The Chicago-based publisher said 2010 edition will be its last one in print.
In a series of blog posts on the Encyclopaedia Britannica website, editors and executives remained optimistic about the decision.
“Today is a commemoratory moment at Britannica,” wrote Jorge Cauz, president of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. “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.”
Encyclopaedia Britannica was first published in 1768. According to The New York Times, they became a status symbol for families in the 1950s. Sales of the encyclopedia peaked in 1990, when 120,000 editions were sold in the U.S., the Times reported.