Google not indexing Wikisource

“Google is not indexing any Wikisource language editions for the last couple of years which practically means that any Wikisource contents in any languages, which are being created in these years, are not searchable on Google and hence largely remain invisible on the web.

This is an extremely demotivating and frustrating situation for the existing Wikisource volunteers to witness, draining away all of our past and current efforts to bring and retain viewers, readers, GLAM partners and any potential new editors. We already have a very low awareness and visibility about Wikisource among general internet users due to lack of organized support in these years but the invisibility on Google search engine could become the last nail in our coffin, unless it is fixed soon.” (Wikisource-L)

Current and former employees at the Arolsen Archives say work of the international center on Nazi persecution has suffered as a result of abuse and bullying by top management

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Stolen Archives returned

“In 2002 archivists at the Belgian State
Archives in Liège became suspicious of a reader and managed to catch him in
the act of stealing documents. The arrest led to the recovery of some 100,000
pieces purloined from several major archives in Western Europe and the United
Kingdom during the 1980s and 1990s. They were all deposited in Liège for
sorting and returning to their legitimate repositories, an operation that has
been going on for the past 20 years. This summer has seen some new
restitutions, which have been covered by mainstream media, e.g.:

“Wellington papers return after crooks meet their Waterloo” (see full text
below FYI)

“Quand les archivistes liégeois démantèlent un trafic international” (with

Before the arrest, thousands of stolen documents had already been sold and are
probably in private collections or back on the market – to quote from the
article below, “the story continues.”


Wellington papers return after crooks meet their Waterloo
By Jack Blackburn
The Times (London), July 15, 2023
If one thinks of international criminal networks, what usually comes to mind
is people trafficking guns or drugs, not old archival material.
However, the exposure of a ring of thieves in Belgium has led to the retrieval
of thousands of documents, including papers signed by the Duke of Wellington,
which have now been returned to Britain.
The criminals were stealing the documents to make money by selling them to
collectors. Teams are still scanning websites and auctions to find and
retrieve lost materials.
The British embassy in Brussels announced yesterday that it had received the
documents, which were seized by police in 2001. It has taken two decades for
archivists to sort through them, as so many had been taken. The thief who was
initially caught had stolen two tonnes of items on his own, while others were
also convicted after the investigation.
The documents are being sent to the National Archives, where they will be
assessed before a decision is taken on where they should be filed, or whether
they should be given to a museum or library. They include a number of items
signed by Wellington during the Napoleonic wars, as well as pieces in the hand
of Earl Spencer at the time, ancestor of the late Princess Diana and the
present Prince of Wales.
Similar donations have been made to the French, German and Dutch governments.
The criminals apparently gathered their collection over ten to 15 years, with
one method of stealing being to enter the archive with a briefcase that had a
false bottom. They would ask to withdraw a number of documents and then,
before returning them, concealed a few in the case. The first criminal was
apprehended in the state archive in Liège after an archivist noticed that
documents were missing and grew suspicious.
“He was always asking for very different types of archives: mostly Napoleonic,
but he could also ask for early modern archives,” Dr Bernard Wilkin, of the
state archives in Liège, said. “That is really unusual because usually people
come with a purpose. They usually don’t cross periods of time.”
It seems that he gathered so many documents almost by accident, apparently
going into the archives and grabbing as much as he thought he could get away
After the Liège thief had received a five-year sentence, the archives were
charged with sorting through the immense number of documents. During this
work, the decision was taken to return some to countries for whom they would
be more relevant.
France, for instance, has received 550 documents, including a letter signed by
Louis XIII and addressed to Cardinal Richelieu. For Wilkin though, the story
continues. All year round, he and other archivists have their eyes kept on
sites such as Ebay, as well as the catalogues of leading auction houses,
looking for stolen documents that have come to light. “Last year personally I
recovered about 800 pages of Napoleonic documents,” Wilkin said.
Announcing the transfer of the documents, the British embassy in Brussels
offered its thanks to Wilkins. Alongside the Wellington and Spencer materials
is a letter about HMS Britannia, as well as personal letters between soldiers
which may be of historical interest.” (Exlibris-L)

See also:

USA: DPLA launches The Banned Book Club to ensure access to banned books

Remote Access.

Post-publication Peer Review with an Intention to Uncover Data/Result Irregularities and Potential Research Misconduct in Scientific Research: Vigilantism or Volunteerism?


Forensic Sciences in the Middle Ages

Giles, Herbert Allen. “The ‘Hsi Yüan Lu’ or ‘Instructions to Coroners,’ Translated from the Chinese”, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine – Section of the History of Medicine, issue 17, 1924, pp. 59-107 is online at:

The Italian pseudo-intellectual property and the end of public domain

Blog entry by Roberto Caso:

“The ex post facto judicial creation of an eternal and indefinite pseudo-intellectual property leads to the violation of the principle of the numerus clausus of intellectual property rights.

One of the many paradoxes of this adventurous (and unscrupulous) interpretive judicial operation is the application of the logic of exclusivity to works (cultural heritage) that belong to humanity (and only by historical contingency are in the custody of the Italian State) and were created at a time when neither economic copyrights nor personality rights existed.”

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The University of Vermont has launched an (diamond) open-access academic press

“Fully funded by the university and overseen by UVM Libraries, the UVM Press operates under a “diamond open access model” – meaning that authors pay no fees to publish with the press, and readers pay no fees to access the press’s published materials.”

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