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PIX: Online age brings down a 244-year-old ICON

Last updated on: March 14, 2012 14:23 IST

Encyclopedia Britannica bids adieu to its print editions

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The convenient gadget age of iPads and Kindles have probably shot down its bulkiest ancestor. The Encyclopedia Britannica, which has been in continuous print since it was first published in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1768, said on Tuesday that it will continue only with digital versions currently available online, and discontinue with its print editions.

The flagship, 32-volume printed edition, available every two years since past 244 years, was sold for $1400 (about Rs 70,000).

An online subscription costs around $70 (Rs 3,500) per year and the company recently launched a set of apps ranging between $1.99 and $4.99 per month.

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Image: Encyclopedia Britannica said on Tuesday that it will discontinue with its iconic print editions.


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'Britannica has been changing with the times'

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The company said it will keep selling print editions until the current stock of around 4,000 sets ran out, Daily Mail reported.

Jorge Cauz, Encyclopedia Britannica's president, said, "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".

"Britannica was one of the first companies to really feel the full impact of technology, maybe twenty years ago, and we have been adapting to it, though it is very difficult at times," he said.


Image: Britannica was one of the first companies to really feel the full impact of technology, Jorge Cauz, Encyclopedia Britannica's president, said.


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Matching the Google, Wikipedia onslaught to be a challenge

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"The print set is an icon. But it's an icon that doesn't do justice to how much we've changed over the years," Cauz added.

Only future will reveal whether the popularity of the iconic knowledge store's online version will be able to match the onslaught of free content at Google and Wikipedia.

Nevertheless, the obvious reference for any information to millions of people across the globe spread over two centuries will be etched in the memories in times to come. At least, we can hope so!



Tags: Wikipedia , Cauz

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