Original author: AJ Ashton (on OpenClipArt). Code fixed by verdy_p for XML conformance, and MediaWiki compatibility, using a stricter subset of SVG without the extensions of SVG editors, also cleaned up many unnecessary CSS attributes, or factorized them for faster performance and smaller size. All the variants linked below are based on this image.Wikipedia in a book? That’s right! I know it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Wikipedia but our mission at the Wikimedia Foundation is make all human knowledge accessible to everyone, and that includes bringing that knowledge to the offline world.

Wikimedia Germany (the German Wikimedia chapter) spent a lot of time and energy pulling this project together and was able to get the weight of publishing powerhouse Bertelsmann behind the project. Furthermore, they helped Bertelsmann to understand and support our mission because the GFDL would require Bertelsmann to contribute the changes back to Wikipedia. This makes this a unique endeavor in the publishing world and could be considered a success just for getting this off the ground.

Here is a quick summary and the main stats of the book project:

Title: The Wikipedia Encyclopaedia in one volume (“Das Wikipedia
Lexikon in einem Band”)
Size: 993 pages
Illustrations: approx. 1,000
Keywords and definitions: approx. 50,000
Index: WIKIPEDIA’s most frequently accessed keywords
Content: Abstracts/first paragraph of the online-edition; countries
given with basic key facts
Format: 17 x 24 cm
Get-up: Hardcover, four-colour
Target retail price (VAT included): EUR 19.95
Publication date: Autumn 2008

The book is only in German for the German market but we will be watching this innovative project closely because…who knows? You can’t change the world unless you push the limits and try to break existing paradigms. Much of the credit for this arrangement belongs to Mathias, Arne and everyone involved with the German chapter – they did all the hard work. Danke!

Time to celebrate with some schnitzel and a large Dunkel (or an Apelsaft, if you prefer)!

Kul Wadhwa, Head of Business Development