Roses are red, Salicyna makes their links blue, we celebrate her and the content she grew!

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Salicyna knows the struggle of lacking access to knowledge all too well. Growing up in rural Poland, she was a passionate reader with no access to well-stocked libraries and cultural institutions. This was still in the pre-Internet times, and her family, struggling financially, couldn’t provide the resources she yearned for. “I remember this unsatisfied hunger for knowledge as stronger and more severe than the physical hunger,” she reflects. “Sadly”, she says “millions still face this very knowledge hunger today, restricted by geographical location, poverty, disabilities, or illness”. Salicyna sees Wikimedia projects, with their free access to knowledge and culture, as a powerful tool to help alleviate this yearning, at least partially.

Driven by a desire to offer others what she lacked as a child, Salicyna has become a prolific contributor to the Wikimedia movement, boasting over 680,000 contributions across various projects. She wears many hats: a Wikisource admin, an author of well-regarded medical articles on Wikipedia, a Wikibooks contributor, and a passionate photographer on Wikimedia Commons, specializing in roses and seedlings.

Today we WikiCelebrate her contributions to the Wikimedia Movement! 

Rose content is no thorny topic for Salicyna. She has enriched Wikimedia Commons with thousands of captivating images of rose cultivars from botanical gardens and rosaries across Poland and beyond. Other botanical content also blooms thanks to her. Partnering with Kenraiz, a fellow Wikimedian and botanist, they are creating a unique collection of seedling photos, capturing plants in their earliest stages of development. “Plants at this stage are rarely photographed and identified, creating a gap in publicly available visual resources,” Salicyna explains. Her dedication is evident, as she has already uploaded over 4,500 seedling photos. To further enhance this resource, Salicyna and Kenraiz utilize Wikibooks, creating plant atlases, including the impressive “Atlas of Polish Flora Seedlings.” Just as any gardener knows, cultivating a thriving garden requires dedication, and Salicyna embodies this spirit through her meticulous work of cataloging and categorizing plant photos on Wikimedia Commons. 

As a Wikisource editor she edited more than 130,000 pages on Polish Wikisource, proofreading texts by different authors, from Dante Alighieri to Blaise Pascal. But the one writer whose works she edits with the most dedication is her beloved author, Eliza Orzeszkowa. This 19th-century Polish writer, nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature, was a champion for women’s education and their right to pursue meaningful careers. Orzeszkowa, a keen observer of life beyond major cultural centers, penned works filled with insightful observations and detailed descriptions, including descriptions of plant life. Salicyna takes joy from proofreading Orzeszkowa’s works, including the renowned novel “Nad Niemnem,” which seamlessly blends sociological observations with captivating descriptions of the natural world. 

Salicyna may also be the author of the most Wikimedia way to express love to Wikisource and proofreading, and you can find it on Wikimedia Commons

a yellow barnstar leaving a yellow trail as it flys through a white background.

“My adventure with Wikimedia projects is a constant source of delight and discovery,” Salicyna says. “As I wander through the wikis, I constantly learn new, surprising, and fascinating things. I encounter inspiring ideas and thoughts, and I stumble upon captivating and moving photos. While I may not directly remember most of them, they undoubtedly contribute to shaping my current knowledge and worldview. It’s a continuous learning journey,” she reflects, highlighting the ongoing nature of her exploration and the lasting impact of her discoveries.

Salicyna strongly believes that humankind owes all its progress to the sharing of knowledge. Today we thank her for being part of that sharing effort and for filling Wikimedia projects with roses and literature. 

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