The history of the Wikimedia Movement officially starts with the creation of the English Wikipedia on 15 January 2001. Other language versions (German, French and Spanish) and sister projects were founded in the following months and years.
In 2003, Jimmy Wales announced the creation of the “Wikimedia Foundation”, the official body to maintain and foster the Wikimedia projects. In 2004, the first Board of Trustees was set up and the community elected its first representatives to the Board.
In 2004, German Wikipedians founded an association called “Wikimedia Deutschland” to support the local Wikimedia community and to promote Free Knowledge in Germany. The first Wikimedia Chapter was born.
Chapters are independent organizations founded to support and promote the Wikimedia projects in a specified geographical region (country). Like the Wikimedia Foundation, they aim to "empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally". 40 chapters currently exist, with at least one Chapter on every inhabited continent.
In 2012, the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation approved User Groups and Thematic Organisations as additional models of Wikimedia groups. As of July 2014, there are 40 Chapters, 1 Thematic Organisation and 12 User Groups officially recognised as Wikimedia affiliates.
Today, almost 500 Million people visit the Wikimedia projects, and more than 80,000 people are actively contributing to those projects every month.
Links and documents
The following collection of links and documents gives an overview over the context, history and development of the Wikimedia movement.