Memory Alpha (wiki)
- See also Memory Alpha (disambiguation).
|Dates:||Nov 2003 - present|
|Topic:||Star Trek canon encyclopedia|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Memory Alpha is a Star Trek wiki for the canon of the series and movies. It is hosted on Wikia. Memory Alpha's goal is "to create the most definitive, accurate, and accessible encyclopedia and reference for everything related to Star Trek." As of November 2017, it has over 40,000 articles.
There are related projects: Memory Beta (link) for non-canon material (info from apocryphal Star Trek material like novels, comic books, RPG sourcebooks, video games and other licensed work); and the Star Trek Expanded Universe Wiki (link), for Star Trek fanworks, like RPGs, fan fiction and fan films.
The idea for Memory Alpha was first conceived in September 2003 when Harry Doddema suggested the idea of Stark Trek database akin to Wikipedia's design and structural system. However, the idea did not come to fruition until November 2003, when fellow Trekkie Dan Carlson teamed up with Doddema to create the wiki. Prior to its creation, Carlson was the sole creator of the Starfleet Reference Databank, a database for starship names and statistics. The database, however, was far from complete and a large task for a single person. As a result, Carlson and Doddema decided to create a wiki and began developing the site on 11 November 2003.
Science Fiction Weekly - Site of the Week
When it comes to pondering four decades of Star Trek, an auxiliary brain could be helpful. The official continuity, combined with the myriad divergences introduced by everyone from writers to modelers to customers, is staggeringly large, but Memory Alpha manages to keep it all straight, thanks to an armada of helpful fans.
The site is a wiki, an encyclopedia-like online construct that allows anyone – administrators, regular readers, casual visitors – to add, update and correct articles. And add they have – the site is composed of just over 14,000 pages, seemingly covering every Star Trek facet imaginable. Episodes and movies from all the series get the royal treatment, with extensive summaries peppered with hyperlinks to related topics. The entry for the classic time-looping Next Generation episode "Cause and Effect" includes links to all the main characters, the role of the senior staff on a starship, the temporally unstable Typhon Expanse, subatomic dekyon particles and the USS Bozeman, among dozens of others.
The amount of detail in each entry can be impressive. For example, the writeup on the aforementioned USS Bozeman references the origin of its name (Bozeman, Mont.) and its contradictory registry numbers and explains its appearance in the Trek universe several times after "Cause and Effect," including the TNG episode "All Good Things", Star Trek Generations and Star Trek: First Contact.
As with most wikis, the site's home page has a weekly featured article as well as a "did you know" list displaying an assortment of facts from deep with in the site's core. These make for excellent jumping-off points, but visitors can also make use of its established categories for episodes and movies, society and culture, science and technology, other media, people, space travel and hardware and fandom.