Beginner's guide to navigation

How to find your way around the Wikisource library.

There are ೭,೩೫೫ pages in this library, which can make finding the thing you want difficult. This page provides basic information on how to get around the library.

As a reader, you can search for something specific or you can browse by author or topic. You can also open a random page or find a work by a few other methods.

Searching can be done with special pages, mostly the Special:Search page, or by an external search engine like Google. The search box available at the top right of every page uses Special:Search.

Using Special:Search, you can enter in the box the terms for which you want to search. You can also select which namespaces in which you want to search (all works in the library itself are in the "Main" namespace). To limit the search to the title, you can use "intitle:" before the search term. You will need to add this to every word you want limited to the title, otherwise it will search for them as normal.

Search term Description
Badger This will search for all works that have the word "badger" anywhere in the text.
intitle:Badger This will search for just the works that have the word "badger" in the title.
Rat intitle:Badger This will search for all works that both have the word "rat" anywhere in the text AND have the word "badger" in the title.

If you have the start of the title of the page, you can use Special:PrefixIndex instead to search for all works that begin in a certain way. This is limited by namespace but, again, all works in the library are in the "Main" namespace.

If you want to use an external search engine, remember to limit the results to Wikisource. For example, if using Google, add the text "" to your search. External search engines work differently and may display different results than using Wikisource's own search engine.

You can browse works created by a certain author or by within a subject area.

All authors on Wikisource have an "author page" in the "Author:" namespace. Author pages provide links to all works by or about that author. These will be in a list on the page. Sometimes there will be extra information about each work such as the year in which it was published. You can browse our Authors at Wikisource:Authors or Category:Authors.

You can go to an author page by entering the page name into the search box at the top right of every page. For example, the author "John Smith" will have the author page "Author:John Smith". Author pages can be found by searching; use the method described above and choose the author namespace. Authors are also linked to in header of every work by them on Wikisource; clicking on their name will take you to the author page.

Subjects can be found and browsed in two ways:

  1. Categories
  2. Portals

Subject includes medium, genre, era and any other group of works. Think of them as different rooms or sections in a physical library.

Categories are listed at the bottom of each page. These link to a category page, which will show an automatically-generated list of all of the pages on Wikisource in that subject. At the bottom of the category page will be links to other categories. This list will be in alphabetical order. For example, Category:Physics shows all the pages in the Physics category.

Portals are listed in the header of a work. These link to a portal page, which is a user-written list of all works on Wikisource on that subject. The portal may also link to other portals on similar subjects and it will be categorised like any other page. The list of works in a portal can be in whatever order the creator of the portal, or future editors, thought would be best to display those works. For example, Portal:Physics shows all the pages on the subject of Physics.

Portals have more information than categories and may be written in a more user-friendly way. Categories can be more complete than portals and are written in a standard format.

Method Main Page Link location
Categories Category:Categories Linked at bottom of page.
Portals Portal:Portals Linked in header, at the top of the page.

It is also possible to jump to a random item by using the special page Special:Random. This will link to any page on Wikisource, not just works in the library. Special:Randomrootpage will exclude subpages.

This can be changed to pick random pages from specific namespaces, such as Special:Random/Author or Special:Random/Category.

Namespace Random page Notes
Main Random work The main namespace holds all of the works on Wikisource.
Author Random author Each author on Wikisource has an author page.
Category Random category Categories automatically list works by subject.
Portal Random portal Categories manually list works by subject.
Index Random index Indexes are used for each book being proofread.
Page Random page Pages are used for proofreading.

Works that have recently been added to Wikisource can be seen on the main page in the "New Texts" box. Works are added to this box manually by users, so it will not list all of the latest additions, only those a user has chosen to add. A list of the most recently added pages can be found at Special:NewPages. However, this is an automatically generated list that contains subpages and pages in other namespaces.

Archives of previous "New Text" lists can be found here:

Archives of Template:New texts (edit)
2016: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
2015: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
2014: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
2013: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
2012: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
2011: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
2010: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

Many works on Wikisource are split into several pages to make reading easier. Usually this will be one page per chapter (or other sections if chapters are not used). These pages will usually be "subpages" of the main page, as the will be within or under the main page. This is reflected in the page title; for example: "Mainpage/subpage".

For example, if a work is called "The Title" and it has four chapters it could have the following five pages:
  1. The Title
  2. The Title/Chapter 1
  3. The Title/Chapter 2
  4. The Title/Chapter 3
  5. The Title/Chapter 4

Some works may have several layers of subpages. For example: "The Title/Part 1/Chapter 1".

Subpages will have a link up to the main page under the title. If there are layers of subpages, a subpage will have links to the main page and all subpages above it. The header of the page will often also have links to the main page and some other subpages.