Encyclopedia Britannica ends print, goes digital
After 244 Years, Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops the Presses
Encyclopedia Britannica to stop printing books
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition
Death of a Sales Force
The first proto-encyclopedia was created by Pliny the Elder two thousand years ago. Over the course of many years, he created a work that covered art, medicine, geography, geology, and natural history. Since that time, many encyclopedias have come and gone, and one of the most enduring is certainly the Encyclopedia Britannica. First published in 1768, the work began life in Edinburgh and it was considered one of the distinguishing products of the Scottish Enlightenment. This Tuesday it was announced that the Encyclopedia would no longer publish a print edition, but the company will continue to update and offer its digital online version. In a statement released this week to major news outlets, the company's president, Jorge Cauz, commented that "The print edition became more difficult to maintain and wasn't the best physical element to deliver the quality of our database and the quality of our editorial." Of course, the broader story of this transformation involves the rise of various free online encyclopedias, such as Wikipedia. Interested parties may still purchase one of the existing 15th edition printed copies of the Encyclopedia for $1,400.
The first link will take visitors to a news article about the Encyclopedia Britannica's decision to go to an all-digital format from this Wednesday's Chicago Tribune. The second link will lead interested parties to a bit of commentary on this development from the New York Times' "Media Decoder" blog. Moving on, the third link will take users to a piece from CNN's Julianne Pepitone about the recent decision made by Encyclopedia Britannica to stop printing physical copies. The fourth link leads to a digitized copy of the celebrated (and rather controversial) 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, published in 1911. The fifth takes visitors to a great archived piece from Salon.com that features an interview with Myron Taxman, one of the last Encyclopedia Britannica salespeople. The final link leads to the homepage of the Encyclopedia Britannica, which offers free access to select articles and information about the company.