The first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was published and printed in Edinburgh for the Britannica First edition engraver Andrew Bell and the printer Colin Macfarquhar by “a society of gentlemen in Scotland” and was sold by Macfarquhar at his printing office on Nicolson Street. The work was issued from December 1768 to 1771 with double-columned pages. In over 240 years, Encyclopedia Britannica has only produced 15 editions. While the first edition was a three-volume set, within less than a century it expanded to 20 volumes. The latest editions have grown to 32. But it will stop being available when the current stocks runs out.


After 244 years, the Encyclopedia Britannica is going out of print, as the publishers announced it will stop publishing print edition for the first time in more than 200 years. Britannica will move focus to online editions. The top year for the printed edition was 1990, when 120,000 sets were sold.

The company mark the end of the print version by making the contents of its website for free for one week starting Tuesday . The editors of Britannica announced that the online edition of Britannica, available at, will be entirely free for a full week. Earlier in Britannica website you can read the first few paragraphs of any article for free but the full content is only available to subscribers. The company would continue to offer digital versions.

Britannica               britanica


Explore the updated online encyclopedia from Encyclopedia Britannica with hundreds of thousands of articles, biographies, videos, images, and web sites from The finale hardcover encyclopedia set is available for sale at Britannica’s website for $1,395.


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