Books March 13, 2012
Rule Britannica No More: RIP To The Encyclopaedia's Print Edition

If you've been saving shelf space for the next edition of tomes from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, you will have to find a replacement: After 244 years, the venerable publication has announced it is going out of print.

In an announcement made on their website today, the Britannica editors they will "discontinue the 32-volume printed edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica when our current inventory is gone." That means that the 2010 edition of the reference books are the last to be available in print.

Once considered a status symbol and the sign of an intellectual household (or of a homeowner susceptible to the pitches of the the door-to-door encyclopaedia salesmen that roved North American in the 1950s and 1960s), the Britannica's printed volumes proved a tougher sell in the digital age, particularly with the rise of online, open-sourced reference sources such as Wikipedia.

But this is not the very end for the Britannica brand. The company declared its intentions to continue its subscriber-based online resources and educational curricula as core businesses.

It also released the following video, reassuring readers, viewers and encyclopaedia lovers everywhere that a change of format doesn't mean the end of encyclopaedic knowledge as we know it:

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