Encyclopaedia Britannica, a compendium of knowledge which has been in continuous print since 1768, is to go digital only this year.
Sales of the hefty volumes have been on the decline since 1990 when 120,000 of the 32 volume sets were shifted.
Since then people have increasingly looked to the internet for information with sales collapsing to just 40,000 by 1996.
Now the firm is increasingly reliant on digital subscriptions to its archive of material, including a DVD iteration of the tomes.
Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. President Jorge Cauz. Explained: “This has 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.”
Hard cover copies of the final edition are currently on sale for $1,395.