The Dutch Wikipedia is the Dutch version of the Wikipedia project: a free internet encyclopedia written by volunteers. The Dutch Wikipedia dates from June 2001. From June 2013 to July 2014, measured by the number of articles, it was the largest edition of Wikipedia after the English Wikipedia. After that, the Dutch version was overtaken by the Swedish, French, German and Cebuano Wikipedia.
The Wikipedia name and the servers running the project are owned by the Wikimedia Foundation. National associations, including Wikimedia Netherlands and Wikimedia Belgium, support the Wikimedia Foundation within a specific geographic area, but are not responsible for the content of the encyclopedia.
The Dutch-language Wikipedia started on June 19, 2001, five months after the English-language one was launched. Many conventions, guidelines and functions that were developed during the construction of the English edition have been adopted for the Dutch edition. It is no longer possible to determine which Dutch-language article was written first, because part of the earliest history has been lost as a result of database conversions. The currently oldest article is definition, (oldest version written on August 7, 2001 at 7:06 PM) followed by ollekebolleke. On August 3, 2003, more than two years after the start, the 10,000th article appeared on the Dutch Wikipedia. In the months that followed, the site was visited more and more and the number of employees also increased.
Growth and size
On January 27, 2005, the 50,000th article (Pianosa) appeared, and on October 14 of the same year, the milestone of 100,000 articles was reached. On December 17, 2011, the one millionth article appeared on the Dutch Wikipedia. From the start of the Dutch edition, the number of articles gradually increased. From March 2006, the encyclopedia suddenly grew strongly, peaking at 1,000 new articles per day in May 2006, thanks to the deployment of a bot that added 35,000 articles about municipalities in France in six weeks. After this, the daily growth decreased sharply to an average of about 250 new articles per day. In the second half of 2011, there was a very strong growth, when almost 300,000 articles were added in less than six months. This was due to the restart of a project that aims to give all scientifically described animal species their own entry based on database data. As with the addition of French municipalities, a bot was used. In March 2013, no fewer than 230,813 entries were added, mainly by a bot. As a result, the Dutch-language Wikipedia contains more than 790,000 'starts' about biology. Since 2013, the Dutch-language Wikipedia has clearly grown more slowly than in the period 2006-2011. On March 8, 2020, the Dutch-language Wikipedia reached the milestone of two million articles. The Dutch Wikipedia currently has 2,068,135 articles. See Wikipedia:Statistics for more numbers.
Subprojects, online and offline writing events are used to further expand and improve the number of articles. In 2016, an art project by Michael Mandiberg was shown in Ghent, in which the Dutch-language Wikipedia was visually represented as it would look if Wikipedia would be completely printed and bound in a book-shaped encyclopedia. In addition, 68 of the 1,065 printed books (without images) needed at that time were exhibited.
In 2015, most visitors to the Dutch-language Wikipedia came from the Netherlands (69.1%) and Belgium (20.1%). Visitors from these two countries were closely followed by those from the United States (2.3%). In 2018, visitors from the Netherlands visited the English-language Wikipedia more often than the Dutch-language edition: 55 of all Wikipedia visits from the Netherlands.