Everything2 contains many publications considered to be in the Public Domain, from the King James Bible to Webster 1913, Austen to Baum. Works in the Public Domain are those whose copyright has expired, or whose author or publisher has relinquished restrictions on reproduction. Public Domain works can be reproduced in any format, for profit or fun. Although there are hundreds of works on E2, there are thousands more available. What is tricky is making sure the work properly integrates into E2, thus being referred to for enjoyment, knowledge or inspiration instead of collecting dust in a far corner under a pile of mouldering nodes.
This guide provides procedures and suggestions for noding these works. It is particularly slanted towards longer works, but one can also apply this to single node Public Domain works.
Getting the text source
The best source for the text of works in the public domain is Project Gutenberg, where a large variety of books can be downloaded as raw text. Permission to use these texts for any purpose is freely given. For noding these on E2, a large amount of formatting and linking must be done.
Users have also scanned works in via an Optical Character Reader program, or just manually typed them in. Again, a degree of care must be taken to format and link them for later noding.
The title page should have a description and explication of the work. It's your entry point to a lot of work on your part, so invite people further in!
Some suggestions for explicating: Give a brief biography of the author. Describe the circumstances around the writing of the work, including aspects of the author's life, and surrounding history that might have had an impact or any other motivation. What happened after the work was published. Whether the work influenced other writing, culture or history. A historical influence made by the work will help show readers the importance of adding the work to the nodegel.
The title page must include a citation of source. This would include the publication date, and whether brought over from Gutenburg, or elsewhere. If the work is recently published, then a brief explanation of how it is in the public domain is advised.
The title page of longer works is most likely to have a table of contents, which should be properly hard-linked for navigating through the chapters. Reproduce these chapters as in the original text, but watch out for duplicate titles that might be used in other texts. If a chapter proves too long for a node (Opinions vary on how long is too long. We advise using sensible judgement), break them up, but title these sections as simply or contructively as possible. ie "There she blows 1" and "there she blows 1 part 2".
When noding plays, it is advised to break Acts and scenes down using a Upper Case Roman Numeral for an Act, and lower case roman numeral for a scene.
Each sectioned node or chapter must have a link to the previous and next node in the series and the 'title' page. A citation of source, or explanation of what the chapter is, is also encouraged. When putting navigation in a node, consider having these at both the bottom and top to facilitate readers moving around. Remember, readers may come across individual chapters randomly, or from a softlink, so point them in the right direction. You might also want to warn readers of long chapters, or if you are still in the process of noding or explicating a work.
(I usually sort my navigation with pipe links at the top and bottom of writeup. On the title page I might first link to the author, then to another work by them and finally to the first chapter. Following, I link to the previous chapter, then the title page, then to the next chapter. For example, this node might be part of the Everything2 Help, as part of the 'More' section so a navigation might help:
...previous help document...back to the help...next document...
I would put a Hard Rule after the navigation if at the top of the node, or one before if at the bottom of a node. See The Scarecrow of Oz or The Book of the Damned for more navigation examples.)
When noding collections of poetry, it would be best to apply the same methods of navigation: reproduce in the same order as in the collection, and provide navigation from each poem to the next in the series.
Formatting and linking
When formatting sections, chapters or poems take care to use proper E2 HTML: don't just dump raw text. Use paragraph tags. Consider using BLOCKQUOTE for white space, which adds to ease of reading large chunks of text. Check for EMphasis/Italics and STRONG/Bold in the text. Also check for songs, poetry and quotations and format accordingly.
Look for elements to explicate by footnote or under another node, or at the least hardlinked. These may include Epigrams, a turn of phrase, themes, influence on later works or other artists, famous characters, quotations, in-jokes, plot dynamics, obscure words. The pipe link is a useful E2 feature for translating or commenting on these elements. A main motive for including E-texts here is integration with the rest of the database: how it connects, how people find it, where else it takes them. Public Domain works noded with no links on E2 are pointless, as we are not just another reference site. See Integrating your writeup with other writeups on Everything2.
Prepare soft links. Some tips for preparing: post your table of contents in your scratchpad and use this to create the nodeshells for your chapters or sections. Use your scratchpad also for putting reminders by each title about various softlinks for your section. (ie, if I had a chapter about magic tricks, I would link to as many tricks noded on e2)
Some other ideas for soft links: pointing to similar works, jokes and comments on a theme in a section, happy coincidences, dates, and names. (As a personal rule, I try to find at least three soft links for each section).
Putting it into the database
When you are finally posting the work into E2, you must post them with the "Hidden from New writeups" checked. The only exceptions to this is with your 'title page' node and if you are adding one section over time. If the latter is the case, it is strongly suggested to include a note on your title page and the latest section that this is a work in progress, whether you are posting 'hidden' or not. The reason for the above is that E2 users are a fickle impatient lot: they tend to forget the amount of time you must invest in noding these works, and any deviation from accepted 'nodiquette' is bound to draw trigger-finger downvotes. To avoid this, refrain from 'flooding' New writeups, keep the populace informed of your progress, add links, and ensure clean navigation through the work.
There are several ways of publicizing your noded work without 'nodevertising' Note progress in your home node or a daylog. Ask an admin to list the work in Full text works in Everything. Most likely, a member of admin will have followed your progress and promote it via a C!hing or Cool.
What if someone else has noded a work that you want to node? If the original is not properly integrated with linking, navigation or explication then replacing it is encouraged. However, you should contact administration about this first. Perhaps an explication of the work is enough addition. Additionally, if you have different titles for sections than already used, you can go ahead and create them if administration has deleted the originals.
Just as you may supersede a previously noded work, someone may come along with a better explication of a work. Depending on how this person does this, your work may end up being deleted. For longer works, you can head this off by inviting users and administration to contact you about updates and ideas on your title page. (see E2 FAQ: Assimilating old writeups)