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  • Encyclopedia Britannica Available Online Only Now
Technology Articles > Software > Education > Encyclopedia Britannica Available Online Only Now

It’s been said before and I’ll repeat it here: print is dying. For some of us folks, the fact that print might not exist in a few years is truly a sad thing. For others, it’s simply a sign of the times. Today, the news that the iconic, gold standard, Encyclopedia Britannica is officially out of print shocked the writing world. Those who remember using the famed encyclopedia for many a project and report waxed nostalgic as the company announced that it would print no more books.

But as the ink dries on the presses, those who run the Encyclopedia Britannica were not too saddened by this news. In fact, the company has seen the rise of its website and educational ventures coming for a long time now, and the print version of those beloved volumes were inevitably going to collect dust on library shelves sooner rather than later. The last volume of the Britannica was printed in 2010, and it’s the last you’ll see of this massive book. Thankfully, it’s not the last you’ll see of the encyclopedia company as the Britannica turns its energies towards online offerings.

Too Tough to Keep Up

While it’s sad to see such an important part of documentation history go, it does make a good deal of sense that the printed version of the Britannica was costing the company money. Since ideas and definitions change daily, it’s impossible for any print volume to keep up with this ever-fluctuating information. Adding new terms and updating data via print takes months to achieve and by that time whatever new ideas were printed will have changed. In short, it is just too hard for print encyclopedias to keep up with the information available on the Internet.

This is a lesson that those behind the Encyclopedia Britannica know very well. According to The Verge, nearly 80% of the Britannica’s revenue comes from its educational offerings, and not from its printed volumes. So, you see, the Britannica will not go bankrupt and will not shut its doors for good, though you might be hard-pressed to find an encyclopedia at your local library any time soon – or a local library for that matter. As libraries struggle to keep books and publishers put on a brave face, there’s no denying the fact that today’s humans want information that’s up-to-date, fast, and printed on-screen. Things like books, it seems, will soon be long forgotten.

The Last Volume Is For Sale

If you happen to be a book collector, you might be interested in purchasing the last volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica, though this volume will cost you. The going price for the last 2010 edition is $1,395. In case you’re wondering, the Encyclopedia Britannica was in print for 244 years and was sold by traveling salesmen all over the world for many decades. If you want to find out about the encyclopedia or just look up some accurate information, you can find the Encyclopedia Britannica online.

As the world moves more and more towards digital print, things like libraries and volumes of encyclopedias will go the way of the unicorn and Dodo bird. Seemingly, this modern transition has already begun.