The oldest published encyclopedia series is being shut down after nearly two and a half centuries of publication.
Remember in high school how you always had that one teacher who required your history paper references to be specifically from some dusty tome or worn-looking encyclopedia? Those days may officially be gone forever, as after 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica will cease printing physical copies of its iconic book series.
"It's a rite of passage in this new era," explained Jorge Cauz, the president of Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., said in an interview with the New York Times. "Some people will feel sad about it and nostalgic about it. But we have a better tool now. [Britannica's] web site is continuously updated, it's much more expansive and it has multimedia."
With fierce competition coming from websites like Wikipedia, it's not too much of a surprise that Encyclopaedia Britannica is switching its focus to more modern, digital methods of providing information on various topics. Only about 8000 of Britannica's 2010 edition sets have been sold, compared to 120,000 in 1990. And while still popular with many schools and libraries, not everyone's interested in hauling around around a 100+ pounds of knowledge when a smartphone can connect you to the same amount of info.
Source: New York Times