Jorge Cauz, president of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. in Chicago announced that after 244 years of print publication the 2010 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, in 32 printed volumes, containing 44 million words, and weighing 129 pounds, would be the last printed edition.
"The oldest continuously published encyclopedia in the English language, the Encyclopaedia Britannica has become a luxury item with a $1,395 price tag; it is typically purchased by embassies and well-educated, upscale consumers who feel an attachment to the set of bound volumes. Only 8,000 sets of the 2010 edition have been sold, and the remaining 4,000 have been stored in a warehouse until they can be purchased."
"Sales of Encyclopaedia Britannica peaked in 1990, when 120,000 sets were sold in the United States. But now print encyclopedias account for less than 1 percent of Encyclopaedia Britannica’s revenues. About 85 percent of revenues come from selling curriculum products in subjects like math, science and the English language; the remainder comes from subscriptions to the Web site, the company said.
"About half a million households pay a $70 annual fee that includes access to the full database of articles, videos, original documents and access to mobile applications. A selection of articles is also available free on the Web site, said Peter Duckler, a spokesman for Britannica" (http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/after-244-years-encyclopaedia-britannica-stops-the-presses/?hp, accessed 03-13-2012).