The world’s fifth most visited website, Wikipedia, has ballooned in size while its printed ancestors have disappeared. But now a group of German media types want to create a hard copy of Wikipedia itself.
All 4.3 million entries, all 2.6 billion words of it.
A work of “record breaking dimensions”, the project is planned for launch at a Wikipedia conference in London later this year, Wikimedia. There will be a lot of it: some 1,000 volumes, each containing 1,200 pages. The final article, they estimate, will be on page 1,193,014.
The Wikipedia devotees are hoping to raise $50,000 to fund the project (with 40 days to go they are almost a quarter of the way there). The exhibit is intended to underscore the scale of Wikipedia’s achievements and sheer size, as well as to “honour the countless volunteers who have created this fascinating trove of knowledge in little more than ten years”.
If there is sufficient interest, we would love to send the exhibition on a tour around the globe after Wikimania. This is a stretch goal though.
Finally, we would like to donate the edition to a big public library. To later generations this might be a period piece from the beginning of the digital revolution.