Bibliographisches Institut & FA Brockhaus

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Bibliographisches Institut & FA Brockhaus

Bibliographisches Institut.svgBrockhaus.svg
legal form Corporation
founding October 15, 1805
resolution March 20, 2009
Seat Mannheim , Germany
Branch publishing company

Bibliographisches Institut & FA Brockhaus AG was until 2009 a publishing house based in Mannheim with the brands Brockhaus , Duden , Meyers , Harenberg and Weingarten . With the sale of the Brockhaus trademark rights and all content to the Bertelsmann subsidiary Arvato and the takeover of the majority of the shares by Cornelsen Verlagsholding , the stock corporation was broken up. The book publisher remaining as legal successor , which has completely withdrawn from the field of lexical reference works, operates today under the name Bibliographisches Institut GmbH.


Headquarters in Mannheim
FA Brockhaus in Leipzig 1856
Monument to FA Brockhaus in the courtyard of the former publishing house in Leipzig, today's Brockhaus Center
Bibliographical Institute & FA Brockhaus AG in Mannheim (old company sign)

The foundation of the publishing house “Rohloff & Co.” on October 15, 1805 in Amsterdam by the merchant Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus , who had previously failed with a trade in woolen fabrics, is seen as the beginning of the FA Brockhaus publishing house . Since Brockhaus was not a member of the local booksellers' guild, it was founded by a straw man, the printer J. G. Rohloff. In 1807 the name was changed to "Art and Industry Comptoir". Until 1809 Brockhaus tried to import French and German works. In 1810 Brockhaus was able to complete the " Conversations Lexicon ", which he had acquired in Leipzig in 1808 in an unfinished state. After a short stay in Leipzig, he moved to Altenburg in 1811.

In 1814 the business was renamed "FA Brockhaus" and between 1817 and 1818 the publishing house moved to Leipzig, where Brockhaus later also ran his own printing company.

After the Second World War , the Leipziger Verlag was nationalized in 1953 and continued as VEB Brockhaus Leipzig . The private Brockhaus publishing house continued to exist in Wiesbaden, initially under the name of the youngest member of the family, Eberhard Brockhaus. After the expropriation in Leipzig, the Wiesbaden house called itself "FA Brockhaus" again.

The two German lexicon publishers "FA Brockhaus" and " Bibliographisches Institut AG" merged in 1984 to become "Bibliographisches Institut & FA Brockhaus AG". In 1985 Mannheim became the company's headquarters. The further development of the " Meyers Konversations-Lexikons " previously published by the Bibliographical Institute was discontinued in 1986 in favor of the Brockhaus Encyclopedia . In 1988 Langenscheidt KG became the majority shareholder in the company.

After the German reunification , the company's publishing houses also resumed their activities in Leipzig, and VEB Brockhaus there was sold by the Treuhand to the publishing group.

In 1991, the merged publishing house held the copyright for Meyers Memo as the first thematically structured compact lexicon that had been created by the editorial staff from Meyers Lexikonverlag in Mannheim. Since CeBIT 2000, the publisher has offered parts of its text stock on the Internet under the name .

In 2001 the publishing house was converted into a profit / service center organization, and activities in the electronic sector were bundled in the 100% subsidiary Brockhaus Duden Neue Medien GmbH . In 2003 the Harenberg publishing house was bought and integrated into the group of companies, in 2006 the art publishing house Weingarten , which is mainly known for art calendars, was taken over. The Guinness Book of Records has been published by Brockhaus since 2007 .

Since 2006 the publisher has offered around 150,000 articles from Meyer's Lexicon in 24 volumes at free of charge on the Internet. According to the publisher, the offer was accessed 14 million times a month. In the course of the sale of the Brockhaus rights, this offer was discontinued in March 2009.

In February 2008, the company announced the move of its flagship product to an online version. There will no longer be any further printed editions of the Brockhaus Encyclopedia , which was last in 30 volumes . Instead, the Brockhaus should be offered as a portal on the Internet , financed through online advertising. In doing so, the publisher drew the consequences of the poor sales figures for the printed work, which, according to market analyzes, are due to a change in user behavior.

On June 1, 2009, Wissenmedia GmbH , a company of the Bertelsmann service subsidiary Arvato , took over all rights to the Brockhaus brand (including the content of the Meyer lexicon). The Bundeskartellamt approved this takeover in April 2009. With Bertelsmann, there is only one dominant lexicon provider in Germany on the publishing side. Contrary to the previous announcements, Arvato plans to continue the printed edition of the Brockhaus Encyclopedia after all; the online portal announced in February 2008, however, is not to be implemented.

In July 2009, Cornelsen Verlag took over the majority of the shares in the former Lexikonverlag from the Langenscheidt Group and the Brockhaus family. The name was changed to the Bibliographical Institute .

The archives of the publishers FA Brockhaus and Bibliographisches Institut from the time the publishing house was founded up to 1945, as well as from the GDR publishers VEB FA Brockhaus and VEB Bibliographisches Institut, which continued in Leipzig after 1945, are located in the Saxon State Archives, Leipzig State Archives . In 2009, the Leipzig State Archives also took over documents from the Leipzig Brockhaus editorial team, which was disbanded that year.


Overall, the publishing program is currently divided into five areas that have their own publisher names:

  • Dudenverlag
  • Meyers Lexikonverlag
  • BI paperback publisher
  • Weingarten, calendar publisher Mannheim
  • Harenberg, calendar publisher Dortmund


The management recently included:

  • Marion Winkenbach (spokesperson)
  • Timo Blümer
  • Klaus Kampf-Burghardt


(in chronological order)

  • Hermann Francke: The Conversation Lexicon and its Founders . In: The Gazebo . Issue 43, 1872, pp. 706-708 ( full text [ Wikisource ]).
  • Heinrich Brockhaus (Ed.): Complete directory of the works published by FA Brockhaus in Leipzig since it was founded by Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus in 1805 up to his centenary birthday in 1872. In chronological order with biographical and literary-historical notes. Brockhaus, Leipzig 1872–1875 ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive ).
  • Alfred Wilhelm Dove : Brockhaus and Meyer. In: Alfred Wilhelm Dove: Selected writings primarily historical content. Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1898, pp. 548-554; Text archive - Internet Archive .
  • Heinrich Eduard Brockhaus : The company FA Brockhaus from the foundation to the centenary. Brockhaus, Leipzig 1905. (Facsimile: In: Zweihund Jahre Brockhaus. Brockhaus, Leipzig 2005, ISBN 3-7653-0184-1 ).
  • Arthur Hübscher (Ed.): One hundred and fifty years FA Brockhaus. Brockhaus, Wiesbaden 1955.
  • Gert A. Zischka: Index lexicorum. Bibliography of Lexical Reference Works. Verlag Brothers Hollinek, Vienna 1959. (New print, Hollinek, Vienna 1980, ISBN 3-85119-165-X ).
  • Friedrich Schultheiss: Bibliographical notes on an encyclopedia and four lexicons of the 19th and 20th centuries. In: The scientific editors. Articles, articles, lectures from the Bibliographical Institute. Issue 6. Bibliographisches Institut, Mannheim 1971, pp. 33–48.
  • Heinz Sarkowski: The Bibliographical Institute. Publishing history and bibliography 1826–1976. Bibliographical Institute, Mannheim / Vienna / Zurich 1976, ISBN 3-411-01368-0 .
  • Thomas Keiderling: FA Brockhaus 1905-2005. In: Thomas Keiderling (Ed.): Two hundred years Brockhaus. Brockhaus, Leipzig / Mannheim 2005, ISBN 3-7653-0284-8 .
  • Thomas Keiderling: From the cross street to the Johannisfriedhof. Bibliographical Institute and FA Brockhaus in Leipzig are buried. In: Leipziger Blätter , 54/2009, Leipzig 2009, pp. 76–77.

Web links

Commons : Bibliographisches Institut & FA Brockhaus  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Brockhaus Encyclopedia  - Sources and full texts
Wikisource: Meyers Konversations-Lexikon  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. We are withdrawing completely from the business field “lexical look-up” in, December 16, 2008
  3. Press release of the Federal Cartel Office of April 30, 2009: Federal Cartel Office clears the takeover of Brockhaus Verlag by Bertelsmann ( Memento of May 5, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  5. Reports on Spiegel Online and ( Memento of the original from December 21, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. inventory 21083 FA Brockhaus, Leipzig in the State Archive in Leipzig

Coordinates: 49 ° 30 ′ 2 ″  N , 8 ° 30 ′ 2 ″  E