Embarking on My First Rapid Fund for Wikipabukon, the Sundanese Wikisource

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Sundanese Wikisource, also known as Wikipabukon, is one of the newer local language Wikisources and is almost a year old now. Back then, Wikipabukon had a collection of manuscripts and books in various genres, but the number was quite limited. We realized that this situation would hinder the preservation of local language manuscripts within the Wikimedia Movement. To address this limitation, my team and I from the Wikimedia Bandung Community took small steps through a rapid fund program from the Wikimedia Foundation.

Digitalisasi naskah 5

The rapid fund we worked on focused on digitizing Sundanese manuscripts. This project was a collaboration between our community and one of the GLAM institutions in Bandung, the Ajip Rosidi Library. We were thrilled that the library welcomed our initiative by providing their book collection for digitization, including novels, folk tales, magazines, and textbooks. Besides digitization, we also conducted editing training sessions for contributors in Bandung on Wikipabukon. We even organized a proofreading competition open to everyone, hoping that this would introduce Wikisource to a wider audience.


We spent about five months on this grant, starting in early November 2023 and ending in late March 2024. I still remember the various new challenges we faced during the digitization process, one of which was acquiring the necessary equipment. It was difficult to find book scanner rental services in our city, so we had to use specific cameras as an alternative. Additionally, according to the database, some collections in the library were still under copyright, so we had to carefully select which books to digitize. Equally important were the post-digitization activities, such as editing and uploading. We needed to choose the right software to edit the scanned images and handle PDF files carefully since they can often encounter errors when uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.

Next steps

Despite these challenges, we successfully completed the project. We hope this initiative sets a good precedent for future activities, such as materials for the annual proofreading competition organized by GLAM Wikimedia Indonesia, or community events like meetups and mini proofread-a-thons. Eventually, Wikipabukon can also serve as a model repository for open-access Sundanese books.

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