Submissions/From paper book to a digital one on Wikisource

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2014.

Submission no. 2509
Title of the submission

From paper book to a digital one on Wikisource

Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)


Author of the submission

Xelgen Aleksey Chalabyan

E-mail address




Country of origin


Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

In this session I'll try to describe best existing techniques for scanning books with accessible/affordable hardware and existing free (as in speech) software.

Based on my experience of digitizing 13 volumes of Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia (about 9500 pages total) for Wikisource.

In 30 minutes I'll try to cover all steps, from getting book released under free license, to having it ready to be proofread in Wikisource (as well ways to simplify proofreading). Main points are as follows:

  • Why we decided to digitize 50 years old Encyclopedia
  • How did we get it to be released under Creative Commons and how can you
  • How did I scan 9500 pages in few days, while performing my daily tasks and what are most efficient ways to scan a book
  • What further steps are required to improve images and how to do it with free software
  • OCR of images. Few hints on process, best formats for further usage on Wikisource
  • What can be done to make proofreading faster and easier

I'll try not to stick to my personal experience only, and will describe different ways to do same thing (different types of scanners, different OCR software, etc..).

This should be interesting to those who love books, and want to have more books liberated and content of them made accessible to everyone. Workshop format isn't possible as scanning/processing images is a lengthy process.

  • Legal & Free Culture
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes (with at least 5 mins reserved for Q&A)
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Yes (I'll do my best to be there)
Special requests
  • Best presentation time, after 2pm.
  • Best if will not overlap with Wikimedia Armenia presentations if any.
  • It will be good if this session will happen after mine. I believe those interested in mine session, will be also quite interested in first-hand experience of WM Argentine folks with one of most suitable DIY scanners for Wikisource. And I'll be able to announce and invite audience of my Tutorial session to mentioned sessions. May be even one, right after another is good idea, so people don't have to move to other location.
  • Microphone would be appreciated, my voice tends to fade after 5-10 mins, of loud speaking.

Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with a hash and four tildes. (# ~~~~).

  1. Vogone (talk) 22:20, 17 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Geraldshields11 (talk) 21:41, 26 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Slaporte (WMF) (talk) 17:35, 5 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  4. AdamBMorgan (talk) 14:30, 10 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Lawsonstu (talk) 14:23, 11 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Such an effort should be awarded our proper attention. --Sannita (talk) 17:08, 26 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  7. MartinPoulter (talk) 15:59, 29 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  8. --MF-Warburg (talk) 21:29, 29 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  9. --KartikMistry (talk) 09:41, 31 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  10. Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 19:52, 31 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  11. GorillaWarfare (talk) 22:03, 4 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  12. OwenBlacker (talk) 20:16, 6 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Quiddity (talk) 19:43, 12 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  14. Micru (talk) 19:46, 14 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  15. Aschroet (talk) 12:51, 12 May 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  16. Dyolf77 (talk) 14:17, 12 May 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  17. Yiyi (talk) 09:08, 8 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  18. Kavya Manohar (talk) 16:39, 5 August 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  19. Add your username here.