No, this is not an early April Fool’s joke. Pedia Press, a small team of developers who work on the open-source book tool for online encyclopedia Wikipedia, aim to raise US$50,000 to put the website into a print encyclopaedia.
Comprised of more than 4m unique entries in English alone, the ambitious project is aiming to bring the online encyclopedia back to its traditional paper route by printing the complete English Wikipedia in 1,000 books and display them at a public exhibition.
On its Indiegogo fundraising page, the Pedia Press team stated its intentions. “We’ll fit the complete English Wikipedia in approximately 1,000 books with 1,200 pages each. All volumes will have continuous page numbers, so the last article could as well be on page number 1,193,014.”
The team is based in Mainz, Germany, which is also the hometown of the man remembered as the inventor of the printing press and bringing the first form of mass communication to the world, Johannes Guttenberg.
If the project is to achieve its US$50,000 target, it will be displayed at Wikimania London in August 2014. The team members hope to embark on a global tour if they raise more than their initial target.
The most obvious question asked is why they would want to print the content of a website that is edited by 20m people every few seconds?
To show how often Wikipedia receives contributions, the team will also have a continuous paper print showing each and every update to articles in real-time.