On June 9, Bulgarian Wikipedia obtained the "Friend of the Archives 2016" Plaquet for the collaboration with the Bulgarian Archives State Agency that has been maintained for already six years. On behalf of the Wikimedian community, the award was received by two of the longterm editors and contributors within the collaboration, Spasimir Pilev and Vassia Atanassova.
The recognition came on the International Archives Day, which is celebrated for the ninth subsequent year, and this year is running under the motto "Archives, Citizenship and Interculturalism". This is also the theme of the forthcoming ALA-ICA annual Conference 2017, organized in November 2017 in Mexico.
2017 is the first year when winners are awarded in the newly defined "Friend of the Archives" category. The plaquet and the diplom were awarded to Wikipedia for "contribution to the popularization of archival documents of individuals and events from Bulgarian history, and for the fruitful cooperation with the Archives Agency". Journalists, historians and university professors who attended the ceremony, expressed vivid interest in this collaboration.
The partnership itself has produced some really impressive results: already more than 9000 handpicked and digitized archival images, that have served to illustrate more than 1500 articles in Bulgarian, and more than 1850 articles in 75 other sister projects plus more than 370 entries in Wikidata. The rate of distinct images used is close to 20% and the number of new articles created thanks to this digitized content is more than 140 (see ). Apart of the individual digitization efforts of the Bulgarian Wikimedians, these numbers are result of the support of the international wiki community that got actively engaged in the Archives Challenge in 2015 and in 2016. As of 2017, the collaboration has been fostered with a portable scanner and a microfilm scanner, funded by the Wikimedia Foundation.
It is noteworthy that the received "Friend of the Archives 2016" plaquet is not the first award for the Bulgarian version of Wikipedia. In 2009, special award for overall contribution to the development of the Bulgarian webspace was awarded by the "BG Site" Foundation.