It’s been 244 years since Encyclopaedia Britannica printed its first volume, and now, in the year 2012, it’s going all digital. A blog post on Britannica’s site explains that the founders were on a mission “to bring scholarly knowledge through a rigorous editorial process to as many knowledge seekers as possible.” They go on to explain their move to 100% digital:
In spite of our long history with print, I would like to point out that no single medium, neither books nor bits, is at the core of our mission. That mission is to be a reliable, up-to-date, and scholarly source of knowledge and learning for the general public, and I believe that 200 years from now, this mission will continue to be vital and relevant and that the people of the future who are committed to it will use the best available technology to fulfill it.
An article over at WNYC.org, though, states that the New York Public Library will continue to stock print editions of the World Book Encyclopedia in all 87 branches in the NYC metro area, stating “we want this to be available for them, as a backup, and some people still prefer the print volume.”
What do you think about this move? Do you prefer print for reference materials, or do you think the technology of computers makes them obsolete? Or maybe you think both have their place?