For €441,000, you can pick up a printed copy of Wikipedia

3 Jul 2015

Taking inspiration from the Gutenberg press, a UK artist has decided that the efficient and instantaneous access to 11.5m entries into Wikipedia online wasn’t quite enough and is now looking for buyers for a print edition costing €441,000 (£314,000).

This wouldn’t be the first time that someone has attempted to put one of the greatest collections of information ever collated into the written form, with one Indiegogo campaign previously attempting to raise funds to print the open-source encyclopaedia.

This time around, however, artist Michael Mandiberg has already secured what he needs to bring his dream to fruition.

He is a keen Wikipedia updater, having already edited more than 2,000 articles himself, and has now decided to upload 11GB worth of articles online, where it will soon be printed by a company in the UK.

When printed, it will cover 7,600 volumes worth of regular encyclopaedias, with 91 volumes alone covering the content pages.

Speaking of why he wanted to take on such an enormous project, Mandiberg said it wasn’t a long, thought-out process: “When I started, I wondered ‘what if I took this new thing and made it into that old thing’.”

It will take up to two weeks for the file to be transferred to the self-publishing site, which will be turning the entire process into an exhibition in New York to show the uploading process.

Book image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic