Brockhaus encyclopedia

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Brockhaus logo until 2016
The Brockhaus Encyclopedia

The Brockhaus Encyclopedia is a multi-volume reference work in German , which was last published by the Bertelsmann Group owned Wissen Media Verlag . Until the beginning of 2009 the encyclopedia was published by FA Brockhaus and the Mannheim publishing house Bibliographisches Institut & F. A. Brockhaus AG . Its first forerunners appeared in the 18th century by Löbel and Franke as a conversation lexicon . The lexicon later became known under the name Der Große Brockhaus (15th, 16th and 18th editions). The name Brockhaus Encyclopedia was used from the 17th edition.

On June 11, 2013 it became known that Bertelsmann wanted to close the publishing house and that the Brockhaus Encyclopedia would initially only appear as an online service . Wissen Media Verlag, who last worked as publisher, ceased its book business with the Brockhaus trademark on February 1, 2014. On June 30, 2014, distribution of the printed encyclopedia ceased. In 2015, the Swedish National Encyclopedia Publisher (NE Nationalencyklopedin AB) took over the rights to the brand . Its German subsidiary NE GmbH has been developing and marketing the online edition of the Brockhaus encyclopedia since then .

Objective of the work

General German real encyclopedia for the educated classes. Conversations-Lexikon , title page of the 9th edition 1843

In the preface by the editors and the publishing house to the 15th volume of the 11th edition of Brockhaus from 1868, the aim of the work was described:

"The Conversations-Lexikon [has] the task of making the scientific, artistic and technical results more fluid and popular, not for business practice, but for the satisfaction and promotion of general education. [...] For that general education is nothing less than the humane education which the individual attains within the cultural life of his time, which presupposes vocational training as its starting point and, like intellectual as well as moral man, as the source of social and national strength and development must be considered. [...] To visualize the circle of ideas and facts, as it unfolds for the individual in a way that cannot be foreseen in spirit, history and nature, in a limited framework, as it were as a microcosm, not to solve a scientific problem or for the practice of a skill, but to make man as such acquainted with the world that lies beyond his everyday horizon, by giving him insight into the concept and the organic connection of things, as well as an overview of the whole, if not opened up, so it is relieved. "

Chronicle of expenses

Predecessor lexicon by Löbel and Franke and the beginnings of Brockhaus from 1808

A Conversations-Lexicon - Conversations-Lexicon or abbreviated concise dictionary for the objects occurring in the social conversation from the sciences and arts with constant consideration of the events of the older and more recent times was by the scholar Renatus Gotthelf Löbel and the lawyer Christian Wilhelm Franke (1765 –1831) was established; between 1796 and 1808, six volumes gradually appeared.

Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus (1772–1823), who started publishing in Amsterdam in 1805 , acquired the publishing rights at the Leipzig Book Fair on October 25, 1808, as well as the supplies of the five volumes still incomplete work “Conversationslexicon with excellent consideration for the present Times ” by buying the publishing bookstore of the founders of the lexicon, which they founded especially for its sales, for 1,800 thalers from the printer Friedrich Richter. After Löbel's death in 1799 it was sold by Franke to the Leipzig publisher Friedrich August Leupold, then in 1806 to Johann Karl Werther, then in 1808 to Johann Gottfried Herzog and finally in the same year to Richter. From 1809 Brockhaus continued to deliver the encyclopedia, which was now complete with the development of the final volume , under his then company Kunst- und Industrie-Comptoir von Amsterdam , but had co-founder Franke prepare two supplementary volumes, which were mainly due to the updating of the material the French Revolution and its subsequent events were urgently needed. They appeared in 1809 and 1811 and restored buyers' confidence in the reliability of the lexicon, which had already clearly dwindled due to the ongoing change of publisher on the project. This enabled Brockhaus to sell almost all of the 2,000 copies of the first edition of the conversation lexicon by early 1811.

The 2nd to 5th edition (1812 to 1820)

The original editions by Brockhaus

Conversations-Lexicon or hand-dictionary for the educated classes , FA Brockhaus, title page of the 1st volume, A to Comparativ , the 2nd edition from 1812
Conversations-Lexicon ... , title page of the 4th volume, G and H (hysteria), the 3rd edition from 1815

The first volume of the 2nd edition, which was completely prepared by Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus and, as evidenced by the title page of the 1st volume, was initially only designed in eight volumes, was published for the Easter fair in 1812 under the title Conversations-Lexicon or encyclopedic concise dictionary for educated stands ... still with the Imprint information Second, completely revised edition. Leipzig 1812. In the publishing house of the Art and Industry Comptoir of Amsterdam . It was supposed to lay the foundation for the great success of Brockhaus . The first volume was followed by the second volume in the same year and the third and fourth volume in the following year. Since the four volumes were already out of print in autumn 1813, they were reprinted in a revised, updated version from 1814 - the third edition was thus on the book market. Their title was only Conversations-Lexicon or encyclopedic concise dictionary for educated classes , FA Brockhaus or Leipzig and Altenburg were now given as the publisher and places of publication . Brockhaus dedicated this work to the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Metternich , as can be seen from a dedication text that precedes the foreword to the first volume. The fifth to seventh volumes followed by 1816, reaching up to the letter "O". With them, both the 2nd and the 3rd edition were continued.

It was not until the years 1817 to 1819 that the last three volumes followed for both editions, which were now laid out in ten volumes. At the same time, however, these were also the final volumes of the 4th edition, which had to be started in 1817 in order to fend off the reprint by the Stuttgart company AF Macklot (see the following separate explanations). Thus, the 2nd to 4th editions had three concluding volumes in common. Only six years after the start of the second Brockhaus lexicon edition was the complete work available to users. By delivering different title pages, the bookbinders who, as was customary at the time, were only commissioned by the lexicon buyers to provide the volumes with title pages of the same edition.

A supplementary volume followed in 1818, bringing volumes one to seven of the 1st to 3rd edition to the 4th edition. After Brockhaus had initially made the necessary revisions and updates of articles himself, he was finally able to win over scientists from the two universities of Leipzig and Halle-Wittenberg , with the editing of the volumes with the collaboration of Ludwig Hain and Georg Ludwig Peter Sievers . In order not to burden users who are interested in a lexicon that is as up-to-date as possible and who have had to wait so long for the reference work to be completed since the beginning of the 2nd edition, with the costs of the again revised 5th edition - it also appeared in ten volumes in in the years 1819 and 1820 -, parallel to their delivery, two supplement volumes were prepared for the four previous editions, which contained the essential improvements and the new articles of the 5th edition in four sections.

The volumes of the 2nd edition cost a total of 12 thalers 12 groschen in Saxony (22 gulden in Rhenish 30 kreuzers ).

Conversations-Lexicon , (FA Brockhaus) Reprint by AF Macklot, title page of volume 4, G to Hysteria , from 1817

The reprints by AF Macklot (1816 ff.)

For the quality of the early edition of the encyclopedia, two so-called pirated prints , which were undertaken by the Stuttgart publisher Carl Erhard with the publishing house taken over by his stepfather August Friedrich Macklot (1770–1805), speak for the quality . He first reprinted the 3rd edition of the conversation dictionary, begun in 1814, without the permission of Brockhaus. This practice was made possible by the fragmentation of the law that prevailed in Germany at the time , which lacked a uniform copyright law across the German federal states . Reprints of "foreign" printed matter were not prohibited in Württemberg . Without having to pay any fees to academic staff at the lexicon, the AF Macklot publishing house was able to “mit Königl. Württemberg's most gracious permission ”(title page print) to offer a cheaper edition of Brockhaus'schen Lexikon, especially for southern Germany, from 1816 onwards. Each of the reprint volumes, which are even offered separately, cost 2 guilders, whereas a volume of the original work cost 1 thaler 6 groschen in Saxon when the complete work was purchased , which corresponds to about 2½ guilders, and in the "ordinary shop price" (information on the flyleaf) even 2 thalers 12 Groschen cost. A single volume was more than twice as expensive at Brockhaus.

Interestingly, the AF Macklot publisher announced in the preface to the first volume that its edition was even more up-to-date than the Brockhaus edition of 1814, as it had already taken into account the social changes that occurred as a result of the wars of liberation , and is doing this for example with the Articles “ Alexander I ”, “ August Friedrich (King of Saxony) ” or “ la belle Alliance ”. In fact, these entries have additions. However, cuts were also made to individual articles, but the buyers were not informed: Brockhaus reports in volume 4 (G and H) with the keyword " Humboldt (Friedrich Alexander von) " on more than 5½ pages about his trip to South America in 1799 –1804 (p. 838 ff.), Says the Macklot edition (p. 829 ff.) That “a detailed description of this journey (…) can hardly be expected by anyone here” and deals with this, stating the dates of its beginning and end and the name of Humboldt's companion Bonpland on three lines.

In the sixth volume (M and N) of the Macklot edition , the publisher comments on the issue of its reprinting policy with a "Nothgedrunge (n) declaration to ensure law and justice" preceding the keywords. He criticized the revised 4th edition published by Brockhaus as a result of the reprint as a work without the actual "so-called increases and improvements" that Brockhaus had specified for the new edition. Carl Erhard seriously believed that he would be able to continue his publishing policy of imitation for the "monetary sacrifice" of 1,500 guilders paid to Brockhaus in the settlement, without Brockhaus at least arming himself for the future, after he had judged injunctive relief in the current issue due to the unfavorable legal situation could not penetrate.

The publishing house AF Macklot had also copied the 4th edition of Brockhaus, which was again published in ten volumes from 1817, although his edition only appeared in seven volumes.

The two supplement volumes from 1819/20 presented by Brockhaus for his four previous editions were largely taken over by Macklot with the same content as updates for his two reprint editions, after only using Brockhaus' supplement volume from 1818 for volumes one to seven of the 1st to 3rd Brockhaus edition had reprinted with noticeable revision or omission of articles; He expressly pointed this out in the preface, giving his reasons.

Because now, public opinion had made in the case behind Brockhaus and the heel of his lexicon had increased considerably, had Carl Erhard, the second edition of his reprint largely makulieren . This episode of reprint, which would seriously endanger the business development of the lexicon project in the long term, was thus over. There were no further reprints by AF Macklot.

The 7th edition (1827 to 1830)

The two original editions by Brockhaus

This edition was the first that was organized independently by his two sons Friedrich (1800–1865) and Heinrich Brockhaus (1804–1874) after the death of the company founder . Its exact title was: Allgemeine deutsche Real = Encyclopedia for the educated classes. (Conversations = Lexicon) , and their editing was once again the responsibility of the historian Friedrich Christian August Hasse , who, after working at the cadet institute in Dresden, taught as a professor of historical auxiliary sciences at the University of Leipzig from 1828 and already had the 6th edition and the " Neue Episode ”had edited. The publisher designed the encyclopedia for the first time in twelve volumes with around 10,700 pages and was offered in three different paper qualities: the cheapest version on "white printing paper" (15 Thaler or 27 Gulden Rheinisch), a better edition on "good writing paper" (20 Thlr. Or 36 Fl. Rhine.) And finally on "extra fine vellum paper " (36 Thlr. Or 64 Fl. 48 Kr. Rhine.). For the first time, Brockhaus was printing on a high-speed press that the publisher had put into operation in 1826 as the first printing house in all of Saxony. After the first edition of 12,000 copies had been sold out in 1828, a second, corrected impression in 14,000 copies appeared from October 1829 to September 1830, the volume of which had increased slightly by 4 pages in the 12th volume. With the supplement volume also published in 1829 for the owners of the sixth edition in particular and the “New Series”, their lexicon was brought up to date with this edition. Such volumes were dispensed with in later editions of the encyclopedia. Only the current edition was updated with supplement volumes.

The reprint by Fleischhauer and Spohn (1829–1830)

This edition was also reprinted by a third party. The new edition, printed literally after the second reviewed print of the Leipzig seventh original = edition by Fleischhauer and Spohn, Reutlingen 1830–1831, once again made use of the special legal situation in the Kingdom of Württemberg and led to a rare bibliophile treasure; Litigation was avoided, however, and the reprint remained largely unknown. The encyclopedia was thus able to begin its triumphal march on the German book market (see also the explanations in: FA Brockhaus ); there was no further reprint.

The 11th and 12th editions (1864 to 1879)

The 11th edition deals in detailed presentations with the current political events in Germany (Danish War 1864 for Schleswig-Holstein; "Prussian-German War" 1866, subsequent establishment of the North German Confederation). The two supplement volumes from 1872 and 1873 present the Franco-German War in great detail and focus in particular on the territorial gains (revision of the articles Alsace-Lorraine , France , Haguenau , Kolmar , Mulhouse , Strasburg, correctly written Strasbourg, etc. ). The 12th edition contains in its last volume under the title On Characteristics and History of the Conversations Lexicon on 21 pages a foreword on the task, content, form and history of the work .

The 13th and 14th editions (1882 to 1908)

Brockhaus' Konversations-Lexikon, 14th edition from 1896
"Brockhaus' Konversations-Lexikon, 14th edition, new revised anniversary edition", around 1910

With the 13th edition of the Conversations Lexicon , published between 1882 and 1887, the text, which was set up in two columns for the first time, was also provided with 411 tables and 102 maps as well as 12 situation plans, after the earlier editions had only consisted of pure text volumes. Especially with the panels, which were mostly executed in wood engraving , which was very common at the time for reasons of cost , but also partly as chromolithography , it was possible to fall back on the multi-volume picture atlas for the conversations dictionary, which had been published separately since 1849 as a supplement to the encyclopedia editions , the 2nd edition of which was available since 1874. But the publisher already had other experiences with illustrated reference works. A four-volume picture conversation lexicon was published as early as 1837 to 1841 and an illustrated house and family lexicon in seven volumes from 1860 to 1865 . The editing of the text, which had grown to 16 volumes with around 15,000 pages, was in the hands of Gustav Stockmann, and that of the illustration part was in the hands of Bernhard Siegfried. The main work, which was very successful on the book market with 91,000 copies sold, was followed by a supplement volume with text and images as well as several registers. The cover was made of half leather , with the spine of the book being lavishly decorated with gold. The volumes cost about 15 marks .

The 14th edition (1891–1895), again presented in 16 volumes, followed just four years after the previous one had been completed. Again there was a supplement volume that appeared in the summer of 1897. A new feature of this edition was the integration of 4,000 images directly into the text. Of the more than 1,000 panels, 134 were now made as chromolithographs, and for the last time in a Brockhaus conversation lexicon, the cards were made using the elaborate lithographic process. In 1898 this edition was revised and delivered as a revised anniversary edition , followed by the new revised anniversary edition published between 1901 and 1904 and the fourth edition from 1908 to 1910. Finally, the 1908 edition was reprinted in 1920. The issues from 1901 onwards were set in the then new German spelling . Due to the interim increase in the cost of binding and illustrator kept constant selling prices of 10 marks for a Ganzleinen- and 15 marks was for a half calf with at compared to 13th edition Goldschnitt made only a small profit. More than 80% of the lexicon was sold through the travel book trade and only 1/5 through the retail book trade . By 1913, 300,000 copies of the lexicon had been sold; In the German Empire , a conversation lexicon had a high social status, so that its possession was sought in large circles of the population.

The 15th edition (1928 to 1939)

After more than 30 years had passed since the previously published 14th edition - the edition was originally planned for 1912 - the basic work of the 15th edition of Brockhaus was first published from 1928 to 1935 under the title Der Große Brockhaus (subtitle: Handbuch des Knowledge in twenty volumes) in 20 volumes; a supplementary volume followed in 1935 and a satin ribbon in 1937. A half leather, a full linen and a material edition were supplied by the publisher. Because of the time it was created, it is sometimes referred to as the “ Weimar Brockhaus”. A second edition, which appeared from 1939 and in which the National Socialist ideology was to be fully taken into account, did not get beyond the first volume of "A-AST" due to the events of the war . The encyclopedia describes geopolitically the state of the earth as it emerged after the changes resulting from the First World War . In particular, the considerable state of science and technology achieved by the mid-1930s was also taken into account, which was reflected in particular in the rapid development of means of transport (railroad, motor vehicle, airship and aircraft). But also the various other technical innovations, such as B. the beginning of radio and television technology or the electron microscope were taken into account. In the last volumes published after 1932 and the supplementary volume, the social development in National Socialist Germany can already be clearly seen, in which the newly created power structures of the NS state and its active organs as well as the effects of the NS policy of oppression (e.g. withdrawals of Citizenships for famous and now ostracized German artists and scientists).

Contemporary editions

The 20th edition (1996 to 2001)

The basic encyclopedia of the 20th edition of Brockhaus comprised around 260,000 keywords on 17,000 pages, which were supplemented by around 35,000 illustrations, maps and tables. In addition, six supplementary volumes were published by 1999.

The 21st edition (2005 to 2014)

Audio installation for the presentation of the 21st edition of the Brockhaus in the courtyard of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2005

The first six volumes of the 21st edition appeared in October 2005 at the Frankfurt Book Fair . The complete 30-volume edition was available in 2006. A digital version of the encyclopedia was also available.

This edition had a total of 24,500 pages with around 300,000 keywords and 40,000 images. The standard edition in red and black half leather binding was sold at a total price of 2,820 euros when it was fully accepted. According to the publisher, the volumes together weigh 70 kilograms and take up 1.70 meters of shelf space. “70 specialist, photo and final editors” from the editorial team in Leipzig and a thousand other authors, mainly freelancers, worked on it.

The whole thing was supplemented by an "audio library", consisting of 2 DVDs, with over 3,000 audio samples of various kinds. The audio samples included political speeches, pieces of music, nature sounds, etc. with a total playing time of approx. 70 hours.

From the end of 2010 a new delivery variant consisting of 32 parts was offered. In addition to the 30-volume basic dictionary, this delivery variant also consisted of the audio library and the volume “Multimedial”. This additional volume contained four DVDs with extensive bonus material (children's and youth encyclopedia, atlas, Brockhaus 1906, planetarium, world statistics, etc.) and a black-bound manual.

As with previous editions, there was also a special edition for the 21st edition , which differed from the standard edition in terms of a small edition, a different cover design and a higher price. The covers of this special edition were designed by Armin Mueller-Stahl . This edition was limited to 999 copies and sold at a new price of 6,000 euros.

Complete overview 1st to 21st edition

  • 1st edition 1796–1808 "Conversationslexicon with excellent ..." 6 volumes
  • 1st edition 1810–1811 2 supplement volumes
  • 2nd edition 1809–1811 "Conversations-Lexikon ...", 6 volumes + 2 supplement volumes (1809 and 1811)
  • 2nd edition 1812–1819 "Conversations-Lexikon ...", revised edition, 10 volumes
  • 3rd edition 1814–1819 "Conversations-Lexicon", 10 volumes
    • for the 1st – 3rd Edition 1818: Supplementary volume (from A – O, for volumes 1–7)
  • 4th edition 1817–1819 "Hand-Enzyclopädie", 10 volumes
    • for the 1st – 4th Edition 1819–1820: 2 supplement volumes with 4 sections (from A – Z, with the most important new articles and improvements of the 5th edition)
  • 5th edition 1819–1820 “Real-Encyclopadie”, 10 volumes
  • 6th edition 1824 “Real Encyclopedia”, 10 volumes
  • 7th edition 1827 "Real-Encyklopädie", 12 volumes
  • 8th edition 1833–1837 “Real-Encyklopädie”, 12 volumes
  • 9th edition 1843–1848 “Real-Encyklopädie”, 15 volumes
  • 10th edition 1851–1855 “Real-Encyklopädie”, 15 volumes
  • 11th edition 1864–1868 "Real-Encyklopädie", 15 volumes, Supplement 1 (Aachen – Honved 1872), Supplement 2 (Horst – Zündnadelgewehr 1873)
  • 12th edition 1875–1879 “Conversations Lexicon”, 15 volumes
  • 13th edition 1882–1887 “Conversations Lexicon”, 16 volumes
  • 14th edition 1893–1897 “Konversations-Lexikon”, 16 volumes, 1 supplementary volume A – Z
  • 15th edition 1928–1935 “Der Große Brockhaus”, 20 volumes + 1 supplementary volume A – Z 1935 + 1 Atlas volume 1937
+ 1 volume in the 2nd edition of the 15th edition (1939) [of 20 planned + with 1 atlas ribbon]
  • 16th edition 1952–1957 “Der Große Brockhaus”, 12 volumes + 2 supplementary volumes A – Z + atlas ribbon
  • 17th edition 1966–1974 "Brockhaus Enzyklopädie", 20 volumes + 5 supplementary volumes.
  • 18th edition 1977–1981 “Der Große Brockhaus”, 12 volumes + 9 supplementary volumes
  • 19th edition 1986–1994 "Brockhaus Enzyklopädie", 24 volumes + register of persons (volume 25, 1994)
+ German dictionary (volumes 26 to 28)
+ Dictionary German-English / English-German (Volume 29, 1995)
+ 1 supplementary volume (Volume 30, 1996) + 31st volume + 32nd volume + Atlas ribbon
  • 20th edition 1996–1999 “Brockhaus. The encyclopedia in 24 volumes ”, 24 volumes
  • 21st edition 2005-2006 “Brockhaus. Encyclopedia in 30 volumes "and DVD ,
also in separate digital form (on USB stick ).

Smaller encyclopedia editions by Brockhaus

The new Brockhaus

Der Neue Brockhaus, Allbuch in four volumes, 1936–1938
The New Brockhaus, 1958
Der Neue Brockhaus, 1973, with Atlas

Between October 1936 and March 1938 the now “Aryanized” Brockhaus editorial team published a new edition shaped in the spirit of National Socialism. In keeping with the new zeitgeist, this four-volume edition, which was supplemented by an atlas volume (July 1937), was called "Der Neue Brockhaus" and was no longer called an encyclopedia or conversation lexicon , but rather an all-book to replace the foreign loanwords with a German-language word (new) to replace creation . A "second, improved edition" replaced the first edition in 1941/1942. In this then u. a. takes into account global political and scientific and technical developments since the first edition. The first edition appeared with the same content in a light brown all-linen edition (11.50 RM / volume, Atlas 20 RM) and an edition in black half-leather with green linen cover and leather corners (15 RM / volume, Atlas 24 RM). The second edition was published exclusively as an all-linen edition. The title "Der Neue Brockhaus" was also used in later editions after 1945 in order to distinguish it from the larger complete edition. 1958–1960 the third “completely revised edition” appeared in 5 volumes and an atlas, 1968–1971 the fourth edition in 5 volumes, now referred to as “Lexicon and Dictionary”.

"The little sisters"

dtv -Brockhaus in paperback format 1982

In the period that followed, several "smaller" editions of various sizes were published in hardcover or paperback , which are mostly based on the data and knowledge of the main edition:

  • 15 - Brockhaus in fifteen volumes. With around 140,000 keywords. Brockhaus, Mannheim. 2002 - 2nd edition. 7200 pages. ISBN 3-7653-2801-4 (also with a colored cover designed by James Rizzi ISBN 3-7653-2350-0 and in a version with cover design by Andy Warhol ISBN 3-7653-1380-7 )
  • 10 - Brockhaus in ten volumes. Around 150,000 keywords. Brockhaus, Mannheim. 1st edition 2004. 7360 pages. ISBN 3-7653-2450-7 .
  •  6 - The Brockhaus in six volumes. Around 130,000 keywords. Brockhaus, Leipzig - Mannheim. 1st edition 2008. 5952 pages. ISBN 978-3-7653-3230-2 .
  •  5 - The Brockhaus in five volumes. Around 125,000 keywords. Brockhaus, Mannheim. 5th edition 1973–1975, 10th edition 2003, last 5472 pages.
  •  3 - The Brockhaus in three volumes. With 80,000 keywords. Bibliographical Institute, Mannheim. 4th edition 2006. 2592 pages. ISBN 3-7653-1504-4 .
  •  2 - The small Brockhaus in two volumes. Bibliographical Institute, Mannheim. 1st edition 1949–1950. 1400 pages.
  •  1 - The Volks-Brockhaus . FA Brockhaus, Leipzig. 1st edition 1931. The second edition in 1934 was banned by the party official examination commission for the protection of the National Socialist literature . Brockhaus Verlag had to work with this commission to create another, the third edition. The Volks-Brockhaus continued to appear after the war until the 16th edition in 1980 with 926 pages. The 11th edition (1950), which was completed in September 1949, was classified as “reactionary” on May 15, 1950 after the publication of the first half volume ( A – K ) and discontinued.
  •  1 - The Brockhaus. In one band. FA Brockhaus, Mannheim / Leipzig. 4th edition 1992.

The digital encyclopedia was also supplemented by smaller editions on DVD :

  • “Brockhaus multimedial” (the 2007 edition runs on Mac OS X 10.4, not yet 10.5; numerous articles are borrowed from other reference works; for example, articles from the field of popular music come from the “Handbuch der popularem Musik”, published by Schott-Verlag 1997, without this being visible in the Brockhaus)
  • Brockhaus multimedial (the 2008 edition of September 15, 2007 comprises 11 million words, ISBN 978-3-411-06618-6 ) and
  • Brockhaus multimedial premium (the 2009 edition includes 260,000 articles, 335,000 headwords and 120,000 dictionary entries without online updates, with exportable world statistics, also a 3-D world atlas, a planetarium and anima, an anatomical atlas and the Brockhaus from 1906, ISBN 978- 3-411-06727-5 ). All articles with their keywords can be exported as MP3 audio files; the software is available for Windows , Mac OS X and Linux .
  • Brockhaus multimedial premium (the current 2010 edition includes 265,000 articles, 340,000 keywords and 20 million words without online updates, as well as a 3-D world atlas with 2 million entries and a German-English dictionary and a planetarium, ISBN 978-3-577 -07766-8 ). All articles can be exported as files in MP3 format. The software is also offered for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

The historical predecessors of the smaller editions include:

  • Brockhaus picture conversation lexicon for the German people. 4 volumes, 1837–1841
  • Smaller Brockhaus'sches conversation lexicon for household use. 4 volumes, 1854
  • Brockhaus' Kleines Konversations-Lexikon. 2 volumes, numerous editions

"Brockhaus - Stadtlexikon" as special editions

  • Brockhaus Mannheim . In October 2006, the “Brockhaus Mannheim ” was published, the publisher's first city dictionary for the city's 400th birthday in 2007. The net proceeds went to local social projects.

Digital editions

Brockhaus Encyclopedia Digital

On November 4, 2002, the encyclopedia appeared digitally for the first time. It included two CDs and a DVD as a multimedia supplement. It contained 260,000 articles with 330,000 keywords, approximately 26 million words and 14,500 illustrations. The edition cost well over 1,000 euros.

Since 2004 the digital Brockhaus has been available for various mobile platforms, Windows Mobile , Symbian , Palm OS and since March 2010 also as an app for the iPhone . Parts of the digital encyclopedia are available online in the Brockhaus teacher portal.

The Brockhaus Encyclopedia Digital based on the 21st edition with 30 volumes was published on November 15, 2005 on two DVD-ROMs and a USB stick. It contains the full text, plus extensive additional and source texts, as well as 25,000 images, 280 videos, 140 animations and 3,000 audio files. It has been updated online.

Supplementary digital Brockhaus editions

Additional digital offers were an atlas of 3-D anatomy , school lexicons and a 3-D atlas. Many research options including natural language search help and several million cross-references. Thanks to the USB stick, the lexicon is location-independent (portable = portable) and can be used immediately on several computers. At the same time it serves as copy protection. The price in bookshops was around 1,500 euros ( ISBN 3-7653-4131-2 ).

Historical editions of Brockhaus in digital form

Several historical editions of Brockhaus are available in digital implementation. The first edition in the version from 1809–1811 by Directmedia is available in stores, but also in a non-commercial version. The four-volume illustrated edition from 1837–1843, the Brockhaus from 1906 and a two-volume Brockhaus from 1911 are also available digitally. Some editions are accessible on the Internet (see web links). Since 2007, the 14th edition of the Brockhaus Konversations-Lexikons from 1892–1897 has been digitized and prepared in a free project for use via the Internet. Over 17,000 pages can already be viewed as an image scan and are available as digital full text, although the texts have only been corrected to a small extent so far.

Brockhaus Wissensservice and Brockhaus Lehrwerke

In 2015, Bertelsmann licensed the Brockhaus content to the publishing house of the Swedish National Encyclopedia SE, which has since taken over the marketing of the Brockhaus Wissensservice with its own limited liability company based in Munich. The collaboration with the Munzinger archive , which only offered the text of the encyclopedia but no multimedia content, was ended at the end of 2015. The content was further developed by our own editorial team, which is still part of Bertelsmann, and by freelancers. The offer is supplemented by the Harenberg culture guide and a dictionary. It was initially aimed exclusively at the B2B sector , i.e. primarily at libraries , schools and corporate customers. Access is also possible for users who are registered and logged in to the relevant libraries and schools outside of these facilities.

At the Frankfurt Book Fair 2016 Brockhaus presented extensions for this offer in the form of the modules basic knowledge, children's and youth lexicon. In addition to the Brockhaus Encyclopedia portal, an offer for schools with teaching material for elementary schools and grammar schools in the lower secondary level has been added, which is based on the curriculum and is to be gradually approved as teaching material in state schools. Since April 2017, the Brockhaus Encyclopedia has also been researchable via the EBSCO Discovery Service .

Since June 2018, individuals can have their own private access to the Brockhaus Knowledge Service for 6 euros per month or 60 euros per year, regardless of a library or other educational institution. Since 2019, the Brockhaus Encyclopedia - like the Encyclopaedia Britannica - can be used by citizens with permanent residence in Switzerland with a national license.

Development since 2008

According to an announcement by the company on February 11, 2008, the 21st edition of the Brockhaus Encyclopedia from 2006 would be the last printed edition. "The time when you put an excellent encyclopedia one and a half meters in circumference on the shelf in order to pick out what you want to know seems to be over," said the publisher's spokesman Klaus Holoch. The sale of this edition went so badly that Brockhaus had to close with a loss "on the order of several million euros". Market analyzes have shown that in future customers will primarily look up factual information online. The Brockhaus content should therefore be offered free of charge on the Internet in an advertising-financed online portal ; The publisher also wanted to serve classic book customers with dictionaries and the encyclopedia. The launch of the free online portal announced for April 15, 2008 was postponed indefinitely and later canceled entirely.

The Brockhaus encyclopedia was subsequently taken over retrospectively from February 1, 2009 by the Bertelsmann subsidiary Arvato / Wissenmedia GmbH . According to the publisher, there should be a new edition in book form. However, it was said even then that the growing success of Wikipedia represented serious competition.

Brockhaus logo since 2016

These plans were abandoned in 2013 because of the market dominance of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Direct sales of all publishing house products - especially the 21st edition of the "Brockhaus Enzyklopädie" - were discontinued in mid-2014, as was the sales of the encyclopedias.

On the sidelines of the Frankfurt Book Fair , it was announced in October 2015 that the publisher of the Swedish National Encyclopedia ( NE Nationalencyklopedin AB ) had taken over the marketing of the Brockhaus brand. The German subsidiary NE GmbH in Munich has been developing and selling the online edition of the Brockhaus Encyclopedia since then. Since then, Brockhaus has transformed from a knowledge provider to an education provider and, in addition to online reference works consisting of an encyclopedia, youth encyclopedia and children's encyclopedia, also offers digital textbooks, e-learning material and English-language instructional videos including teaching material for bilingual teaching (CLIL). These online offers are aimed primarily at libraries, schools, media houses and institutions. Since June 2018, Brockhaus' online reference works have also been available as a subscription to private individuals.


The internal and external design ( layout , cover ) plays an essential role as a quality feature for a print product that is designed for frequent use over a long period of time . Ease of use or a clear design are important sales arguments. The two-column set, which is still used today, was introduced as early as 1824, making the lines easier to see. The use of the border for graphics and images is new. Since the main work often remained unchanged for more than 10 years, the publisher introduced updated supplement volumes from 1824 onwards. Separate atlases and dictionaries supplement these easily updated parts of the dictionary.

The bookbinding is mainly carried out in the hard-wearing thread stitching , but there are also issues with wire stitching. The design of the book spine has two functions: as a logo or design object, it should make the product easier to recognize and as a short index it should make it easier to use. With the special edition of the 20th edition (also known as the "Millennium Edition"), an experiment was therefore dared with André Heller's design: small acrylic showcases with objects visible from the outside were embedded in the book covers , each embodying a keyword from the volume. The objects change, others are limited in number, so that each book is unique in terms of design .


Brockhaus encyclopedias were sold door-to-door by both the retail book trade and the travel book trade. From 2002 to 2014, direct contact with the end user was with inmediaONE GmbH, a subsidiary of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA. With Alldirekt Telemarketing GmbH , bought by inmediaONE in 2002, Brockhaus encyclopedias are also sold by telephone from Salzburg . On December 17, 2008, the Brockhaus encyclopedia was sold to the Bertelsmann service subsidiary Arvato AG . Brockhaus NE GmbH in Munich, a company of NE Nationalencyklopedin AB in Malmö , Sweden, has been selling the Brockhaus Wissensservice digital portal since 2015 . The fee-based access to the Brockhaus Encyclopedia and various other offers, such as youth lexicon , children's lexicon , dictionaries , masterpieces of art , climate of the world , and courses such as Fit on the Internet for Adults , Research Correctly and a student training combined in different packages, is separated for Schools, libraries, companies, institutions and private individuals are offered on different terms.

Brockhaus as a model for foreign lexicon projects

As a universal encyclopedia, the Brockhaus was the model for many foreign lexicon projects, such as B.

The early as 1768 by Adam and Charles Black in Scottish Edinburgh moved " Encyclopædia Britannica ", however, was a product of the Scottish Enlightenment .

See also


(in chronological order)

  • The conversation lexicon and its founders . In: The Gazebo . Issue 43, 1872, pp. 706-708 ( full text [ Wikisource ]).
  • Alfred Wilhelm Dove : Brockhaus and Meyer. In: Alfred Wilhelm Dove: Selected writings primarily historical content. Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1898, pp. 548-554 ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive ).
  • Heinrich Eduard Brockhaus : The company FA Brockhaus from the foundation to the hundredth anniversary 1805-1905. Brockhaus, Leipzig 1905. (Facsimile edition, Brockhaus, Mannheim 2005, ISBN 978-3-7653-0184-1 ).
  • Ernst Herbert Lehmann: History of the conversation lexicon. Brockhaus, Leipzig 1934, p. 37 ff.
  • Arthur Hübscher (Ed.): One hundred and fifty years FA Brockhaus. Brockhaus, Wiesbaden 1955.
  • Karl Pfannkuch: The Conversations Lexicon in the Mirror of the 19th Century. In: The friends of the FA Brockhaus publishing house. Volume 4. Brockhaus, Wiesbaden 1956, pp. 23-35.
  • 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.
  • Günter Gurst: On the history of the conversation lexicon in Germany. In: Hans-Joachim Diesner, Günter Gurst (Ed.): Lexica yesterday and today. VEB Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig 1976, pp. 137–188.
  • Walther Killy : A jubilee of knowledge. 175 years of FA Brockhaus. Brockhaus, Wiesbaden 1980, ISBN 3-7653-0321-6 .
  • Roland Schäfer: The early history of the large Brockhaus. In: Leipzig yearbook on book history. Volume 3. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1993, ISSN  0940-1954 , pp. 69-84.
  • Anja zum Hingst: The story of the Großer Brockhaus. From conversation lexicon to encyclopedia. (= Master's thesis at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, 1991 / Book studies articles from the German Book Archive Munich. Volume 53). Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1995, ISBN 3-447-03740-7 .
  • Ulrike Spree: The pursuit of knowledge - A comparative genre history of the popular encyclopedia in Germany and Great Britain in the 19th century. ( Communicatio, Volume 24). Niemeyer, Tübingen 2000, ISBN 3-484-63024-8 , pp. 155-179.
  • Hugo Wetscherek (Ed.): Bibliotheca Lexicorum. Annotated directory of the Otmar Seemann collection . Antiquariat Inlibris, Vienna 2001, ISBN 978-3-9500813-5-0 .
  • Thomas Keiderling (Ed.): FA Brockhaus 1905-2005. Brockhaus, Leipzig / Mannheim 2005, ISBN 978-3-7653-0284-8 .
  • 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.
  • Thomas Keiderling: The Brockhaus. In: Ulrike Haß (Ed.): Large encyclopedias and dictionaries of Europe. European encyclopedias and dictionaries in historical portraits. de Gruyter, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-11-019363-3 , pp. 193-210.

Web links

Commons : Brockhaus  - collection of images, videos and audio files

References and comments

  1. a b End of an Era: Brockhaus Lexica is threatened with extinction . Spiegel Online , June 11, 2013.
  2. Adjustment of the printed edition. Brockhaus . In: FAZ , June 12, 2013 (Feuilleton) Brockhaus
  3. Goodbye. Wissenmedia, accessed on February 5, 2014 (notification from the “Wissenmedia” publisher regarding the discontinuation): “Unfortunately, we have to say goodbye to you at this point. The publishing house "Wissenmedia" with the trademarks Brockhaus, Bertelsmann Lexikon and Chronik will cease its bookselling business on February 1st, 2014. "
  4. ^ André Kramer: Final end for printed Brockhaus. In: August 17, 2014, accessed December 29, 2017 .
  5. ^ The Brockhaus editorial team. In: Retrieved December 29, 2017 .
  6. About Brockhaus. In: Retrieved December 29, 2017 .
  7. a b The title page of the volume “A to L” indicates: “Amsterdam, 1809. Im Kunst = und Industrie = Comptoir”, and the one for the volume “M to Z” mentions “Leipzig” as the new publishing location.
  8. ^ Heinrich Eduard Brockhaus: The company FA Brockhaus from the foundation to the hundredth anniversary. 1805-1905 . Heinrich Eduard Brockhaus, Friedrich. Anton. Brockhaus, Leipzig 1905, p. 23 ff.
  9. The exact title was: Conversations-Lexicon or encyclopedic concise dictionary for educated classes about the objects, names and terms that occur in social conversation and reading, in relation to national and human history, politics and diplomacy, mythology and archeology, earth and , Nature, trade and trade customer, the fine arts and sciences: including the foreign words that have been used in everyday language and with special consideration for the older and most recent strange events of the time.
  10. Conversations Lexicon or encyclopedic concise dictionary for educated classes. Third edition of the first to fourth volume. First volume. Anton to Boyle . FA Brockhaus, Leipzig and Altenburg 1814, p. VII [oP] ff.
  11. Conversations Lexicon or encyclopedic concise dictionary for educated classes. Second, completely reworked edition. Ninth volume. Seetz to Tiz . FA Brockhaus, Leipzig and Altenburg 1817, half-title back "Message".
  12. Compare all in all to the 2nd to 5th edition: The FA Brockhaus company from the foundation to the centenary. 1805-1905 . Heinrich Eduard Brockhaus, Friedrich. Anton. Brockhaus, Leipzig 1905, p. 23 ff.
  13. cf. the frontispiece page to: Conversations-Lexikon or encyclopedic concise dictionary for educated classes. First volume. A to Boyle. Stuttgart, at AF Macklot 1816
  14. Cf. the frontispiece page on: Conversations-Lexikon or encyclopedic concise dictionary for educated classes. Fourth volume. G and H. Leipzig and Altenburg: FA Brockhaus 1815.
  15. Supplement to the Conversations Lexicon for the Stuttgart edition . Stuttgart, at AF Macklot 1818, preface.
  16. ^ Heinrich Eduard Brockhaus: The company FA Brockhaus from the foundation to the hundredth anniversary. 1805-1905 . FA Brockhaus, Leipzig 1905, p. 304.
  17. Thomas Keiderling (Ed.): FA Brockhaus 1905-2005. Brockhaus, Leipzig 2005, p. 29.
  18. Thomas Keiderling (Ed.): FA Brockhaus 1905-2005. Brockhaus, Leipzig 2005, pp. 28, 29.
  19. Thomas Keiderling (Ed.): FA Brockhaus 1905-2005. Brockhaus, Leipzig 2005, p. 30.
  20. ( Memento from March 8, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  21. BROCKHAUS in 31 volumes - 21st edition. (No longer available online.) InmediaONE, archived from the original on June 21, 2013 ; accessed on March 7, 2017 .
  22. Further information on Brockhaus Enzyklopädie Digital / 21st edition. Brockhaus Encyclopedia 21st edition (since 2006)., accessed on March 29, 2017 .
  23. BROCKHAUS in 31 volumes. 21st edition. (No longer available online.) InmediaONE, archived from the original on June 21, 2013 ; accessed on March 7, 2017 .
  24. Brockhaus Encyclopedia. 21st edition (2006-2014)., accessed on March 29, 2017 .
  25. Brockhaus Encyclopedia 21st edition Armin Müller-Stahl, 30 volumes & lithography., accessed on March 29, 2017 .
  26. Review by Otto Köhler in Die Zeit on September 8, 1978: War of Words
  27. ^ Source KVK and Heinz Sarkowski: The Bibliographical Institute. Mannheim / u. a. 1976
  28. ^ Otmar Seemann : Incompletely published lexicons and encyclopedias. An addendum to war: MNE. In: Karl H. Pressler (Ed.): From the Antiquariat. Volume 8, 1990 (= Börsenblatt für den Deutschen Buchhandel - Frankfurter Ausgabe. No. 70, August 31, 1990), pp. A 329 - A 334, here: p. A 333.
  29. ^ Brockhaus teacher portal ( Memento from May 2, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (web archive).
  30. The Brockhaus returns. In: October 15, 2015, accessed October 28, 2015 .
  31. Manuel Bonik: Brockhaus presents digital textbooks. In: book report. October 19, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2016 .
  32. Brockhaus Encyclopedia can now be found via the EBSCO Discovery Service . In: book report . April 7, 2017 ( [accessed October 30, 2017]).
  33. dpa: Online lexicon: Brockhaus also offers subscriptions for private individuals. In: heise online. September 11, 2018, accessed September 12, 2018 .
  34. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica Online. In: Consortium of Swiss University Libraries, accessed on June 5, 2019 (German).
  35. Brockhaus Encyclopedia -. Consortium of Swiss University Libraries, accessed on June 5, 2019 .
  36. "Brockhaus: 'We will be the knowledge navigator on the net'" ( Welt online , February 12, 2008)
  37. ^ "Brockhaus surrenders to the Internet" ( Memento of February 14, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) ( FTD , February 12, 2008)
  38. Strategic realignment at Brockhaus ( Memento from February 15, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  39. Interview with Klaus Holoch ( Deutschlandfunk , February 12, 2008)
  40. Brockhaus changes saddles., September 25, 2008, accessed September 25, 2008 .
  41. Jump up for information. In: Welt Online . December 17, 2008, accessed December 17, 2008 .
  42. The printed Brockhaus is history on, accessed on August 18, 2014
  43. ^ Off for Brockhaus: Bertelsmann gives up lexicon division ., June 11, 2013.
  44. ^ End of a lexicon tradition . In: Börsenblatt , June 12, 2013; Retrieved August 3, 2013.
  45. Reference books for schools. In: Retrieved July 26, 2018 .
  46. Digital textbooks. In: Retrieved July 26, 2018 .
  47. Brockhaus student training. In: Retrieved July 26, 2018 .
  48. ↑ Learning English with CLIL. In: Retrieved July 26, 2018 .
  49. Brockhaus / NE GmbH: About us. In: June 26, 2018. Retrieved July 26, 2018 .
  50. Brockhaus for private individuals. In: Retrieved July 26, 2018 .
  51. Brockhaus online in the test: 6 euros for more knowledge. In: Retrieved October 13, 2018 .
  52. Heller also had objects from celebrities incorporated, e.g. B. small sections of the tennis strings of discarded tennis rackets by Boris Becker .
  53. Bertelsmann is hunting for student data ( Memento from September 11, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), ARD-Mittagsmagazin ,, May 21, 2013. Video version .
  54. Brockhaus and Bertelsmann Lexikothek ( Memento from February 22, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), overview Brockhaus Enzyklopädien, inmediaONE GmbH.
  55. Bertelsmann gives up Inmediaone direct sales business , buchreport , Harenberg Verlag , June 11, 2013
  56. DPA-AFX press release of December 17th, 2008, 5:16 pm.
  57. Imprint. In: Retrieved July 22, 2020 .