English edition of Wikipedia is now larger than the Spanish Encyclopedia ESPASA

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Saturday, December 17, 2005

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The English version of Wikipedia has reached 865,835 articles, 220 million words, 389,591 illustrations and pictures since January, 2001.[1].

Compared to the Spanish language Encyclopedia ESPASA, which has 117 volumes, 175,000 pages, 200 million words, 197,000 black and white illustrations, 4,500 color illustrations, 5 million bibliographic references and 100,000 biographies [2], the English Wikipedia is now larger, in terms of number of articles and number of words, than the largest encyclopedia of the Spanish language. Note that this is just a quantitative comparison. No judgement is made about the quality of the above-mentioned encyclopedias.

The project to write ESPASA was founded in 1860 by José Espasa Anguera and continued in 1926 by Editorial Espasa-Calpe, which today belongs to Grupo Planeta. The main works were published in 1905 and consisted of 72 volumes. In 1931 a 10 volumes appendix was published which includes an update of the previous volumes.

The reference work has been periodically updated by the biannual Suplementos since 1935. The latest Suplemento was published in 2005. In 1997 the work included a World Atlas. It has taken ESPASA 145 years to get to the point where it is today. In less than 5 years Wikipedia has reached a similar point.

An average of 1500 new articles are created on Wikipedia every day with around 23.4 edits per article.

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Sources

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