London: The iconic Encyclopaedia Britannica has announced the end of its 32-volume print edition in a bid to focus more on the online version.
The move will put an end to more than 244 years of the print edition since it was first published in 1768 in Scotland, the Daily Express reported Wednesday.
A company spokesman said it was ending the print edition in a move towards digital publishing and expanding its range of educational products.
Company president Jorge Cauz said the best year for the printed encyclopaedia was 1990 when 120,000 sets were sold. The number fell to 40,000 in 1996.
After the announcement, social media users began to accuse websites like Wikipedia and Google of killing the print version.
But Cauz said it had nothing to do with Wikipedia or Google.
“This has to do with the fact that now Britannica sells its digital products to a large number of people. The sales of printed encyclopaedias have been negligible for several years,” he said.
“A printed encyclopaedia is obsolete the minute that you print it, whereas our online edition is updated continuously.”