In 2015, a total number of 49 visits to the Central State Archive in Sofia were made, and the Pazardzhik regional direction of the Archives was visited for the first time. A total number of 4469 images (photographs and documents) were digitized and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, used in 818 articles in Bulgarian and foreign languages. Thanks to the digitized images, many new articles in different languages were written in 2015.
This year, two meetings with the Director of the State Archives, Assoc. Prof. Mihail Gruev, were organized. The first meeting was conducted soon after his appointment to this position, on April 9, 2015. It was attended by the Wikimedians Vassia Atanassova, Nikola Kalchev and Spasimir Pilev, and Assoc. Prof. Gruev. The second one was organized in the context of a planned joint exhibition in 2016. It was attended by the Vassia and Spasimir, as well as Assoc. Prof. Gruev and the Head of the Public Relations Dept., Mrs Plamka Boshnyakova. In the end of the year, the agreements for collaboration were extended for another 2-year period.
Thanks to the collaboration between Wikipedia and the Bulgarian Archives State Agency, the idea about the international contest, titled Archives Challenge, occurred. It aims at more intensive utilization of the digitized content, improvement of the content of the articles using it, utilization of archival content in Wikipedian articles in other languages besides Bulgarian. The contest was organized in the period from November 15 to December 15, 2015. 12 contributors from Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia took part in it. The contest led to improved description of many images, translations to many new languages. In addition to the existing descriptions in Bulgarian and English, descriptions in Armenian, Belarussian, Greek, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian and Serbian were also recorded. Many images were categorized in deeper, or more precise categories. The challenge included also the “Then and Now” Gallery, for which the contestants were asked to discover pairs of identical images from the Archives, and from nowadays. 57 pairs of identical photos were found during the contest.
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