Wikipedia is not as new-fangled as you might think
School Library Journal pointed out that the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) actually began life kind of like Wikipedia. To help catalog words, they solicited hundreds of volunteers from England and America. They were to find words of any sort and supply a quotation using that word, preferably from the oldest work they had at hand. These five million slips of paper had to be organized, “a process that lasted from 1857 until 1928. Today, Wikipedia's volunteers have published about five million articles worldwide in just six years.”
I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same.