It’s official: Printed encyclopedias are dead
The Internet has driven another spike into the coffin for encyclopedias after one of the world’s oldest academic sources decided to stop the presses.
After a 244-year run, Encyclopaedia Britannica has decided to stop producing printed editions.
It’ll finish up with the 2010 version printed across a 32-volume set of printed books, but throw in the towel on killing trees to share knowledge after that’s done.
Some consider a set of encyclopedias to be a coveted purchase, displaying knowledge and wealth inside a home or office.
But that has since evaporated thanks to the Internet, and it would appear that Encyclopaedia Britannica is a few years late to the party.
I remember first using Encarta, Microsoft’s digital encyclopedia, back in the early ‘90s in elementary school. Only two computers could run it, and we’d fight over who had the right CD-ROM disc with the information we wanted.
But these days, who really needs an encyclopedia when you have the web and a search engine. Everything is almost always up-to-date. You no longer need to flip through hundreds of pages or scan an index. You don’t need a whole row of books hogging your bookcase.
Finding quality information on the web isn’t all that easy, however. Just about anyone can post something (claiming to be) fact online. And I hear teachers are everything but thrilled to let students cite a Wikipedia page.
How will you remember printed encyclopedias?
- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets