Ostwald's classic of the exact sciences

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Ostwald's Classic of Exact Sciences is a series of books that contains important original works from all areas of the natural sciences . It was founded in 1889 by the physical chemist Wilhelm Ostwald and is now published by Europa-Lehrmittel .


The series was first published by Wilhelm Engelmann in Leipzig and then by the Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft in Leipzig and more recently in reprints and new editions by Harri Deutsch in Frankfurt.

Ostwald's aim was to remedy the “lack of knowledge of those great works on which the building of science rests”. The first volume in 1889 was On the Preservation of Power (first in 1847) by Hermann von Helmholtz . In 1894 the physicist Arthur von Oettingen von Ostwald took over the publication (and remained editor until 1920, when the son of Ostwald, Wolfgang Ostwald , took over the task); Ostwald initially continued to publish the chemistry volumes until he was replaced by Richard Abegg . 195 volumes had appeared by 1915; Then there was an interruption due to the First World War until 1919. From 1919 onwards, they were published by the Academic Publishing Company, which also rebounded older issues. In 1923, the two hundredth volume appeared (work by Wilhelm Ostwald on catalysis). From 1938 (volume 244) to 1954 (volume 245) there was a break through the Second World War. The series was then continued by the successor to the Academic Publishing Company in the GDR, the Academic Publishing Company Geest & Portig. This was merged from 1968 with the BG Teubner Verlag , which was thereby co-editor of the series. The successor to the Academic Publishing Company in the FRG, based in Frankfurt am Main, also published a new series from 1965 (the publisher existed until 1983), of which six titles appeared (from volume 4 in 1968 they were published by Vieweg in Braunschweig). From 1982 there were reprints of the old series before the Second World War, in West Germany by the publishing house Harri Deutsch in Frankfurt, which specialized in the publication of scientific literature of the GDR in the FRG. A total of 275 volumes were published by 1987.

Volumes at the Academic Publishing Society after the war

After the Second World War, the Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, Harri Deutsch and Europa-Lehrmittel published (except reprints / new editions of the old series):

Volumes at the Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft Frankfurt

Only six volumes appeared here, which as a new series did not follow the old series in terms of numbering:

More volumes were planned (such as François Viète's Introduction to Algebra , which was published elsewhere in 1973).


  • Lothar Dunsch (Hrsg.): A foundation for the building of the sciences. Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, 1989 (on the history of the series).

Web links

References and comments

  1. For the volumes before the World War II interruption, see Wikisource