Thursday, March 15, 2012

Another one bites the dust

I am of an age when any research project began with a shelf full of encyclopedias. (And a card catalog. In drawers. But that's a whole 'nother dead technology.) So it is with a spasm of nostalgia that I read that the Encyclopedia Brittanica will no longer be published in print. The encyclopedia, which was first printed in Scotland in 1768 and updated every two years, is calling it quits with the 2010 issue. 
It's not hard to understand why printing doesn't make good economic sense. The 2010 set cost a whopping $1,395, and the company only sold 8,000 of them - down from 120,000 sets in 1990. Company motto: "We Hate You, Internets".  Kidding. I'm kidding. Actually, Brittanica and the Internet are getting along quite cozily, and will continue to do so. They currently have 500,000 online subscriptions, which cost $70 a year. And honestly, with all the multimedia capabilities of an online encyclopedia, why wouldn't you go that way? 

So long, heavy old volumes. You smelled good, and we had a lot of good times together. 
                                                 R.I.P  Print Britannica.  1768 - 2012

1 comment: