From Print To Digital:
1768 was the year that Encyclopaedia Britannica first started printing their general knowledge reference bibles for the masses to consume. Starting with three volumes in Edinburgh, the company began a 244 year quest to become one of the most recognisable household names in Britain, but today things are changing. The 32-volume printed books will be discontinued as the company dedicates itself to the digital realms. The publication was a continuous one from its inception, culminating in 100 full-time editors and 4,000 experts, but the time has now come to improve efficiency and allow for more rapid editing, more vibrant and interactive publishings and a coming of age moment for a brilliant company.
The shift to digital is not to be seen as a drop in demand for the encyclopaedia, or for knowledge for that matter, but more as a means to connect to more people at once. In fact, it is a trend that many other companies in the publishing industry have adopted far sooner than Encyclopædia Britannica have. Becoming digital allows their editors and experts to expand the number of topics that they can currently cover, which were capped by the physical space of a reasonably sized book. This company pivot could be a remarkable one and may provide the answer to the flaws and holes people find in the likes of Wikipedia, with a new wave of digital information fact checked by certified specialists.
“Today is a commemoratory moment at Britannica. We are energized by the fact that our efforts of the last few years have been successful. We have completed our transition from print publisher of the Encyclopaedia Britannica to a digital provider of knowledge and e-learning solutions. The success of this transition is not only a testament to our strong brand and dedication, but also to the esteem that society places on Britannica as a reliable, trustworthy source of knowledge and instruction.” – Jorge Cauz, President, Encyclopaedia Britannica [Source]