Culture News

Encyclopedia Britannica to Stop Print Production after 244 Years

You might want to pull the plug on your weekend craft plan with your scalpels and latest editions of Encyclopedia Britannica. The brains behind the box set of information says its ceasing print production.

The 2010 edition will be the last.

The company cites the increased sourcing of information online, which has put print resource guides in a tough spot (and all-too-often under the knife).

The printed, 32-volume printed edition has been available every two years and sold for close to $1400. Online subscriptions to Britannica's database are $70. And, of course, you can nab an app for about $1.99.

"A momentous event? In some ways, yes; the set is, after all, nearly a quarter of a millennium old," Britannica editors write on the company's blog. "But in a larger sense this is just another historical data point in the evolution of human knowledge. For one thing, the encyclopedia will live on--in bigger, more numerous, and more vibrant digital forms. And just as important, we the publishers are poised, in the digital era, to serve knowledge and learning in new ways that go way beyond reference works. In fact, we already do."

The company says its business in educational materials will continue -- the printed edition of the encyclopedia was less than 1 percent of its annual sales -- and that it will sell the remainder of its current stock of around 4000 copies.

Race you there.

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton