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Wikipedia:People by year

Wikipedia:Categorization of people > by year

Each biography is placed in one of the subcategories of Births by year and Deaths by year according to the date of birth and date of death in the article.

The same applies for images of non-anonymous people.


The article "Julius Schwartz":

Julius "Julie" Schwartz (June 19, 1915 - February 8, 2004) was ...


[ [Category:1915 births|Schwartz, Julius]]
[ [Category:2004 deaths|Schwartz, Julius]]

placing the article in:

and sorting it by last name.

Use of the categories in Wikipedia

For a discussion about implementing the categories, see Wikipedia talk:People by year/Delete.

Some stats: /Reports/Stats

Which category to use

  1. Year of birth/death is known.
  2. Year of birth/death is approximate.
  3. Year of birth is unknown.
  4. Year of death is unknown.

Templates for the descriptions of the category pages

The following templates can be used for the text on the category pages:

see also: Template:Ltm

Assignment of categories

The information to assign the categories can partially be extracted from Wikipedia and uploaded by bot. Some of the possibilities are:

With lists in Wikipedia

Lists providing the years:

With categories

Articles already categorized in Category:People can be selected and checked for years.

The following articles subcategorized in Category:People are not biographies:

  • Articles titled "List of .."
  • Articles in categories titled "Lists .."

1. To select categories

  1. /SQL to find people categories (marginally reliable)
  2. /List of manually selected categories (used instead)

2. To select biographies:

CREATE TABLE temp_people1
SELECT DISTINCT cur_id, cur_title, cur_text, cur_namespace, 0000 AS YOB, 0000 AS YOD
FROM temp_peoplecats, categorylinks, cur
WHERE ct_from_name=cl_to
AND cl_from=cur_id

3. To find the years mentioned in the articles:

CREATE TABLE temp_years SELECT	cur_id AS y_id, cur_title+1-1 AS y_title, cur_namespace, cur_is_redirect FROM cur 
WHERE	cur_title RLIKE '^[0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9]$'
OR 		cur_title RLIKE '^[0-9][0-9][0-9]$'
OR 		cur_title RLIKE '^[0-9][0-9]$'
LIMIT 5000;

DELETE FROM temp_years WHERE cur_namespace	<>0;
DELETE FROM temp_years WHERE cur_is_redirect		<>0;
ALTER TABLE temp_years DROP cur_namespace, DROP cur_is_redirect;

4.Sample selection, the result needs to be checked manually.

SELECT	cur_title, cur_text, MIN(y_title) AS Y1, MAX(y_title) AS Y2,  (MAX(y_title) - MIN(y_title)) AS Diff
FROM 		temp_people1, links, temp_years
WHERE	cur_title LIKE 'James%'	
AND		temp_people1.cur_id=l_from
AND		l_to=y_id
GROUP BY	cur_title
Sample output: Wikipedia:People by year/Reports/Year from article text.
The result will need to be checked manually.

With the links from year pages


Checking sort keys

The bot creates a default sort key with the last part of the article title.

This default is not appropriate for:

As some names have been Westernized, it's not necessarily true for all.

For the articles that have already been assigned sort keys, the one assigned by the bot can be compared with the ones added by other users.

The query may turn up more sort keys that need to be fixed in other categories than in Births/Deaths by year. Categories added through template will have a sort key as the page title, the query excludes them. Subcategories in Category:Families are likely to be sorted by first name and need to be ignored as well. Check also: Category:People of the Vietnam War, Category:Icelandic politicians.

SELECT CONCAT('<tr><td>[[', cur_title, ']] ',
'<td>[[:Category:', cl1.cl_to, '|', cl1.cl_to ,']] ',
'<td>', cl1.cl_sortkey, 
'<td>[[:Category:', cl2.cl_to, '|', cl2.cl_to, ']] ',
'<td>', cl2.cl_sortkey)  AS CompTable
INTO OUTFILE 'wp_sortkeytest.txt'
FROM categorylinks AS cl1, categorylinks AS cl2, cur
WHERE (cl1.cl_to LIKE "%births" OR cl1.cl_to LIKE "%deaths")
AND cl1.cl_from = cl2.cl_from		
AND cl1.cl_to <> cl2.cl_to
AND cl1.cl_sortkey <> cl2.cl_sortkey	
AND cl1.cl_from = cur_id
# ignore categories added through templates
AND cl2.cl_to <> 'People_stubs'
AND cl2.cl_to <> 'Writer_stubs'
AND cl2.cl_to <> 'Language_stubs'
AND cl2.cl_to <> '1911_Britannica'
AND cl2.cl_to <> 'NPOV_disputes'
AND cl2.cl_to <> 'Unformatted_ice_hockey_player'
AND cl2.cl_to <> 'Substubs'
AND cl2.cl_to <> 'Articles_to_be_split'
AND cl2.cl_to <> 'Cleanup'
AND cl2.cl_to <> 'Pages_on_votes_for_deletion'
# ignore family cats, e.g. 
AND cl2.cl_to <> 'The_Rockefellers'
AND cl2.cl_to <> 'The_Rothschilds'
# ignore categories with sortkey "*", e.g. for [[John Lennon]] in [[:Category:John Lennon]]
AND LEFT(cl2.cl_sortkey,1)<>'*'
# ignore differences beyond the first 4 char.
AND LEFT(cl1.cl_sortkey, 4)<>LEFT(cl2.cl_sortkey, 4)
ORDER BY cur_id
Output: Wikipedia:People by year/Reports/Sortkeytest

In these cases, the sort keys need be edited manually (for now).

See also: /Reports/Sortkeytest2 made with /Reports/Sortkeytest2/SQL

Bot problems

See also Wikipedia:bots for general precautions regarding the use of bots.

The birth/death year category uploaded by bot is not correct.

  • Please correct it.
  • If the bot note reads "Based on List of people by name", the year there is being used. It's likely that:
    • a disambiguating link/page is necessary, the years used being those of another person.
    • another page/list gives incorrect years. Please update them there as well.
  • If no source is given, the manual check of the input wasn't accurate.

Add the sample to this page if the type of problem hasn't been identified.

The sort key is not correct.

  • If there is no other category assigned to the article, please correct it. If the category of names isn't identified yet, please mention it above.
  • If the article has already another category, the sort key may eventually be fixed to match it.
  • In more recent additions, the sort key is based on existing categories (e.g. Peers, but obviously not People stubs). Thus other existing categories may need be corrected as well.

There are multiple categories for birth/death These are generally due to conflicting sortkeys or sources used for the years. Uploads are now being checked based on the last to avoid that categories are added to articles already categorized, and past uploaded manually corrected. Please remove duplicated categories that may still exist.

Sample queries

People table

Builds a table with article title, years, age, other categories, etc.

See: /SQL for table


Select all biography articles (in Births by year or Deaths by year):

SELECT DISTINCT CONCAT('#[[',cur_title,']]') LIST
INTO OUTFILE 'wp_people_by_year_all.txt'
FROM cur, categorylinks
WHERE (cl_to LIKE '%deaths' OR cl_to LIKE '%births')
AND cl_from=cur_id
AND cl_sortkey NOT LIKE '*%'
ORDER BY cl_sortkey
LIMIT 10000
Sample output: Wikipedia:People by year/Reports/All

All with years

With birth and death years:

SELECT CONCAT('*[[', REPLACE(cur_title,'_',' '), ']] ([[:Category:', cl1.cl_to, '|', LEFT(cl1.cl_to,4) ,']] – [[:Category:', cl2.cl_to, '|', LEFT(cl2.cl_to,4), ']])')  AS CompTable
INTO OUTFILE 'wp_name_(born-died).txt' #add directory/path
FROM categorylinks AS cl1, categorylinks AS cl2, cur
WHERE cl1.cl_to LIKE "%births"
AND cl1.cl_from = cl2.cl_from
AND cl2.cl_to LIKE "%deaths"
AND cl1.cl_from = cur.cur_id
ORDER BY cl1.cl_sortkey
Sample output: Wikipedia:People by year/Reports/Name (born-died)

With categories

With birth and death years and other category assigned to the article:



Oldest persons with biographies in Wikipedia:

SELECT CONCAT('*[[', REPLACE(cur_title,'_',' '), ']] ', (cl2.cl_to - cl1.cl_to), ' ([[:Category:', cl1.cl_to, '|', LEFT(cl1.cl_to,4) ,']] – [[:Category:', cl2.cl_to, '|', LEFT(cl2.cl_to,4), ']])')  AS CompTable
INTO OUTFILE 'wp_oldest_(born-died).txt'   #add directory/path
FROM categorylinks AS cl1, categorylinks AS cl2, cur
WHERE cl1.cl_to LIKE "%births"
AND cl1.cl_from = cl2.cl_from
AND cl2.cl_to LIKE "%deaths"
AND cl1.cl_from = cur.cur_id
ORDER BY (cl2.cl_to - cl1.cl_to) DESC
Sample output: Wikipedia:People by year/Reports/Oldest
Similar: Wikipedia:People by year/Reports/Youngest

Per decade

Biographies available for people alive in a given decade:



Disambiguation pages

Disambiguation pages with year categories

SELECT DISTINCT CONCAT('#[[', REPLACE(p_title,'_',' '), ']]')
INTO OUTFILE 'wp_disambig_pages.txt'
FROM temp_peopleyr, categorylinks
WHERE p_id=cl_from
AND cl_to = 'Disambiguation'
Output: /Reports/Disambig_pages

Articles to be categorized

Articles in a subcategory of Category:People, but without year of birth/death category:


No other categories

Articles in no other subcategory of Category:People, than birth/death:

SELECT DISTINCT CONCAT('*[[', REPLACE(p_title, '_', ' '), ']] ', 
IF(y2='0000', CONCAT('(born [[', y1,']])'), IF(y1='0000', CONCAT('(died [[', y2,']])'), CONCAT('([[', y1, ']]-[[',y2,']])'))), 
IF(p_categories='', '', CONCAT(', ',  p_categories))
)INTO OUTFILE 'wp_no_other_cat.txt'
FROM temp_peopleyr
WHERE p_cats='00'
ORDER BY p_sortkey
LIMIT 20000
Output: /Reports/No_other_categories

Multiple years

Articles with multiple (and different) birth or death categories:

SELECT p_title, p_id, RIGHT(cl_to, 6), Count(*)
FROM temp_peopleyr, categorylinks
AND  cl_to LIKE '%births'  # or deaths instead
GROUP BY p_title
LIMIT 100000
Output: (as of October 3 2004) Hans Richter

This does not identify articles with twice the same year of birth (or death) category.


  • Missing year of birth