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What is Srafopedia?

Srafopedia is the Wiki of, one of the top His Dark Materials fansites. Like Wikipedia, Srafopedia is open for anyone to contribute to. Please follow these rules and suggestions, so that we create the best possible Wiki.


The Srafopedia was created on July 16, 2005. It was originally filled with a few articles, but because of other projects that needed attention (Cittàgazze, Svalbard), work on the Srafopedia was paused. A few months later the database was emptied in an attempt to start from scratch.

The first article of the new Srafopedia was started on June 18, 2006. The articles were mostly copied from's old encyclopedia, and occasionally from Wikipedia itself. These articles serve as "stubs" which can then be developed into full-scale Srafopedia articles. The copying process is complete, and meanwhile several "model articles" were developed into full-scale articles. The help page, which you are now on, is also under construction. Srafopedia is, as you can tell, still under construction. However, a big step forward came on September 17, 2006, when the main site renovated and set up a link to Srafopedia. In the past several months, the copying process has been completed, many new articles have been added, tables and pictures have been incorporated, and categorization is currently underway.


We aim to compile the most comprehensive His Dark Materials resource, so that we can share our knowledge with other people interested.


A wiki is essentially a mini-Wikipedia, self-contained and devoted to a specific subject. Most general guidelines and techniques from Wikipedia apply to wikis. A comprehensive guide to Wikipedia is here: Wikipedia Help Page

Reading Srafopedia

Finding Articles


To search for an article, type the name of the article into the search bar, which is on the left side of the screen, underneath the navigation box. Then press "go" or hit "enter." If there is no article with the exact name you typed in, then it will come up with a list of related entries from which you can choose.


To find articles by category, go to Special:Categories. There will be a list of all the categories. Click on a category to see the articles in that category.

Random Page

To call up a random page, click the Random Page button in the navigation bar, second from the bottom.


Words or phrases in blue, if clicked on, will take you to the article which corresponds to that word or phrase. If the word or phrase is accompanied by a small boxed arrow, clicking it will take you to an off-site page.


At the top of some pages, there is a blue box with an outline of the article in blue. Clicking on any heading in the box will take you to that section of the article. This makes large articles easier to navigate.

Editing Srafopedia

The following are the simplified Srafopedia rules for editing. For more advanced help, see the Wikipedia Help Page

Srafifying Articles


Writing Style


The definition of canon is debated, but it definitely includes HDM, LO, and any text that Philip Pullman has personally written and approved for publication, for example the alethiometer poster, the alethiometer guide, or the Liber Angelorum.

Canon may or may not include informal comments that Philip Pullman has made in interviews.

Canon definitely does not include rumors, theories, or adaptations of the books.

Srafopedia is primarily based on canon, and material that is not based on canon must be clearly marked as such and placed under a separate sub-heading within an article.

Proper Formatting

Editing Articles

Writing Articles

You change the content of an article by writing or editing in the "edit" box, accessible by clicking the "edit" tab on the top of a page. Alternately, if you are editing an article with subheadings, you can click on the "edit" button next to a particular subheading.

A bar of buttons will appear on the top of the edit box. From left to right, they are "bold," "italics," "internal link," "external link," "level 2 headline," "embedded image," "media file link," "mathematical formula," "ignore wiki formatting," "your signature with timestamp," and "horizontal line (use sparingly." When you scroll over these buttons, their descriptions will come up. "Bold" and "Italics" are, self-evidently, font buttons. The most important wiki formats are "internal link," "external link," and "level 2 headline."

Internal Links

To create an internal link, that is a link to another article in Srafopedia, you can click on the button on the top of the edit box third from the left. This will put this:

[[Link title]]

on your page. That is a template. Replace "Link title" with the name of the article you want to link to. You can also just type that in, which saves time. Type two left brackets, then the title, then two right brackets. If you want to link to an article, but want something other than the article's exact title to appear on the link, the format is

[[Link Title|whatever you want to show on the page]].

External Links

To create an external link, that is a link to a page outside of Srafopedia on the web, you can click on the button on the top of the edit box fourth from the left. This will put this

[ link title]

on your page. That is a template. Replace "" with the url of the page you want to link to. Replace "link title" with the name of the page as you want it to appear. If you don't put something in that place, and only include the address, it will appear as just a number. That's fine for footnotes, but usually you want a title to appear on the page. You can also just type that in, which saves time. Type one left bracket, then the url, then a space, then the title, then one right bracket.


In order to organize an article of any size, you will need to divide it into subsections. To create a "level two headline," or main subsection, you can click on the button on the top of the edit box fifth from the left. This will put this

==Headline text== 

on your page. This is a template. Replace "headline text" with whatever you want to call your section. You can also just type that in, which saves time. Type two equal signs, then a space, then the title, then a space, then two equal signs. To create a "level three headline," use three equal signs on each side, instead of three, and so on.



Starting New Articles

Before starting a new article, look for the article you want to create using the system explained above. If there is no article on the topic you are interested in, then you can go ahead and make one. Go to (replacing "Title_of_Article" with the title of the article you want to write, obviously). You will get a blank page. Click "edit," and then you can start writing the article.


In order to make Srafopedia more searchable, redirects are essential. A redirect is just what it sounds like: it means that if someone searches for a particular page or clicks on a link to that page, they will be redirected to another page instead. This is primarily used for variations on the title of the actual article. For example, Mrs. Coulter redirects to Coulter, Marisa. There can only be one article on each topic. To create a redirect, follow the instructions for "Starting New Articles." Once you get to the empty page's edit box, however, simply type

#REDIRECT [[Link Title]]

replacing "Link Title" with the title of the article to which you want to redirect.


Categories are extremely useful for finding articles, and also for finding articles related to the one you are reading. All the categories are listed in Special:Categories.

How to put an article into categories

Adding an article to a category is as simple as editing the article and adding a link to the category. For instance, to add Felis silvestris catus article to the "fluffy creatures" category, you would edit the article and enter [[Category:Fluffy creatures]] at the bottom, but before interlanguage links. The appeal of categories is that unlike lists, they update themselves automatically, and you don't have to edit the category to add an article to it. However, categories are not a substitute for lists, and you will find that many articles belong to both lists and categories.

When adding an article to a category, or creating categories, one should be careful to use the correct categories and subcategories. Horizontal categorization, directly below, refers to placing an article in the correct category while vertical categorization refers to placing an article in the correct subcategory.

When assigning an article into categories, try to be thorough in a "horizontal" sense. The topic may be associated with a geographic area, a historical period, an academic subfield, a certain type of thing (like a food or an ornament), and/or a special interest topic (like Roman Empire or LGBT). You might need to poke around the category hierarchy a bit to find the right place. Try searching for articles similar to the article you are categorizing to get ideas or to find the most appropriate place.

In the "vertical" dimension, Wikipedia has traditionally been more frugal, placing articles only in the most specific categories they reasonably fit in. Thus, if there is a Category:American film actors, John Wayne would go there and not in Category:Film actors or Category:American actors. However, there is a school of thought that argues that, because different users may be interested in different categories, and because placing articles in multiple categories takes up minimal additional space, in some cases one should place articles in all the categories that apply.

How to create categories

Creating a category is as simple as adding a link to a category that doesn't yet exist. For instance, to create the "fluffy creatures" category, you would edit an article and enter [[Category:Fluffy creatures]] the same way as adding it to any other category. The Category:Fluffy creatures will automatically be created when the edit is saved.

Category naming

Categories follow the same general naming conventions as articles. For specific conventions related to categories, see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (categories). Whatever categories you add, make sure they do not implicitly violate the neutral point of view policy. If the nature of something is in dispute (like whether or not it's fictional or scientific or whatever), you may want to avoid labelling it or mark the categorization as disputed. Most categorizations are pretty straightforward, though.

Look before you leap

Before creating a category, look to see if one already exists. The best way to do this is to first add the category to your article but preview before saving. If the category appears in blue at the bottom of the page, the category already exists. If it is in red, then you will be creating a new category. Check the capitalization of the category name. For any red categories, you should look for categories with similar names before creating a new category. One way to do this is to think of the parent category for the new category. Search for it and then look at the subcategories in the parent. You may find that a category already exists that is similar to the one you are thinking about creating.

Before creating a new category, familiarize yourself with all the guidelines on this page, and related pages. Pay particular attention to the established naming conventions for categories. Categories are deleted, merged and renamed at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion. For more about types of categories that may be likely to get deleted, see Wikipedia:Overcategorization.

You may see some inconsistencies when first creating the category: it may alternate between appearing empty and appearing with your first additions. It will probably correct itself in a few minutes. Note that, although "uncreated" categories will correctly list articles that have been assigned to them, the category page itself does not exist until it is manually created. The easiest way to create the category page is to follow the red category link from your article and create a new category page with a parent category and a category description as explained in the next section.

How to create subcategories

Create subcategory pages by putting the name of the parent category on a category page that you would like to be the subcategory. Child categories (subcategories) are created by putting [[Category:parent_category_name]] on the lower-level category pages. For example, on a (sub)category page called category:Roses you put [[Category:Flowers]], Roses becomes a subcategory of Flowers.

When writing the description for a category try to give it at least two parent categories. For example, Category:British writers should be in both Category:Writers by nationality and Category:British people. A few categories do only merely subdivide their parent category, but unless the parent category has many potential articles under it, or many potential subdivisions, if you can't think of a second parent category, it might be a better idea to fold your smaller category into the parent. -From Wikipedia

Using Srafopedia



Talk Pages



The "history" tab, fourth from the right at the top of every article, records every change made to an article, along with who made the changes. This is a useful way to keep track of how an article has progressed, and holds people responsible for the changes they've made.

Community Portal

The Community Portal is the place to find out what's going on in the Srafopedia community, what the main ongoing projects are, and what needs to get done.

Current Events


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