Please forward widely.
TAMPA, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, March 18, 2005
The Wikimedia Foundation announced today the creation of the 500,000th
article in the English-language Wikipedia, its project to create a
free, multilingual, online encyclopedia. The article was about
"Involuntary settlements in the Soviet Union"
Wikipedia is a comprehensive online reference that has won acclaim and
awards for its detailed coverage of current events and popular
culture, its usability, and its community of contributors. It
receives millions of visits each day.
Other recent additions to its English-language edition include
hundreds of full-length songs, almost a gigabyte of new images, and
Daniel Pink, author and WIRED Magazine columnist, recently described
Wikipedia as "the self-organizing, self-repairing, hyperaddictive
library of the future." BBC News calls it "One of the most reliably
useful sources of information around, on or off-line," and Tim
Berners-Lee, father of the Web, has called it "The Font of All
Wikipedia is the first and best-known project of the Wikimedia
Foundation. It has spawned sister projects, including a dictionary, a
library of textbooks, a compendium of quotations, and a news site.
These projects are all run on the open source MediaWiki platform
Wikipedia is available free of charge and free of advertising from its
. Interested contributors can visit
to learn how to
add to the encyclopedia. DVD versions of the encyclopedia are
scheduled to be released in English, German, and French, later this
"Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given
free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're
doing." --Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder
Started in January 2001, Wikipedia is currently the world's
fastest-growing, most current, and largest encyclopedia, with 1.5
million articles under active development in over 120 languages. It
is created entirely by volunteers who contribute, update, and revise
articles in a collaborative process. The English-language edition
contains 10 million internal links, and incorporates 25,000 edits and
1,000 new articles each day.
Wikipedia's content is written for a general audience, and is
continually being revised for clarity, readability, and accuracy.
Original text, images and sounds contributed to Wikipedia are licensed
under the GNU Free Documentation Licence (GFDL; see
), which lets users copy and
modify each other's work based on a principle known as "copyleft."
The entire database is freely downloadable from
The Wikimedia Foundation (http://www.wikimediafoundation.org
) is a
based in Florida, USA. It was founded in 2003 to maintain and develop
free-content projects like Wikipedia, and to provide the full contents
of those projects to the public free of charge.
The Foundation recently concluded a fund drive which raised over
US$90,000 (£55,000 or €80,000), primarily through individual
donations of US$50 or less
). It has national
chapters in Germany and France.
* About Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia
* The Wikimedia Foundation - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia
* About MediaWiki - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MediaWiki
* Wikipedia statistics - http://www.wikipedia.org/wikistats/EN/Sitemap.htm
* Wikipedia's best articles -
* Wikipedia press coverage -
For questions and interviews, please contact (in English only):
Jimmy Wales, Chair, Board of Trustees, Wikimedia Foundation
Angela Beesley, Executive Secretary, Board of Trustees, Wikimedia Foundation