I remember having a set of Encyclopedia Brittanica when I was a kid.
Even back then it was dated -- this was the early 80s and the 23-volume set (not including the two-volume index and Book of the Year) was from the 60s, when my dad apparently had it for college. It had 1960 Census results for the states and barely mentioned the first Super Bowl in the football section, focusing more on the old NFL Championship.
The days of the bound behemoth encyclopedia are over. The folks over at Brittanica announced that they will no longer print bound copies of the encyclopedia.
It will be missed. I have to admit, even though the one I had was pretty outdated, it was fun to look at. If you stacked the volumes on top of one another they were taller than me. The gold lettering on the binding was sexy. It was part of what kept me in touch with my inner nerd growing up.
Still, I'm surprised it's taken this long. There were occasional updates every couple of years but nobody wants to buy an encyclopedia again if at most only 5 or 10 percent of the compilation is revised. It seems like it'd be awfully expensive to print. With the advent of Wikipedia, every encyclopedia would be better served by going exclusively online.
I'm sure many old print editions (the Brittanica has now gone to 30 volumes) will become collector's items. But on the bright side, the encyclopedia industry won't be killing as many trees.