Thursday, March 15, 2012

Encyclopedia Britannica stops its press after 244 years

The digital revolution takes another bite out of popular print medium.  Encyclopedia Britannica announced that after 244 years, it will put an end to the print edition and be available only in digital form, according to this CNN story.

Encyclopedia Britannica has been in print since it was first published in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1768.  It will no longer be available when the current copies run out. The Chicago-based company will continue to offer digital versions for subscribers, as well as educational products (online learning tools, curriculum products, etc.) which comprise the majority of the company's business today.

"This has nothing to do with Wikipedia or Google," Encyclopedia Britannica Inc. President Jorge Cauz said. "This has to do with the fact that now Britannica sells its digital products to a large number of people.  The sales of printed encyclopedias have been negligible for several years," Cauz said. "We knew this was going to come." 

The final hardcover encyclopedia set is available for sale at Britannica's website for $1,395.  The company plans to mark the end of the print version by making the contents of its website available free for one week, starting Tuesday, according to the article.

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