Thank You/Elena Strelnikova

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Elena Strelnikova

Since I was a kid, I've loved language. Today, in my career working with ancient manuscripts, I use that love for languages every day. And you know what else I use every day? Wikipedia.

I work in the National Library of Russia, founded in 1794 by the Empress Catherine the Great. This was one of the first libraries open to anybody and everybody. Whoever wanted to come in and read a book was welcome. You might say it was an early precursor to Wikipedia.

My department in the library is home to ancient texts and old manuscripts. In fact, some of the texts I work with are a thousand years old, handwritten on parchment in gorgeous script. They are beautiful artifacts, of course, but the knowledge they hold is invaluable.

As a Biblical scholar, I compare religious texts in Byzantine Greek and Church Slavonic (the Russian language’s predecessor). By putting the two languages side by side, we gain a more accurate understanding of the correct interpretation. These manuscripts are national treasures. By helping interpret them, I feel like I am part of history.

Wikipedia is an important part of my work. I use Wikipedia about five times a day, and I find it to be the most accessible and informative source when I need a quick introduction to something, or a reminder on something I've already learned. So when the annual fundraiser rolls around, I always try to donate a little, whatever I can.

There are very few things these days that are truly free and truly useful. Wikipedia is one of them; let's do what we can to keep it that way.

— Elena Strelnikova

Elena Strelnikova was born in Moscow, but her family soon moved to Tuapse, on the coast of the Black Sea. About eight years ago, Elena moved to St. Petersburg, where she works as a librarian and continues her research in Biblical scholarship. As an avowed fan of Wikipedia, she offers her support through small donations.

Image Attribution: Elena Strelnikova by Victor Grigas, under CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported, from Wikimedia Commons.

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