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Workshop on Assamese Wikisource organised

 GUWAHATI, May 20 - A two-day workshop on Assamese Wikisource was organised by the Centre for Internet and Society – Access to Knowledge (CIS-A2K) here recently, according to a delayed press release.

Fourteen volunteers from different parts of Assam participated in the residential programme where Jayanta Nath from Kolkata and Tito Dutta from Bengaluru were present as trainers.

Dr Gitartha Bordoloi, administrator of Assamese Wikipedia and Wikisource, co-ordinated the event.

Assamese Wikisource, the sister-project of Assamese Wikipedia owned by Wikimedia Foundation, was started in 2013. Wikisource is an online digital library for free content textual sources. It hosts books, plays, lyrics, letters, etc., which are in the public domain. PDF or similar files are added to Wikisource which are then converted to unicode form so that every piece of 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.

At present, Assamese Wikisource stands at ninth position out of eleven Indic languages mostly due to lack of contributors.

In addition to the basic navigation in 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.

As 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.

Assamese Wikisource already holds a number of works by Srimanta Sankaradeva and Madhavdeva, Lakshminath Bezbaroa, Jyotiprasad Agarwala, Rajanikanta Bordoloi, Hiteshwar Barbarua and others. With the target of digitising the books by an author every one or two months, the volunteers are now trying to digitise the works of Padmanath Gohain Baruah, the release added.

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