RFC relates to the scope of the article and its categorization. Blueboar (talk) 21:13, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

biggest county-equivalent?

NRHP-listed roadhouse in Yukon-Koyukuk, quite beaten up :)

Hey, I think National Register of Historic Places listings in Yukon–Koyukuk Census Area, Alaska is about to become "fully-articled", by creation of articles for the last of its 17 NRHP listings, and I think it is the largest County-equivalent by area in the United States.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Mohave County, Arizona, another big one per List of the largest counties in the United States by area (clearly a good source but which doesn't cover the Alaska county-equivalents), recently got to 100%, just this week, by the way. National Register of Historic Places listings in Nye County, Nevada is another one that would be good to finish soon. Help finishing these out, and improving the development of articles they index, would be appreciated. Cheers, --doncram 05:12, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Y-K is definitely the biggest by area; it's bigger than every state except Montana, California, Texas, and Alaska! If you care about getting "landmark" big counties, you might also want to try for North Slope Borough (Alaska's largest, and four times the size of any place named "County") and San Bernardino County CA, the largest place named "County". Why Nye — just because it's big? Nyttend (talk) 21:53, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
Ah, thanks, and now I see the Alaska boroughs and other county-equivalents are covered at a lower section, at List of the largest counties in the United States by area#Alaskan boroughs and Census Areas. Nye seems more feasible to complete than San Bernardino County, needing fewer new articles, and finishing Nye would bring the state of Nevada closer to completion. Though an editor recently mentioned intention to take pics in San Bernardino and develop articles, while I don't know of any editor imminently active in Nye. Anyhow, Nevada is doable; California is too big to complete out anytime soon. :) --doncram 02:24, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I've sort of been working on Nye - I got it from ~20% to over halfway completed a while ago, and I might do the rest of them for my next project. Most of that county is one big MPS, so there are a lot of connections between sites; I already know more about the history of Tonopah, Nevada than I ever thought I would. It's the third-largest county in the continental US, and IMO its odd shape makes it stand out a bit more than San Bernardino County or Coconino County do. It also doesn't have nearly as many address-restricted sites as San Bernardino County or North Slope Borough, so there's less of a chance of it getting stuck at 70% due to a lack of sources. (Besides, it's surrounded by red counties on the progress map, which makes it stick out a bit more.)
On a different note, I wouldn't say that California is too big to complete, or at least get to >95% completed. If Pubdog can finish Pennsylvania (and by the looks of it, Virginia too), California should be doable with time too, since it's already halfway done. I had a plan to work my way through California until I got distracted by other states and projects; maybe I'll get back to working on that. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 05:46, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! It took me a while before I noticed that you were making quite a dent in Nye. I agree about it being easier and more salient in ways you describe vis-a-vis North Slope; also it looks a tad bigger on the "progress" map (because Alaska is shrunken relatively). I've done some more articles in Nye now, too.
National Register of Historic Places listings in Nye County, Nevada could use some attention about its coordinates. There are many street addresses given (and now also articles with even more information) for sites that oddly don't have geo-coordinates at the list-article or in the individual articles. Perhaps someone skilled with looking up coords could help out a little here? --doncram 17:56, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Elizabeth, New Jersey's old CNJ Depot

I recently tried to used Elkman's infobox generator to create a new NRHP infobox for Elizabeth (NJT station) that would eventually be combined into the existing New Jersey Transit one, and for some reason it claimed that it was made in 1983! Are you kidding me? The Central Railroad of New Jersey hasn't existed as a company since 1976, and they were on the verge of bankruptcy a decade before that, and we're supposed to believe they built an elaborate station like that next to the line of a major competing railroad seven years after being absorbed by Conrail? ---------User:DanTD (talk) 20:52, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Looks like another typo in the NRIS. According to the nomination form, the station was built in 1893, and somebody probably flipped the middle digits along the way. I've added it to the information issues page. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 21:59, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
No flipping of middle digits on this page please. Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:45, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
A better solution. Is it possible to get that specific counties court hpuse and get the property deed? I have had to do such in other places. IMO, and I stress, IMO, if you are local, or know a local, the local courthouse can be a font of incredible data.Coal town guy (talk) 13:12, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Irving Gill

Need help at the article Irving Gill. Somebody pointed out that the count in the article of his properties on the National Register of Historic Places was woefully incomplete. We're trying at Talk:Irving Gill#National Register to make a list and get an accurate count. --MelanieN (talk) 22:08, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

Stubs are better than redlinks

I wanted to lay out my case against the Duder's suggestion that stub NRHPs cited to NRIS be deleted. Stubs are better than redlinks because they:

  1. Build the network. (See WP:BUILD). A stub can serve to as a crosslink between related articles--similar builders, architectural styles, locations. This helps to organize human knowledge, the purpose of this project.
  2. Attract editors. A stub is more likely to receive edits than a redlink. Think about a new editor who has some knowledge about a NRHP location: he is more likely to make edits and expand an existing article than to create a new one. The same goes for someone who may have photos of a location that he wishes to donate: he is more likely to upload them to add to a stub than a redlink. (The User:KLOTZ factor). Wikipedia can be intimidating, and we should ease the entry of new editors, rather than make it more difficult. Also, stubs appear in searches, but redlinks do not, another critical point to draw more editors/viewers into the project.
  3. There is no deadline.' Making a stub is the first step to getting to an FA. We shouldn't undo that first step.

Let's not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. --GrapedApe (talk) 16:08, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Did you even read the proposal? I'm not talking about mass deletion of articles. Any article that exists out there now is not going to be deleted. I'm simply saying if you create an article from here on out, add a second source to verify that the article can be reasonably expanded. No one is telling you to create a featured article in the first edit--STUBS WILL STILL BE ALLOWED--all we're asking is that you include some other citation to a source separate from the NRIS.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 17:13, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Sigh. Red herring. I was talking about stubs in the future that you propose to delete/userfy/otherwise remove from the namespace. --GrapedApe (talk) 20:36, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
GrapedApe was making a separate discussion, about the general value of stubs, not part of the specific proposal in a different discussion section above. --doncram 17:54, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
He clearly mentioned the proposal from the section above. I think we should both be fine with Orlady's compromise; I didn't think of a subsection.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 20:46, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

progressing to cover Start-level articles?

Articled counties (not fixed version, will update)

Thanks dudemanfellabra for running your scripts to update the wp:NRHPPROGRESS tabulation and map graphics! This week achieves another "halfway"-type milestone: with WI, MT, ID, CO just now, there are now 26 states having every county 10%-or-more "articled". And big Nye County got to 100%.

About moving forward in a positive way, how about now programming columns and a similar map-graphic for NRHP articles rated Start or above? Setting aside the good question of how Start should be defined for this wikiproject, which we can do any way most useful, it seems to me pretty clearly a Good Thing to have a progress map highlighting higher contributions at Start+ levels. Is it technically possible for the scripts to be modified to do that? --doncram 18:42, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

This is completely possible; in fact, I could probably produce a script-updated list telling us the number/percent of articles rated start or above as well as the number of articles lacking an NRHP tag on their talk page and the number of unassessed articles in every county before the end of the day. But as I said in the last discussion about this, until we get the issue of substubs taken care of, I'm not going to move forward with the idea. If my proposal above (or some version of it) passes and is implemented smoothly, I'll be more than happy to make a new map. Until then, though, I won't.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 20:46, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Ramsey County, Minnesota

I've been sprucing up the National Register of Historic Places listings in Ramsey County, Minnesota page and have come up with seven entries that I can't verify are really on the Register. They're not in the NRIS or the Minnesota Historical Society's database. They have ref numbers and were clearly nominated, but seem never to have been officially listed. If it were just one or two I would make the necessary edits, but for seven I'd really like to get more experienced editors' opinions, especially since they're all articled. The listings in question are:

-McGhiever (talk) 04:36, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

If you have claimed listing dates, look in the weekly lists around the listing date. (For example, the Joseph Brings House is claimed to be listed in January 1983, but does not show up in the list of actions taken for that period.) Magic♪piano 12:14, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia:WikiProject National Register of Historic Places/NRIS information issues/Minnesota is at least somewhat enlightening. Chris857 (talk) 15:30, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Hey, Mcghiever, i noticed one of your edits on my watchlist and commented on your Talk page about keeping the WikiProject NRHP template on Talk pages of NRHP-delisted items, and similar items, albeit with "importance=related", the decision from some discussion here quite a while back. I appreciate your adding to the Ramsey NRHP articles. However, I am not sure that this edit removing 6 items from the Ramsey County NRHP list is good. Your edit summary indicated that the 6 items were not confirmed to be NRHP-listed, so you removed them. But I think it is quite likely that they are NRHP-listed, just that NRIS records don't show it properly (e.g. showing that a listing was pending). In other cases I've looked into, in other states, it turned out that a pending listing did become listed, as was documented by non-NRIS sources such as news articles and maybe Congressional Record mentioning. So, I think it would be better to have the 6 items restored, pending confirmation that they are NOT listed.
Also, either way, your adding information to wp:NRIS info issues MN would be appreciated, so that the research question is clarified and, if and when some MN state official takes interest or some other resolution can be reached, that it will be clear what corrections to make in wikipedia. Consider the NRIS info issues page to be a list of outstanding research issues to be addressed. When you have doubt about a treatment, you can go either way in a mainspace article using your best judgment, IMO, as long as you document it in the NRIS info issues list, so that your judgement can be reviewed later. --doncram 20:11, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
The Elkman/NRIS database lists all as "Pending" or "Owner Objection." KudzuVine (talk) 20:13, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Masonic buildings...

I fully understand that NRHP-listed buildings are notable, but I don't particularly like that as an overriding criterion for inclusion on Wikipedia. I'm also not going to comment on users, because by the letter of the law, the user adding this type of material is freely able to do so based on the fact that the guideline exists. However, in doing a search on a recent RFC on Pythagoras Lodge No. 41, Free and Accepted Masons, I discovered there are no usable sources for information on either the organization that meets in it, or the building itself. So it would seem to me that simply being a historic building doesn't mean a quality article can be turned out on said building.

Therefore, I'd like to know if there would be any interest in reassessing the "NRHP = notability" policy such that it doesn't override GNG (as it seems to at present as a specialty notability guideline). I would rather see quality articles on buildings that really say something instead of a heap of stubs that do nothing but give coordinates and evidence of existence and will never do anything else because sourcing doesn't exist to do so. MSJapan (talk) 22:14, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

Not that I'm a fan of those kind of stubs either, but the "NRHP=notability" policy exists at least in part because sources exist for (almost) every NRHP-listed property in the form of a nomination document, and the list of sources that generally accompanies it. The nomination documents are only online in certain states, and the other sources are often print-only, but they exist nonetheless. (Print copies of the forms are usually available upon request from the National Park Service, so the forms aren't locked away beyond our access either.) TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 22:22, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
The problem is that a couple of users have created piles of useless substubs and exploited the fact that AFD doesn't tend to delete junk pages on notable topics, even when the creation of proper pages would be better encouraged by the presence of redlinks than by the presence of substubs that statistics (provided upon request) prove to have a nearly 0% change of being expanded by anyone who wouldn't start an article. I'd suggest that you try to start a bigger RFC to force the removal of substubs on these pages or to prohibit their creation. Nyttend (talk) 02:10, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Further to Nyttend's comment, that Pythagoras Lodge article is an ineffective venue for the RFC because it has inevitably devolved into speculation about questions that cannot be resolved without more information than is available in the NRIS database entry upon which the article is based. This seems like an instance where an RFC about the generic question that you frame would be more effective than an RFC about a single page. --Orlady (talk) 03:19, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
IMO the problem with getting these deleted at AfD is that there's a general consensus that AfD is about the topic rather than the article, due to things like speedy deletion criterion G4. Since a single junk article is likely to get fixed over the course of an AfD anyway, this only becomes a problem in a situation like this when someone creates hundreds of low-content articles from an error-prone database. It's not isolated to NRHP articles either - I've made some reluctant Keep !votes on other topics because I didn't want to throw out good articles with a batch of bad ones or stop people from writing legitimate articles on the topic.
The best approach here may be an independent RfC about articles based only on the NRIS, since that database has so many errors that it's not useful for much more than whether properties are on the NRHP and their listing dates; everything else, occasionally including property names themselves, can't entirely be trusted without confirmation from another source. While people won't vote to delete these kind of articles for being marginal, they might if they're fundamentally inaccurate - see this AfD for a precedent. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 05:04, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

IMO, although being listed on the NRHP indicates that the property is likely notable, it doesn't indicate that the property is certainly notable. Again, IMO, NRHP articles should follow standard Wikipedia:Notability guidelines, where "multiple sources are generally expected" and "lack of multiple sources suggests that the topic may be more suitable for inclusion in an article on a broader topic." (See, for example Iron County MRA - many of the structures on this MRA are non-notable as far as I can tell, and the broader article works better.) Andrew Jameson (talk) 12:49, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Here's how I think about it. It's not that that an NRHP site is automatically notable as the result of that designation. It's that the criteria that are used to designate NRHP properties (NRHP#Criteria) mean that any property that satisfies those criteria also would satisfy WP:N. In other words, NRHP sets an even higher standard that WP:N, so any property that satisfies NRHP also satisfies WP:N --GrapedApe (talk) 16:14, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Politely disagree. For the majority - the vast majority - of properties what you say is true. But there are some properties (in MRAs) that I don't think pass Wikipedia's notability standards. See, for example, many of the houses on the above-mentioned Iron County MRA. Andrew Jameson (talk) 00:08, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
That's true that the component sites of a multi-site NRHP--they are parts of a whole that is notable. But, for standalone sites, I think it's true.--GrapedApe (talk) 22:09, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Question - I keep reading comments about how error prone the NRIS database is. So I have to ask the big question... If the NRIS database is known to contain so many errors, should we really consider it a reliable source? Does it really have the "reputation for fact checking and accuracy" that we want? Blueboar (talk) 17:10, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
  • IMO, articles really should be based off the nomination documents and not the NRIS. The NRIS is best for the reference number and maybe the listing date (though the weekly actions lists are better for that). Chris857 (talk) 17:16, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
OK... but if we say that the NRIS database is not enough, the next question is: what do we do with all the substandard substubs that currently exist (substubs which only cite the NRIS database, and are not based on the nomination docs)? That's the real issue here. Blueboar (talk) 18:27, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Why not put all of them into a list? The stubs could simply be turned into redirects. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 23:01, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Those lists already exist; there's a National Register of Historic Places listings in <state> list for each state, which is broken into smaller lists for most counties. Redirecting the substubs to those lists would cause even more problems, though. For one thing, the only link to some of these articles is from those lists, so linking to the same list the reader was already at would be pointless. For another, there's usually no more content in the lists than there is in the substubs (excepting a handful of states like Nebraska), so making a reader look through a long-ish list to find the same limited content would hardly be more helpful than leaving the substubs or saying "We don't have an article yet" with a redlink. This would also be a huge pain for anyone who wants to write actual articles about these places, since it would get much harder to track which places had articles and which only had redirects; both the obvious visual test and the article progress page depend on redlinks at the moment.
At any rate, the first step toward fixing this is to identify which articles need fixing. We should probably make a tracking category for articles only sourced to the NRIS before we do anything, so we know which articles would be getting deleted or the like. Even if nothing else comes of this discussion, having the category lets editors like me know which articles need better sources. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 23:38, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Although I am normally one of the most outspoken editors here against substub creation, I have to take the moderate position in this case and say that I would not support the mass deletion of pre-existing articles. Although these articles exhibit the laziest and worst of this project, they are still marginally better than a redlink in my opinion. Deleting these articles would be a step back for the project, but I like the idea of a cleanup category (Category: Articles sourced entirely to NRIS? Whatever the title, I think it should be a subcategory of Category:Articles needing additional references) to keep track of all substubs existing before some date X corresponding to the date of the final decision here for use in cleanup drives. I would definitely support some kind of requirement on articles created after date X that they would have to include at least one other source besides the NRIS to stay in mainspace, but deleting thousands of articles is not the way to go about this.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 03:51, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Again, one single list, say Historically significant Masonic buildings in the United States, broken down by state. Stubs converted to redirects, real articles linked. I don't see a problem, and I'm more than willing to do the job myself if it clears up an infestation of annoying little articles. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 10:31, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
There already is List of Masonic buildings in the United States, which is organized by state, which can include entries for Masonic buildings that are notable for other reasons, too, other than being historically significant. Much discussion about the list is archived at Talk:List of Masonic buildings, before the U.S. sublist was split out. If i recall correctly, several editors including Avicennasis, Orlady, and myself created short articles on all of the Masonic buildings listed there in 2010, in order to end dispute at the article about whether redlink items could be included in the list. The list itself was created as part of trying to end dispute about whether Masonic Temple (disambiguation) and other disambiguation pages could exist. Notability of many of the individual new articles was tested by AFDs, which all ended Keep, if i recall correctly.
About going back and redirecting some of the short articles created in 2010, I think that would be going backwards, while the point of WikiProject NRHP is to build coverage of NRHP-listed places. And, each of the articles is linked now from at least two list-articles and often from town or city articles too. Is it proposed that the information in the short articles be copied back to each of the linking articles? How will updates of the information at just one linked article be transfered to the other linked articles? And many include pictures now, while the list-articles include just thumbnail pics, and many include an external link or two, and all include appropriate categories that have been sorted out by many category-focused editors. And many are correctly categorized already as dual topics, i.e. covering a Masonic lodge group and the historic building(s) it met in, or covering a current museum building and a past usage as a Masonic meeting hall, so redirecting those to a non-Lodge, non-museum list seems incorrect. It seems best just to keep the short articles.
To address what appears to be the fundamental complaint starting this discussion thread, how about an editing campaign to develop the short articles? Specifically by using the NRHP nomination documents that have become available online in many states since 2010, or by requesting copies of NRHP nom docs for the other NRHP-listed ones? About the Pythagoras Lodge one, it may well be that convenient ONLINE sources don't exist, but it has hardly been proven that "no usable sources" exist: you are free to request a free hard copy of the offline NRHP nomination document, from the National Register (i myself requested that one several days ago but have not yet received it).
How about anyone else improving the following short articles where NRHP docs are probably now available online right now:
None of the above were created by me, by the way. I just added to the now-available-online document to one article I started back in 2010, Crane Hill Masonic Lodge, in Alabama, and developed it a bit. I and Pubdog and other editors have revisited many others and added NRHP nom docs already, but there do exist many more that could easily be improved now.
How about anyone agreeing to review all of the Masonic building articles in any one state, out of AK Done, WA, OR, CA, NV, AZ, MS, AL, CO, WY, ND, UT, NE, KS, OK, KY, WV, NH, DE, CT, NJ (the states where NRHP nom docs are almost all available online now)? --doncram 19:27, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
I would be happy to review the Masonic building articles in one of those states and work on improving them... (picking at random... I'll take CT). However... such a review will only solve a small part of the problem. While this discussion was inspired by the sub-stubs in the Masonic building category, the underlying problem goes far beyond that. There are hundreds (thousands?) of uninformative perma-stub articles on NRHP listed buildings (most have nothing to do with Masonry). These are all just as problematic. We need a plan to deal with those as well. Blueboar (talk) 23:26, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Blueboar for offering to review/develop the CT ones. Those may possibly all be in good shape, I am not sure. Anyone else????? Or is this discussion just another forum for drive-by complaints...? --doncram 17:03, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
I am surprised and offended to see Eureka Masonic College on that list. It's a far cry from a sub-stub. I happen to be rather proud of the work I did significantly expanding that article in 2010, using and citing a variety of sources. NRHP nomination documents are not the be-all and end-all of human knowledge. --Orlady (talk) 20:01, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
What's to be "offended" about? The article was probably created before the NRHP nom doc was conveniently available online. The article is inadequate in terms of not mentioning or explaining NRHP listing. And the available NRHP nomination document is the obvious, authoritative source in explaining why the place was deemed National Register-notable. Perhaps you deliberately edited it to exclude explicit mention of it being NRHP listed? Well, you're in the wrong wikiproject if your point is to disrespect NRHP mention and to disrespect use of good NRHP sources.
Anyhow, I take note of no offers here to fix up any of those easily-improved Masonic buildings articles. I do observe that Blueboar has edited at one or more of the CT ones (though I think not finding any lacking NRHP nom docs). I guess there is not really genuine general interest in following through on the question that opened this discussion. --doncram 18:04, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Doncram, I am offended that you (particularly you, given that you created and have inveterately defended so many minimal stubs) chose to identify that particular article as one that is inadequate and in need of attention. I took a vestigial stub and expanded it to describe the construction of the building, its architecture, and its history, including (but not limited to) its substantial significance in the history of freemasonry (it is not just any old "masonic building"). That is exactly the same scope that I would expect a thorough article to cover if it were based on an NRHP nomination form. The fact that I was able to write the article from sources that did not include the National Register nomination form does not mean that the article is somehow deficient. NRHP nomination forms are convenient and comprehensive references when they are available, and for many NRHP properties they are the only published documentation, but they are far from the be-all and end-all in historical and architectural scholarship. If you want to identify articles that need improvement, start with the numerous pages you created based solely on the data in the NRIS database -- and, by the way, don't suggest that it's someone else's obligation to fix the issues with those pages. --Orlady (talk) 21:31, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Is the NRIS database really a reliable source?

I asked this above, but it got lost in the shuffle of competing concerns and ideas. We know that the database is out of date, and that it frequently contains errors. Hell, There have been cases where did not even get basic information right (such as giving the wrong name, or listing it under the wrong ref number). I seriously have to question whether it really does has a reputation for fact checking and accuracy. Given this, why should we continue to consider it reliable? Blueboar (talk) 19:55, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Although it contains many errors, I think the overwhelming majority of its data is correct. The problem is in trying to use it as the only source for an article, when any article on an NRHP-listed property—even just a beginning stub—should be about far more than the handful of database fields found in NRIS. NRIS doesn't tell you why the property has historic value. Ntsimp (talk) 20:32, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
I second Ntsimp's comment. The NRIS is an extremely reliable source for (random number) 95% of the properties within, but there are some errors. Many (most?) of those are sorted out in articles on Wikipedia, but undoubtedly many more have not yet been discovered. The point of my proposal above is not to label the NRIS as quote "unreliable" but to suggest using it as a companion citation for other sources. I think of the NRIS as a starting point for further research rather than the final result of research.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 20:46, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
With a database that large, errors will creep in, but it's pretty good overall. There are errors in every source, including Encyclopedia Britannica.--GrapedApe (talk) 04:31, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Sounds unreliable to me. How are errors corrected? Do people write their Congressperson or something? Abductive (reasoning) 05:06, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
If it's an error with the NRIS database, then you can try the NPS. Or, you may have better luck with contacting the nominator of the property, which is often a local or state historical group. You can find it in the nominating forms (the PDFs). Here's an example of when I did it: Talk:McMillan Hall.--GrapedApe (talk) 12:49, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
  • It's a reliable source in that you are 100% sure that the place is on the list and it was in some sort of fashion deemed notable. Where the errors creep in is in the details, such as addresses, coordinates, etc. Streets change names, buildings are bought and sold, things burn down. dm (talk) 06:34, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Um, no, that's not true in some cases. Personally I think it has to come under "trust but verify" like the USCG lighthouse pages. But its spotty errors are, I think, sufficient cause not to generate stub articles based solely on NRIS data without reference to the actual forms or to other, better-checked sources. Mangoe (talk) 13:25, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

As someone who has written a couple of NHRP articles and occasionally contributes NRHP photos, I occasionally run across county summary pages where the information contains minor errors or (let's say) misleading names.

For example, on National Register of Historic Places listings in Steuben County, Indiana, there is an entry for Fox Lake. The coordinates for this listing are some half-mile south of the actual location. Moreover, "Fox Lake" is not descriptive enough -- the listing "just" encompasses a string of properties on the southwest side of the lake. See [4] for more information.

In other situations, the name on the offical NRHP register is not the name used locally. Can I "be bold" and change coodinates? Could I add additional descriptive text, say in the Summary column? What is the typical way of providing better information on these county listings? Thanks, Mr. Harman (talk) 15:15, 5 August 2013 (UTC)


a Fox Lake cottage, pic by Mr. Harman!
Hi Mr. Harman, thanks for asking (and for the pic!). In general in this Wikiproject, we have encouraged people to make corrections of typos of names and so on where you have personal knowledge of an obvious correction to NRIS info, pretty much directly. With qualification that, if you use personal knowledge of an apparent NRIS error we request that you try to document it at the corresponding work-page we keep for that, e.g. wp:NRIS info issues IN, so that we can eventually work these through the state and local ofWificials to get corrections made to NRIS itself. Without our keeping track, we'd risk having typos re-introduced, because after all there are sources (NRIS and mirror sites) which document the possibly incorrect info. Also our own corrections might possibly be wrong sometimes too. About coordinates, we have usually just made the corrections and NOT documented it. Coordinate info is off sometimes because of outright error, but also because of world-wide/nation-wide changes of the mapping/coordinates system itself. And, for items like a historic district (United States) (HD), it may not be clear what point in the HD should be given.
About the Fox Lake (Angola, Indiana) historic district, I think you should go ahead and start the article. See wp:NRHPhelp for tips, or just go ahead any way you like. It is a notable topic. From NRIS info alone, it seems to be a 10.7-acre (4.3 ha) historic district that included 27 contributing buildings in its listing, and it is also known as Fox Lake Resort. I guess it is notable for its lake cottage architecture? I don't know if the district includes the Fox Lake lake, itself. The coordinates for the list-article and for this new individual article should point to some central point in the district, and not to the lake, if the lake is not part of the district.
Disclaimer/Please note: it is Wikipedia policy that anyone can start an article on any notable topic, as long as it includes assertion of notability (such as the fact that a place is NRHP-listed). There has been contention within this Wikiproject (an informal club), whereby some wish to set different-than-Wikipedia standards. They have their reasons I suppose. So anyhow your going ahead and getting started could possibly lead to contention against you (and me too for suggesting you go ahead). I personally am not really willing to recommend to any friends that they start in Wikipedia, any longer, as I don't wish this for anyone. So, anyhow, just, beware.... (No need for everyone to chime in with complaints about my mentioning contention, please--the contention is all over this Talk page already.)
About adding to Summary/Description column, please do go ahead. If you add summary info that is covered in more detail in a linked individual separate article, it is not very necessary to include footnotes/references in the summary. If there is no separate article, then your including inline reference(s) in the description itself is more important, to show your source(s). Hope this helps. --doncram 16:04, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes... please do correct the article. As for starting new articles, Wikipeida policy calls for a bit more than what Doncram says... to quote our WP:Notability policy: "If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a stand-alone article or stand-alone list." The phrase "significant coverage" is important... so is the requirement that the sources be independent of the subject. The NRHP nomination docs should (usually) meet both criteria. Blueboar (talk) 16:31, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
I disagree with BB. We essentially know that extensive off-line sources exist about the Fox Lake district, whether or not the NRHP document about it has been obtained. Please do feel free to follow steps in wp:NRHPhelp towards getting that probably-nice document for yourself, but it is not needed before starting the article. (The notability policy goes on: "The common theme in the notability guidelines is that there must be verifiable, objective evidence that the subject has received significant attention from independent sources to support a claim of notability. The absence of citations in an article (as distinct from the non-existence of sources) does not indicate that the subject is not notable.")
Mr. Harman, though, about the name of the district: it may well be called "Fox Lake Resort" or some other common name, different than the NRHP listing name ("Fox Lake"), and that other name could be the appropriate name for the article by wikipedia naming policy. But in the NRHP list-article, we want to continue to show the NRHP listing name, and also to show that in any NRHP infobox in the article (unless there is an obvious typo, not the case here). That's all for me for now. --doncram 17:04, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
A view of the Fox Lake Resort historic district from the west side of Fox Lake. Most of the cottages are hidden by the trees.
Thanks, Blueboar and Doncram for your comments. Doncram, I am familiar with Wikipedia in general, having been an editor since March 2006, albeit somewhat "pulse-y". I have started at least 3 articles and have upgraded several other Midwest history articles. In general, however, I contribute photos, many of them on NHRP properties.
I do plan on writing up a Fox Lake (Angola, Indiana) article, although most of the reference material (I was at the Steuben County library today doing research) does not meet the reliable/reputable requirement for inclusion, or falls under the restriction against Original Research. I uploaded another photo, as you can see to the right, and have a few more I'll be adding to Commons later this week or next.
Thanks, you two, for all your consistent work on Wikipedia. Mr. Harman (talk) 01:25, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Mr Harman, I don't remember you, so forgive me if you're already familiar with the things I'm telling you. (1) Are you familiar with Indiana historic preservation resources in general? The Steuben County Interim Report will be hugely useful for this kind of thing; it has a comprehensive report on all NR sites in the county, plus tons of other places, and HDs like Fox Lake get their own sections. It's published in connection with the Indiana State Historic Preservation Office, and it's definitely a reliable source. (2) Are you familiar with SHAARD, the Indiana SHPO's website? They host tons of documentation, including all National Register nomination forms for most counties and most nomination forms for the few exceptions. (3) Are you familiar with NR nomination forms in the first place? Here is the one for Fox Lake; SHAARD hosts numerous photos and various other things for Fox Lake as well as its nomination form. (4) Your photos are appreciated; I didn't want to go into the district proper because of its numerous "Private Road" signs at all intersections, so I guess you're a bit more daring than I was. Nyttend (talk) 03:42, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
I was not aware of any of these resources. I appreciate the information very much and will be putting together an article at some point.
And, yes, I'm a bit more daring and drove along Lane 130 taking photos right and left (literally). Folks seem to be very accepting of me as a Wikipedia photographer and the worst they can do is to call the cops. But being an older decently-dressed white guy, I (hope I) raise fewer alarm bells.
Funny story: I actually walked on to (technically, "trespassed on to") private property yesterday to snap some close up photos of the Cornish Griffin Round Barn, and was doing alright until I heard a couple of deep barks coming from the opposite side of the farm house next to the barn. I looked and there were two large (large!!) dogs sauntering towards me. Well, I didn't wait to see how friendly these dogs were -- I started running (running!!) back to my car, which I had parked on the road nearby. Fortunately, the dogs were more curious than vicious, but it was certainly not a comfortable situation.
And I appreciate all your work in this area, Nyttend. Thanks for the leads on the sources you gave me. Much appreciated, Mr. Harman (talk) 04:08, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Good, glad to know you've been around for a while. Interesting that the NRHP nom explains the area is significant as a largely intact African-American resort community from the 1930s, rare for its time. (There's another notable one on Martha's Vineyard: Wesleyan Grove??) And the HD does not include any part of the 142-acre Fox Lake. Maybe the lake and the HD both could be covered in one article at Fox Lake (Angola, Indiana), it would be fine if you just chose to develop about the historic district and create or not create a separate article about the lake. About SHAARD documents, pls. do update wp:NRHPhelp#Indiana if you figure out useful further tips to share. --doncram 21:12, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Whole lot of hurt on Trinity Church (Pawtucket, Rhode Island)

I'm not quite sure what to do with this one. There is, of course, nothing scanned in NRIS. Searching for a Maronite church in Pawtucket gives St. George Maronite Catholic Church, which as it turns out is the same parish. The Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island sold them the unused Trinity Episcopal Church building in 1977, so the name of the article is already confused, as there was never a Trinity Maronite Church. But be that as it may, there's nothing at all there anymore, as the church burned down in 2005; Google Maps shows a vacant grassy lot. I would expect that it has been delisted.

All I have to go on is the church history page linked to above, which of course says nothing about 85% of the building's history, much less its architecture. Is there a point to even keeping this article, given that if we find the nomination form we can only talk about something that doesn't exist and never had the name the article gives it? And what about Naomi? Mangoe (talk) 16:23, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Buildings don't lose notability because they're demolished, so presuming it was notable to begin with (which it was), there's still a point to an article. Here's a book on Pawtucket with an engraving of the church (which is certainly PD)), and I also stumbled on the nom form here. It seems like the current title of the article is most apt, as both the congregation and the building are defunct. THe article can mention the later use by the St. George Maronite congregation. Andrew Jameson (talk) 19:53, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Qiestion, IF a building on the NRHP is demolished, is it still notable???? I thought they were removed in that instance?Coal town guy (talk) 16:26, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
They will ususally be removed from the register (eventually), but they are still notable. See for example the FA Plunketts Creek Bridge No. 3. Chris857 (talk) 17:16, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
A fair question. If a NRHP building is demolished, it may very well be removed from the NRHP (although there are multiple properties that have been demolished for decades and never removed). However, removal from the Register does not affect a building's notability - notability is defined as significant coverage in reliable sources, and demolition of a building does not change the existance of reliable sources. As an analogy, think of Wikipedia's biographies. Abraham Lincoln is still notable, although he's been "demolished" for nearly 150 years. Andrew Jameson (talk) 17:22, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Question... what happens if the sources no longer exist? When a property is delisted... what happens to the Nomination docs? Blueboar (talk) 21:09, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
The documents continue to exist after the delisting. --Orlady (talk) 01:22, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
The National Register people don't seem to be putting much effort into digitizing documentation about delisted properties (what a surprise!), but you could still email them and ask them to mail you copies. Nyttend (talk) 03:44, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Ah, that's the ticket. OK, I think we could get a decent article together, though I personally am not going to mess with the images issue. Thanks for finding the nom form. Mangoe (talk) 15:29, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
There is even at least one FA on a demolished structure formerly on the Register (this bridge). Ruhrfisch ><>°° 17:38, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Template limits question...

Morning. Back in February 2012, a problem arose with the longest county lists reaching template limits, abruptly chopping off some of the listings. I am checking to see if this problem was fixed, or if this is an issue that still exists. I ask because the list for Harris County, Texas was recently recombined into one list of 226 sites. I need to see if I need to chop the list back up or leave it combined. Thanks. 25or6to4 (talk) 08:07, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

I assume the problem was fixed because the notes in the HTML source of the Harris County list show that the template include size was not exceeded. That said, the fact that this list was recently recombined is messing with the Progress script because there are 3 rows for Harris County and only one table. I was going to run the script today (sorry I'm on vacation, so updates are more sparse), but ran into an error there before reading this. The way to fix the script problem is to either recombine the three rows on the Progress page or to re-split Harris County.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 20:11, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Houston (red), in Harris County, TX
It seemed obvious to one editor that the previous split (Houston vs. other) didn't make sense. Glancing at the map of Houston vs. Harris county, at Google maps-displayed distribution of RHPs, and at Houston#Cityscape and linked Geographic areas of Houston and List of Houston neighborhoods, it seems to me that the editor was right, the split didn't make a lot of sense. It looks like Harris County / Houston oughta be split into geographic areas, e.g. perhaps Downtown Houston (approx 45 RHPs) vs. other "inside the 610 loop" (approx 200 RHPs), vs. "outside the 610 loop" (about 20 RHPs). Or in some other geographic split using freeways, as opposed to using the "Houston" (253 RHPs) vs. "non-Houston" (13 RHPs) division used previously. Discussion starting at Talk:National Register of Historic Places listings in Harris County, Texas#Split.
For the time being, I think it's best to treat it as one combined county, one big table, and I see that wp:NRHPPROGRESS has already been edited to implement that. This is okay then, I think, and should be stable for a while. I am assuming the 266 size is not currently breaking anything; no one has said otherwise. --doncram 10:35, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
This is what I was checking for. The list was originally split into downtown Houston, remaining Houston, and remaining Harris County. If the list has stabilized, I'll leave it combined. Going to be a pain to renumber that list again...25or6to4 (talk) 12:10, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Guideline discussion that might be of interest to members of this project

Please see: WT:Naming conventions (geographic names)#Does WP:USPLACE apply to parenthetical disambiguation? Blueboar (talk) 14:59, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

United Founders Life Tower

If anyone is interested in helping, I came across 360 at Founders Plaza, which is on the NRHP as United Founders Life Tower, but until today the article made no mention of its historic status. I've started improving it, but it could use a fair bit of work. Thankfully, the nomination is online. Chris857 (talk) 19:23, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

I believe the article needs to be moved; the tower appears to be now called Founders Tower. I looked through the webarchive and it looks like the "360" part was dropped sometime in 2011. Niagara ​​Don't give up the ship 20:34, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Started a WP:RM after finding definitive sources on the building's renaming. Niagara ​​Don't give up the ship 15:29, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

County vs State links

Hey All- I just corrected about 30 WV counties whose NRHP link would take you to the state list, forcing a user to then click the related county from the state list. Each WV county now has a link directly to its corresponding county NRHP list. PROBLEM, Kentucky, with over 100 counties has this same "feature". Just a FYI, for those of you who may be seeing lots of mini edits. I am sure Texas and Wisconsin are sure to be swellCoal town guy (talk) 15:42, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

I put a bunch of links from countiy articles (under see also) to the county's NRHP list in 2011. I'd guess that many of the small county lists have now been spun off from the state lists to their own list article. At least now I know that somebody uses these links! Smallbones(smalltalk) 00:36, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, as I recall the small county lists for KY and WV were all split in 2011 (by Ebyabe, I think). Texas may have the same problem, since I split that one up a few months ago, but I think I fixed most of the links at the time. I'm not sure about Wisconsin, since most of its smaller counties are still on the state page. (Though the page size for that list is nearing 100k bytes again, so it may be in need of a split...) TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 04:21, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Finished all 120 counties in Kentucky. There were some misses, over 20 actually. I will take a look at Texas...ooooo goodyCoal town guy (talk) 14:24, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Wisconsin, Delaware and Wyoming are all completeCoal town guy (talk) 18:22, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks a lot! I've been fixing links when I come across them, but that's only occasionally. Illinois and Missouri may need work — Illinois had a lot of larger lists still on the statewide page until I split them out earlier in the year, while Missouri was following a completely different strategy. Every county (except perhaps Jackson and the city of St Louis) was on one of several alphabetical lists; I merged everything into one and then split out all counties with five or more sites. End result: almost nothing's where it was a year ago. Nyttend (talk) 02:04, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
Minnesota is following the model yoyuu describe I believe, there is a main state page, with some counties split off. Thats fine I think I can get them done in time. Texas will be last, there are simply so many counties, I will have to adjust my approach. I think the effprt is worth it as as a user I found it odd that I had to get directed to state page find my county and then go. Some are not seperate yet, and thats OK.Coal town guy (talk) 12:33, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
Montana and Illinois, seem to be good. Those that go to the state page, do not have a seperate county pageCoal town guy (talk) 16:37, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

50,000 sites illustrated in a week or so!

It looks like about 150 sites were newly illustrated in the last week bringing the total to 49,827. Extrapolating, it looks like we'll hit 50,000 illustrated sites in about 9-10 days! How to celebrate? I'll give a barnstar to everybody who adds a photo in the week before the magic number is surpassed (as long as they update the page Wikipedia:WikiProject National Register of Historic Places/Progress to show their contribution and the running total for the whole country). We should also not forget all those folks who have already contributed at least 1,000 illustrated sites. Somebody get me a list and I'll give those folks barnstars as well. Any other ideas?

Smallbones(smalltalk) 22:24, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Does it count (for the barnstars) if we add photos, say, from flickr? Or would it only be for those actually taking the photos? Chris857 (talk) 22:50, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Flickr, HABS, wherever. As long as they are freely licensed it's all the same to me. Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:50, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Up to 49,853 now.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 05:34, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
So the best strategy is to add a photo a week? I still have two from Ohio. It is a pity I have chosen to stay barnstar free. Just kidding.--Ymblanter (talk) 07:49, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
As far as the best "Effort minimizing-Barnstar maximizing strategy", you've probably found it, but for the best "Barnstar differential maximizing strategy" for all the competitors out there, I'll suggest 1st taking as many photos as possible this week, and uploading as many as possible as soon as possible. That way we'll reach 50,000 as soon as possible, and all those folks who don't watch this page or are asleep at the wheel, will miss out on getting barnstars, while you get yours :-P
BTW, check all your old photo trips - it can be amazing what you find, e.g. just last week I found 2 nearly identical buildings, with nearly identical names (Ashley and Bailey Silk Mill and File:Ashley and Bailey Company Silk Mill.JPG both on the NRHP, but I'd put one in the other's place and left out the other.
BTW Commons:Commons:Monuments database/Statistics gives only 49,663 illustrated sites, but they are missing about 350 newly listed sites in their total sites. In short, if they go over 49, 810 in their daily automated count, then we can safely assume the actual total is over 50,000 (and no need for Dudeman to run the bot everyday!) Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:33, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Go ahead, make me change my schedule this week just to make you happy, I dare you. dm (talk) 05:25, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
I have a small pile of photos from a recent Beaver-to-Cincinnati trip along the Ohio River (been busy enough that they're not yet processed, but I'll do it when I can), most of which are previously unillustrated spots in Kentucky or West Virginia. More sites are in the Cincinnati area and various other spots in Ohio from a trip earlier this week. Nyttend (talk) 03:31, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
34 to go. Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:04, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Just added 3 more from Brooklyn (two of mine, one from jef which was on the article but never made it to the list. dm (talk) 20:27, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
I added 4 pix more to Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. I got a possible picture of the Hopper-Snyder Homestead from the road here but I am uncertain if it is the roof of the house (and it is so bad anyway) that it is not worth including. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 00:44, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

From Commons:Commons:Monuments database/Statistics and adjusting for the newer sites it's missing, we're at about 50,020 sites illustrated. I'll be busy today, but the barnstars will go out on Tuesday. Smallbones(smalltalk) 12:56, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Great! Thanks for calling attention to this and spurring this on, which got me and others to take and upload more pics recently. I just suggested a "News in brief" mention at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Suggestions#50,000 NRHP pics milestone. Smallbones, if you wanted to designate any one recent nice pic as the 50,000th one, and to suggest that be used as an illustration in Signpost, or if you otherwise wanted to expand on the suggestion there, that'd be super. --doncram 20:55, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
They already reported it in the current issue (a little bit early). Ntsimp (talk) 21:09, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
OIC. And i see that Smallbones suggested it. Good, thanks! --doncram 23:55, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

50,000 NRHP sites illustrated

This barnstar should obviously go to the entire project.

NatRegStar2.png WikiProject National Register of Historic Places Award
For helping WP:NRHP to illustrate 50,000 historic sites. We couldn't have a "project achievement" barnstar without including you. Keep up the good work!
Smallbones(smalltalk) 14:27, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

I gave these out to Farragutful, 25or6to4, Teemu08, Royalbroil, Pubdog, Niagara, Jim.henderson, KudzuVine, Elkman, Denverjeffrey, ‎Daniel Case, Acroterion, Ruhrfisch, Orlady, Nyttend, TheCatalyst31, Doncram, Ymblanter, Magicpiano, Dmadeo, Ammodramus, MountainRail, Chris857, Dudemanfellabra, and Ntsimp. That's in no particular order, except the later names were contributing to the Progress list recently. If I've left somebody off the list who obviously deserves a NRHP Barnstar, please just copy the one above and put it on their talkpage. Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:26, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

I was surprised to receive a barnstar (thanks!), but I did fill in one or two blanks on county lists toward the end of the 50,000-sites drive, and I definitely have contributed to the illustration effort in the past. I agree that everyone who has ever contributed an image -- or linked an image to an article or list -- deserves a barnstar for the 50,000-sites milestone. That's a monumental achievement. --Orlady (talk) 21:25, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Barnstars for 2013 Wiki Loves Monuments?

I was recently thinking about the past Wiki Loves Monuments contests. A couple years ago we gave out barnstars to increase interest in the contest. I sponsored 2 categories ("Most Sites added in a Single County/Community List" and "State traveler"). What does everyone think about doing special barnstars for this years contest? I'd be interested to sponsor those 2 challenges again. Royalbroil 04:03, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

How about, remote places, or a State, or completing a county list pics or completing locations on county lists with active sites? Example, we have the NRHP article, BUT not the town/city it is near etc etc. Just ideas.OR an unofficial contest on struggle to get location pic, which could have a rather cool looking barnstarCoal town guy (talk) 12:57, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
The categories would be up to the sponsors, just be sure to have as specific criteria as possible. Except if you'd want to do a subjective category like most unusual. I thought that these barnstars would be on the side as a sidelight to the main contest - just for fun. Royalbroil 05:49, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Updated Edna S. Purcell House Article

Hello, everyone -- I've expanded the Edna S. Purcell (Purcell-Cutts) House article, which was a stub just prior, and I would appreciate any input or edits. Please feel free to leave suggestions for my handling of the situation on my Talk page, as I am brand new to editing on Wikipedia! Many thanks. MJBredeson (talk) 19:48, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

Hi, i think it is interesting that Purcell, Feick and Elmslie apparently was the #2 Prairie School firm behind whats-his-name(?), and that this house seems to be important in the life of William Gray Purcell. And that NHL Woodbury County Courthouse, designed by them, is regarded as "one of the finest Prairie School buildings in the United States". I'm sorry, I don't think i can give detailed comments, but I hope you can find others who are interested in Prairie School architecture or Minnesota NRHPs or otherwise. It's great that you've found your way to Wikipedia and to developing articles; I hope your experience will be okay. Be aware: there is often a lot of acrimony here. You have to try to just contribute, and to hell with the criticism, or come up with some other philosophy to deal with negativity. Oh well, good luck! --doncram 14:35, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

New articles should be sourced

I second User:Dudemanfellabra's suggestion that all new articles created in mainspace after (choose a date - Sept 1?) be sourced with something other than the NRIS. With so many nomination documents digitized and online, and PDFs of the others are only an email request away, there is no more rationale for using just the NRIS to source new articles. Comments? Einbierbitte (talk) 20:41, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

To do what with them? Delete them? How exactly does that advance the project?-GrapedApe (talk) 22:10, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
The proposal in full detail:
1. All articles created before date X (to be decided.. I'll second September 1, 2013, as just some arbitrary date) will remain in mainspace and will not be deleted.
2. All articles created after date X will be required to have at least one source besides the NRIS to solidify notability and availability of sources. (One of) the other source(s) would ideally be the NRHP nomination document found at Focus or some other state location, but other online (or offline) sources may be used as well.
3. If an article is created after date X with only a citation to NRIS, any user is free to AfD it. To defend the article (i.e. to close the AfD as "Keep"), someone must add another source. If no source can be found, the article will be deleted (alternatively, userfied?) until said source can be found.
It is also possible, as User:Doncram suggests in the section above, that we start an editing campaign to bring any and all articles (not just Masonic lodges) created before date X up to current standards by including at least one other source. The articles can be collected into some cleanup category whose name will be decided at a later date. Thoughts?--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 23:23, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
All this depends on the regular AfD rules - but subject to that is sounds reasonable. I'd guess most folks at AfD would respect the sense-of-this-project. I'd also want to avoid any mass deletions of old articles. In general, I think this is a major distraction and we ought to work on more important stuff (both sides). Smallbones(smalltalk) 01:38, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
What about remote locations that have very few resources to list? There a few location in WV which are VERY difficult to find data for other than the source of NRIS OR if you are very lucky, publications from a specific industryCoal town guy (talk) 01:43, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Presumably you can email the NRHP and get a copy of the nomination docs before you write an article... those nomination docs can then be used to support the article. Blueboar (talk) 02:36, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
You want me to spend money to edit a free encyclopedia????Coal town guy (talk) 13:34, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
NRHP nom docs from the National Register itself should be sent free (limit 2 per request, number of requests allowable not clear). But nom docs for some states do cost money. And some nom docs probably aren't readily provided: for address-restricted archeological sites in some states there may be redacted versions (with location info blocked out) readily available, while for others it would take pleading and delay probably to get a redacted version created. So we KNOW that there is documentation, but we can't always get it so easily as some are supposing. --doncram 17:01, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Caution. some places NOM docs are NOT correct. They are made by some local interest as well as local people. It is I agree critical to get additional data, IF it is availableCoal town guy (talk) 23:19, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

For articles that don't meet the new standards, I would suggest userfication rather than outright deletion. It seems more friendly... saying: "yes, we want an article on this building... it's just that you have to do a bit more source based research before we can go live with it." Blueboar (talk) 02:36, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Support as proposer.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 20:46, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose While stubs with minimal sourcing are not great, this proposal would do more harm to the project than these stubs.--GrapedApe (talk) 13:46, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Outside comment. As someone who tried his hand at starting articles recently for NRHP places, I really don't see what the issue is with finding an extra source to have an extra sentence or two of information on the article. That's what I did with the couple I wrote, and it took maybe an extra ten minutes. Stubs are better than redlinks, yes, but substubs that only say "x is a building that is on the nrhp" really is not better than a redlink. Then again, maybe I just got lucky and the ones I picked to write had readily available sourcing, which others might not. Wizardman 16:15, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, you maybe were lucky. I am thinking that several comments here and in previous discussions that "it only takes 10 minutes" are ill-informed. It is NOT so easy, and one or 10 examples where it was easy proves nothing about ALL examples. --doncram 17:01, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose On the first day of the 2013 month-long WLM drive, hopefully attracting many new photographers and new editors, the proposal is to empower any editor (no matter how inexperienced) to overrule any new editor trying to make a contribution. And to empower any editor to second-guess any experienced editor who has judged it useful for some likely-good reason to start a stub article minimally. I oppose creating a new layer of bureaucracy and platform for expression of hatred/bullying/nastiness/bickering. :) Besides the fact that one local Wikiproject cannot change Wikipedia's site-wide notability standards. cheers, --doncram 17:01, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support, as a good compromise approach to end the long-standing disputes over stubs that are sourced only to NRIS. Existing stubs would be allowed to remain, but new stubs would not be allowed unless they had some source in addition to NRIS. (However, if we end up with articles that are sourced only to NRIS and the NRHP nom document, there will still be situations with information is hopelessly out of date -- I'm thinking in particular of NRHP buildings like this one that were listed on the Register more than 40 years ago and are likely to have undergone significant changes since their listing.) --Orlady (talk) 18:41, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Amending my view. Comment below. --Orlady (talk) 17:32, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Partial Support, as long as we follow the model that Orlady provides. I like it, alot. As to the data in the nomination forms, this needs to be discussed. My first NRHP article and only to date, wound up being a tad more complicated than I certainly imagined. The Forms and form data at the NRHP, were NOT great, but did help in assembling an article which will probably need to be merged. See Bybee Kentucky and go from there. As to the specific documentation, it can be good, but it is also incorrect in some cases. There are some specifc places in WV which, are off by a few months and the forms were prepared by people who have some of the history, but not all and as a result, more reaecrh will be needed. ALSO, some of the properties have signs by the local county which can provide better detail on modification to the said property if needed. I will be adding a pic soon of one such example.Coal town guy (talk) 18:55, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support, with Blueboar's userfication amendment. Regarding GrapedApe's argument, please note that we're not talking about stubs in general: we're talking about two-sentence stubs of the type "$SITE is a historic building in $CITY, $STATE. It was built in $YEAR1 and added to the NRHP in $YEAR2," with an Elkman-generator infobox and no source beyond NRIS. I would emphatically not support this proposal if it applied to good-quality stubs with additional sources.
  1. I have to take exception to GrapedApe's assertion "A stub is more likely to receive edits than a redlink". A redlink is a clear sign: here's a topic that needs work. There are editors who've devoted themselves to eliminating redlinks by producing quality stubs or better. A bluelink would actually dissuade these editors from working on the subject, and hinder rather than facilitate the creation of a useful article. As for the power of stubs to attract edits, some time ago I randomly sampled 55 substubs created two years prior; of the 55, 54 were still rated as stubs after two years had passed. This suggests that if substubs are on the road to FA status, they are proceeding down that road at a very leisurely pace—most of them won't reach Start-class until long after we're all dead.
  2. The NRIS is far from error-free, and WP articles based on the NRIS alone tend to spread those errors. I can readily visualize a sequence of events like: Editor creates WP article on NRHP church, based on NRIS alone, containing error from NRIS. Parishioner creates website for church, including the erroneous information from the WP article. Another editor then takes the church's website as corroborating the NRIS info, and duly adds a citation to the original article. (See XKCD's depiction of a similar process.) If we require a second source, we greatly increase the chance that errors in NRIS will be detected.
  3. Substubs break our implicit promise to the encyclopedia's readers: if you click on this link, you'll find something interesting. I can't imagine anyone reading a two-sentence stub about, say, the local church or courthouse, and feeling enriched by what they've read. Encounters with too many such articles will only persuade readers that Wikipedia's not worth consulting on such subjects.
  4. Doncram's bullying-new-editors argument ignores a rather important point: the purpose of creating an encyclopedia is to convey useful, interesting, and factually correct information to the readers, not to boost the self-esteem of us editors. We need to recruit and support new editors, but those editors need to abide by certain standards. Just as we can exclude fan reviews of movies or editorial essays on political topics, we can and should exclude too-short-to-be-useful stubs based on a single source of questionable reliability. Ammodramus (talk) 19:12, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree that we should strongly recommend trying to find additional sources for every article we create. Don't we already do that? I also agree the elkman output by itself is not enough to create an article. I'm not convinced that we should delete stub articles that don't meet that criteria. If articles were userfied to "active" users only (ie: not just orphaned), then I would be Neutral dm (talk) 21:04, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose While I support the idea of having a non-NRIS source in each article, there are too many flaws with the implementation here. First of all, taking articles to AfD so someone will reference them is using AfD as cleanup, which isn't the point of AfD. AfD voters will probably keep the article even if it doesn't get another reference, and if people start noticing that certain editors are AfDing articles and promptly withdrawing them when someone adds a single source after a few hours, they're going to suspect NRHP editors are hijacking the AfD process to make a point about referencing.
Second of all, I feel like this policy is going to come down hard on new editors. If a new editor wants to write an article on a historic site and sees a bunch of similar articles in the region that only use the NRIS as a source, they'll probably think it's fine (since new editors generally don't read all the policies before editing). That editor is going to be very confused when their article gets nominated for deletion, and probably won't want to write any more articles, with or without good references. Most of the current substubs were started by a handful of editors who have either started adding more sources to their articles or moved on to other things, anyway. While this policy would probably stop established editors from starting another "start a substub on every church" type project, the chances of that happening again aren't high enough to offset the other issues.
In response to what Ammodramus said, I don't think substubs are much of a problem for us editors who are writing quality stubs. If I decide to write an article on every listing for a county or topic, I'll check for substubs to expand, too; Pubdog, who might be single-handedly responsible for the majority of new NRHP articles right now, appears to do the same thing. While it's a bit annoying to have to check all the bluelinks, that wouldn't be avoidable even if we deleted all the existing articles with only a NRHP reference, as there are always edge cases. Honestly, the only way to permanently deal with the substub problem might be to write a quality article on each place, but we've got a long way to go before that happens. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 02:59, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - For reasons I state below in my support for Dudeman's alternate proposal. Cdtew (talk) 13:35, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Amending my support - TheCatalyst31 makes an excellent point about AFDs. Instead of taking new stubs based solely on NRIS to AFD, let's create a provision for "speedy-userfication" of such stubs. If the WikiProject wishes to create a "substub sandbox" in project space, they could go there instead of user space. --Orlady (talk) 17:32, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Alternate proposal - Cleanup categories instead of deletion

Hmm TheCatalyst31 has made a very good point above about AfD/cleanup. What if instead of going to AfD, we made cleanup categories which would be linked from the project to-do list encouraging users to cleanup/expand articles only sourced to NRIS? I envision a bot running once through and tagging all pre-existing articles with only one citation to NRIS with a template message and placing them in a hidden cleanup category, Category:Articles sourced only to the NRIS since MONTH YEAR, e.g. Category:Articles sourced only to the NRIS since August 2013 depending on when the articles were created. After the initial run, we make the bot continually scan new articles (like User:TedderBot does) and place them into these cleanup categories, as well as notify the user who created the article. The categories would be attached to the template message, so when a new source is added, removing that template message would remove the article from the cleanup category. We could also make the bot look for edits that remove the template and re-add it if the article still only has one source. The key point is that through the bot's ability to re-add the template, the status of being only sourced to NRIS is essentially irremovable unless a new source is actually added. This eliminates the possibility of anyone "gaming the system" by just removing the template.

Under this alternate proposal, having only one citation to the NRIS will still be labelled undesirable, but the articles in question wouldn't be outright deleted/userfied. However, the fact that they are not up to standards would be highly visible from the front page of the project and readily available for anyone wanting to cleanup said articles. This not only solves the AfD problem but also the new user problem. We can word the template message and the talk page message to be as friendly as possible to avoid scaring/pissing off anyone. If we did it this way, how many people would support that?--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 03:56, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Support. This addresses my concerns with these articles. It doesn't bite new editors, it doesn't send articles to AfD that wouldn't get deleted, it gives us a way to deal with the preexisting articles, and it makes life easier for editors who are trying to improve these articles. It may not get rid of these articles, but it certainly gives us the means to do so. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 04:18, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Seems like a good compromise.--GrapedApe (talk) 04:29, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support If all we are doing is adding a category to single sourced stubs, and nothing else automatically happens from that category being added, I'm a supporter. If someone starts creating too many of these, then we can start the discussion. dm (talk) 06:32, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support As a relatively new user (to WP:NRHP) I think this method is most accommodating, and provides the best way of teaching new users how to create quality articles. A look at new user statistics, or more importantly, to look at Wikiproject activity across the board conveys a dire picture. On our side of the encyclopedia, there's WP:NRHP, WP:MILHIST, and about 50 defunct or near-defunct humanities/history-related WikiProjects. Without retaining and training new users (which does, to some extent, include massaging their self-esteem), content will be the least of our problems in another 5 years. Additionally, since I'm not AUTOPAT, articles I'd created based on NRIS (even with some additional NRHP docs cited) have frequently been flagged for violations of PRIMARY and GNG's multiple-source preference by non-NRHP-related patrollers. Cdtew (talk) 13:35, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose because it doesn't address the problem. There are already uncounted hundreds (thousands?) of substubs sourced only to NRIS in article space. History indicates that there is nearly zero contributor interest in upgrading them. (For example, a large fraction of the problematic pages I listed in my user space have not been touched in the last two years, in spite of the attention that the list has received at Arbcom and in other venues.) Creating a cleanup category is a fine idea, in view of the current backlog of substubs, but we also need to stop creating new ones. In view of the TheCatalyst31's excellent point about AFDs, I suggest that instead of taking new stubs based solely on NRIS to AFD, these stubs should be "speedy-userfied". If the WikiProject wishes to create a "substub sandbox" in project space, they could go to that sandbox instead of user space, but we need to start a zero-tolerance policy against the creation of new problems. --Orlady (talk) 17:32, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree that something needs to be done to reduce the number of new NRIS-only stubs being created (although I don't necessarily agree with "zero tolerance"), but unfortunately the idea of deleting/userfying/criticizing new users' articles just doesn't appeal to many people here, as is evidenced in the above thread and many past discussions. I truly believe that many of the NRIS-only stubs out there exist because no one has found them yet. Yes, there are clearly a ton that we have found and that no one has done anything about in years, but I feel that if we publish these articles via a category link in highly visible parts of the project, they will attract more attention than your user page or any other current method... especially since the articles themselves will be affected by the template message. I know if an article I created was labelled as sub-standard, I'd do everything I could to get the template message removed.. maybe that's just me, though.
Another thing that I kind of held as an ulterior motive for these categories is that if these articles are placed in categories, it would be possible (pending consensus and all that jazz) to somehow integrate that into a new Progress map for articles rated start and above (see this section below). I had the thought that maybe we could have a "net quality" map where we take the number of articles start and above minus the NRIS-only stubs to get a "net quality" of each county. Counties which have negative numbers (i.e. more NRIS-only stubs than Start+) will be colored differently as kind of a Scarlet Letter, which would hopefully encourage someone to improve articles in those counties, just like the regular Progress maps have encouraged certain users to develop articles in areas where coverage is lacking.
Through these methods, this proposal would, I believe, discourage creation of NRIS-only stubs (without outright deleting them) and increase incentive to expand pre-existing NRIS-only stubs. I think it's basically as good as we're going to be able to get, given the editorial climate.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 19:03, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
  • everything Dudemanfellabra said is why I support this. dm (talk) 19:38, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
@Dudemanfellabra, you say above: "...the idea of deleting/userfying/criticizing new users' articles just doesn't appeal to many people here." I have to question an underlying assumption in that statement... the assumption that it is new users who are creating these problematic sub-stubs. I am not at all sure this is the case. It would be interesting to see an examination of the NRIS-only stub articles created within the last year, and a break down of how many of those stubs were actually created by new users vs how many were created by experienced members of this project.
I can agree that we should be sympathetic when it comes to dealing with new users... but I have a lot less sympathy when it comes to dealing with experienced editors when they write articles that are not up to standards. Experienced editors should know better. Blueboar (talk) 22:42, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
And once we get these categories, we will be able to find out exactly who is making these articles. I don't know if I'd be down with any "punishment" per se for articles created in the past year or before since there was no explicit policy against it, but if after these categories are created, we all of a sudden see one month's category blowing up and find out it's due to a veteran user, I wouldn't be opposed to strong castigation/some other form of punishment. It has been my experience with at least two of the mass sub-stubbing campaigns I've witnessed that they were by in large created by "new" users (i.e. those I'd never seen here at WP:NRHP), but it may very well be that people who see these conversations repeatedly come up are just ignoring them.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 18:32, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I bet beer money, the majority, will NOT be new usersCoal town guy (talk) 00:54, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
  • exactly the right point here, lets see how many and who before we decide what, if anything, to do about it. dm (talk) 23:07, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
SUPPORTThe tag is great. It is NO different in language than an article having a no refs tag. BRING ITCoal town guy (talk) 14:56, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Template message, talk page notice, bot request

It seems to me above (although not as many people chimed in as I'd have liked) that there is a clear consensus that cleanup categories are the way to go with treating the sub-stub problem. If no one objects, I'll update WP:NRHPHELP, WP:NRHPMOS, and any other page that talks about using the NRIS shortly. A more immediate concern, however, is the appearance/wording of the proposed template message and talk page notice the bot would use. I've drafted a preliminary version of each below and would like some feedback. Also, I've made a list of what the bot should do which can be sent to WP:Bot requests. I'll leave these here for a few days for vetting before going live with anything.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 22:05, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Template message

--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 22:05, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Talk page notice

Hello, and thank you for your recent creation of ARTICLE_NAME, which seems to be about a site listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). If you are not aware, there is an entire group of contributors named WikiProject National Register of Historic Places that creates, expands, and maintains articles about sites similar to ARTICLE_NAME. If you haven't already, we would love to have you join us in our efforts to expand coverage of NRHP-related sites!

Though your contribution is appreciated, your article seems to only include one citation to the National Register Information System (NRIS), which has been shown to include multiple possible errors. It would be useful to verify the information in ARTICLE_NAME by adding at least one more reliable source to the article. For information about how to find sources which contain information about sites on the NRHP, see WP:NRHPHELP or leave a message at the project talk page. If this message was left in error, please let me know at my talk page. Cheers!--BOT_SIGNATURE --Dudemanfellabra (talk) 22:05, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Bot request
Initial run
  • Look for all existing articles including Template:NRISref or some link to the NRIS/Focus
  • For articles which have only a single reference, tag them with the template message.
  • Create categories for all months in which problem articles were created
  • (possible/optional) Compile statistics about users who created problem articles and post here.
Constant updating
  • Scan new articles for ones only sourced to NRIS
  • If found, place template message and alert user that created the article
  • (possible/optional) Generate monthly reports detailing problem articles and post here or some other location.

--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 22:05, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

I agree that having an administrative category identifying articles sourced just to NRIS is fine (and sub-categories by state, too), but think less is better. It is not necessary to put a "cleanup" template on such articles, themselves; they can simply be identified in the category. And it is not friendly to plan upfront to harass and personally attack editors (not saying any one specific person wants to, but the sentiment seems to be in the air, and if you are honest you will agree). Let the categories be created, and let people address them for a while. I am hopeful that an editor who feels ownership over articles in a given state (Ohio? Mississippi? Florida?) will just mildly take notice of the category, and plug away at fixing the articles up. Planning out negative, harassing, derogatory tactics would be, well, mean-spirited.
About a standardized Talk page message to editors you want to influence, I rather suggest not doing that. I suggest writing a personal note. I myself frequently use the {{welcome}} template message but I always also write a personal note, and try to meet a new editor wherever they are, and not pile on with negativity.... :) I suggest no new template here. This is controversial enough--these related proposals are attracting "contention-focused" editors already--and it is not worth trying to get to consensus on wording of a template. Of course anyone can just create a template on their own and use it themselves, but please let's not try to get to consensus on wording of anything, here. Planning to write a personal note is better.
And, why not simply divide up the states and individually check the articles, rather than having a bot run? I'll do North Dakota, for example, which I think has just 2 NRIS-only articles (where no other sources could be found in considerable on-line and off-line searching). Some judgment is involved in determining if a page is sourced or not, too. For example, there are many Florida articles with just NRIS as an inline source, but having an external link or two, that might or might not be considered another source. If I were reviewing the Florida articles, I would rather go through those and consider those links, and make individual decisions whether to edit the articles a little or to tag them with the admin category.
Also, just because an article has just NRIS as a source, does not mean it has any possible errors. It depends on what the article says. Some editors have woven what seems like semi-fictional stories with just the NRIS info (like accepting an off-line report's sometimes-erroneous suggestion that a given person is an architect, when NRIS in fact only identifies the person as an architect or builder or engineer); other editors have avoided that. If an article just says the place was listed on the National Register on a given date, there is really no significant chance of error; NRIS is an authoritative source on that fact. Sending a bot through the Wikiproject's articles suggesting that there may be errors, including in articles where there are not any errors, seems like not a good idea.
So, anyhow, to get started, I am starting Category:NRIS-only sourced in North Dakota as an administrative category now and will add that to the few North Dakota articles. I am open to a name-change on the category, if there is better wording, but to make progress I am just going ahead. (There are currently 0 articles in Category:NRIS-only sourced in North Dakota.) --doncram 16:24, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Why is it that you can't wait on consensus to do anything? Had anyone in this entire page suggested state-level categories except you, five minutes ago? No. Yet you go and create a category and stick it on two pages that are actually in mainspace right now. Not to mention the naming of said category is your own concoction, which is different than the only other name suggested here. If everyone worked like you did, Wikipedia would be full of half-thought-out, half-finished projects that have no underlying structure or logic. You notice I haven't created the template that will be placed on articles/talk pages or any categories yet. Wait for people to hash out a full plan here before going to create anything else and stop just doing what you want to do regardless of what people say. Jesus, you are the most annoying person I have ever had the displeasure of coming in contact with.
Now addressing what you actually said:
  1. No one has said anything about attacking people. In fact, the main reason this proposal even exists was to make it more new-user-friendly. If you sense any kind of "attack fever" in the air because of poor quality contributions, maybe it's because you've been here longer than almost all of us yet are still contributing on the level of someone that has been here one week and fear that with this new system, people will see that?
  2. I think it's kind of telling also that you see the people commenting here as "contention-focused" when all they're doing is disagreeing with your position that anyone should be allowed to create anything no matter how little work they put in and how shitty the final product looks. Maybe this is what ArbCom was talking about when their decision said you personalize conflicts too much?
  3. The talk page message will be left by a bot, and the last I checked, bots can't write personal messages. There is no reason for us to manually check the almost 50,000 articles out there and then constantly scan new contributions when a bot can do it much more quickly and with fewer errors. If you want to drop a note to people in addition to the bot message, that's all fine and dandy. The FL articles you talk about are like the definition of what this bot will find. External links are not sources; they're external links. If after they're tagged, you want to expand the articles, feel free to do so. That's kind of the point of these categories. This is also another reason a bot is better: because it doesn't make judgement calls. If an article has only one citation to NRIS, it gets tagged--end of story. Doing this manually will have too many people (e.g. you) saying "Well, this article does only have one source to the NRIS, but it's pretty good anyway; I won't tag it." Then the entire system is flawed because anyone that doesn't want their own articles tagged can just hide away in some unknown corner of the encyclopedia and never be outed here. A bot is the best and fairest way to go, hands down.
  4. As far as suggesting the NRIS has errors, that is part of what I'm trying to get done here.. agree on a wording for the template. If you don't like it, suggest something new. If an article only says that the site was listed on a certain day, it is one of the worst offenders and should definitely be tagged with these categories. The category isn't only saying "Hey, this article may have errors"; it's also saying, "Hey, this article probably isn't more than 2 sentences long (if that), and it needs to have a little more work done to it before it's presentable."--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 17:38, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
That entire comment is a huge personal attack, and is pretty horrible to see. It rather proves the point that the idea of personally attacking editors is in the air. --doncram 18:10, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • I Strongly support the idea of using a template. If the language is too harsh, that can be amended. (that said... A template does not "harass and personally attack editors"... it tells them how to make the article better. )
There is another reason why I really like this idea... we need to think beyond the members of this project. Having admin-categories and other "behind the scenes" compilations is good for alerting the members of this project to which articles need work, but they won't call in editors who are not members of the project... editors who might be able to assist us in improving the articles... editors who might know of sources that project members don't. A template will call in those other editors. In other words... I think using a "clean up" template will resolve the issue of NRIS-only sub-stub articles much sooner than any other method would. Blueboar (talk) 17:52, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Support, with amendments. I strongly support the addition of a template to the article page and I support the idea of a standardized user-talk-page notice, but I think the content of both the template and the message might need some rethinking.
Regarding the template, I think it's misleading to emphasize the possibility of errors in the database. Errors aren't all that prevalent. The larger issues with reliance on NRIS are the sparseness of its information, the absence of context, and the potential for misinterpretation and misplaced emphasis. In many respects, I think we can think of this as a special case of Template:One source, which says (in part): "This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. Please help improve this article by introducing citations to additional sources." Taking that as a model, I suggest that the template text be revised a little, as follows: "This article relies entirely upon a single source, the National Register Information System database (NRIS). Articles based solely on NRIS may contain errors. Please help ensure the accuracy of the information in this article by citing at least one more reliable source."
As for the talk page notice, I have several thoughts:
  • Keep it short (one short paragraph).
  • Tell the bot to send only one message to a user who has created multiple articles that generate this notice.
  • Neither WP:NRHPMOS nor any subsection of that page is a good place to send a user for more information on why they shouldn't create articles based solely on NRIS. It would be more straightforward to tell them that additional sources are needed for verifiability and point them to this WikiProject for discussion of ways to improve this type of article.
I suggest trimming the message so it displays as follows:
Hello, and thank you for your recent creation of ARTICLE_NAME, which seems to be about a site listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Your article seems to be based on just one source, the National Register Information System (NRIS). Articles based only on this source may contain errors. To help ensure verifiability of Wikipedia content, please add additional citations to the article, citing reliable sources. For advice on finding additional sources for this article, see WikiProject National Register of Historic Places or leave a message on the WikiProject's talk page. --BOT_SIGNATURE
--Orlady (talk) 22:36, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I've been on vacation for the past while and haven't been able to get on here as much as I'd like to. That said, I would really like more input here. Maybe we should do an RfC? I've never done one before, but I think something like this would be deserving. I think there's pretty clear consensus for a template/category as well as a talk page notice, so I think the RfC should be about wording. Of course, if I'm wrong about consensus (not many people chimed in), maybe we should make the RfC about the entire idea at large. What do you guys think?--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 06:21, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
  • IMO, it's time to move forward with the tagging and categorization of existing articles that are sourced only to NRIS. I seem to the only one who objected to the original proposal, and that was only because it wasn't a complete solution. I suggest not extending this to user messages yet, since (1) most of the tagged articles are likely to have come from a small number of users, (2) bots that send lots of messages to one user aren't real popular around Wikipedia, and (3) user messages could be added after the articles are tagged. --Orlady (talk) 14:55, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Question, is it possible to ammend the logic of the search and look for articles that have no sections and area rated start. There are articles out there that are sourced to more than only NRIS, but are also little more than a restatement of the nom form, with or without a pic. Otherwise, thats a great idea. Would we also rerate these as STUBS??Coal town guy (talk) 15:04, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
@Orlady: The initial run of the bot (or at least how I envision it, subject to discussion) would just go through and tag/categorize all pre-existing articles. The bot would only alert users who create NRIS-only stubs after that initial run, so we have some time to work out the kinks.
@Coal town guy: It would I guess technically be possible to look for start-class articles which are really stubs, but that's kind of getting outside of the purpose of this whole thing. Let's try to keep this bot pretty focused on doing one thing well first, and then maybe in the future we can expand its skill set.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 18:38, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Moving forward

I've just created {{NRIS-only}} using User:Orlady's wording, which seems a little more inviting to me than my original suggestion. I updated WP:NRHPHELP to include a section explaining the purpose/shortcomings of the NRIS database. Obviously if you have any concerns with the wording in either the template or the section, discuss those here. If there is no debate on this after a few days, I'll go ahead and put in a bot request to tag pages with this template. Afterwards, we can discuss whether or not a talk page message is necessary and what wording it should use if found necessary.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 04:55, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

The template looks great. In the description of the shortcomings of the NRIS database, I find myself disagreeing with the following passage:
Although the NRIS is generally treated as a the most reliable source for information about sites listed on the Register, any database of its size undoubtedly contains errors, many of which have been found and sorted out by project members. For example, the NRIS database does not distinguish between an architect and a contractor/builder. There are also occasional entry errors in fields such as the listing/delisting dates, official names, locations, and other fields.
First off, the beginning of the passage should be revised: "Although the NRIS is generally treated as a the most reliable source for information about sites listed on the Register..."
Regarding the rest of this passage, I don't think it covers one of the biggest issues with NRIS. I see one of the biggest shortcoming of NRIS as being the abbreviated/cryptic/truncated nature of many of its entries (because it's a database). The lack of a distinction between architects and builders is one symptom of this. Similarly, for historic districts that contain multiple architectural styles, NRIS generally lists only a couple of styles (in many cases not even the dominant styles in the district), followed by the word "other". In these situations, the NRIS information isn't wrong, but it's incomplete and often misleading. --Orlady (talk) 18:45, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Why do you object to "the most" being included? I mean what other source is the most reliable? I've just edited the section to explain the shortcomings you point out in more detail. Better? Worse?--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 21:30, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
To me, the words "the most reliable" imply that content from other sources would be rejected if it is contradicted by data in the NRIS database. Considering everything that we know (and have discussed here) about the shortcomings of NRIS. that's absolutely not correct. It's "a" reliable source, not the single "most" reliable source. --Orlady (talk) 22:03, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
I have to agree with Orlady here. Using "the most reliable" suggests that NRIS information should be preferred in cases of discrepancies with other sources—including nom forms, from which the NRIS data were presumably taken. Indeed, there are two steps whereby errors can enter the NRIS: errors originally present in the nom forms, and errors produced by incorrect transcriptions of nom form data. Combine this with the problems arising from the extreme brevity of the NRIS material, and I'd stay that NRIS is far from "the most reliable"; my own approach is more "use it in the absence of anything better, but actively seek better sources." Ammodramus (talk) 16:16, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Any discussion of NRIS shortcomings must address errors introduced by programmer/interpreters. The current most-used output, for example, discards NRIS's "circa" qualifier for many dates, and just puts "built=19xx" in, where "date of significance=c.19xx" is what is justified. And I think location fields are also messed up: there is more than one address field within the NRIS database, and what you report depends on what sequence of SQL/merge operations the programmer/interpretor chooses to use. It is hard to write, given sensitivity of the programmer/interpreter(s) to public discussion of putative errors. I tried with some edits to the section, including renaming it, but I am not sure this is ready to be linked from a mainspace template. --doncram 16:25, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
I just revised the section again to remove "the most" in favor of "a" and also reworded some of Doncram's additions. Besides removing the disputed tag, I wouldn't think he would be disappointed with any of my changes.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 17:50, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
5 out of 6 "votes" in section above agreed with suggestion to run a bot to create cleanup categories, as a compromise that would not be too bitey and for other reasons. I can support that too. This new subsection seems to suggest something different: tagging a lot of mainspace articles with a negative tag (and not tagging articles having no sources or just one source other than NRIS). Also I understand that dudemanfellabra wants to use a tag or category or other identifier out of this somehow in a script to make a map. So I am afraid that this could set up contention, where dudemanfellabra wants strongly for some articles to continue to carry the negative indicator, while other editors seek to remove it (e.g. after having done a good faith effort to find alt. sources, or newbies or other non-NRHP-centric editors who created some article). Specifically, what is intended for articles that have been identified as NRIS-only, but then addressed by someone doing research? E.g. 3 out of 400 North Dakota articles, where editors cannot find other material, but the articles are valid by general Wikipedia standards and complete out the state and some editors feel strongly that the articles are valid and valuable as they are. Would it be acceptable to convert a negative tag to a hidden indicator that Dudemanfellabra's script could still use? I wouldn't like to see multiple bot or manual additions and removals of a negative tag.
And, more simply, could we run a bot version and set up the cleanup categories, and see how that works for a little while, before forcing a negative tag into mainspace articles? That is what seems to be the consensus choice so far. --doncram 15:59, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Please don't think of this as a proposal to selectively "contaminate" NRHP stubs or to denigrate the work of certain contributors. The proposed article template would be consistent with initiatives undertaken throughout this encyclopedia to encourage article improvement. The article template proposed here is based on Template:One source, which already appears on thousands of main-page articles (for example, it appears on some articles based on the Encyclopedia Britannica). Many of those articles are far more extensive than the NRHP stubs that would get this new template. This template would, IMO, be more helpful and inviting to contributors than the existing "One source" template because it would provide specific information on the reasons for the template and specific advice on how to improve the article. --Orlady (talk) 16:47, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Doncram, the template message was discussed from the very beginning and was in the original proposal post. No one expressed objection to the message except you, and even after you specifically expressed objection, two more people still supported it. As Orlady says, the template is not telling the author of the article that they can't contribute.. it is telling them how to improve their contributions, something we should all be focused on. The tag is not inherently "negative". The tag is also there not to represent "good faith efforts" of authors to find other sources but to objectively identify any articles that only have one source, no matter if an author has tried to find them or not. Personally, I think if you have tried to find sources and couldn't, you shouldn't have created the article in the first place, but that's just my opinion. Maybe if you don't want a template to be added to your article, you should make sure there are multiple sources available before creating it? Just a thought.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 17:50, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The bot request has been filed.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 05:07, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

Aaaaaand of course Doncram has replied there, and of course he continues to ignore consensus despite taking days on end to respond here. Can someone please take care of him there? I have better shit to do than talk to a wall.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 18:17, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, discussion about the request has been moved, by Dudemanfellabra, to the botrequest page. When legitimate concerns and questions were not discussed out here, e.g. Dudemanfellabra not answering the question about whether it was his wish for a bot to reimpose a negative tag, when local editor judges that the tag is not helpful and removes it.
Perhaps "taking care" of someone needs to be done, by blocking the person making vile comments and personal attacks. I asked for others to show some leadership in this wikiproject, in a discussion further below. There were some balanced replies, but part of what was said in reply was that the wikiproject does not like to see continuing drama and nastiness. I say, do something about it, at least bear witness to your dislike for vile comments being made, repeatedly. --doncram 18:32, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
If the project doesn't want to see "continuing drama and nastiness," a good start would be to block you. You have called many times for ending contention, yet EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME a discussion starts about something that may actually improve the project...... YOU start contention. Not other veteran members, not new members, not outsiders.... YOU.
But, you know, just objecting to stuff is fine with me; in fact I've kind of learned to expect it now. Object all you want--there are far more people supporting things than your lone objection, so in the end it doesn't matter. The real problem I have is the way you object to things. You seem to have this habit of not responding when a conversation isn't going your way, then you wait for everyone's interest to die down and when someone actually acts on the topic at hand, you re-object. Where were you 3 full days ago when I last commented? You've had ample time and ample contributions since then to reply here, yet you elected to wait until I actually moved forward based on every other person's approval to say anything. If you're going to object, don't just ignore the conversation and hope that it goes away. This is going to happen. Deal with it.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 00:03, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
DC, please take a two week break from the project. Whatever the problem is above, or in general, you're not helping things by getting everybody mad at you. Whatever you're trying to accomplish, the sound and fury are not worth it for you, for me, or for the rest of the project. I'm sure there is something else useful you can accomplish on Wikipedia or elsewhere for 2 weeks and when you come back, the situation will have to be better. With my best wishes, Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:20, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
I am reminded that, in the conclusions to an Arbcom case that involved several of us earlier this year, Arbcom remanded questions about minimum standards for stubs to "the community". In essence, that was the topic of the discussion we have now had. There was no consensus to ban or delete any type of stub. Instead, we reached consensus to try tagging/categorizing NRIS-only stubs as a cleanup initiative. This looks like a very positive outcome, particularly when compared to some past discussions. It would be a shame to let one person derail this initiative. --Orlady (talk) 04:27, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

WP:NRHPPROGRESS now contains more info

I've just run an updated version of the Progress script to add info about not just the quantity of articles in every county but also the quality. Five new columns have been added to each row:

  1. The number of articles which are assessed as being stubs. (# Stubs)
  2. The number of articles rated start or higher. (# Start+)
  3. The percent of sites in that county with start or higher quality articles. (% Start+)
  4. The number of unassessed articles. (# Unassessed)
  5. The number of articles without the {{WPNRHP}} tag on their talk page. (# Untagged)

I plan on using new column #3 (% Start+) to make a new map which can be displayed in addition to the two maps already present. When the proposal above about NRIS-only stubs gets worked out, I will also be able to add info about how many stubs are sourced only to the NRIS. Then it may be possible to make a net quality map of each county where the overall quality is measured as the number of Start+ articles minus the NRIS-only articles. Counties where this number is negative (i.e. more NRIS-only stubs than Start+) would be colored differently to label them as areas where the most work is needed.

As for the current state of the page, it seems a bit cluttered now, and the table at the top of the page now (on my screen at least) is pushed down below the two maps. I plan on rearranging the top part a bit, but if anyone has any ideas on how to make that look better, feel free to change it before I get to it. My main task for the near future will be updating the script to handle this new format. To get this update to work, I had to use a patched version of the code to explicitly add in the new columns, so if I run the same code again, more columns will be added, which we don't want. I'll remove all the explicit patches and re-run it soon, but before that can be done, there are a few things that need to be done as far as manual entering goes:

  1. For each state/county with duplicates, the number of stubs/start+/etc articles which are duplicates needs to be manually entered.
  2. The territories which do not have tables need to have the stub/start+/etc statistics manually put in.
  3. There seem to be many (4000+) articles which don't have a project tag on their talk pages. This may be an error in the code (the script says there are some untagged articles in my home town county, and I'm pretty sure there aren't), but if it isn't, we need to get busy tagging these articles. One thing I think that may be contributing to this is redirects which don't have talk pages that also redirect. For example, if the link from a county list goes to Foo (a redirect) which takes the user to a separate article, Bar, and the talk page attached to that redirect, Talk:Foo, does not exist, even if Talk:Bar exists and is tagged, I'm pretty sure my code will count that as untagged. The way to solve this problem is to create Talk:Foo as a redirect to Talk:Bar. I may find a way to go around this with code, but for now that fix will hopefully work. I'll test it on my home county and report back.

After the duplicate information is added in, the script will be able to update smoothly again, and eventually I'll update the map script to give us one more map. Would anyone be willing to help out with duplicates/untagged articles?--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 20:36, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

About the untagged bit, some may be pointing at titles that redirect to totally unrelated topics. I've seen some where a log cabin's name pointed to a band, and a house pointed at a museum in a different state. Chris857 (talk) 22:01, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Nice work, Dudeman. I checked the talk page of an article that I worked on that shows on this list as untagged (I can tell which article it is because it's the only one for that county). Consistent with your guess, it's a situation where the article talk page is tagged, but the link on the county list points to a redirect page that doesn't have an associated talk page. --Orlady (talk) 01:12, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
I believe I've fixed the code so that it resolves the redirect of the article page first and then queries the resolved talk page. I ran it in a sandbox of mine and cut down the untagged #'s in the two states I tried it on by about half. I'm about to run the code again on the progress page and see what happens. Hopefully the number falls to one more manageable than 4000+. An added bonus to this method is actually more accurate Start+ numbers because if a redirect's talk page was created and had a class of "redirect", my code was erroneously counting that as Start+ (i.e. everything but Stub). Now that redirects are resolved in the beginning, that shouldn't happen anymore. The code will take about 1.5-2 hours to run, so I'll report back after it's done.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 01:30, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure if this is because of the recent updates or not, but there's an issue with the NRHPstats script that's causing it to report negative numbers of articled pages for the tables on NRHPPROGRESS. The county lists themselves appear to be unaffected, so it shouldn't affect the update script, but you might want to look into that. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 01:38, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Well crap. I don't know if it's my internet (which has been sketchy lately) or the new additions to the code, but the script seemed to be taking forever. It took almost 2 hours to get only ~70% done--longer than the usual 1.5 hours for a full run--before hitting an error and aborting itself. I'm about to restart it, but I wanted to respond to this comment first. I realize the NRHPstats script is broken right now, but that script doesn't actually edit/change any pages; instead it just takes what's on the Progress page and spits out numbers. Right now I haven't told it that there are 5 new columns, so it's counting the wrong numbers. It's a very quick fix (simply incrementing a few numbers by 5), so after I get this to run through successfully, I'll update it, and all should be good again.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 03:48, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I just ran the fixed(?) code, and the number of untagged articles dropped significantly. That doesn't mean it disappeared, though. Though the current total of 2,661 is almost half of the previous value (4,767), it is still quite large. There may still be some inaccuracies, but the test case of my home county seems to be accurate. If anyone notices any errors, let me know. Maybe we should start a drive to make sure all these articles are actually tagged/assessed? One fact that I would like to point out to everyone is that even though we've created articles on over half of the listings, only 19.5% of NRHP listings have an article that is rated Start or above (assuming these numbers are correct). More than half of the articles created by members of this project are stubs. We should shortly be able to tell how many of these stubs are NRIS-only stubs, and my fear is that there will more than likely be more NRIS-only stubs than Start+ articles. Take from that what you will.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 07:10, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

My very limited spot-checking suggests that your output is now correctly identifying untagged articles. The redirect that I noted earlier is now indicated to be tagged. I found another article that was indicated to be untagged and determined that it was correctly identified as untagged. (It was an NRIS-only stub, created by a stalwart member of this project, that didn't have a talk page. I created a talk page and tagged it.) --Orlady (talk) 17:06, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
I think the untagged articles may very well all be untagged. Looking at my home county, I found that Painesdale, Michigan, is listed, but did not have the tag (I just added it). Chris857 (talk) 17:15, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
To aid in finding out which articles are unassessed/untagged in order to assess/tag them, I have updated the NRHPstats script (which runs on the county list itself) to output the offending articles as a tooltip of the relevant text. For example, if in the yellow box that the script displays at the top of the county list there are a non-zero number of unassessed articles, simply hover over the words "No. Unassessed: __" to see the names of the unassessed articles. Ditto for untagged. This way you don't have to search through 50 different articles to find the 2 that are untagged; you can go straight to them. As always, let me know if anything doesn't seem to be working correctly.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 02:16, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Dudemanfellabra, for the NRHPstats script (which I just installed) have you thought of adding a toggle like User:Dr pda/prosesizebytes.js? By the way, nice addition with the untagged tooltip. Chris857 (talk) 03:22, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
To be honest, I've grown so used to seeing the box there that lists don't look right without it haha. I would personally prefer to leave it running automatically, but I think I can whip something up that both of us would like, i.e. default to automatically running (because several other people use the script and probably expect it to run like it has been) but allow the user to set a variable to disable automatic running. I'll see what I can do soon, but at present I need to get some sleep because I have to wake up at 3 AM to drive to the airport. I'll be out of town for the next week or so, but I'll still check in periodically in case something breaks or whatever. When I get back from vacation, I'll look into the toggle. Thanks for the suggestion!--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 03:35, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I ended up not being able to sleep (I'll just sleep on the plane), so I whipped up some code to make toggling an option. If before you import the NRHPstats script to your vector.js, you include
var NRHPstatsAuto = 'false'
the script will add a link to your toolbox (under "What links here", "Related changes", etc.) labelled "NRHP Progress stats." Clicking on that link will toggle on/off the display of the yellow box. You will notice the yellow box pop up briefly at page load, even with NRHPstatsAuto = 'false', and that is because of the method that I've chosen to make toggling available. I run the script automatically anyway but just hide the results if you have it set not to automatically run. Then clicking on the toolbox link simply unhides/rehides the yellow boxes. This was the easiest way I could think of to avoid basically rewriting the entire code to figure out if boxes were already there or not. Does this work for you?--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 07:17, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I looked over one of the smaller lists National Register of Historic Places listings in Manhattan on islands with only 14 entries . The yellow box claimed 5 untagged, I looked and sure enough one of the entries did not have nrhp project on the talk page. There are four redirects, but I looked and the talk page is redirected just like the main redirect for all four. I'm guessing those are the other four. In case anyone is interested, 6 stubs, 6 start, one C and one B. References were (2, 1, 2, 5, 4, 5, 1, 1, 30, 12, 4, 12, 32, 4). One of those articles with 5 references did not have the NRIS as one of them which I thought was interesting. Thanks again for continuing to improve this tool Dudemanfellabra. dm (talk) 08:50, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

%Articled (Quantity)
%Start+ (Quality)
The extreme difference between the images to the right are hopefully a major wake-up call to this project in terms of quality. Yes, we've created a whole bunch of articles... but have we really done anything in terms of quality? If we're looking to "turn counties red" as I've seen several people talking about, how about we focus on the second map rather than the first? (Note: If we assess/tag the 190/2,654 unassessed/untagged articles, this map will likely improve, although not substantially. At present, unassessed/untagged articles are counted as stubs--i.e. not start or higher--in the second map.)
As for the new map, I will update it at the same time I update the illustrated/articled maps, which has roughly been every week, although it sometimes takes a little longer to find the free time to run the update script, which needs to be run before the maps can be updated. Thankfully User:Chris857 has run the update script a few times during my recent vacation and other members have been manually updating some counties, so that I could just run the map script and update the maps, which only takes a few minutes, compared to 2 hours for the update script. Thanks for that!--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 07:29, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
On the one hand, I'd really like to see a similar map accounting for NRIS-only stubs, since IMO the difference between a two-line stub and the kind of stubs Pubdog or myself write is greater than the difference between a good stub and a start-class article; states like West Virginia are probably a lot better off than that map would indicate. On the other hand, I suspect most of the states that are both dark blue on this map and below 30% on the articled map barely have any articles longer than a few lines (though if they're over 70% red links anyway, that's a symptom of a larger issue). TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 08:45, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
I actually planned on just modifying this map (although I can create a 4th one if desired) to be a "net quality" of a county, where the number of NRIS-only stubs is subtracted from the number of Start+ articles. If a county has more Start+, it will be colored in this blue-red scale, but if it has more NRIS-only than Start+, it will be given a new color indicative of poor coverage. I can't do that, however, until we move on the section above and add categories to all NRIS-only stubs; I can't tell if the articles are NRIS-only without categories.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 18:57, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for creating the "Start+" map. That should provide encouragement to editors to improve articles, and also simply to update ratings of many articles from "Stub" to "Start", based on applying rating criteria. The fact that the nation-wide map is almost all dark blue now, is in part because we haven't paid attention to ratings within this Wikiproject much before.
By the way, the general Wikipedia:Version 1.0 definition of "Start" is:

An article that is developing, but which is quite incomplete and, most notably, lacks adequate reliable sources.

More detailed criteria: The article has a usable amount of good content but is weak in many areas, usually in referencing. Quality of the prose may be distinctly unencyclopedic, and MoS compliance non-existent; but the article should satisfy fundamental content policies, such as notability and BLP, and provide enough sources to establish verifiability. No Start-Class article should be in any danger of being speedily deleted.

I believe that all or almost all of User:TheCatalyst31's short articles would meet that...or higher, perhaps B-rating already. In some previous discussion I was suggesting that we could define "Start" to be a high standard like DYK-length. But a lower standard, i.e. the general one, is probably better for providing recognition now, at the current state of our work. (We don't have any different, wikiproject-specific set of ratings definitions, do we?)
I don't oppose--i am all for--creating NRIS-only categories, though I don't think another map is really needed. The NRIS-only will be the ones that quickly get left behind as "Stub"-rated, while other articles advance to Start and the Start+ map lightens up. The Start+ map will provide good incentive for article producers amongst us for a good while now. Thanks again. --doncram 20:51, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
This is the example give at the page you linked for a Start-class article. This is nowhere near as detailed as that example and should be rated as a Stub, rather than Start as you have just rated it. This map is most definitely not an invitation to just go around upping "pretty good" stubs to start level without improving them. If you or anyone else starts doing this, I'll delete the script, and you can gather the data manually.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 22:12, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
The one caveat there is that real analysis should have a longer and more detailed article than most places on the NRHP, so a start-class NRHP article is probably going to be shorter than that anyway. Not that that's an excuse to suddenly upgrade a bunch of stubs, of course, but it's something to keep in mind. I tag most of my new articles as stubs, but sometimes I wonder if I'm being hard on myself, especially since I've had a number of my articles upgraded to start-class within a matter of days. Though I doubt even the longest of my new articles deserve to be B-class; most of them don't even have sections. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 00:28, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Yep, you and Pubdog and me and others have routinely used "Stub" self-rating, leaving it to others to upgrade, but no one has been doing that. To Dudemanfellabra: the key point of interest to everyone is to differentiate between "NRIS-only" minimal stubs vs. better-developed articles. You may be surprised that "Start" rating expresses that difference, but the differentiation which you want to make is made. You could pose that really "C-rated+" is the rating that every article should have already, and I would certainly support your creating programming to quantify how many articles meet that. Anyhow, the "Start+" map system will support me and others developing many articles further than we have done already. The general point is that we should all support both more extensive coverage and higher quality, and the maps can support both goals. --doncram 9:41 pm, Today (UTC−5)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── User:Doncram now appears to be consistently rating articles as start that are clearly not. In addition to Reese-Johnson-Virgin House, the stub mentioned above, he has now rated the following as start:

I re-rated the Reese-Johnson-Virgin House as stub, but Doncram reverted me. I'm not going to edit war on multiple pages now, but I am going to keep a record of this. If it continues, something needs to be done.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 02:50, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Not to mention Cedar Creek Bridge (Haynes, North Dakota), which has all of three sentences that aren't part of the block quote. These aren't start-class articles (though the courthouse might be if it wasn't 60% quotes), and stuff like this is why I don't encourage reassessing your own articles. I've thought about leaving more of my new articles unassessed, but I'm reluctant to do that if Doncram is going to assess them the way he's assessed those, since then the actual stubs won't get pointed out. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 04:01, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Ah, it seems I missed that one. Apparently I also missed Leport-Toupin House.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 06:51, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Article consisting largely of quotes are far beyond the minimal use permitted by our nonfree content standards; they are copyright violations and warrant deletion. Nyttend (talk) 07:13, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Um, no. This is going off-track, vs. topic of discussion section here. But plenty of, or even most, Featured Articles in wikipedia use quotations. There is some repeated confusion in your comments, Nyttend, about % of material. The percentage of a source which is quoted, is a relevant factor in considering copyvio. The percentage of a wikipedia article is not. Short quotes (i.e. less than 200-500 words), properly attributed, especially from an NRHP nomination explaining why a place is NRHP-nominated, are quite relevant, quite appropriate. I hope not to go off into much further discussion about this. --doncram 15:04, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
I must confess that the idea od rating a number of similiar articles as Start on Wikipedia is wrong. Closely worded, as itys own tag, see McDowell County, West Virginia, specifically the history section. I have worked this one off and on, and the entire section was basicallky a reword of a poly sci page which could only be seen using Internet archiving, thats NOT cool and YES, should be deleted UNLESS another editor is willing to redo a section, which I am trying to do as well. By the way I actually did a hard copy of the poly sci page and it was rather unsettling. BUT to be clear, as in crystal clear, as in NO BS hands down worthy of webster clear, content such as that (rewording or massive paraphrasing such as to be NO doubt a copy, is absolutely a target for deletion. OR Tagged so that the relevant person/persons edits it. MY fiorst NRHP was seen as a copy, it was, it was edited, I learned and moced on and look forward to providing more pics of burned out industrial coal hulks, which by the way would be a great name for a band....Coal town guy (talk) 15:40, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Yikes, there seems to be some negativity going on. Oh well. Well, I do believe that this wikiproject has not adopted different-than-general-Wikipedia standards for ratings. Per the existing guidelines, a mere statement that something is a defined species (or a listed NRHP), with no sources whatsoever or just one source (or with merely NRIS-only sourcing) is sensibly rated "stub". Stub is the lowest rating, and could even be close to being Speedy-deleted. "Start" is the level where Speedy-Deletion is not reasonable. The point of several editors, i think, is that they wish to distinguish between somehow-offensive-to-them short NRIS-only stubs, vs. somewhat longer ones. Per the Wikipedia rating guidelines, that distinction would be the difference btwn "Stub" vs. "Start". And a Start article can even have serious sourcing and MOS issues. So, a short article that is completely sourced to NRIS and to a linked NRHP nomination document, like many created by TheCatalyst31 or Pubdog or me, which have no such issues, could easily be rated Start or C or B. Per some previous discussion, the optimal length of many NRHP articles is not infinite: shorter can be better. Anyhow, look at the guidelines. And, anyhow, that is my interpretation of rating guidelines, linked above. If someone has different rating guidelines to link to, please speak up. Or maybe this should be a different discussion topic.

About the NRHPProgresss refinements, again, thanks Dudemanfellabra for expanding the system. As you and others wish, this should provide for ability to distinguish between NRIS-only vs. better articles, and to provide encouragment for those who are developing mainspace articles in Wikipedia on NRHP topics. I see that you may personally prefer to label very short articles with a more negative label than "Stub", but that is defined as the lowest in wikipedia already. So, I hope you will please choose to begin to say "Anything lower than C-rating sucks absolutely" or something like that, to get your point across in Wikipedia jargon. Do let's not try to create some different-than-Wikipedia jargon to express displeasure. But seriously, the point of the maps is to differentiate between levels, which is clearly what you want, and this will work. Please wp:AGF. It is fine to have different perspectives about what you like or not; no one is claiming that short stubs are "great work"; they are, by Wikipedia terms, stubs requiring expansion. --doncram 15:04, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Would it be reasonable to suggest that editors not give higher-than-stub ratings to their own articles? If someone's written or expanded an article to what they think is start level or better, let them leave it unrated and let another editor, who's got no stake in the article's rating, attend to that. Judging by Dudemanfellabra's new map, Start+ articles aren't being produced so quickly that it'd be a burden on other editors to rate them.
If we don't adopt such a policy, I can see the future all too well: Dudemanfellabra retires the Start+ map in favor of a C+ map; and Doncram decides that a one-sentence no-reference article is a stub; a two-sentence article citing one source is a Start; and three sentences and two citations make a C. Then the next round of rating inflation begins... Ammodramus (talk) 15:48, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
I must say, I LIKE THIS for any project, here is a former start article that will make your skin cringe. Matter of fact, that article in its 85% copy of a single published source form was well on its way ABOVE start class.......Then I suppose the tough shit fairy came, that was me. I have some primary experience on the topic, and the reality of the article before edits was basically, a really bad made for TV move category. I made it a stub. I am sure people in other portals/projects will despise that rating, but as editors, LOOK AT IT. Coal town guy (talk) 15:55, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Lest there be any confusion, that "make your skin cringe" article looked like this back when it got that start rating back in 2008. I imagine that the "start" rating was based mostly on its being much too long to be described as a stub. --Orlady (talk) 21:18, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
More articles rated start erroneously by Doncram:
Also, he reverted User:Nyttend's removal of excessive quotes from two articles. Doncram, if the percentage of quotes in the article is not a factor, I can just take an entire chapter of a book and copy/paste it into a new article. A single chapter is only a small fraction of a much larger source (the book), so according to your logic, this is perfectly fine...
I don't understand why it is so hard for you to accept the fact that you are wrong and just fucking deal with it.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 16:44, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Vile language and personal attacks should be dealt with by blocking you, Dudemanfellabra, IMHO. Selective "warnings" of persons disagreeing with you, without warning/blocking you, by administrators are more evidence of their bias/involvement, than anything else. Do you seriously think that swearing is going to make this WikiProject a better place? If the goal is to drive away new and experienced editors, well, that is what you are likely doing.
Again, this is off-track to discuss copyright basics, about which there is some ignorance present. In fact, however, a single chapter extract from a book is, by U.S. copyright laws, allowable to be copied and distributed for use in classes at universities without paying copyright permissions, I have observed. For exactly the percentage of source reasoning. No one is talking about copying entire chapters however.
About the Bowyer-Trollinger Farm and the Cromer House articles, those appear to be perfectly sourced short articles clearly rising above the class of NRIS-only articles that we all wish to separate. And there are no MOS or sourcing issues. So "Start" or "B" or "C" are possible ratings. I am not sure if those should ever be expanded or not; maybe their current length is good, in which case "C" for "Complete enough" should possibly be applied. But they are not quite satisfying, so I left them at Start.
I do appreciate the sentiment of what Ammodramus suggests above. But an all-dark-blue Start+ map does not show there are few Start+ articles; it shows that few of many thousands of Start+-worthy articles have been properly rated. Perhaps if and when self-rating of articles at a higher level becomes a problem, like if some editors are competing to have more "B"s than one another, then a rule of no self-rating above C could be useful. If there were willing raters available. But in this wikiproject our previous Rating area died out, with no responses for years to languishing requests for re-ratings, and there are tens of thousands of articles which need re-rating, if there is to be any consistency. So, "Start" and "C" should not be regarded as any great thing, and everyone should freely re-rate to Start or C, I think. By the way I notice Nyttend re-rating a bunch of his articles to Start, which is reasonable. After a month or two or three, let's revisit the C and B ones and a possible process for handling higher re-ratings.
Despite the acrimony, there is complete consensus here that we all want to distinguish between source-free or NRIS-only minimal stubs, vs. clearly sourced pretty good short articles. The language is "Stub" vs. "Start". Our ratings are overly compressed within Stub only. There is no need to change Wikipedia and invent some different "sub-stub" level, requiring new programming and causing confusion and hurt to targeted contributors. Use the Wikipedia language and tools that exist already. As noted, there is minimal usage so far by this Wikiproject of higher levels of the rating spectrum. --doncram 17:10, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
here is what I use to determine a Stub or start. If we define a Start in this context of, oh, it uses more than one source other than the NRHP Database, thats a slippery slope. One could find the same form at the related state site and boom, you have 2 refs and thus its a start?? NO. There is to my knowledge, no sub stub, no lumpen proletariat sub, etc etc, or how about a series of characters and numbers with no purpose, which could be rated beneath a stub? NO. The link provided is what I have used. IF an article provides little more than what one could find in a dictionary, IT is a STUB.Coal town guy (talk) 17:20, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
(EC) I update the rating of an article I've worked on all the time (just did to the United Founders Life Tower). Never Stub to Start, usually Stub/Start to B after a major expansion. Regardless of any rating inflation, no 2-3 sentence article will ever be a B-class. Perhaps that is what the maps should depict (counties with the most B-class, states with the most GA/FA)...set the bar a bit higher, no? By the way both Bowyer-Trollinger and Cromer do not meet the B-class criteria at all. Niagara ​​Don't give up the ship 17:30, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
All this time I've been operating under the assumption that no one was supposed to rate their own contributions -- except for labeling obvious stubs. I've done some work that I thought was probably B-class but got rated "Start" by some user who judges things differently than I do; that's just how it goes. I do routinely remove old ratings from articles I've worked on when I think the ratings are no longer valid, but it's bad form to rate your own stuff. --Orlady (talk) 21:10, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── My script has been deleted. You can gather your own data.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 17:50, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Please bring it back soon, Dudemanfellabra. It's a good tool. A bunch of us put ourselves through a wringer over at Arbcom because of our concern that one user's behavior was causing so much disruption -- no small part of the issue being that he was driving off contributors like you. I'd go to Arbcom again rather than let him make you quit contributing again. --Orlady (talk) 21:10, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
This is why this project can't have nice things. It seems like we can't go a month without some "Doncram vs. other members of the project" dispute escalating to the point where it gets in the way of actually improving articles. Everyone is probably overreacting to a certain point, but the more of these discussions I see, the more I think Doncram's behavior is the real problem. Whether it's assessment, overuse of quotations, low-quality stubs, or one of a number of other things, Doncram doesn't seem to understand consensus, Wikipedia guidelines, or how to listen to advice. Considering how few people seem to be agreeing with Doncram in these discussions, these aren't content disputes so much as one editor with consistently anti-consensus views that he puts into action before waiting to see if anyone agrees with him.
I know this has all been said before by other people, but since Doncram hasn't listened to them and he doesn't seem to hate me yet, I'll try too. The way things are going right now, we're headed down a road that will lead to either Doncram getting banned or this project falling apart. Doncram, if you don't want either of those things to happen, I strongly suggest you start listening to what other people are saying. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 23:59, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Losing the script... it's kind of the same feeling I have when a historic site is damaged or destroyed out of malice or negligence - it's a loss to everyone. It's unfortunate that we human beings can't seem to always interact kindly and constructively. If I may make a humble suggestion, as it appears that the immediate kerfuffle is about article ratings, could we have the script undeleted - but stripped of code to handle ratings, leaving only article and photo counts? Chris857 (talk) 00:21, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
I seem to remember a similar notice of a script being taken down in reaction to the same kind of thing. Dudeman released the code under our license, and I can still view it, so I am able to restore it and put it in anyone else's userspace, although I'm not interested in doing it in mine — I don't understand scripts and would probably mangle something without even realising it. While it would be legal and according to policy to copy/paste it for anyone right now, I daresay it would be exceedingly rude, so I'll not do it without permission from Dudeman. Nyttend (talk) 01:53, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
I realize that any administrator (three of which have responded here FWIW) can see/restore the page at any time they wish, and I can't say anything about it. That said, if Doncram or anyone succeeds in getting someone to do that, I'm gone.. this time permanently. I understand that deleting the script makes life harder for a number of people who were using the Progress maps for good, and I enjoyed seeing the output as well, but that's really all the leverage I have here. Something needs to be done about Doncram, and nothing else seems to be getting through. I've said numerous times that the project would be better off if he were at least topic banned if not completely banned from the encyclopedia, and I stick by those comments. Even though the ArbCom case did not produce that result, I still hoped his restriction on article creation and other measures would make working with him a little more tolerable, but it clearly isn't.
Unlike Doncram, however, I am able to accept the consensus (whether or not I agree with it) that he should remain in this project, so short of banning him, I say we just find a way to ignore him. My advice is to get the ball rolling on a bot request to tag articles sourced only to NRIS so that these articles can be subtracted off from totals. I can then re-work the code to just count NRIS-only stubs as non-articles, offensive as that may be to some people. Then as far as the map goes it won't matter if Doncram goes around rating his stubs as start, B, or even FA class (although this is still obviously a problem and needs to be addressed). I personally think the Start+ map--and maybe eventually a B+ map as Niagara suggested--would give us a better idea of the quality of our contributions, but if Doncram is going to artificially inflate the numbers, it's useless. If we get that bot running, I'll restore/modify the code, and Doncram will have succeeded again in watering down an effort to address quality issues by lowering the bar.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 04:57, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Still more stubs rated Start:

I'll continue to keep a record of this until something is done.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 19:33, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

Something unexpected

So I was googling myself (as you do), and I found one of my NRHP pictures on this site, with which I believe we're all vaguely familiar. Makes me wonder: how many other photos that project members have taken are there too? The ironic thing about the photo is that it's facing away from the fort location, towards the parking lot. :) --Ebyabe talk - Repel All Boarders ‖ 17:10, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

That's very cool, Ebyabe. Congrats! --Orlady (talk) 21:20, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Wow! and congrats as well. My first thought was that this is the first time (or maybe just "the closest") that the NPS has mentioned or recognized WP:NRHP in any way. But actually it's just Ebyabe and Wikimedia that are mentioned. Maybe somebody should approach them and see if they want to do anything with us, e.g. maybe related to next year's Wiki Loves Monuments. I also searched the NPS.GOV site for "Wikimedia" and got about 94 results - some I can't find anything, many are recordings of birdcalls or other things not directly related to this project. Some though use multiple pix, e.g. http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/feature/wom/2011/Brookgreen_Gardens.htm , http://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/va/2007/libertymemorial.htm
Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:09, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Too bad the federal government can't even follow the licensing restriction: with CC licenses the uploader "must make clear to others the license terms of this work." There's nothing on those pages describing what license the images are used under. Also, it's not required, but it would be good form for them to link to your original image, as well.--GrapedApe (talk) 22:35, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Users' failure to follow licensing restrictions is one reason I've never bothered with "free" licenses that ultimately end up restricting users severely. Some of my images and some taken by Bedford have appeared in Indiana's NR database, and while his are tagged with {{Attribution}} and mine are PD-self, the IDNR uses both of them as if they were in the public domain. Nyttend (talk) 00:31, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

Uploading pictures locally

I'm going to be traveling around central Mississippi soon, with a lot of free time on my hands, so I'll grab some much needed pictures of places on the list, and perhaps write an article or three. I've made myself familiar with how to add pics to the articles and tables, and the correct formatting, but is there a way to upload my pictures locally, like somewhere on the project...or am I stuck with using WPCommons? I would rather avoid contributing there if possible. Ditch 15:11, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

You can definitely upload photos to the English language Wikipedia - just hit "upload" under "toolbox" in the left hand column. Please make sure you put enough information in the description to identify the photos as NRHP sites.
I'm interested in why you don't want to upload to Commons, but I'll guess a) it's more complicated than uploading here. - It really shouldn't be if you are using the upload wizard commons:commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:UploadWizard. I'd say try Commons and ask for help here if you run into problems. b) there can be some pretty strict admins, or some pretty bizarre behavior over there at times. I think that the same can happen here, it just sometimes takes a longer time to happen, but admins in either place are generally acting in good faith, and there is usually something behind deletions. I'll suggest avoiding photos of public art and, again, asking for help here. We've seen most of the stuff that can seem inexplicable to newbies and can probably explain it better in our context.
General advice - only upload your own photos, unless you are absolutely sure that the others are not copyrighted. Make sure your photos are freely licensed, e.g. CC-BY-SA or PD-CC0, and that is clearly stated when you upload. Make sure at Commons that the photos are marked with something related to NRHP and have a category - if only [[Category:National Register of Historic Places in XX County, Mississippi]]
Good luck. Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:09, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Hi Ditch, great! Please do take several pics for each place, including one or more closeups of interesting details, which add a lot to our coverage of NRHP places. :) I think you are "stuck" with using Commons, because that works to provide pics for the English language wikipedia and other wikipedias such as the German one, which also provide extensive coverage of U.S. NRHP places. You technically could upload the pics to the english wikipedia, but they would just get automatically transfered to Commons later. I've seen others in past years being negative about Commons in the past and not wanting their Wikipedia pics transfered there, but their wishes have been over-ruled. I don't get why some dislike Commons so much, but I think it is not worth fighting and you'll be happier in the long run if you upload your own to Commons directly.
Great timing about taking some pics. There is an upcoming September-long Wikipedia Loves Monuments campaign, during which, hopefully, there will be easier uploading of NRHP pics, if it is run like last year. From about this date in August 2012 through September 30, 2012, the NRHP county-list articles had an easy-to-use upload button for each NRHP item. (Hey, shouldn't we put that into place now?) --doncram 16:19, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
The special NRHP upload wizard is still active and that's probably the easiest one to use. If you know the reference number, the image will automatically categorized. If you upload an image of a NRHP listing we still need a photo of, it will show up at Wikipedia:WikiProject National Register of Historic Places/Unused images.
I'm (of course) in favor of enabling the upload link again. Maybe make it cleaner so we don't have to go through the same discussion again? Multichill (talk) 16:36, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the tips all. Went out to watch Despicable Me 2, so just now checking back. I've uploaded at Commons before (I'm familiar enough with how the licensing work to know that I'll only be uploading my own pics...beyond that it just gets too complicated for my taste). I don't really have a problem, per se, with Commons...in that I've never personally had a bad experience there. It's just that, in the past, I've looked at certain projects and administrative boards over there with the idea that I could maybe help out, since I travel a lot for work, and have the opportunity to take a lot of pics, and not so much time for article writing. They just go about things differently, and the enWP "culture" is more to my taste. But I'm not gonna create extra work for myself just to avoid Commons. So anyway, I'm glad to see people here are responsive. I'll give it a go this week, and will "reach out" for advice if I run into any difficulties. Thanks all! Ditch 21:58, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

Throw me a frickin bone people

Someone throw me a bone here people. The stub/start debate is strange to me. I see ALOT of stubs being re rated a a start per the standard I linked. Almost every article I looked at is a restatement of the Nom form, a link more, possibly, maybe two. THEN, we get a re rating to a start per the standard. I linked. I looked at the standard. Can ANYONE tell me, HOW, that is done? Are you telling me that I create a stub for a remote coal town, tell you the naming origin , AND BAM, I have a start. My trick knee and spider sense says OH HELL NO. BUT I am sure, someone can certainly, let me know what memo, or update I MUST have missedCoal town guy (talk) 20:22, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

I am somehow confused. Is this, for instance, a stub in your book?--Ymblanter (talk) 20:32, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
No, in fact, that is a great start, THIS was rated a start. IT IS A STUB. What do you think? I rated it a stubCoal town guy (talk) 20:50, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
AND THIS was rated a start..........Coal town guy (talk) 20:52, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
Three guesses who's doing the mis-rating. Ntsimp (talk) 22:01, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
Dudemanfellabra has been keeping track of the mis-assessed articles a few threads up; there are a lot more of them. If this keeps up we may have to take this to an alternate venue to get Doncram to stop this, since this is approaching the point of disruptive behavior (if it's not there already). TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 23:02, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
It occurs to me that this project ought to have its own (NRHP-specific) set of examples of articles in each class. This is a very large WikiProject and its articles share many of the same characteristics, so the project should be able to create much clearer guidelines than can be found in the generic criteria and examples created several years ago. A set of project-specific rating criteria should alleviate and prevent future misunderstandings. --Orlady (talk) 03:58, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Recommendations for NRHP-specific article rating scale

In follow-up to discussion above, I started trying to identify some examples that might be used to illustrate the NRHP-specific article rating scale of NRHP articles in each of the main classes. Here are a few suggestions to get discussion started:

B-class
C-class
Start class
Stub class

Reactions? --Orlady (talk) 04:35, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

I like the idea of having an NRHP-specific set of assessment criteria. Personally, I'd like to do something similar to the WikiProject U.S. Roads criteria, which gives a clear sense of what content an article at each class should have and how to improve an article from a stub to a GA/FA. I looked at the above examples and some of this project's FA/GA-class articles to figure out what a scale like that would look like for this project. While NRHP articles aren't quite as close to each other as road articles, it seems like every article should have a "History" section of some sort, and most should have a section on the listing's architecture/design. Historic districts should include key listed properties with short descriptions (how this is done can depend on the district), and some articles also have location information or other details. Going by that, my proposal for a set of criteria would look something like:
Stub class
  • Minimal content, no structured information. Explains the nature of the property and why it is signficant, and perhaps a bit of its history and design, but little more (and often less).
Start class
  • At least one important aspect of the topic covered in some detail, ideally in a structured section. (In practice, this will usually be its history, though it could be architecture or key buildings depending on the article). Could be missing a key section, but nonetheless provides the reader with a decent amount of information.
C class
  • All major aspects of the topic (history, design, key buildings or location where relevant) are covered in some detail. The sections on each aspect may be incomplete, and there may be issues with sourcing or prose quality.
B class
  • All major aspects of the topic are covered in a good amount of detail, with no major ommissions in coverage, even if the article is not complete. No major issues with prose or references, and the article could be improved to GA-quality without too much additional work. Meets the six B-class criteria.
GA/FA class
  • These can only be reached through the nomination process, but we should have a description for GA at least in case the project ever gets involved with GA reviews. Good articles should be refined versions of B-class articles, with no clear omissions or excesses in coverage and no issues with prose quality or sourcing. I'll let someone who's actually written one come up with a description for featured articles.
I left out A-class since there are no A-class NRHP articles right now. This is obviously just a sketch of the criteria and it's very open to suggestions and improvements, but hopefully we can make this into a full version, with the help of the above examples. USRD has done a really good job of eliminating stubs and promoting articles to GA-class and above, and I feel like their well-defined assessment criteria have helped a good deal in that. Hopefully a similar set of criteria would help this project improve its stubs, or at the least settle the debate over what's a start-class article. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 05:47, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
Support. Pretty much clear cut to me, now others will chime in. In my very limited FL experience, as far as a Featured or GA content article, it takes work and yes, agreement by parties of all experience levels. It is nice to see clear cut criteria, like this. This would also be helpful in other wiki areas, IMO, of courseCoal town guy (talk) 12:08, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
Looks very good to me, at least after a quick read-through. It might be a good idea to include an example of a C-class article on an HD; for all the other classes, Orlady's come up with good examples of both HDs and individual properties. Ammodramus (talk) 14:39, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
I added Delavan Terrace Historic District as a C-class historic district. --Orlady (talk) 17:06, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
Support It's a good idea! Einbierbitte (talk) 14:53, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
Another consideration re. TheCatalyst's criteria: Should we add something on sourcing? I'd be loath to give a high rating to an article that depends too heavily on a single source, e.g. the nom form. Ammodramus (talk) 14:58, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
That is a good one, but consider also, a person could cite the NRHP form, go to the state wen site or archives and cite the nom form or similiar nom form there which could be a slighly different document, and BAM you have 2 refs. Ergo, the criteria you have and the article itself etc etc, make a VERY good combo. Just found an article rated start with NO refs.....Coal town guy (talk) 15:11, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
I think the recency of the sources should be a factor in evaluation. For example, if an article describes a property as an existing building, but the only sources cited are National Register documents dating from (for example) 1982 and there is no recent photo to confirm that the building still exists, the article probably should be treated as a stub because there is no information on the building's status -- or other aspects of the topic -- during the last 31 years. On the other hand, if the article is based solely on an extensively documented nomination form that was written in January 2013 and accepted by the National Register folks in July 2013, a rating as high as C-class might be appropriate because we can be pretty confident in the quality of the sourcing, even though there's only one source. --Orlady (talk) 16:58, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
I didn't put in anything about additional sources, largely because there are a handful of GAs (Entranceway at Main Street at Roycroft Boulevard, for instance) that are almost entirely cited to the nomination form. It could be that those articles are outliers, or perhaps in need of a reassessment. I'd say that an article shouldn't be higher than C-class without citations to something other than the NRIS or the nomination form (since "suitably referenced" is a B-class criterion), and possibly limit that to start-class if the nomination form is fairly old, since that's the highest an article can be if it has a major omission. I wouldn't say that those articles have to be stubs, since one could write a decent article about a place's pre-1980 history and architecture. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 22:49, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree that an old nomination form can be an excellent source for the history of a property. It won't, however, tell us that (for example) the property is well-known in the local community but has been known by a different name for the past two decades and may even be covered in a separate Wikipedia article. Accordingly, I think we should be stingy with ratings for articles based solely on old nom forms.
That Roycroft Boulevard article is an "interesting" example. The nom form is fairly recent and the article is illustrated with very recent photos, so there's no reason for concern that the nom form is misleading. However, I don't think the article deserves its GA status. This is an entranceway to a subdivision, so I expected to find the name of the subdivision in the article's lead section, but the name is buried deep in the article (and mentioned only in passing) under "History" -- that's not "good". I can't access the nom form on this machine, but I've looked for other sources about the property. In [www.amherst.ny.us/pdf/committees/additional/historic/overview.pdf‎ this document on the town website] I learned that the Auburn Park subdivision whose entrance it marks was one of several suburban subdivisions established in Amherst, New York, shortly before 1920, when new transportation options were fostering the first wave of suburbanization in the Bufffalo area. That's some of the kind of context I would expect to find in a reasonably complete article about a subdivision entranceway. Another PDF on the town website (I've already misplaced the URL) has a photo of what looks like another entranceway to this same subdivision (at Roycroft and Kensington), hinting at more of the "rest of the story" that's not in the article. --Orlady (talk) 23:40, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
FWIW, I started a Good Article Reassessment for that Entranceway at Main Street at Roycroft Boulevard article. --Orlady (talk) 01:03, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
In that case, you might want to take a look at Entranceways at Main Street at Lamarck Drive and Smallwood Drive, which is in almost the exact same situation. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 01:40, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Another point we might address here: in this editor's opinion, nothing should be rated above stub level if (throwing out a number) more than 1/3 of the article text consists of quoted material, attributed or unattributed. This applies to both free-use and copyright-restricted source material. Ammodramus (talk) 15:32, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
This editor's opinion is that most of the quoted material I've seen in NRHP articles should be expunged from the article, which would leave no question that the articles are stubs. Quotations are OK if they are opinions, such as "the most exquisite example of Brutalist architecture in Mudville", and are attributed to an authority. However, far too many NRHP articles have been constructed from quotations of factual statements more like "The three-story building is faced with red brick." Those kinds of quotations have no place in the encyclopedia. --Orlady (talk) 16:58, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
Question, regarding architecture, some of the NRHP places I have taken pictures of have a descriptor that recites its architecture, style etc etc, I could in some instances tell you who worked there, how many tons of material they processed, and the actual names of the people who ran the facility, BUT, I know squat about the decor. Would it be too much to ask that we also actually LINK architecture styles to a related wiki article IF there is one out there??? Neo Classical Revival with a lemon twist and half caf decaf, aint me, sorryCoal town guy (talk) 17:05, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
IMO, the concern should be whether the article contains the salient information that a reader would reasonably want to find in an article about the topic. If the property is a Rosenwald school or a historic district consisting of the workingman's tenements built around a 19th-century factory, there's not much reason to expect a lavish description of the architectural styling (although occasionally there might be something interesting to say about architecture), but a reader might reasonably seek a thorough discussion of the social-historical context of the property. On the other hand, if the property is a mansion designed by a noted architect, its architectural styling should be a major focus of the article. --Orlady (talk) 17:19, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Support TheCatalyst31's outlines above, along with basically everything else in this section. We could make a new version of the quality table at WP:NRHPA like we've done for the importance table, complete with the guidelines outlined by TheCatalyst and the examples provided by Orlady. Maybe we should also start a campaign to (re-)assess all the already created articles under these guidelines once they're confirmed and schedule a periodic audit to make sure new/trouble editors aren't mis-rating articles. This, along with the NRIS-only categorization above would allow for IMO a very good representation of the quality of articles created by this project.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 21:10, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Good idea, but I'm strongly opposed to the details of the lowest assessments here. A stub is "an article containing only one or a few sentences of text" that doesn't give an encyclopedic view of the subject. Such an assessment will mean that articles such as Riverside Drive Historic District and Downtown Greensburg Historic District (Greensburg, Kentucky) may just barely squeak by as start, while Joel Chandler Harris House and Jacob Light House may be counted as stubs. Nyttend (talk) 03:52, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
I feel like all of those would still be assessed as start-class. They all describe some aspect of the listing in at least a full paragraph's worth of detail, and they certainly have more than "minimal information content". They don't have any structured sections, but I didn't intend that to be a hard criterion for start-class. I can probably remove the "and perhaps a bit of its history and design" part from the stub description if you want, since that was a last-minute addition anyway, isn't really necessary, and could be misconstrued. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 05:11, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
I also think all four of those examples are clearly start class. Regarding TheCatalyst31's description of stub-class, I suggest revising it to acknowledge that essentially all NRHP stubs have some "history and design" information because they report the data in the NRIS database. I suggest the following rewording: "Minimal content. In addition to presenting the data found in the NRIS database, may briefly explain the nature of the property and why it is significant, and perhaps a bit of other information, but little more (and often less)." --Orlady (talk) 15:51, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Good criteria, only one suggestion, IF the article in question is a restatement of the data in the NRIS, AND its pretty much what a local person would know, yes, and my great grandfather Joe built it, THEN, it could be a Stub??Coal town guy (talk) 15:59, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
If everything in the article is findable in NRIS, it's definitely a stub. --Orlady (talk) 16:04, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Support, with Orlady's examples, and with TheCatalyst31's descriptions with Orlady's amended defintion of a stub. However, I'll offer one small amendment to Orlady's phrasing of the last: removal of "the" from the phrase "In addition to presenting the data found in the NRIS database". The presence of the article suggests that a stub must present all of the NRIS data on a property, whereas an editor might reasonably decide that some of the data should be omitted.
With regard to Nyttend's concern about the criteria for the lower assessment classes, I think it's better to set the threshholds a little high than to err on the side of setting them too low. Our problems, I suspect, will come chiefly from editors trying to inflate the ratings of their own articles; and we can expect to see some serious Wikilawyering as such editors try to interpret our criteria in their favor. Accordingly, we need to write them in a way that leaves as little room as possible for that sort of thing. The opposite problem-- an article that deserves a better rating than the criteria seem to allow-- is something that can be fixed by consensus on a case-by-case basis. Ammodramus (talk) 19:34, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Observation and Thanks. I must say that I am grateful for the clarity provided. Above all my concerns of article rating inflation have been covered. It was fast approaching the point where it appeared that an article with 4 or more refs MUST be worthy of praise and accolades replete with huzzahs and handsprings as my personal band played while of course the internet populous stared in naked awe of the typed word.........Coal town guy (talk) 20:42, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

As it seems this is almost universally supported, would anyone oppose me copying these suggestions over to the quality assessment table at WP:NRHPA? I'll wait a few days for people to see this comment, but if no one objects, I'll go ahead and do that. After it is copied, we should start a (re-)assessment drive to update the ratings to these new standards. I'll be more than happy to help in that.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 05:00, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

Go forth and conquerCoal town guy (talk) 12:45, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
I think I object, and speak for others who haven't spoken, too. Like Nyttend, I agree that having more specific guidance is a good idea, but I object to details. About stub level, the proposal seems to define "stub" to be something higher than a minimal article, i.e. that it "Explains the nature of the property and why it is signficant, and perhaps a bit of its history and design, but little more (and often less)." Any article is a stub, whether it explains the significance. Strictly applied, this would exclude many pretty good articles by Pubdog and others, that happen to focus on physical descriptions (nom doc section 7 info) and many pretty good articles by others that happen to focus on "significance" boilerplate (from nom doc section 8). This suggests that those pretty good articles, and lesser articles, would be "sub-stubs". Stub has to be defined clearly as the base level, of being an article and even having pretty serious faults as described in the general Wikipedia Version 1.0 guidelines. About start level, that is also set too high. I think it sets up kneejerk ratings that an article without sections must be a stub. I don't think it serves us to define NRHP ratings higher than STATE wikiproject ratings. The NRHP-specific guidelines should focus on NRHP-specific sources and examples, but not define levels differently.
Also for many of our subjects, the ideal encyclopedic length is in fact pretty short. A multiple-section article on some dumb Queen Anne style house in a remote rural area is not warranted, is not encyclopedic. We need a C-rating definition that allows for terminal, finished, short articles, indicated as completed-well-enough by our NRHP wikiproject consensus.
I get that the self-selected persons commenting here may want to "get tough on crime" and "set a high standard", hoping to elicit great work, but I think that does not actually serve the general improvement goals of the wikiproject well. We need to make useful distinctions, instead. There has been much hoopla about "sub-stubs" and about "bad stubs" vs. "good stubs", and the rating system should provide a distinction done in a useful way. Useful in encouraging good work and improvements, giving incentive and recognition. And useful for persons studying, with data, whether pretty good stubs generate more following-on edits than bad stubs than redlinks. With the current proposal, there is no useful difference made among the lower levels. --doncram 16:44, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Regarding your concern about including the words "the nature of the property and why it is significant" in the stub description, this has something to with why I suggest adding the word "may", so it reads "may briefly explain the nature of the property and why it is significant". It seems to me that the main features of a stub are that it is short and has minimal content. It would misleading to suggest that every stub contains information on "the nature of the property and why it is significant", but I think it is useful to point out that a minimal description of these topics (e.g., "the oldest surviving Carpenter Gothic church building in Mudville") is not sufficient by itself to make an article into a start-class article.
Your suggestion that the other people who have commented here were "self-selected", whereas you are commenting on behalf of others unnamed, is interesting. (I was not previously aware that there was a selection process for determining who is entitled to comment on this talk page.) If you are commenting on behalf of other people who share your opinion, it would be a good idea to ask them to add their voices here. We can't tell who else you are speaking for -- those other users need to speak for themselves. --Orlady (talk) 18:12, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
@Doncram: I don't see how the stub standard excludes those articles. The "and often less" bit is specifically there to cover articles that don't explain why the property is significant, and describing a property in some detail is generally a sufficient explanation of its significance. A description of the property is an important component of a finished article, so if it's detailed enough the article could still qualify for start-class; same for articles that draw from the significance section, which typically describes the property's history or architectural significance anyway. I don't see anyone proposing anything about sub-stubs, so I don't know what that's about. An article that's only a paragraph long or only has a little detail detail can still be a stub even though it's clearly better than a two-line article that's only sourced to the NRIS. (And I'll point out that Pubdog self-assesses most of his/her new articles as stubs, and I'm probably one of the "others", so that's not the best example.) As for sections, I addressed that in my previous comment; I'd like to leave that in there as a suggestion, since structured information is an important part of higher-level articles.
Also, I'm rather annoyed by your comment about "dumb" houses in rural areas. First of all, it's insulting to the people who take the time to write detailed and educational articles about these places, and second of all, it's insulting to the local preservationists who researched the property and wrote up the nomination form so they could preserve their local history through the NRHP. This is especially true for rural areas, where a house you consider dumb might be the most historic building in a 20-mile radius. TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 23:08, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Go for it. Dudemanfellabra, I'm very much in favor of your undertaking this course of action.
WRT Doncram's dumb-Queen-Anne-house comment: My personal, highly qualitative and highly unenforceable criterion for a minimal WP article is something like, "It should convey the impression that the creator was interested in the subject, and wanted to share that interest with the reader." If you're not interested in the Smith-Jones House in Damp Hollow, North Carolina, then don't write an article about it. Articles should be written by people who care about the subjects—not by people who just want to turn red links blue, or who want to pump their articles-created number so that they can brag about it on their talk pages, or who want to turn counties red on the Dude's progress maps. Stubs, even good stubs, don't provide much service to our readers; it's far better to write a few good articles on subjects that we find genuinely interesting, and that we want to research in detail. Ammodramus (talk) 22:54, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
I BITTERLY RESENT the implication that a rural area may or may not be significant or of notice because of course EVERYONE KNOWS its not really important. Bottom line is, we call volunteer and we all edit, NOW, I need to step away cause its pissy little remarks like this that really make it crystal clear what is thought of MY CULTURE that I have seen removed by folks who KNOW. I for one, will treat it as significant. How ironic that the person who complains of incivility, makes such a statementCoal town guy (talk) 23:44, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I've just copied over these guidelines and merged them with the general guidelines found in {{Grading scheme}}. They can be found at Wikipedia:WikiProject National Register of Historic Places/Assessment#Quality scale. Now how about we start a drive to re-assess all existing articles by these standards?--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 04:51, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

I will VOLUNTEER for West Virginia and all of its remote places. When would the effort start?Coal town guy (talk) 11:43, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

demolished and delisted

I noticed Roscoe Community Hall was delisted this past week. I updated National Register of Historic Places listings in Edmunds County, South Dakota, but I'm not sure if the layout is correct. Can someone tweak the background color or formatting if necessary? Thanks. 204.111.20.10 (talk) 04:34, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Done. Choess (talk) 12:01, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. 204.111.20.10 (talk) 03:53, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Trip abroad?

Hi NRHP people, as you probably know we're getting ready for Wiki Loves Monuments 2013. A lot of lists of monuments are being created/converted/expanded here at the English Wikipedia. You guys have a lot of experience in working with these kind of lists. Would some people willing to help out a bit with other countries? It would be things like adding proper introductions/links/photos/links to Commons/categories. See for example Pakistan. Multichill (talk) 19:57, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I answered on-list. A list of the countries to be helped and an example for each country would be helpful.--Ymblanter (talk) 20:17, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
I've been working on making the Canada lists more usable (compare New Brunswick, not done, with Nova Scotia, done for this pass). Could use help. Magic♪piano 16:02, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
If you provide more details, I might be able to help.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:23, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

WLM-US 2013

It's time to get ourselves ready for WLM-US 2013. My list of important things to do is:

  • take lots of photos
  • have fun
  • help newbies
  • don't bite any newbies
  • don't interfere with folks here who don't want to participate

Beyond those general observations, I have to say that I'm not coordinating anything this year and have no official say in anything (yeah!). But there are some specific tasks that I think we'll be called on to do. These included

  • Folks who want to help guide the WLM-US project should sign up at Commons:Wiki Loves Monuments 2013 in the United States
  • We'll need to add lots of photos to our lists, a job User:Thundersnow did heroically last year. "Heroically" means probably a couple of hours every day. The point of having us do it rather than the newbie uploaders is to make sure that the list don't get mangled. Should we perhaps encourage some uploaders to do it themselves this year? The key task is to go to Wikipedia:WikiProject National Register of Historic Places/Unused images where new images for unillustrate sites will be dropped everyday and then "empty the page out" by putting the images in the right list and articles. I view this as a WP:NRHP task rather than a WLM task
  • I don't know any details, but I'm sure the organizers will need help in reviewing the photos as they come in, to determine which will be sent to the official jury.
  • If you remember last year we had a special uploading system that included "Placeholder images" in the tables. Click the upload button and you got sent to a special streamlinedCommons upload form with some info preloaded. Rather than have a controversial placeholder this year, I've suggested a simple text link in the tables such as (upload photo) or (add photo). I think everybody can agree to this, rather than have another mud throwing contest like last year (why didn't we think of a text link last year?). I've asked Multichill to see if he can implement the proper row header for a day or two so we can all see it.
  • The "special contests" we had 2 years ago were mentioned above. I see no reason why we can't do those as part of WP:NRHP, just leaving anything related to "best photo" to WLM-US. As long as everybody agrees that these are just for fun (and nobody argues over Google's map measurements) I might even organize a couple of these myself.

I hope everybody participates and enjoys.

Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:43, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

How would the "(upload photo)" work? Your link seems not to go where intended. I appreciate your trying to prevent unpleasantness, and I would hope to use what whatever this alternate system is, that you suggest. Could we please try it now, put it in place now? Note, last year variants of the final system were put in place in early August, if i recall correctly, and especially if this is less prominent, do let's just begin using it. Or, please do explain further. Thanks again for your work last year! --doncram 13:42, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
P.S. Commons:Wiki Loves Monuments 2013 in the United States could use some help from experienced Wikipedia NRHPers. I wish that it would better direct potential photographers. I just edited a bit there and posted at its Talk page, but can't give much time there. --doncram 15:27, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

ways forward

Please don't cut this comment up by inserted rejoinders.

Probably it is not in my personal interest to say anything, but here goes: I experienced this indictment of me and this indictment by another editor to be pretty hurtful, and pretty immature, and pretty short-sighted. I wish that some others would show some real leadership here. Maybe not by immediate rejoinders, but somehow. I think most could agree there's a horrible state of affairs in this WikiProject, which has been thoroughly trashed by outsiders and by insiders.

If this was a real corporation, there would be a timeout, and an offsite retreat would be held. If I could do that now, I would set up a retreat in San Francisco at the Wikipedia headquarters, have the stayovers funded and get travel subsidies and have food and drink and plans for going out for beer after sessions. And for program I would arrange for:

  • a bunch of trust exercises, you know like when the Outward Bound kids or corporate officers do that falling backward into others' hands thing.
  • a bunch of hearing exercises, like having parties associated with one view write out what they hear the opposite view saying. There's a lot of not hearing going on, and a lot of completely misrepresenting / misunderstanding what others have said. There are strong commitments not to hear, not to ever hear, what another person has to say. There are a priori judgments, often consistent with an entire insane worldview, that no matter what another person has to say, that what they will say or do will be evil through and through. (I confess I pretty much look like I have one of those blind spots, though it is quite well-earned if I do say so: the person involved seems bent on seeming to prove it true again and again and again. But I am not the only one.)
  • celebration of geeky NRHP stuff. This group has a core of members, and newly arriving members all the time, who are pretty simply interested in nice historic sites and photos and writing about them, in a benign geeky way. Poster sessions at conferences celebrate that. Slide shows, like Smallbones' tribute of retired-doctor-photo-guy. Have some bigwigs say what a nice job you are all doing. One percent of wikipedia is important, and it is really pretty good stuff, all benign, in a pretty awful world. What you do makes a difference in the world, gives some hope and cultivates preservation and cheers up lonely scattered history-appreciating people out there.
  • some boundary management / membership discussion. This group has been whipsawed time and again by persons pretty clearly fascinated with causing contention, or practicing at bullying, having lesser/little real interest in NRHPs. We are not good at, we don't know how to manage our borders here. (Not just a wp:NRHP problem, applies elsewhere too. Wikipedia does not facilitate peer ratings of like / dislike that add up any good way, like ratings of Amazon sellers do.) Maybe there are ways to raise the hurdle a little bit against damaging comments/edits/editor participation, and to lower the hurdle for better stuff. Having the retreat offsite might serve partway for that, i.e. raise some costs to them more than to others, perhaps enough so that even if they could come they wouldn't choose to. One potential cost for them is that they would worry about getting punched in the face if they showed up, like could happen in a real corporation. Boundary management discussion requires some professional facilitation probably, which maybe the Foundation could help with.
  • get some new blood. However, potential new members are horrified by what they see here, or by their experiences. I feel conflicted, myself, about being nice to new persons, because I could be encouraging them to get exposed and then crushed. But new blood is good too, for diversity, for change of pace, and so on. The grownups ruin everything here though.
  • address how we can deal with bullying/battleground behavior. Can there be any ways to respond quickly, generally to bad behavior when it emerges. Silence is the norm, understandably but tragically, and it gets left to outside processes if/when the bullies themselves, or a victim, opens the processes. This is simplistic, but the bullies thrive on contention and enjoy engaging in ANI and arbitration. Relatively few non-bullies like those scenes at all, and came here to write about historic sites anyhow, and can't be expected to play there. We don't have good mechanisms to deal with bullying. I happen to think this is huge problem for Wikipedia, not just wp:NRHP.
  • get some data. Ammodramus a couple times cites his study of 55 articles created in 2011 (I disagree with assertion that it was random, and with all of his takeaways, I think, but at least it is a call to look at something. Invite Ammodramus to present his study and discuss it, or set a team to really do that study better, with that very sample. Nyttend also has made some assertion of study, also about theory that short articles never get improved, with some important qualification that was not spelled out. My personal experience (by my own doings of improvements, by my seeings of many others' improvements, including by my notifications coming in every day, run the other way. But, we're on the verge of WLM 2013, where a whole ton of data could possibly be collected that could actually be used to test some hypotheses, statistically.
    • Briefly 1: If the NRHPPROGRESS data were updated on 8/31, on 9/30, and on 10/31, one could run logistic regression or similar tests using >3,000 county-city data points, explaining where photos were added. Explanatory variables: existing level of photo coverage in the county, existing level of "bad stubs", "good stubs", "higher" quality articles, and control variables of population density, other. With that much data, I expect there would be useful results. My pet theory would be that "any stub" -> more photos added, that "good stub" -> even more photos added, and that "good stub" -> better quality of photos added (on simple belief that having the info available to smartphone-holding photographers leads them to have more interest in taking pics, in uploading, and in catching the important/relevant aspects of a site). Others can hope to find data tending to prove the opposite, serving their pet beliefs.
    • Briefly 2: Likewise test article writing improvements, looking at presence of photos or not and looking at prior quality. I tend to expect that bad stub enhances good stub likelihood, that good stub enhances better likelihood; some others clearly disagree.
    • Briefly 3: About photo quality, would require some photo quality rating, which could be applied to a limited, truly random sample. Does some info / better info available in an article, or linked, enhance quality of photos taken?
    • Briefly 4: About photos of demolished sites, test whether having a photo-of-not-the-historic-building in the list-article, and in the article of infobox, vs. having a blank, works better to attract new photos of archival pics that are what are really wanted. This would be enhanced if a sample of demolished sites where current photos are available were identified before WLM, and if their articles and the list-articles were adjusted according to a random sampling plan. Too complicated for this group, of course.
    • There could be other good data exercises. The point would be to collect data that bears on questions of real interest. A pretty important issue is the distinction between "bad stubs" vs. "pretty good stubs"; if it is politically held that no one can use the rating system to make that distinction in any useful way, then it becomes impossible to test the effects involving them.
  • "Round up the usual suspects." Pick one editor, blame him for everything wrong, run some legalistic process to remove him from the project. Suggest all sorts of wild charges--racism, sexism, plagiarism, copyvio, badwriting, sockpuppeting, having friends, not having friends, anything which might stick, again and again and again. Find fault no matter how he responds, even if the response is merely to point out, correctly, that you are badgering him, or that you have a simple key fact wrong. Make conflicting charges (I hate him because of X; me too, I hate him because of not X). Although many of you personally might not agree with any one of the litany of charges, and in fact you privately observe that some/many of the charges which you can evaluate are truly invalid (but god forbid you should say so), state publicly that you observe this one editor seems to be at the center of a lot of controversy, so must be trying to create it, and anyhow deserves to be shot.
  • Find any way to comment on others' behavior; what about an RFC/U on an editor who is calling for contention, for a big showdown, and using vile language and personal attacks. Ask them to reconsider or apologize, ever? Oh no....

Those are just a few thoughts. Ideas are cheap; leadership is not. I personally think i have done a lot, to try to make this a good place, and think it is a bum rap that many others blame me (for being the center of a lot of shit going on). I personally don't blame other NRHPers much for not going to the ANIs and the arbitrations where a lot of muck is thrown, or for failing to do very well in those unfriendly venues. But I am personally disappointed in many of you for letting this place be trashed, here. It is not simple to clean up a bad situation, but I wish you would try. (Some are trying, defusing some things with a joke, with a call for enjoying ourselves, pointing out that flipping digits are not to be allowed, which I do appreciate.) Do you have any way forward? (Again, please don't cut this up, which I repeat because i pretty much do distrust you all, as a group, at this point.) --doncram 21:05, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

Frankly, I think a sincere apology from you would be a good start. You'd get less hostility if you'd actually conform to consensus. But enough about you. I'm here for the geeky NRHP stuff; I like to add photos to the lists, but I'm also interested in helping hash out standards for the project. I like the data ideas; if there really is a statistically significant amount of stuff happening, someone really ought to collect and analyze that data. We could get answers to a number of important questions. So thanks for that. Ntsimp (talk) 22:18, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
I like some of your ideas on statistics, including the one that's been rolling around in my head about tagging images. It's obvious when there is no image, but a substandard image is harder to find. It would be nice if we could tag images some that we could: get a modern picture (if it could exist) when we only have historic phots; get a better angle/lighting/distance from subject/resolution/framing etc; picture of the site instead of a sign; picture of the site instead of an empty lot/field. Also, I am a fan of statistics, because this is one of the few projects (things like WP:Elements are similar) where we have a pretty well defined scope and set of articles when it comes to the sites themselves (barring things like companies, architects, and the like). It means that tracking progress actually makes sense, and it provides participants a sense that they are accomplishing something, and not simply throwing rocks in a bottomless pit. Also, it would be a nice present if we could run those statistics on 8/31; I await the day when the drama cools and the update script can be brought back. Chris857 (talk) 23:46, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
I'd also think running the bot sometime Thurs, Aug 29 - Sat, Aug 31 would be a great idea, if only that we'd have a baseline before WLM started. I hadn't realized that it had been turned off only that it had been a long time between runs. If I understand the above, Doncram was figiting with the bot and somebody got pissed off? If so, I'll just say DC, please play with your own toys and don't break other folks' toys. I'll also say that I don't always understand what DC does to piss people off, but that's likely because I just ignore things that don't make sense to me - let other people worry about them, I'd just like to take some photos and contribute to some of the writing. I think most people here are more or less like that, if badgering starts they just ignore it. Let's make that a positive thing rather than calling it a negative. If DC can find things to do around here on his own or with willing partners, please let him do it in peace and contribute in his own way. Let's let any bullies know that picking on DC is not a sport we enjoy watching. On the other hand, if DC can't find something to do around here on his own or with willing partners that doesn't bother other people, I think we can safely say to him that his participation in the project is not helping anybody, him, me or the project. I'd like to take up the challenge posed by DC "to show some leadership", but this is just the type of leadership shown by a kindergarten teacher" "Kids - play nice!" Well, you got to start somewhere. Smallbones(smalltalk) 00:23, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
  • how about this - everyone stop writing long diatribes about other people or about how they feel they are being portrayed. Stop worrying so much about other people not contributing the way you would. Let the quality of your work stand on its own. dm (talk) 07:39, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

National Register of Historic Places listings in Bennett County, South Dakota

Bennett County, SD, got its first listing in July, and I wanted to let everyone know, since it required updating a number of things that assumed it had none. If anyone notices any places I missed, tell me or fix it? As an aside, is there any systematic way for images like File:NRHP South Dakota Map.svg to be updated? Chris857 (talk) 17:43, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Barring any unforseen issues, I will update the SD NRHP map tomorrow. 25or6to4 (talk) 19:34, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
On a similar note, Clinton County, Missouri, got its first listing in early August. That one was easier to update since Clinton County already had a section in National Register of Historic Places listings in Missouri to which National Register of Historic Places listings in Clinton County, Missouri redirected, but again, if I missed anything please tell me or fix it. @25or6to4, is there any chance you could update File:NRHP Missouri Map.svg too? TheCatalyst31 ReactionCreation 21:51, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
I have started directing the county pages to their specific lists that are seperate for MO, that is. I did not change those that will direct to the main page as they have a smaller number of sites.Coal town guy (talk) 11:47, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
Well that went well... After kicking out some glitches, I have finally updated those two states at their respective links. I have also switched up the color scheme a bit. Let me know if this works or needs changing. Will be starting on the rest of the states soon. 25or6to4 (talk) 23:23, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

Help uploading pictures taken by my spouse

I am sure there is a specific board for asking this question, but since I am concentrating on redlinks of NRHP listing in the area I am currently visiting- and since you guys and gals were very helpful with my recent question- I hope someone here can point me in the right direction:

The cruxt of the problem is that both my wife and I have been taking pictures of NRHPs in this area, with the specific purpose of adding them to needed articles. I've done some article creation so far (I know it's not perfect, but better than nothing), and am now to the point where I want to upload some pics to Common and add them to the articles. The thing is, my wife is not interested at all in having a Wikipedia account. But she has taken some great pictures, and is happy to donate them freely, with no restrictions, to use on the project. She would just rather that I do the uploading and inserting. So, I know the easiest way would be for her to create an account and do it from there...but I don't want to use her account to upload for her (I feel like that would be breaking some sort of rule, which is ironically part of the reason my wife doesn't want to actively participate, i.e. too many rules). So, how should I go about this? She normally hosts her pics on Flickr. What should she change the license to, and then, how should I go about uploading the pics on her behalf? Many thanks! Ditch 22:02, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

PS- I am familiar with how to upload pics I have taken as my "own work", so I don't need a "beginner's explanation", I'm just not so familiar with the correct way to upload someone else's pics. Ditch 22:08, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
WP:FLICKR outlines the acceptable licenses your wife could release her Flickr photos under and allow you to upload them. It even gives you a link to do so.--Dudemanfellabra (talk) 22:13, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick response! So, as long as she marks them as public domain w/no restriction, myself, or anyone (which is fine) could save to a file, and upload with no problems? Ditch 22:20, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Actually, there's even a great tool for copying them from Flickr to Commons. You use your own Commons account, but she still gets credit. Public domain is okay, or some free license like CC-BY or CC-BY-SA (as long as commercial use and derivative works are allowed). Ntsimp (talk) 22:24, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, if she marks them as any of the acceptable licenses, including Public Domain or one of the acceptable CC licenses, then anyone can upload them. The tool noted above is great. (It gets infinitely more complicated if she wants to leave them copyrighted on flickr but differently licensed at Commons, but it is a possibility.) --GrapedApe (talk) 23:20, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Ditch, there might be another (simpler) way. Perhaps you could have your wife sent OTRS an email saying "I have taken pictures that my husband, User:Ditch Fisher, wishes to upload with free licenses or with public-domain releases. I hereby grant him permission to upload any of my images that he wishes, under whatever licenses/releases he wishes to use." I'd leave a note at the OTRS noticeboard to make sure that this is acceptable, but I doubt you'd have any problems — what I'm suggesting should be unambiguous. Also, to me it doesn't seem different from a corporation giving one of its officials the right to make decisions about company-owned works; we don't object if a licensing official grants OTRS permission to use an image owned by his company. Nyttend (talk) 03:02, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Progress in Missouri

User:Grey Wanderer has fully illustrated National Register of Historic Places listings in Boone County, Missouri, which is the first county with over 5 sites to be fully-illustrated in MO. Congrats! and hoping for many more. Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:01, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Its an excellent accomplishment. NRHP Wyoming County WV was fully illustrated in Nov of 2012. Feels good certainlyCoal town guy (talk) 16:20, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Add on barnstars to WLM - US

I brought up earlier that I hoped that we would run an add-on contest to the Wiki Loves Monuments contest. I used our 2011 contest as a starting point for a 2013 contest. I sponsored nine challenges which is found at Wikipedia:WikiProject National Register of Historic Places/Fall 2013 Wiki Loves Monuments Photo Contest. I offered a barnstar for each challenge and some additional honorable mention barnstars for some difficult challenges. I encourage more challenges! Royalbroil 03:32, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

This looks like a very good idea, I've copyedited a bit (will talk to Royalbroil about some proposed changes), and added a "scavenger hunt" challenge. Niagara added a "railroad" challenge. I think it's almost set to go. Everybody's participation is invited, either as a challenger or as a photographer (or both). Smallbones(smalltalk) 22:50, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
I've changed the name of the page to Wikipedia:WikiProject National Register of Historic Places/NRHP Fall 2013 Photo Contest Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:06, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Nice job, Smallbones. I took on the sponsorship of most of the challenges from last year just to get the ball rolling. Since that is a lot of challenges, I would appreciate if members of this WikiProject would take over the sponsorship for a bunch of the challenges so I don't get overwhelmed at the end of the contest. I won't have a preference on which of the 10 challenges, so you could take over sponsorship on ANY of the challenges. Royalbroil 12:48, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

Finding missing entries

National Register of Historic Places listings in Franklin County, Kentucky had a single line with no upload link, and viewing the source showed me that there was a single line with the old hardcoded table; I've since fixed it. Is there any way (other than manually viewing everything) to check for pages that still have the hardcoded table? My first thought is a bot that would check as follows:

  • Page name begins with "National Register of Historic Places listings in"
  • Finds the |pos= number for the last (i.e. farthest down in each section) transclusion of {{NRHP row}}
  • Counts how many transclusions of {{NRHP row}} there are in each section
  • Logs the page whenever the number of transclusions in a section is not equal to the number of {{NRHP row}}
  • Logs the page whenever the code {{NRHP color}}, {{HD color}}, etc. appears in a section below the last transclusion of {{NRHP row}}

Without the last item, we'd miss any lists in which there's an old-style table entry below the last of the NRHP rows. Nyttend (talk) 21:09, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

It's kind of parallel to this, but articles like List of bridges on the National Register of Historic Places in Michigan use a hardcoded table; is this something that we would want to convert to the templates? Chris857 (talk) 23:42, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't think that's as necessary. A big reason for having the comprehensive lists (e.g. lists by county) on tables is to simplify things for Wiki Loves Monuments and other automation-related issues, since it's important for them to be mineable for mass data and potentially capable of Semantic Web markup. With topical lists, such as the Michigan bridges or List of archaeological sites on the National Register of Historic Places in Indiana, it's less important because they're not our primary lists. Hardcoded tables permit more flexibility, and that's quite important for topical lists: they often need to include things that aren't in {{NRHP row}} or {{NRHP header}} (for example, the "Type" column for the Michigan bridges), while the Indiana archaeological sites are an example of a list that doesn't include the listing date column. Nyttend (talk) 01:48, 3 September 2013 (UTC)