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The Wikimedia Foundation Inc. (also known simply as Wikimedia) is the parent organization of various free-content projects, most notably Wikipedia, the award-winning online encyclopedia.

Wikimedia is a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of Florida, USA. Its existence was officially announced by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales on June 20, 2003. In January 2004, Jimmy Wales appointed Tim Shell and Michael Davis to the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation. In June 2004, an election was held for two user representative Board members. Following one month of campaigning and two weeks of online voting, Angela Beesley and Florence Nibart-Devouard were elected to join the board. They were reelected the following year.

The goals of the foundation

The goals of the foundation are to maintain and develop free-content, wiki-based projects and to provide the full contents of those projects to the public free of charge. In addition to managing the already developed multilingual general encyclopedia, Wikipedia, there is a multi-language dictionary and thesaurus named Wiktionary, an encyclopedia of quotations named Wikiquote and a collection of e-book resources aimed specifically toward students (such as textbooks and annotated public domain books) named Wikibooks. The Foundation also manages a memorial collection of articles about the September 11 attacks and the operations of the largely dormant Nupedia project (which is not a wiki, but is open content). All projects work thanks to a wiki software package called MediaWiki.

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