Alice in Wonderland (1915) by American Film Manufacturing Company. Movie by W.W. Young, public domain.

It has been 150 years since Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland first reached the minds of millions of readers around the world, starting a global fascination with an adventurous little girl in a strange land. The novel was first written in 1865 by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known under his pseudonym Lewis Carroll. The classic tale tells us about a girl named Alice who falls through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar anthropomorphic creatures. Fifty years later, the first Alice in Wonderland film was released in January 1915.

From its introduction in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the metaphor “down the rabbit hole” references an entry into the unknown, an analogous experience of many Wikipedia readers. The structure and design of Wikipedia embodies the joy of falling down the (knowledge) rabbit hole, hopping from one Wikipedia article to the next, discovering previously unknown subjects.

The full silent film exists in the public domain and is available to watch for free on Wikimedia Commons. Enjoy!

Alice in Wonderland by Arthur Rackham - 15 - At this the whole pack rose up into the air and came flying down upon her.jpg
Illustration of Alice and the playing cards. Illustration by Obakeneko, public domain

The below text is adapted from Wikipedia, written by various contributors, freely licensed under a CC BY-SA 3.0 License and the GDFL. Authorship information can be found in each article’s “history” tab.

Andrew Sherman, Digital Communications Intern, Wikimedia Foundation
Michael Guss, Research Analyst, Wikimedia Foundation