Britannica Going Digital

Fans of the printed word will no doubt breathe a sentimental sigh over this news: after 244 years, Encyclopaedia Britannica is ceasing production of its multivolume reference books, shifting its focus to online encyclopedias and educational tools, company executives announced on Tuesday. Britannica usually prints a new set of tomes every two years, but 2010's 32-volume set will be the last one ever produced. "Everyone will want to call this the end of an era, and I understand that," said Britannica president Jorge Cauz. "But there's no sad moment for us." Print encyclopedias account for less than 1 percent of Encyclopaedia Britannica’s revenues, with curriculum products and other educational tools bringing in 85 percent and the remaining revenues coming from online subscriptions to its website.