Until recently, our rail network was proofed against EMP weapons, giving us substantial national resilience. This was because the signalling system was not electronic but electro-mechanical. Both my boat engines are EMP proof, having not a single electronic between them.
And EMP devices may also be used by a government against its own population; I'll bet North Korea, Iran and similar simmering nationlets are already considering the option of knocking out all civilian communications capacity if things get too sticky, and I'll bet some dissidents are already keeping spare devices inside Faraday Cages or lead envelopes. The security services are also conscious that it's relatively easy for terrorists to construct and detonate an EMP device at the heart of a crowded city; imagine 7/7 if police and ambulance radios were knocked out, and central London's cellphone network rendered inoperative.
The point is, electronics and electronic records are uniquely vulnerable. Unless you store binary data on a punch-tape at the bottom of a salt mine, it risks remote damage. If the OUP decides not to publish a paper edition of the 3rd Edition of the OED they are taking a big risk for a small gain. English is the world's greatest language, the apex and apotheosis of human civilisation. We should accord it the value it deserves.