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Wikimedians of Bulgaria/2018

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User Group information


As of 21 August 2018, Vassia Atanassova has withdrawn from her role of one of the two signatories of the Wikimedians of Bulgaria User Group. The withdrawal was made with a post to the BG WP Village Pump and the Talk:Wikimedians of Bulgaria and an email to the local community maillist and the Affiliations Committee maillist (confirmation from an AffCom member was obtained on 15 October 2018).

A proposal to close the existing user group due to limited community involvement was not accepted. However, as of 1 December 2018, no replacement has been selected, and Dimitar Dimitrov has remained the only one signatory of the UG.

No particular actions and committments have been taken with respect to opening a new shared bank account for the User Group (after closing the existing one in April 2017), for which reason no project proposals on behalf of the User Group have been made in 2018.

Contests organization


The WikiBotevgrad initiative started in October 2017 and officially completed in the end of May 2018. This was the first Bulgarian WikiTown project. The main person behind the project was Spasimir, occasionally helped by Vassia and other wikimedians. In 2018, the second and the third stages of the project were implemented, with deadlines 3 March (National Liberation Day in Bulgaria) and 24 May (Day of Cyrillic Writing, Education and Culture). For these occasions there were award ceremonies, with small presents for the stage winners, provided by the Botevgrad Municipality (t-shirts, books, badges, stickers, key chains, mugs).


In the end of the project the reported success was the following:

  • More than 60 participants
  • More than 140 new articles in Bulgarian Wikipedia
  • New articles in other languages:
    • 10+ in English only
    • All together 20+ articles in: French, German, Croatian, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Turkish, Lithuanian, Belarussian, Bahkir, etc.
    • More than 1000 uploaded photos and documents
    • The complete collection „With a quill and a sword“ by the local poet Stamen Panchev is now available in Wikisource.
    • Several trainings were conducted in the local library: for librarians/teachers/municipality/museum staff, and for school students
    • One photothon in the museum
Some lessons learned
  • Collaboration with municipality govt. completely differs from GLAM collaborations and grassroot volunteering.
  • The project would not be possible without a really dedicated paper in the Municipality’s public relations team.
  • The GLAM institutions were our interface and best friends.
  • It was very important that we started changing GLAMmers’ perception of Wikipedia, as weel as their perception of volunteering.
  • Special case were the librarians, specialized in documenting the local ethnography, who dedicate their time documenting the living memory of elderly local people, but are hard to convert to Wikipedians, since they have no time (and desire) to spend time on learning new technologies. This is a missing link identified between these ethnographers and the wikimedian volunteers.

The project was presented in front of various wiki/external audiences at:

  • International Tourist Fair in Sofia, Sofia, 14-16 February 2018
  • GLAMTLV2018, Tel Aviv, 3-5 November 2018
  • 150 postcards were printed (with own money) to be used for thank-you postcards to the international volunteers who wrote about Wikipedia, and for promotional uses in future.

CEE Spring 2018


This year, CEE Spring 2018 was not proposed by "Wikimedians of Bulgaria" (as in 2016 and 2017), but by an international team of volunteers, one of which the Bulgarian User:Spiritia and the Latvian User:Papuass and the Romanian User:Strainu. Fiscal sponsor of the project was again Wikimedia Austria, represented by the volunteer User:Philip Kopetzky and the staffer User:Annemarie Buchmann (WMAT). The motivation behind this change was in the desire to have the responsibility about the CEE Spring contest shared among more geographically diverse volunteers.

The results of the whole project are still being processed and the report is pending but for Bulgaria the local results are the following:

  • 15 participants, of whom 6 women;
  • 539 written articles Source: PetScan.
  • 10 awards (books only) provided in 5 different categories: "Best new article", "User with most contributed new articles", "User who wrote about the largest number of countries from the CEE region", "User with most contributed volume of information (bytes)", "User with most contributed volume of information (bytes) about women".
  • Local organizer: Spasimir

Wikipedia Asian Month 2018


Wikipedia Asian Month is being organized in Bulgaria for the 4th time. The results are the following:

Wiki Education

9 November 2018
New Bulgarian University
BG WP Coordination page: bg:У:НБУ18
University teacher and topic mentor: Justine Toms, wiki mentor: Vassia Atanassova
Lectures for students in New Bulgarian University, bachelor programs "Journalism", "Online Media and PR" "Marketing". Assignment: At least two articles from a list of topics selected by the teacher. Optional involvement. As of the end of November: 10 involved students, mainly from the OMPR programme

GLAM and institutional partnerships


Trainings of librarians

In continuation of the collaboration with the "Global Libraries - Bulgaria" Foundation, which started last year, in 2018 GLBF budgeted in their annual plan training sessions in "Media Literacy" (18 hours) and "Contributing e-Content to Wikipedia" (12 hours). 10 out of 27 regional libraries opted for "Contributing e-Content to Wikipedia" and 18 opted for "Media Literacy" (some libraries opted for both trainings). The "Contributing e-Content to Wikipedia" training was provided by Vassia Atanassova, Spasimir Pilev and Plamen Minchev. The "Media Literacy" training (which most of the times contained a segment on Wikipedia) was provided by Justine Toms, Vassia Atanassova and Lyuba Batembergska.
All the trainings took place in the regional libraries in the country's provincial centres, especially in the computer rooms, equiped by "Global Libraries - Bulgaria" Foundation (10-15 computers each). All the trainings took place in working days: 2 days for Wikipedia, 3 days for Media Literacy.
  • About 150 librarians were trained how to edit Wikipedia. The total number of all trained librarians from both courses is about 500.
  • About 60 new articles in BG WP were written and about 40 existing ones were edited.
  • About 40 uploaded photos, most of them immediately put in use in the articles.
  • Deeper contacts were established with librarians and library directors from Lovech, Haskovo, Plovdiv. There are ideas for establishing in 2019 joint projects with the libraries in Lovech and Gabrovo.

On November 10, 2018, in the cosy building of the Goethe Institut Sofia, a massive international wiki training and editathon took place in the frames of the Erbstuecke initiative in this European Year of Cultural Heritage. The Eastern European Editathon was organized, hosted and funded by Goethe Institut, with the support of the local wiki community and the "Global Libraries Bulgaria" Foundation. Invited by Goethe Institut Sofia were Wikimedians from Germany, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine came, as well as Wikimedians, librarians and other interested newbies from Sofia and the Bulgarian towns Dupnitsa, Hisarya, Tryavna, Lovech and Silistra.

The day started with two parallel sessions - "Introduction to Wikipedia for newbies" by Vassia Atanassova and Justine Toms, and "Wikidata for advanced Wikimedians" by Matti Blume. Then the lecturers swapped halls and Matti introduced the newbies to the brave new world of Wikidata, and Vassia presented to the experienced Wikimedians the lessons learnt from the 2018 trainings of librarians in Wikipedia and Media Literacy. Samira Zahra from Goethe Institut Sofia also had the floor to present the Erbstuecke initiative.

The afternoon was dedicated to the editathon and creation of articles related to libraries and cultural heritate. In the end of the day, the editathon resulted in 18 new articles in Bulgarian, 2 in English, 3 in German, 8 in Greek, 6 in Macedonian, 9 in Romanian, 7 in Serbian and 5 in Ukrainian, or 58 new articles all together. Since we had some paper sources and two portable scanners in the room, we used the opportuniity to train the librarians in the audience how to use the devices, and digitized more than 15 public domain photos from the sources, which illustrated several existing articles.

In the days before the editathon on 10 November, two more accompanying events took place, involving our foreign Wikimedian guests. On November 8 an 9, the "Global Libraries Bulgaria" Foundation had its annual national conference of librarians, and the foreign Wikimedians were invited to attend. On November 9, in New Bulgarian University there was a public lecture for Justine's students in mass communication in New Bulgarian University, and the Wikimedians from Ukraine and Greece were invited to present their local experience and projects. For ice breaker in the beginning, we played the Line Up game with different questions related to students' and editors' experience of the Free Encyclopedia.

With this wiki training and editathon, Goethe Institut Sofia proved again as a reliable partner of the Bulgarian wiki community, and Wikimedia in general. The Eastern European Editation is the second event they are hosting for us, after the "Notable Women" editathon on 11 March 2017, in collaboration with the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee. In addition, Goethe Institut Sofia declared insterest to continue the partnership with the Bulgarian Wikipedians, and to offer us a place for regular meetups and editathons.

Other public lectures

18 June 2018
American Corner, Sofia City Library, Sofia
Roundtable "[A2K] Access to Knowledge" (Programme)
28 September 2018
Regional Historical Museum, Pleven
Bulgarian: Европейска нощ на учените
English: European Researchers’ Night
  • "The mission of Wikipedia in conservation of cultural heritage", Spasimir Pilev
23 October 2018
American Corner, Sofia City Library, Sofia
Bulgarian: Юбилейна научна конференция „Библиотеката в / и града”
English: Jubilee Scientific Conference "Library in / and the city"
Conference programme
3 November 2018
TechnoPark, Sofia
OpenFest 2018, Conference programme
"Creative Commons Workshop" (120 minutes. Topics: What is Creative Commons and how to use it. Where to look for free content, how to publish under a Creative Commons license, and how to correctly attribute a CC licensed work. Demonstration for upload of images to Wikimedia Commons.
Ana Lazarova, Plamena Popova, Spasimir Pilev (Collaboration with members from Creative Commons Bulgaria and "Digital Republic" NGO)
8 November 2018
Ramada Hotel, Sofia
Bulgarian: „Национален форум Библиотеките днес 2018: Библиотеките днес и цифровата трансформация“
English: National Forum "Libraries Today 2018: Libraries Today and Digital Transformation"
Conference programme

Regional cooperation


CEE Meetings


The presentations of the user group members in the Wikimedia CEE Meeting were:

CEE Newsletter


Participation in other Wikimedia events


Wikimedia Conference - Berlin


Wikimania - Cape Town


GLAM Wiki Conference - Tel Aviv


Media presence


Media coverage


Social media activities


Plans for 2019