Wikipedia:Size in volumes

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This page displays the current size of the English Wikipedia (without images) in print volumes, per mathematical calculation.

2600 volumes
13 stacks

Human outline.svg

Assumptions and calculations[edit]

Encyclopædia Britannica: two rows of volumes in shelves
  • This shows 3.41 billion words[not in citation given] across 5.50 million articles (as of October 2017), implying an average of 620 words per article.
  • Same source shows 27.553 GB (=28,214,067,200 bytes) across 3,410 million words, implying 8.08 bytes/word. ASCII uses 1 byte/character which in turn implies 8.08 characters/word. However, this includes wikimarkup, and 5 char/word plus one for space is standard, so 6 characters/word will be assumed.
  • There are currently 5,590,501 articles, which means 3,466,110,620 words, which means 20,796,663,720 characters.
  • One volume: 25cm high, 5cm thick. 500 leaves, 2 pagefaces per leaf, two columns per pageface, 80 rows/column, 50 characters per row. So one volume = 8,000,000 characters, or 1,333,333 words, or 2,150.5 articles. (Pictures not included!)
  • Thus, the text of the English Wikipedia is currently equivalent to 2,578.6 volumes of the Encyclopædia Britannica.
  • Sanity check: Encyclopædia Britannica has 44 million words across 32 volumes, or 1,375,000 words per volume. This would imply 2,500 volumes for WP.

First bullet source[1] only contains wordcount data from 2010 (1.798 million). 3.2 billion found by multiplying 2010 avg word-per-article (580) to current number of articles (5.50 mil). 3.41 bil found when multiplying current article by words-per-article count of 620[where?].

Print Wikipedia[edit]

The Print Wikipedia installation

In June 2015, artist Michael Mandiberg (User:Theredproject) generated a 7,473 volume print-ready collection of the English Wikipedia in PDF format, printed wallpaper representing the spines of the books, and printed over 100 volumes through print on demand service Lulu, as part of an art installation at the Denny Gallery in New York City. The table of contents alone took 91 volumes to list the nearly 11.5 million articles.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (16 June 2015). "Moving Wikipedia From Computer to Many, Many Bookshelves". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Github site mandiberg/printwikipedia". Retrieved 2015-07-02. 

External links[edit]