[EAS] Encyclopedia Britannica Ends Print

Peter J. Kindlmann peter.kindlmann at yale.edu
Sat Mar 17 00:49:45 EDT 2012

Dear Colleagues -

You'll have seen/heard the announcement, but a more considered 
good-bye seemed fitting.

One of the purest forms of learning through procrastination was 
surely browsing beyond one's intended article -- like reading about 
St. Thomas Aquinas and then going on to Aquincum, a Roman town in 
Hungary. The online Britannica makes browsing quite tedious. Sigh.


[from Scout Report 

 From now on, the Encyclopedia Britannica will only be published online
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. [KMG]

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.

 From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2012.

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