In order to take the Assamese Wikisource project forward, few young men and women of the state involving in different fields, recently gathered in Guwahati to attend a workshop.
Assamese Wikisource is a sister-project of Assamese Wikipedia, where Assamese books with expired copyrights are available. The project owned by Wikimedia Foundation was launched in 2013.
A total of 14 volunteers from across the state participated in the workshop hosted by Centre for Internet and Society-Access to knowledge (CIS-A2K) in a city hotel.
Two experts–Jayanta Nath from Kolkata and Tito Dutta from Bangalore–were present as trainers for the workshop, say organisers.
The two-day event was coordinated by Gitartha Bordoloi, a physician based in Silchar and the administrator of Assamese Wikipedia and Wikisource.
“Wikisource sources hosts books, plays, lyrics, letters etc which are available in open source,” says an organiser.
PDF or similar files are added to Wikisource which are then converted to unicode form so that every information becomes searchable on the internet.
In addition to books that are hitherto copyright free, new books can also be donated by authors and can be added to the field.
Everyone can access and contribute to this collaborative project. Presently, Assamese Wikisource stands at ninth position out of eleven Indic languages. This can be due to less Wikisource projects and also lack of contributors.
In addition to the basic navigation on Wikisource, the participants learnt searching and uploading public domain works, using OCR to get the texts, correcting errors and creating final product for the readers, he says.
As a part of the workshop, the participants fully digitised three old Assamese books within a few hours. They also discussed the future aims, perspectives and goals of Assamese Wikipedia and Wikisource.
As a result of their persistent efforts, works of Srimanta Sankardev and Madhabdev, Lakshminath Bezbaroa, Jyotiprasad Agarwala, Rajanikanta Bordoloi, Hiteshwar Barbarua and some others are now available on Assamese Wikisource.
With the target of digitizing the books by an author in every one or two months, the volunteers have mulled to digitize the works of Padmanath Gohain Baruah, a luminary of Assamese literature.