Anyone older than 20 probably remembers the process of heading to the library to copy words out of the Encyclopaedia Britannica for a school assignment. Those days are officially over, as the company announced last week it would no longer be offering its printed version at all.
Yes, internet killed the encyclopaedia star. Thanks to the hyper connection of information in the internet age, the days of travelling encyclopaedia salesmen are gone, forever replaced by the constant demand for up to date information. Hit hard by the freeness of Wikipedia, Britannica will continue to operate as a digital encyclopaedia, claiming to be a more focussed (and accurate) source of information for the schoolkids of today to plagiarise from.
Having run for 244 years, the printed versions last run was in 2010, with new inclusions of global warming and the human genome project. Of course, at $1,395 for the set, it did kind of price itself out of the market, and only 8000 copies actually got sold.
Still, despite the bulking collection of paper’s price tag and incredible bulk, there was something reassuring about searching through the index books for a nugget of relevant information for an assignment, back in the day. And it’s almost sad that most kids today will never get that same experience. Almost.
Via: NY Times