Wikipedia:WikiProject Succession Box Standardization

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Succession Box Standardization, sometimes shortened to SBS, is a WikiProject which aims to fully standardise all succession boxes of Wikipedia as to their form, content, and usage, according to standards agreed upon by the community.


Succession boxes are template-created wiki-tables that serve as navigational aids in a wide variety of articles, mostly biographies. Placed at the bottom of their respective articles (or sections where applicable), they show the place of each article's subject in one or more well-defined chains of succession, naming in each line their predecessor in the left-hand cell, their title (and usually the dates wherein that title was held by the subject) in the middle cell, and their successor in the right-hand cell. Although succession boxes generally track titles held by people, they may also be used for anything that can be arranged in some order generally chronological, such as states, electoral constituencies, transit stations, buildings, ships, models of goods, such as cars and cameras, and art works, such as books, films, and music albums.

Succession boxes can visibly improve an article in several ways. Firstly, they offer an overview of a person's career through the titles said person has held throughout their life. Secondly, they gather and categorise all of the person's official titles in a form easy to understand, and in an order different from the one provided by the article itself. Thirdly, they offer dynastic information about monarchs, information which is usually not given in their articles.

There are also several advantages of succession boxes that are not limited to the individual articles: they offer readers the ability to follow a chain of succession, clicking their way from incumbent to incumbent, or to go straight to the article of the title, where they should be able to find a list of all of the title's holders; also, they can better illustrate cases of a change in a title's name, joined offices having passed down from/to the same person, and cases where a person has held an office multiple times.

Standardisation becomes more important when these features are considered, as succession lines of the same chain ought to be similar. However, it is also a matter of appearance; succession boxes should contribute to the positive overall image of an article rather than be simply tolerated for their functional benefits.

Project scope and goals

  • Add succession boxes to all individuals who have served in a notable succession of individuals (examples include MPs/Senators/Congresspeople, monarchs, nobles/peers, CEOs, etc.).
  • Replace all old HTML-based succession boxes with the current format supported by this project (Template:S-start series), and eventually phase out the use of templates such as Template:Succession box two to two and Template:Succession box three to one.
Compare the old version...
Preceded by:
King of Kent Succeeded by:
to the new one:
Preceded by
King of Kent
Succeeded by
  • Separate types of offices held (see the relevant section in the Guidelines page for the available headers and their correct order).
  • Expand usage of template s-tul for titular and pretentious titles (thereby replacing the usual s-ttl templates on those pages) and a variety of templates including s-new, s-non, s-inc, and s-vac for fields lacking a predecessor and/or successor (see relevant sections in the Documentation page for their usage).
  • Add full dates for reigns or terms of all succession box subjects when possible, and ensure that the dates are formatted according to SBS's guidelines, themselves derived from the Wikipedia Manual of Style.
  • Add dynasty/house information (template s-hou) for dynasts at the header of succession boxes if known and undisputed.
  • Cite sources across all succession lists (use template s-ref instead of end to close the box). This is a growing concern amongst users in favour of an increased reliability in Wikipedia as a whole, and sources are especially necessary in cases of disputed dates and dubious lines of succession.

Further information

You can learn about the usage, template system, naming conventions and various other aspects of succession boxes and succession box editing in the following pages:

  • Documentation: Information about the code and templates behind succession boxes and instructions about their correct use, all complete with examples.
    • Cheatsheet: A handy guide of succession templates and their parameters.
  • Guidelines: A page giving general instructions about the content of succession boxes and its format, as well as the categorisation of the various titles and offices under headers and their correct order within these headers.
  • Offices: A list of offices tracked by succession boxes, with basic information about each. This page is still incomplete (and will probably never be completed); please register any new offices for which you create succession boxes or which you have encountered but are not already listed here.
  • Talk page: If you cannot find what you are looking for in the other pages, ask your questions here. You can also ask for clarifications, bring mistakes to our attention, make propositions about the WikiProject, or request the creation of templates you believe are missing. Template creations or changes may also be discussed in Template talk:S-start; please keep in your mind that if you intend to create a template yourself or implement a major change pertaining to the WikiProject, it should be discussed in one of these two pages first so that consensus may be obtained.
  • Templates: A full list of all succession templates, both those endorsed by Succession Box Standardization and those that are not—the latter are in the process of their removal from articles and their subsequent deletion, and this page serves as a record of this procedure.
    • Closed proposals: The burial site of old proposals discussed in the talk page, some of which having been accepted and others rejected. You might want to see what topics are in there before you make an important proposition yourself, for your idea might not be as original as you had thought.

These pages can also be accessed from the navigation template at the top.

Completed pages

The following articles include some of the most representative samples of our work:

Unresolved issues

Guidelines to be decided and matters that have still not been dealt with.

  • Expand research into predecessors and successors for districts in areas lacking succession lists.
  • Come up with a guideline for cases of interim and acting office holders.
  • Sort out the particulars of the currently abandoned Offices page.
  • Addition of hCard microformats (see [1])
  • Accessibility concerns (See [2])

Current tasks – Announcements

  • Task 1: Complete the reorganisation of the WikiProject:
    • Help finalise our guidelines as those are stated in the Guidelines page. Complete peerage and parliamentary guidelines.
  • Task 2: Help recruit members for the WikiProject:
    • Send messages to Wikipedians who have experience in userboxes, deal a lot with titles, or you believe that for some other reason they might like joining SBS or contributing to the project's cause.
    • When editing succession boxes, leave a link to the project in the edit summary, like (see [[WP:SBS|SBS]] for details).
    • Use the SBS userbox in your user page, or just add your user page to Category:WikiProject Succession Box Standardization members.


This is a list of editors interested in contributing to this WikiProject and/or to succession boxes in general. If you would like to join, please put your name in the list. You may add a brief statement.

Members are requested to watch this page, so that they can be promptly informed about the progress of discussions.

  • KuatofKDY (inactive) – Founded this project and created the current succession box templates used throughout Wikipedia. I work in all pages that feature succession boxes, as well as relevant related pages such as regnal lists and the like. I hope to remove all ancient HTML succession boxes and replace them with the current format. I am also interested in starting pages for monarchs and their kin who are not yet noted.
  • Choess – Longtime installer of succession boxes, including rather pathological ones.
  • Ardric47 – I mostly agree with all of the goals that are listed above.
  • Alkari – I support the majority of the project's objectives, and would like to participate in discussion on this topic. My primary interest is in royal, noble and political titles, but I am strongly in favor of standardization in all areas.
  • OwenBlacker – As most of the above ;o)
  • The Duke of Waltham – I have aided the cleanup of the project's pages and the expansion and better organisation of SBS, as well as provided ideas for the improvement of the guidelines and the template system. I have also been editing succession boxes in many articles, working along entire chains—I am mostly interested in British peerages and offices.
  • Philosopher (admin) – Watching for {{editprotected}} requests; no longer active in the project as a whole.
  • Appraiser – US politicians and bridges on the Upper Mississippi River. I've worked on all of the MN senators, representatives, Governors, Lt. Governors, and the statewide offices. May work on other states at some point.
  • Adrian M. H. – I'm one of the key people over at WP:MOTOR, so any and all motorsport-related succession boxes are my main interest. Get in touch if I can help with anything in that area.
  • John Carter – Do some work with some biography related projects. Far from being a good choice to try to develop boxes, but will offer what input and actually helpful assistance I can.
  • Craigy – As per Choess and john k.
  • 52 Pickup – While my activities relating to succession boxes tend to be sporadic and unspecific, I might be able to help out when it comes to the coding side of matters.
  • Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing) – Interested in investigating how hCard microformats can be generated by succession boxes (and possibly other metadata likewise; not least when a proposed genealogy microformat is available). Also accessibility concerns.
  • Peter King (User:Peterkingiron) – Principally British history, but willing to tidy up syntax of any succession box.
  • ɳoɍɑfʈ Talk! – Slowly but surely standardizing succession boxes for the entire line of High Priests of Israel from Aaron to the destruction of the second temple. Some have obsolete boxes, others have none at all.
  • [email protected] (discuss?) – My interest is in succession boxes for Asia regions from historic titles to modern day office holders.
  • Bosstopher
  • Cabayi – back for more


Members of this WikiProject may show their affiliation in their user pages with this userbox, specially created to match our edits in style. It is generated by typing {{User WP:SBS}} and it looks like this:

WikiProject: Succession Box Standardization
Offices Talk Guidelines

Related WikiProjects

Geographical successions such as railway lines, long-distance paths, canals, and motorways are better-served by templates such as Wikipedia:Route diagram template and Wikipedia:Autobahn infobox template, which are beyond the scope of this project. See also Category:Rail transport succession templates.

See also

External resources

  • Leigh Rayment's Peerage Page (Peers, baronets, Members of Parliament, and Privy Counsellors)
Subject Template Text rendered
Peerage {{Rayment}} Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages
{{Rayment|a|1}} Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages – Peerages beginning with "A" (part 1)
Baronetage {{Rayment-bd}} This page incorporates information from Leigh Rayment's Baronetage Page which has further dates on it, not shown above.
{{Rayment-bd|b|2}} This page incorporates information from Leigh Rayment's Baronetage Page which has further dates on it, not shown above.
{{Rayment-bt}} Leigh Rayment's list of baronets
{{Rayment-bt|c|3}} Leigh Rayment's list of baronets – Baronetcies beginning with "C" (part 3)
Members of Parliament {{Rayment-hc}} Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs
{{Rayment-hc|h|3}} Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "H" (part 3)
Privy Counsellors {{Rayment-pc}} Leigh Rayment's Privy Council Page
  • Office Holders in Modern Britain (A large number of political offices, generally between 1660–1782)
  • Office Holders (Various other office holders not included in the above compilation)
  • Members of the Long Parliament
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