The celebrated Encyclopaedia Britannica will now only be available as online content
In what really is the end of an era in content creation and publishing, Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. has announced that it will stop publishing print editions of its famous reference work after 244 years.
First published in Scotland in 1768, the encyclopaedia became standard research material for scholars, children and the information hungry alike, with such luminaries as Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud having contributed articles to it. But with the advent – and exponential growth – of user-generated and -edited online information (with ‘rival’ Wikipedia the ultimate example), publishing the volumes in print is no longer sustainable for the company.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica will continue to be available – and, hopefully, thrive – online and the company plans to also expand its range of digital educational products. And while some may mourn the passing of such an iconic physical embodiment of humanity’s quest for knowledge, such acceptance of the need to move with the times shows that online content can further, and not hinder, that quest.
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