Proposal to Rename Category:Source [closed]

+14 votes

During a discussion with the Categorization Project's google group, a question was asked about Category:Source. Isabelle Martin and I spent some time looking through the thousands (over 5000) book/periodical/etc. sources and found that they would fit mostly in a few categories, making it easier to find what anyone might be looking for. 

We came up with a mapping, which you can view here:

No other changes or structure is being proposed by the Categorization Project in association with this. 

Please comment below if you have thoughts about this slight re-organization of [[Category:Source]]


closed with the note: category was renamed
in The Tree House by Natalie Trott G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
closed by Natalie Trott
The only problem I have with this is that the "reference books" (using one I use a lot as an example, ''History of Stonington'') are NOT sources, they are references, and in losing the "distiction" between the two, through this "title" of the category, will just make things more confusing when there is a discussion going on about a particular profile.

To make sure I'm being clear...for one biography that I have been working on for a month, I've only been able to find one "source" that contained a record of divorces, but I have 20 "references" that some of which don't mention the divorce, and some do.

I don't use those particular categories, but just speaking up because the wording hit a nerve and I went to look to see what was included, and my OCD kicked in.

Also noteworthy, I noticed one of the comments referred to the categories as "references", so I'm not the only one who understands the distinction between the two.

p.s. I meant to make this an answer not a comment, sorry.

This is the name given to the category 5 years ago by a leader. The category page has been edited many times:

Maybe Rick P can give you some insight as to why the category was named Category:Source.

At one time the Category was shown at the top of the profile, like a "Label". So I was marking each Free-Space page with the label "Source", so people would know immediately that the Free-Space page was for a source, and not something else. (Using the plural form as a label didn't make sense. Some of our most used Categories  don't use the plural form.)

Originally clicking on the Label "Source" took you to Category:Source, which provided links to all the other sources. However, someone else deleted that information. Now, Category:Source is empty, except for the item list. 

Now that Categories are shown at the bottom, using a Category as a label doesn't work. However, WikiTree still gives you a count of the total number of items in a Category. I thought this was very interesting and continued to use it, so I could see how many sources we have created. Now that you are deleting Category:Source, one at a time, and not using Edit-Bot, this function is now broken too. Edit-Bot would have done them all at one time, and the count would have remained accurate.

I've never envisioned using Category:Source for any other purposes.

The reason we haven't employed EditBot is that we were adding the additional categories and we could see what has been done and what has not been done. We could still use EB and speed this up, since Isabelle and I have been doing this alone and fitting it in when we have time.

"Originally clicking on the Label "Source" took you to Category:Source, which provided links to all the other sources. However, someone else deleted that information." Yes, the reason that was deleted was that it used transclusion with the free-space page. This is not permitted, though it was used quite handily for years. It is an error that is being addressed, though somewhat slowly.

The purpose of a category is to group profiles (person and free-space). They are not labels. A sticker is more of a label, so if you wanted a sticker to label a source free-space pages, you should discuss that with templates project! 

UPDATe: I have submitted C:Source for renaming by EditBot. I expect that the bot will run within a day or two.

Categories are not supposed to be used as labels.

If I understand your purpose correctly, you'd want a "navigation" on top of the free-space pages. That is achieved with adding links to the relevant Free Space Pages at the top:

[[Space:Category-Source|Source]] [[Space:Other FSP|XX Source]] etc

Or you could use:

[[:Category:Sources by Name|Source]] (mind the colon between the opening square brackets and the word "Category") - that would look, and work, the same as your previous use of Category:Source when the categories were shown at the top in display mode.

8 Answers

+10 votes
Changing the Category to Sources by Name sounds good.

How are 'Family name' genealogies supposed to be put into a 'topic' or 'location'?
by Linda Peterson G2G6 Pilot (774k points)

There is a subcategory in Sources by Topic for Published Family Genealogies, and Isabelle and I have already begun to add this to sources. When possible, I also add any applicable name study as a parent category, in order to make them more visible to surname researchers.

Thanks.  I just found that sub-Category.  Since I have added quite a few Family Genealogies sources to the lists created by Rick Pierpont, I am not sure that people would think that Family Genealogies would be under the Topic sub-heading.

Would sources for specific projects also be put into Topics with a sub-category for each of the projects, if there are more than one?

As long as Rick's list continues as a way to 'organize' the Genealogies by Location and Surname, the category would be used if someone wants to check for things based on that.
yes, it's an additional category and will contain less than the 5000+ in Category:Sources by Name. Additionally, we can link to the Space Page with the category mapping as a MAP to "what's here in Category:Sources."
+8 votes
This is great, Natalie and Isabelle! Thanks for proposing it. Looks like it will give better visibility to the Source Library.
by Azure Robinson G2G6 Pilot (555k points)
Thank you, Azure!
+5 votes
I think anything that gives greater visibility to the collection of source resources is great.

My concern is navigating the categories (certainly not my forte), and defining the subcategories. I am biased, as I am used to navigating Rick's pages, where things appear alphabetically.

Maine is one example; there are items that belong in the Maine category, and other things, say specific to a town where there aren't enough items to create a category for each town. There are enough towns to make lots to look through. With either county or town (as well as state) how should location work - by current location or historical location   - the same issue we face with birth locations.

Family genealogies are another example. Right now those are categorized alphabetical by title rather than name. If I was researching the Howland family, it would seem more natural to look under H, not A.
by Kay Knight G2G6 Pilot (597k points)
I agree with you Kay, but as long as we will still have Rick's list for reference, it won't change.  Those of us that add new sources have to try to figure out what the category should be, so Natalie doesn't have to do it.

Since they are free-space pages and not categories, they can't be sorted alphabetically with a sort key (and neither can Category:Source). The category is not sorted as it is right now: Find a book called A History and Genealogy of the Davenport Family under "A".  But on THIS PAGE: You can find that same book under D. We are NOT TOUCHING THIS PAGE in any way except to rename its category. 


Thanks. I understand.

I guess what I was suggesting is that a space page for a family genealogy (which might also be referenced from be itself placed in a category based on its subject (the name) rather than the title. 

Nonetheless I realize what a huge undertaking it is to add categories to tons of existing items, appreciate your efforts, and am sure it will help.

There is already a space for Family Genealogies organized by the name of the family. It is linked from the space Source, not the category:

On this page is Family Genealogies which links to another space. When you create a new source space you need to manually edit this listing so that your source space appears. It is located here if you want to link it another way:

Kay and Lucy, they are 'changing' the Category that we will have on those Family Genealogies, but we will still have the Family Genealogies space page that Rick Pierpont started, as I had stated above.  For those of us that use those lists, we don't want to lose those, for sure.
+5 votes

I think  this is a great idea to give greater organisation to the sources and enabling them to be found more easily.  An extra sub-category could be biographies/autobiographies or would that be a topic?

In terms of topic and location names, it might be worthwhile to use an existing system that could give some uniformity to the names, rather than something that is invented. We obviously don't want to catalogue all the sources, but using subject names found in the Library of Congress cataloguing system or the Dewey Decimal Classification system might be worthwhile.  Or even the LC Subject headings?

by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (618k points)

 - yes -  I will agree with you on the DDC - - in a place 'downunder' is used - see Link - = = - a brief description for genealogists - - cheers

WAGS Library and Dewey Classification - Outline of Relevant Classes

John, thanks for your input. The list of suggested "topics" is not closed and any could be added by simply requesting a category. That is, if we stick to the proposed system.

I'm afraid we would place autobiographies/biographies under Topics, though it's not completely accurate, but we need to keep it simple.
+5 votes

I would spell out FSP, at least once, in the Mapping document, since everyone doesn't understand all the abbreviations that people use on wikitree. 

Based on my wikitree Space pages, it looks like this was already implemented at the beginning of August or earlier, so it doesn't seem to be a Proposal, more of a notification that it is being done.  

Since the mapping page states that everything that was in  Category: Source be changed to Category: Sources by Name, why can't Edit Bot change the Space pages that have that currently?  That would seem to be more efficient. 

For the 'Source Directories' that is mentioned, does that mean that the 'list of sources' that Rick Pierpont started now go into that category item?    

On the Mapping page, should a link be included for the Pre-1500 Resource Page, since there is a mention, doesn't look like a link, to Reliable Sources for Pre-1700?

by Linda Peterson G2G6 Pilot (774k points)
We can use EditBot, but we wanted to add additional categories to the pages, so we were doing it manually so we could easily see what we had not done yet.

Since C:Source has over 5000 pages attached and will involve some processing time, we thought we'd wait until there were not other "big" renames happening. At the time, Australia was doing quite a bit of renaming of populated categories, so we held off.

Yes, it's sort of an "after the fact" proposal. The mapping page is a sandbox for the work we were doing. We weren't finished yet and sure, we can include a Pre-1500 Resource page link.
Linda, everything that has been done so far can be reverted. We've only touched a tiny portion of the pages, and AFAIK no further work has been done since posting this.

Yes, the different "list of sources" pages should go in Source Directories, in theory, if the proposed change is accepted.

The only alternative that has been proposed is to delete the category structure under C:Sources altogether, and there has been no formal proposal on that yet.
+4 votes
Good, let me know what area you want me to work on and I will lend a hand.
by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (657k points)
Thanks, Danielle.
Thank you, Danielle!
+3 votes

What is the difference between the proposed 

Category: Source Directories 


Category: Source Bibliographies ?

by Mary Jensen G2G6 Pilot (130k points)
Not certain and Isabelle is off this week. They could be combined, if needed. We were not finished with that page.
Source Directories was created to group together pages that contain a list (directory) of sources.

Source Bibliographies was one of the original "chapters" (excuse my poor English) inside Rick Pierpont's classification. We did not want to disturb this classification so it was retained.

It is possible that these two are redundant. I'm not familiar enough with the spaces in Source Bibliographies to tell and my English is not up to understanding those nuances. That may be sorted later. Or it may become moot if all Source categories are deleted as Heather requests below.
+1 vote
Thanks for making the opportunity to make public comments.

Source Guides have been an unofficial project for over five years now.  Many projects now use Source Guides originally created by our unofficial project.

All Source Guides were formerly linked at the top of Category: Source.  They've been removed.  I would like to request the links to Source Guides be restored.  If we can't use the Category, then a top level way to access Source Guides is needed.

Categorization beyond the Source level has made it harder to find these guides, burying them in a subcategory.

Source Guides exist to make it easy for a researcher to find genealogical sources on their surname, in a project, or in a geographic region.

Source Guides organize sources and provide crucial context to the use of sources.

No sources are not also on a Guide.

Additional levels of categorization below Category: Source do not help a researcher to find genealogical sources.

The proposed source by name and source by location categories will make it less easy to find sources.

A source category by location will take the user to a multipage set of bulleted titles, with alphabetization the only context.  There is no benefit to the user to navigate a category structure for sources.

Originally Source Guides were just a list of sources. Over time, we added context to the guides, organizing sources by County. Now, mature Source Guides highlight primary sources separately from other published works.  They also typically includes links to content that doesn't have a space page.  More than a list, the organization of sources helps the user to create a research strategy.  Jumping to a source page, they can quickly scan all sources available in context.

Some guides are more developed than others.  A mature source guide will sort sources not just by title, but by type of source.

Take a look at the New York Source Guide and let me know how a category structure will make it easier to find sources than what's set up here.

The guide links to databases like NY State Newspapers, which doesn't have a space page.  If it had a space page, it would be under N, and not show up on the first page of results.  NY State Newspapers is arguably one of the *first* sources you would want to check if you were researching Ny State.  Burying it in a category is not going to make it easy to find.

There is no equivalent, consistently updated set of source guides on the internet besides what we've done on WikiTree.  I think we can all agree, as amateur genealogists, that finding and quickly retrieving known sources is nothing but a good thing.  Putting this effort into a wiki ensures longevity and depth.  Before I developed the guide I use most often, I had an elaborate set of bookmarks on my computer and often "forgot" a source.  I never use bookmarks now, everything I need to research a New Jerseyan is on the Source Guide.  I use the Source Guide at work, and it's been shared in webinars and to genealogical societies.  I get about an email a month from non-Wikitreers for a lookup in an item unavailable except in print.

I would love to see additional development of Source Guides.  Whatever you end up doing with categories, please center the Source Guides over the categories.
by H Husted G2G6 Mach 8 (82.3k points)
If you mean by "Center over the categories" the transclusion that we removed, no, we can't do that. We can link to the sources guides but we CANNOT transclude the page to the category page.

All Source Guides were formerly linked at the top of Category: Source.  They've been removed.  I would like to request the links to Source Guides be restored.

Unfortunately, this cannot happen. The page contained more content (text) than what is allowed by the Categorization guidelines.

Take a look at the New York Source Guide and let me know how a category structure will make it easier to find sources than what's set up here.

This begs the question: Why do we need the categories at all then? If they are being managed via Space Pages, those pages can just link to their applicable Location or Topic categories without the need for any specific "Source" structure.

I agree, Steve.

Getting rid of the category structure altogether and just using space pages to list sources is preferable to creating an elaborate category structure.  Keep it simple.

Source Guides can be tied to projects.
If the only reason the links to extremely useful content are removed is that "the page contained more content (text) than what is allowed by the Categorization guidelines", then the guidelines are the problem.

I want to serve the user, not the structure or a set of guidelines that can always be changed.  WikiTree by Chris' design has few rules so we can be flexible to change.
Post a proposal to get rid of the category system, then, please. I would be extremely happy to have that problem off our hands.

(Edited to correct French spell check error).

Heather, the major issue here is two-fold.

  1. Category pages should include one or two sentences about the category itself, and should not contain unique content. [The page contained more that an this information and was unique per #2]
  2. Templates should all be in the "Template:" namespace. Other pages should not be transcluded on WikiTree pages. [The category content was transcluded from another page].

So the Category actually violated two of the guidelines, which is why it was modified in the manner explained herein. 

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