Germany’s equivalent of the Encyclopedia Britannica, Brockhaus, ended sales of its printed volumes when it sold off its remaining inventory last week. While the books will only be available as used copies, or via online channels that still have a few in stock, its publisher has promised continued updates to an online edition.
The first edition of the Brockhaus encyclopedia was released in 1796 and quickly became the go to encyclopedia for German speakers across the world. When the 21st and final edition was published in 2006, the 30-volume set weighed in at 154 pounds and spanned 4.9 feet.
With the rise of the internet though, and especially the gaining popularity of Wikipedia, the need for expensive printed volumes has decreased.
Brockhaus publisher Wissensmedia still sees value in having a trusted source of knowledge gathered by specially selected experts, instead of crowdsourced information, so they announced that they would be committed to continuing their efforts online. The 300,000-plus articles will see periodic updates online for customers who sign up.