Creating Malayalam Wikisource CD

With great pleasure, Malayalam Wikimedia Community is announcing the release of the first offline version of Malayalam wikisource. This offline version is titled Malayalam wiki grandasala – Thiranjedutha krithikal – Pathippu 1.0, June 2011 (Malayalam Wikisource – Selected Books – Version 1.0) is released by Hisham Mundol (by handing over the WikiSource CD to the youngest Malayalam wikimedian, 7 year old Sai Shanmugham) at the 4th Malayalam Wikimedia Meetup in Kannur, Kerala on 2011 June 11.

Malayalam Wikisource CD sticker
Malayalam Wikisource CD sticker. Image Courtesy: Rajesh Odayanchal

This is by far the biggest digital collection of free books in Malayalam language available on CD for offline use. This is the first time a wikimedia community from India is releasing an offline version of Wikisource. Even though we are not sure, we are told that no other wikimedia community in the world has ever released such an offline version of Wikisource. (But we are not sure about this claim 🙂 )

Project Idea

The idea of releasing an offline version of Malayalam wikisource was there in our mind for long. But the oppurtinuty didn’t come until we finalized the dates for 4th Malayalam wikimedian’s meetup. There are challenges about the presentation of the Wikisource content.  We know that presenting the content as long wiki pages will fail the Wikisource CD project itself.

Why we chose Wikisource this year?

The reason is simple. Malayalam wikisource is the most active wiki project after Malayalam wikipedia. Also we saw much potential in releasing an offline version of Malayalam wikisource since Malayalam wikisource already has many legendary notable Malayalam books. We want to showcase the Malayalam speaking people the great work done by the Malayalam wikisource community during the past 5 years. Also we know that through this release we will be able to reach more people.

The Wikisource CD project

The project page (വിക്കിഗ്രന്ഥശാല:സിഡി പതിപ്പ് 1.0) to coordinate the wikisource CD project was created on 2011 May 20. The book selection process was started on the same day. Whole wikisource community participated in the selection process. It is decided to include only Malayalam books in this release, since we have few Sanskrit source texts also.

Santhosh thottingal has agreed to take care of the technology part as he had done last year.

Malayalam source texts included in the CD

Following are the books included in this CD:

Selected Poems of

  • Kumaranasan
  • Cherusseri
  • Changampuzha Krishna Pillai
  • Kalakkaththu Kunchan Nambiar
  • Irayimman Thampi
  • Ramapurathu Warrier

Malayalam Grammar

  • Kerala Panineeyam by AR Rajaraja Varma


  • Aithihyamala


  •   Indulekha

Religious Texts

  • Bhagavad Gita
  • Adhyatma Ramayanam Kilippaatu
  • Harinama Keerthanam
  • Geetha Govindam
  • Sathyaveda Pusthakam (Malayalam Bible)
  • Quran
  • Works of Sree Narayana Guru
  • Devotional songs

Native Art Form

  • Parichamuttukali pattukal

Philosophy (Political)

  • Communist Manifesto
  • Principles of Communism (Friedrich Engels)

Commons images

Apart from the selected books of Malayalam wikisource we have also included images from Wikimedia Commons (Commons images related to Kerala) also in this CD. The inclusion of Commons image was a test case to see how Commons images can be used for public outreach. The maps of India/Kerala state from the Malayalam wikipedia Map project is also part of this image collection.

Hisham Mundol releasing the Malayalam Wikisource CD by handing over the CD to the youngest Malayalam Wikimedian Sai Shanmugham. Image Courtsey: Fotokannan


Whole Malayalam wiki community worked behind this. So it is almost impossible to name each one of them. But let me credit some of the major contributors:

  • Content creation: Malayalam wikisource community. Over the past 5 years they have digitized and added many important Malayalam source texts to wikisource. Thanks to all the contributors.  I would like to specillay mention two female editors of Malayalam wikisource (User:Atma and User:Su) who made exceptional contributions to this CD collection. Special thanks to users Thachan Makan and Manoj who coordinated many sub projects of this CD release.
  • Proof reading: Selection process and proof reading for this CD project had happened at the same time. Apart from the Malayalam wikisource community, Malayalam Buzzers and Malayalam bloggers had also helped us. Special thanks to all of them. In fact we could include Aithihyamala and Indulekha in this CD only because of their wonderful support.
  • Art work: Rajesh Odayanchal. He designed the sticker and the cover for the CD. Thanks for all the various wonderful designs that he submitted before we finalized the current designs.
  • CD production: Sunil Paravur. Thanks to Sunil Paravur for supporting us to get the CD replicated. For the purpose of the Wikimeetup we have produced 500 CDs.

Unlike the Wikipedia CD that we released last year,we haven’t approached any agency to sponsor this CD. Few Malayalam wikimedians had sponsored the entire production cost. We are charging a nominal amount of Rs 20 to cover the production cost of the CD.

Distribution of CD

The 500 copies that we produced for the purpose of Wiki meetup is almost over. Malayalam Wikimedians do not have any plans to further replicate this version of the CD. We except people outside wiki community will take care of further distribution. Already Zyxware technologies based in Trivandrum added malayalam wikisource CD in their CD distribution plan. Hope others will also follow soon. Last year IT@school and few other government agencies, and few computer magazines had reused the Malayalam wikipedia CD release. We expect many more social organizations, Government agencies, magazines, and so on will do that this year.

Mathrubhumi News daily (A prominent Malayalam Newspaper) had covered the news about the release of this CD. It is here. A rough translation of this news is provided by Tinu here.

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