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The current Wikisource logo
Commercial? No
Type of site Source text repository
Registration Optional
Owner Wikimedia Foundation
Created by the Wikimedia Community
The original Wikisource logo.
The original Wikisource logo.

WikisourceThe Free Library — is a Wikimedia project to build a free, wiki library of source texts, along with translations into any language and other supporting materials. It is located at

Library contents

Wikisource collects and stores in digital format previously published texts; including novels, non-fiction works, letters, speeches, constitutional and historical documents, laws and a range of other documents. All texts collected are free of copyright, either because this has expired or because the text has been released under a GNU Free Documentation License. Texts in all languages are welcome, as are translations.

Wikisource does not host " vanity press" books or documents produced by its contributors.


Wikisource had an eventful early history that included several changes of name and location (URL), and the move to language subdomains. The following sections explain these changes as well as the subsequent, more recent history of the project.


Wikisource was originally called Project Sourceberg during its planning stages (a play on words for Project Gutenberg).

The project began its activity at a mistaken location, when source texts were placed at The contributors understood "PS" to mean either "primary sources" or Project Sourceberg, and they erroneously took over the subdomain of the Pashto language's Wikipedia.

Project Sourceberg started officially when it received its own temporary URL on November 24, 2003 (; all texts and discussions were moved there from A vote on the project's name changed it to Wikisource on December 6, 2003. Despite the change in name, the project did not move to its permanent URL (at until July 23, 2004.

Within two weeks of the project's official start (at, over 1000 pages had been created, with approximately 200 of these being designated as actual articles. At the start of 2004, the site had 100 registered users. In early July, 2004 the number of articles exceeded 2400, and more than 500 users had registered.

On April 30, 2005, there were 2667 registered users (including 18 administrators) and almost 19,000 articles. The project passed its 96,000th edit that same day.

Language subdomains

A separate Hebrew version of Wikisource ( was created in August, 2004. The need for a language-specific Hebrew website derived from the difficulty of typing and editing Hebrew texts in a left-to-right environment (Hebrew is written right-to-left). In the ensuing months, contributors in other languages including German requested their own wikis, but a December vote on the creation of separate language domains was inconclusive. Finally, a second vote that ended May 12, 2005 supported the adoption of separate language subdomains at Wikisource by a large margin, allowing each language to host its texts on its own wiki.

An initial wave of 14 languages was set up by Brion Vibber on August 23, 2005. The new languages did not include English, but the code en: was temporarily set to redirect to the main website ( The wikisource community, through a mass project of manually sorting thousands of pages and categories by language, prepared for a second wave of languages, including the English version, which were created on September 11, 2005.


4 January 2004
Wikisource welcomes its 100th user.
27 November 2005
The English Wikisource passed 20,000 text-units in its third month of existence, already holding more texts than did the entire project in April (before the move to language subdomains).
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