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description Wiki project , free source collection
Registration optional
owner Wikimedia Foundation
Originator individual registered and non-registered authors
Published November 24, 2003

Wikisource [ ˌvɪkiˈsɔːɹs ] (from Hawaiian wiki 'quick' and English source 'source') is a free online project for the collection and edition of texts that are either free of copyright ( public domain ) or are under a free license . Like its sister project Wikipedia , Wikisource is operated by the Wikimedia Foundation and uses MediaWiki as its software .


The project started on November 24, 2003 under the temporary internet address "", and later it got its own domain name . The project name was initially "Project Sourceberg". This name was chosen based on the English word for iceberg. After a vote, the name was changed to "Wikisource" on December 6, 2003.

The project was multilingual at the beginning, but there have already been outsourcing into individual language versions. The first was the Hebrew version, dated August 2004, as the Hebrew script is written and read from right to left. In December of the same year there was a vote on the possibility of further language outsourcing, but a second vote was only positive in August 2005. Immediately there were 14 new language versions and a few more soon afterwards. Since the end of 2006 the Wikimedia Foundation has become stricter with regard to setting up new language versions in individual projects.

Similar to Wikipedia, the individual language Wikisource projects are managed separately on the content level. This can be seen in different standards with regard to the selection, preparation and reproduction of the e-texts. Since its redesign in the spring of 2006, the German-speaking project branch has claimed to present e-texts in a scientifically usable way. This includes correct information on the text sources and the provision of scanned originals . In the raw texts obtained by OCR or manual typing, the project employees collectively read corrections, the scans also allow the subsequent reader an additional control. In this way, the citability of the texts should be guaranteed. Only relevant editions should be used as the basis for the text.

On November 11, 2006, the first major project of the German-language Wikisource was completed with the Zimmerische Chronik , and a little later, on December 14, 2006, the second with Martina by Hugo von Langenstein . Since then, Wikisource has created collections of texts on local history and other topics, transcriptions of poems, fairy tales, sagas, early modern pamphlets and flyers, but also of entire novels and reference works (such as the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie and Pauly-Wissowa ). Digital copies that are otherwise available on the Internet are often listed on author and topic pages.

Since August 2009 the full texts from Wikisource have been listed in the catalog of the University and City Library Cologne .


From a cross-lingual perspective, is listed by Alexa Internet in the so-called “Alexa Traffic Rank” at position 7233 (as of August 1, 2014). According to the language version, about 20% of the registered accesses were to the English, 17% to the Russian, 12% to the Arabic, 9% to the Persian, 7% to the Spanish, 6% to the French and 4% to the German, the rest was spread over the other language versions (as of August 2014).

On October 3, 2014, the German Wikisource consisted of 32,859 corrected works. There are on average a little more than 100 active users, i. that is, you have written at least one edit in the past 30 days.

See also


  • Susanne Haaf: Review of the German-speaking Wikisource . In: ride - A review journal for digital editions and resources . No. 8 . Institute for Documentology and Editing, February 1, 2018, ISSN  2363-4952 , doi : 10.18716 / ride.a.8.4 ( ).

Web links

Wikisource: Main Page  - Sources and Full Texts
Commons : Wikisource  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Integration of Wikisource in the KUG ( Memento from December 13, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) in the OpenBibBlog ( Memento from the original from February 12, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . Search  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. with preselection of Wikisource full texts. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / 2Template: Toter Link /  
  2. a b at Alexa, accessed April 14, 2013.
  3. s: Wikisource: Statistics # page statistics
  4. s: Wikisource: Statistics # User Statistics