Wikipedia:Canadian Wikipedians' notice board/Dictionary of Canadian Biography

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Project goals - you can help!

As many Wikipedians interested in Canadian history know, the Dictionary of Canadian Biography (DCB) is a significant resource for biographical detail, especially for people that died before 1930. To date, I (Fawcett5) have made a relatively large scale effort to find pre-existing articles corresponding to people in the DCB, and to create an external link to their DCB article. Hundreds of such links have been created. However, the DCB is huge, with the online version currently containing nearly 8,000 entries, only a tiny fraction of which have corresponding Wikipedia articles. The goal of this project is to create an article for EVERY individual with a DCB entry. Even if only a stub article with a link to DCB is created, we will have very significantly advanced the information that is available from Wikipedia.

To assist with this goal, I have downloaded a list of all DCB entries (as of May 9, 2005), and converted them into Wikipedia form (mostly!). There are several ways that you can help with this effort:

Verifying and curating existing blue links

If you have only a bit of time, you can help by making sure that blue links are really to the right person (go to the article and check that their DCB citation [1] matches). If the article does not have a DCB citation, please add one using the following template under the articles external links:

== External links ==
{{subst:Canadabio|ID=?}} (where ? = Biography ID# that is visible in the URL of the DCB entry)

Note: the template automatically adds a "*", and should be used with subst: to help out the servers.

Once everything matches up, please add " - verified" after the individual's entry on the DCB list pages.

If it does NOT match, please take the time to disambiguate as necessary, or create a suitable new article as described below. Important note: there are NO double links in these lists. If there are two similar entries, they are two different people!

You can enter the following as an edit summary, just cut and paste:

Link to [[Dictionary of Canadian Biography]] — [[WP:DCB|DCB Initiative]]

Creating a new stub (or more!) article

Please help out by creating new articles to get rid of red links or to fix incorrectly linking existing links. A few points:

  • Confirm article doesn't already exist: search wikipedia for several variants of the name to make sure that you are not creating a duplicate article.
  • Check that name is correct: these lists were created by a semi-automated process - there might be occasional glitches, particularly with regard to capitalisation, and the known problem with Mc and Mac names described below. Fix as necessary before creating the article.
  • Get details from DCB Online: search DCB online [2] to get details and the correct biography ID (look in the URL once you click to the correct article). Beware of similar sounding names. Because of the way DCB searches work you might need to try different variants of the name to bring up the article, or even just the surname.
  • If existing redirect or disambiguate: if the article already exists under an alternate name, please make the redirect, but also bypass the redirect on the list page. e.g. "[[James Taylor]]" would become "[[James Taylor (politician)|James Taylor]] - verified".
  • Disambiguation: be aware that DCB commonly uses dates of birth or death to disambiguate, but you might reasonably opt for some other term.
  • Most Common name: Note that you should normally create the article with the name by which the person is most commonly known, instead of the formal DCB name. You may choose to use a full name (with middle names or unused first names) if it is necessary to disambiguate the person from another Wikipedia entry. Don't forget to create suitable redirects and/or disambiguation pages if appropriate.
  • Minimum article components: The minimum stub should contain at least the persons name (bolded), dates of birth (ndash separators please), occupation or reason for notability, and an External links section containing the DCB citation created with the {{Canadabio|ID=?}} as described above.
  • Easy add-ons: if you have time, don't forget to add categories or a stub notification. Some categories and stubs that may be useful:
Birth and death year cats, add with convenient template: {{subst:Lived|b=year of birth|d=year of death|key=lastname, firstname}}
[[Category:Canadian people]]
[[Category:People of New France]]
[[Category:Canadian clergy]]
[[Category:Explorers of Canada]]
[[Category:Early Canadian business leaders]]
[[Category:Historical Members of the Canadian House of Commons]]
[[Category:Premiers of the Province of Canada]]
[[Category:Métis people]]
[[Category:Canadian First Nations people]]
[[Category:Fur traders]]
[[Category:Royal Navy officers]]
[[Category:Royal Navy sailors]]
[[Category:British Army officers]]
[[Category:British Army soldiers]]
[[Category:French nobility]]
  • No Plagiarism: please note that the DCB is NOT in the public domain, please do not just copy willy-nilly from the DCB text. This is plagiarism and copyright violation, and such articles are subject to deletion.

Special note for First Nations names

Sometimes the names for First Nations people look a bit strange to many of us, and some of them use odd characters that can't be produced on the keyboard. As much as I favour using peoples actual names for the article titles, in some cases here it might not be wise, since it would be very difficult to type in the name in the search bar, while in other cases it may not be technically possible to create pages with those special characters — in this case, the article title might be some anglicised variant, but please be respectful and include as close to possible to the actual name on the first line of the article itself.

Special note for names prefixed Mac or Mc

Please note that this list was created using a semi-automated process. There is a known problem with names beginning with Mac or Mc - all have been rendered here as (for example) "MacDonald" when it should possibly have been rendered "Macdonald". Individual family tradition dictates how these names should be rendered, and this should be respected. Please consult the DCB entry for an individual prior to creating an article with a (possibly) incorrect form, and please assist in curating individual pre-existing entries so that they conform with the rendering given in the DCB.

Special note for Peers and Lords

The naming convention for Peers and Lords seems to depart a bit from the normal wikipedia practice of the most commonly used name. Therefore, the lists use the preferred form including the title. E.g.:

[[Gilbert Murray-Kynynmound Elliot, 4th Earl of Minto]] rather than [[Gilbert Elliot]]

List of project participants

Thank you for participating in this project, please add your name here!

External links

  • The Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online

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