Encyclopedias: R.I.P.?

By Deane Barker on March 11, 2004

Encyclopedias gather dust as research moves online: I’m not surpised that paper encyclopedias are dying off. I am surprised that CD-ROM based encyclopedias are.

In the age of the Internet, encyclopedias are gathering dust, and most families with young children don’t even consider buying the space-hogging printed sets anymore. Even digital versions struggle for attention.

Back when I got my first computer, I bought Encarta 95. It remains one of the best purchases I ever made. You could download updates for it — I remember when Yitzakh Rabin got assassinated, my next Excarta update replaced his entry with a different version that mentioned his death. Great tool — I could browse it for hours.

Still, Wikipedia is really my first stop these days for about any research at all.