Is there any way to find when a specific word or phrase was added to a Wikipedia page? I want to find a way to obtain the first page that contains a match of a specific phrase (for example, the first occurrence of <ref>webapps.stackexchange.com</ref> in a page's revision history). (Manually searching through a page's revision history would be extremely tedious, so I'll need some kind of automated solution.)

  • This question is relevant (but it appears to be discussing a slightly different subject, and it requires some knowledge of revision control systems): webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/15938/… Nov 26, 2012 at 17:52
  • In order to help people finding this via google: When was a word added to a Wikipedia page?
    – elaforma
    Mar 4, 2014 at 10:14
  • @fNek See the answer below: you can use WikiBlame to find when a word or phrase was added to a page. Mar 4, 2014 at 17:28

2 Answers 2


There is a tool called WikiBlame that lets you do exactly that: you enter a page name and a phrase to search for and will point you to the edit that added it.

It's also linked from the History page of every page on the English Wikipedia (as “Revision history search”).

  • In the search results page, the first occurrence of the search phrase is found next to "Insertion found between". You can search through the entire revision history by typing a large number in the "revisions to check" field (for example, 10000.) To search exclusively for wikitext, select "force searching for wikitext". Nov 26, 2012 at 19:00
  • Here's a specific example of a search (for the the phrase "core gameplay" within the article "Minecraft"): wikipedia.ramselehof.de/… Nov 26, 2012 at 19:44

Wikimedia provides an XML dump of the complete revision history for all Wikipedia articles. This dataset contains a version of that data from April, 2010. This dataset does not contain the full text of the revisions, but rather just the meta information about the revisions, including things like language, timestamp, article and the like.

On every page, in the top-right corner there is a History button that takes you to the revision history for that page.

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Source: Wikipedia Revision History

  • How can you obtain an XML dump of the revision history for a specific page? Nov 26, 2012 at 17:55
  • See the edit. Is that what you were looking for?
    – abhshkdz
    Nov 26, 2012 at 18:03
  • 1
    I'd prefer some kind of automated solution, instead of scrolling through every single revision by hand to find a specific string. Is it possible to find the first occurence of a phrase in the revision history (without searching manually, which could take hours)? Nov 26, 2012 at 18:07
  • 1
    Using the XML dump is an overkill: you really don't need to download the complete revision history of all articles on Wikipedia just to search the history of one article.
    – svick
    Nov 26, 2012 at 18:41
  • Obviously. I was just giving out whatever information is available.
    – abhshkdz
    Nov 26, 2012 at 18:54

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