Guinness World Record Smashed: Polish Wikipedia’s 100-Hour Editing Marathon Unveils the Riches of Poland’s Heritage!

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Taralajka, Wikipedia dzień5 Koszykowa 109CC BY-SA 4.0

On September 26–30, 2023, the Polish Wikipedia community undertook an ambitious task – an attempt to break the Guinness Record for the longest edit-a-thon. Our goal was to improve and create entries regarding the broadly understood Polish heritage (i.e. history, culture, architecture, literature, music, etc.). We made it: last week, the Guinness World Records office officially recognized our result – we are world champions in editing length! This would not be possible without the enormous support (organizational, logistic and personal) from the Public Library of the capital city of Warsaw – the Main Library of the Masovian Voivodeship, which hosted us.

Historical effort

Through an uninterrupted effort of 100 hours, with unwavering commitment and passion, volunteers from Poland collectively edited content on the world’s largest online encyclopedia, focusing primarily on the rich tapestry of Polish heritage. This concerted effort not only demonstrated vast knowledge and dedication but also an exceptional ability to cooperate. The main topic of the event being Polish heritage brought to light the cultural, historical, and scientific contributions of Poland, further enriching the global repository of knowledge. This historic achievement not only highlights the importance of open sources of knowledge in today’s information society but also attests to the strong position of the Polish community within the global project that is Wikipedia. It has become a symbol of how technology, knowledge, and human collaboration can together create something truly unique and inspiring for future generations.

RzuwigGuinness World Record for editing Wikipedia by Rzuwig 06CC BY-SA 3.0

Robert DrózdWikiRekord Guinnessa 2023 RD 034CC BY-SA 4.0
Robert DrózdWikiRekord Guinnessa 2023 RD 001CC BY-SA 4.0

MOs810Guinness World Record for editing Wikipedia, Warsaw 45CC BY-SA 4.0

How did we prepare for this event?

The preparations took about half a year. The owner of the project from the beginning was Marek Lewandowski (Events Expert in WMPL), supported by an Organizing Committee composed of committed and experienced volunteers (editors, administrators, WMPL management board members and others). 

In order to even attempt to break the world record, we had to adapt to the very high and detailed requirements of the Guinness Records office. Every action, every minute of editing, had to be properly recorded, confirmed by independent witnesses, documented, and the documentation secured. 

We had to prepare appropriate tools to record our sample, recruit and prepare many volunteers, and develop a shift system (the requirement was that at least 10 people edit at the same time, we preferred 15).

One of the biggest challenges, however, was community involvement – we asked ourselves how to attract as many editors as possible to this event. One of the mechanisms used was a mass message via Wikipedia with an invitation sent to the most active editors in Poland. The results exceeded our expectations! Instead of the planned 60 participants, 127 editors showed up.

This group included both very experienced people (including administrators) and novices who were trained by wiki trainers during the event.

How did the event go?

It is difficult to describe everything that happened in those days at the Library on Koszykowa Street in Warsaw. During these few days several hundred people visited the event site – editors, volunteers helping in the organization, employees and management of WMPL (many of them also edited), journalists, catering and internet suppliers, Library employees and even… random passers-by who were intrigued by the information about the event and came to support us. We even hired paramedics who watched over the health of the editors 24 hours a day and supporting staff for editors with disabilities.

The hardest part was editing at night, when the vitality is the weakest. Therefore, for those who wanted to rest or even take a nap, we have prepared a special separate room with mattresses and sleeping bags. All editors and volunteers were of course provided with catering (food, drinks) 24 hours a day.

We also tried to take care of the spines of the editors – we provided exercise balls to sit on, several comfortable armchairs and seat pads, and even special balls to relax the wrists.

An incredible effort was made by the employees of the Public Library of the capital city of Warsaw, who delivered books ordered by the editors – sources for the edited entries – day and night. Some also helped with logistical tasks during the day. We couldn’t do it without their support and openness!

At the end of this exceptionally long week, all participants were invited to a restaurant in Warsaw, where they could relax and talk calmly about their impressions of the event.

Earlier, however, in the Library building, a ceremonial concert for violin and piano took place, during which the violinist Amalia Umeda and the pianist Agnieszka Derlak played famous pieces by Polish composers.

Paulina NiedzielskaDSC1625pCC BY-SA 4.0

Robert DrózdWikiRekord Guinnessa 2023 RD 145CC BY-SA 4.0

Final numbers

  • 100 hours of editing
  • 126 editors
  • 293 new articles
  • 13.1 thousand editions in Polish Wikipedia
  • 9.5 thousand pages where edits were made
  • 32 witnesses
  • every 29.7 seconds – average editing speed

Participants’ opinions


Until the very end I wasn’t sure if we would be able to break the record. I was especially worried about whether people would come for the tour from midnight until 6 a.m. Fortunately, there were volunteers, although sometimes it was difficult when I wasn’t allowed to leave the room because the number of editors would drop to 9. I was particularly impressed by such editors as Wojciech Pędzich, who were writing new slogans at 3 a.m., while I was mainly struggling with sleepiness.

Robert DrózdWikiRekord Guinnessa 2023 RD 063CC BY-SA 4.0

Wojciech Pędzich

It was very interesting to get back to the keyboard after years of activities around organizing the Wikimedia Movement! I made over 400 edits and wrote 15 new entries – they were displayed on the main page of Wikipedia as interesting teasers.
Authors of the books I used when describing the Polish world of gamedev spanned from 1960 to the end of the 1990s (that’s how much I managed to do during 40 hours in the Library). Some of them mentioned Wikipedia – for example Marcin Kosman mentioned that there’s so little knowledge about the Polish video games market that even Wikipedia lacks information. Well, it doesn’t lack it now!

Wiktor Zowczak, Guinness World Record for editing Wikipedia-104CC BY-SA 4.0


I am very happy that people without any prior experience in editing came to the event – some even spontaneously, straight from the street. Thanks to this they could see how Wikipedia is created, but also learn valuable information, which may also be useful when reading passwords. The record, like other Wikimedia events, was a good opportunity to again (or after or for the first time) meet other Wikipedians who are active on a daily basis but we knew only their nicknames. But – unlike during conferences – here we could focus on what lies at the heart of Wikipedia: editing. It doesn’t matter if someone made hundreds of small edits or a few larger ones; all together we’ve moved one step closer to the elusive goal of making a complete set of knowledge accessible to all people.

Paulina NiedzielskaDSC1663pCC BY-SA 4.0


It was a great week! I was a little worried whether I would be able to cope, especially during night shifts, but no – adrenaline and editing comfort did their job. We had everything we needed: comfortable places, peace, books brought directly to our tables, coffee 24h – simply amazing! And of course you: Wikipedians! Familiar faces, familiar nicknames, completely new people – it was great for me and a pleasure to meet you all. There are words, images, sounds that will stay in memory for a long time – one of the most remarkable memories for me will be a sight of backs in purple T-shirts leaning intently over keyboards (and those green lamps!) and Jola’s [Jolanta Drzewakowska – WMPL’s Communication&PR Manager] words resounding in the background: “behind every article in Wikipedia there is a specific person….” Do you see that too? I would like to thank the Organizers, Volunteers and Participants for the idea, implementation and support a great atmosphere of cooperation (without competition) and all the positive energy that accompanied this event.

Paulina NiedzielskaDSC1586pCC BY-SA 4.0


The most valuable thing was that we faced this challenge together. As a community of knowledge lovers each of us has a different area of ​​interest and the articles we edit vary in their topics. Nevertheless, during these days each of us wanted to contribute to expanding the resources of human knowledge. That’s why the edition was attended by both experienced Wikipedians and Wikipedians, as well as those who are just starting their adventure with editing. Even people who spontaneously visited the Public Library of the capital city of Warsaw on Koszykowa took part in the event!

It was a unique challenge for the Wikimedia Polska team. Our managers, coordinators and our junior specialists showed great commitment. We gained a lot of experience and valuable lessons that we will certainly use in the future.

It was a time that showed that together we can achieve extraordinary things. We would like to thank everyone for your passion, commitment and work together. Together we can change the world through free knowledge!

What have we learned:

  • Wikipedians still love editing in large groups
  • Wikipedians still love challenges
  • Wikipedians love to meet
  • There are young, experienced editors! They showed up because they like exiting events 
  • It will be hard to find a more extreme challenge, but we’ll try. The community is waiting for an announcement

Big THANKS to:

Our colleagues from Mexico, previous record breakers, who gave us valuable insights.

All editors: Wikipedia:Rekord Guinnessa 2023/Osoby edytujące – Wikipedia, wolna encyklopedia

The hosts – the Public Library of the capital city of Warsaw – the Main Library of the Masovian Voivodeship.

The Organizing Committee (Gdarin, PMG, Msz2001, Powerek38, CyfrowaBiblioteka, Jamnik z Tarnowa, Wojtek Pędzich, Piastu).

WMPL’s staff, Board members and volunteers.

Partners: JMDI, Patronite.

Photos in Wikimedia Commons: Category:Guinness World Record for editing Wikipedia (Warsaw, 2023) – Wikimedia Commons

Event page: Wikipedia:Rekord Guinnessa 2023 – Wikipedia, wolna encyklopedia

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