Encyclopaedia Brittanica

As many still debate over the print vs. digital issues Encyclopaedia Brittanica (EB) takes a definite step towards the digital. After 244 years the EB has decided to stop the presses. The 2010 version is the final version of EB. From now on people will need to subscribe to the EB website to access it online. Many people view this as EB giving up the fight between Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia or Digital vs. Print. Either way, the web has been buzzing with articles.

On March 13, the NY Times had this article about the news. The article discusses the history of EB and why they decided to stop printing. PC World had this article and Sense and Reference had this article about the EB vs. Wikipedia angle. One of the library blogs that I follow and greatly enjoy reading, HangingTogether had this article where the blog contributors shared their memories and experiences with EB as a goodbye to the printed copy.

Yet interestingly enough, although one of the main reasons stated in most of the articles for the EB to stop printing was the price, I saw this article in the NY Times and this article online yesterday. Apparently, the fact that 2010 is the last print version has convinced people not to subscribe to the online version, but to purchase the last of the printed version.

So farwell printed Encyclopaedia Brittanica, you will be missed.


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