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On December 15, we did it; we finished upgrading all 500 of the PPP articles on 19th-century poets, a mammoth task that had occupied most of 2013. Now most of those articles are illustrated; have comprehensive bibliographies, linked as far as possible to the poets' actual books online; have expanded external links, to both poems and biographical information; and carry up-to-date Persondata and VIAF information.

The 19th century saw an enormous expansion in the number of poets publishing work. Because the bulk of that work is in the public domain, a tremendous amount of it is online; and now Penny's Poetry Pages links to most of it. I can say with pride that PPP is now the best source for poems by and information on the English-language poets of that century.

All of those poets now have detailed bibliographies. Many of those use information provided by sources like the Poetry Foundation, and Canada's Representative Poetry Online; but we have created new, PPP-exclusive, bibliographies for those who do not, using data available from the universal library catalog, WorldCat.

Our linking of those bibliographies means that uncounted thousands of poems available on the Web can now be accessed from PPP. With just one or two mouse clicks, readers can access hundreds of books (not just on poetry, either) that have been painstakingly archived online by Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, the Hathi Trust, and Bartleby.com. We have also found many books on fansites devoted to poets as diverse as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Walt Whitman, and Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

The books available on Internet Archive have also served as a valuable source of photographs and other illustrations. Thanks to that treasure trove, and the vast collection assembled by Wikimedia Commons, we have been able to give most of those articles a thoroughly professional look.

For biographical text, we have mainly relied on the incomparable source of online information that is Wikipedia. In some cases we have rewritten text (though that was a low priority last year), and in quite a few others we have written original PPP articles on poets not covered by Wikipedia (for "notability" or other reasons). The number of original articles has climbed to over 300; a modest percentage of the total, admittedly, but growing steadily.

Another notable achievement of this year was integrating PPP's separate parts. From the beginning, the wiki was planned as an integration of 3 modules: "About Poetry" (with information on writing and analyzing poetry), "About Poets" (with information on the history of poetry, including the biographical articles that are our main priority today), and "About Poems" (an online archive of poems to read). For our first years these existed on PPP as discrete and incompatible parts, the first modelled on Wikipedia and the second on Wikisource. This year we finally figured out the way to integrate those two parts. The old "Author" pages have been replaced by redirects; now, clicking on the author's name on a poem page will bring one directly to that author's biography page. For navigating in the other direction, all of an author's poems available on PPP will be linked right on that biography page.

We have given the lowest priority to adding poems, because we have so many linked, both in books and in "External links" to other poetry sites like Poets' Corner and PoemHunter; online anthologies carried by Bartleby.com; and our sister site, The Penny Blog (which now has over 500 poems). However, we have added a few, with the emphasis being on quality. As well, we have spent time illustrating each one; every poem added this year has had an illustration. Last year we were fortunate to discover the engravings of William Blake at Wikipedia Commons; we now have 15 Blake poems available to read, all illustrated with that poet's own art.

While I did the bulk of the above, quite a lot of work was done by other contributors in 2013. I am especially grateful for the work done by Will Dockery and Matt Little, who have done more work to improve this site than I am able to keep track of, let alone list. Thank you to both of you, and to everyone else who worked on the wiki last year.

To all our readers, I hope you like the improvements we made. I hope that you will continue to read, and to contribute where you can, to help us to make PPP even better in 2014.

George Dance (talk) 03:36, January 18, 2014 (UTC)

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