Knowledge Media Verlag

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The Bertelsmann Lexikothek in 26 volumes: The Bertelsmann Lexikon in 10 volumes and 16 supplementary volumes, in the 1983 edition

The Wissen Media Verlag GmbH was a German publisher founded in 1952 , which belonged to the Wissen Media Group GmbH within the arvato AG to Bertelsmann . He was one of the leading lexicon publishers in Europe. Every year, Wissen Media Verlag publishes around 100 printed titles and electronic media. The specialist areas of the publisher were encyclopedias , chronicles , dictionaries (monolingual and bilingual) and non-fiction. The publishing house was in Gütersloh . The publisher with the retail brands Brockhaus , Bertelsmann Lexikon and Chronik closed its bookselling business on February 1, 2014.


The C. Bertelsmann Verlag was launched in 1952 with Alfred Christoph the publishing activity in the lexicon area and built a corresponding editorial team with image location and graphic department. The first title to be published a year later was the universal manual “I tell you everything”, which has sold over three million times to date. The first volume of the four-volume reference work “Das Bertelsmann Lexikon” was published and gave the starting signal for a program of multi-volume dictionaries. In 1955, with the start of bilingual dictionary work and the founding of the Lexicon Information Service (LAD), the range and service of the publishing house was expanded. In 1964, the Lexicon editorial staff took on the name Lexicon Institute Bertelsmann . In 1966, the title “ Wahrig - German Dictionary ” appeared, which today is considered the standard work among one-volume German dictionaries with over two million copies sold.

The Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlag was re-established in 1968 within the reorganized Bertelsmann publishing group . In 1971 the name “Lexikothek” was registered as a trademark with the German Patent Office and names a new type of encyclopedic information and education system. The newly founded Lexikothek Verlag GmbH created series works from 1979, such as B. the Bertelsmann Lexikothek in 26 volumes, for direct sales and the Bertelsmann book clubs . From 1983 the publisher was renamed Bertelsmann Lexikothek Verlag GmbH and in 1988 the publisher traded again as Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlag after returning to the retail book trade . He was the first German-language publisher to develop a lexicon for electronic data carriers, the so-called "Lexicodisc".

With the Bertelsmann Universal Lexicon in 1990, the tradition of one-volume encyclopedias, which was founded in 1956 with the “Bertelsmann Volkslexikon” , was continued. Since then the lexicon has appeared in an updated edition every year. In 1991 the new series “Bertelsmann Dictionaries” with the “Truig Foreign Words Dictionary” was launched, which by 1995 grew to 5 volumes. Reference works such as the “Bertelsmann Universal Lexicon” were developed and offered on CD-ROM under the “ BEE-Book ” brand . The Stuttgart publishing house was integrated into the publishing house in 1993. A new bilingual dictionary series is launched with compact and pocket dictionaries in four languages.

The by Harenberg Verlag bought Chronicle Publishing was established in 1994 with over 100 titles comprehensive program the Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlag assigned organizationally. In 1996 "Bertelsmann - The New German Spelling" appeared . The title “The new German spelling for students” opened the new dictionary series “Bertelsmann students” in 1997 . In 1998, Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlag , including Chronik Verlag and Verlagshaus Stuttgart, moved from the Bertelsmann publishing group to the dictionary business and large-scale objects. In 1999, Christoph Hünermann became the publishing director of Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlage. The “Bertelsmann Children's Lexicon” completed the series of one-volume lexicons. With the free “Bertelsmann Sprachberatung” a new kind of service went online on the Internet. In May 2000 the Internet knowledge portal was launched, but after 14 years it was taken over by the Konradin media group due to a lack of economic prospects . Within the Bertelsmann Direktvertriebs und Verlag company , Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlage switched to the arvato division .

From 2001 Bertelsmann direct sales and publishing companies operated under the new name InmediaOne . The content, technology and marketing competencies of Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlage , the Internet portal and the technology company Nionex GmbH were combined in December 2001 in the Wissen Media Group GmbH . In cooperation with Larousse , the new bilingual dictionary series “viamundo” was launched in three different formats with the languages ​​English, French, Spanish and Italian.

In March 2002, the Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlag received a new name under German commercial law, Wissen Media Verlag GmbH . The management was with Christoph Hünermann. From now on, all monolingual dictionaries of the publisher appeared under the brand name Wahrig . In addition to its publishing activities, the publisher has established itself as a provider in the area of content and knowledge management . From January 1, 2003 to June 30, 2008, the publishing house belonged to DirectGroup Bertelsmann . On July 1, 2008, it switched back to arvato AG and the publishing house celebrated “50 years of Bertelsmann Lexika”. As a partner of FIFA , the publishing house published the first titles in a series of official licensed products for the 2006 World Cup in 2005 . In 2007, the Wissen Media Group and SPIEGELnet GmbH founded the joint venture Spiegel Wissen GmbH & Co KG . This brought the German-language knowledge portal Spiegel Wissen onto the market in spring 2008 , which could be used free of charge through advertising (marketed by the Spiegel subsidiary Quality Channel ). The Wissen Media Group (with a 49% stake) brought the contents of the Bertelsmann encyclopedias and dictionaries into the joint venture, the Spiegel Group (with a 51% stake) brought content from the print magazine Der Spiegel (all content since it was founded in Year 1947, with the exception of the last two issues) and from Spiegel Online . This content was supplemented by articles from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia . The Spiegel Group was responsible for the operational management of the company, and its editors prepared and updated the content.

2008: Wikipedia encyclopedia in one volume

In September 2008 the publishing house brought in collaboration with the Wikimedia Foundation under the Verlagsimprint Bertelsmann Encyclopedia Institute , the Wikipedia encyclopedia in one volume in the German book trade. The Wikipedia Lexicon is a popular science reference work whose keywords are based on the content of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia . The selection of the lemmas was controlled directly by the read access numbers to the pages of the web project.

2014 settlement

In 2013 Bertelsmann announced that Wissen Media Verlag would be phased out by mid-2014. Direct sales of all publishing products were discontinued on February 1, 2014.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Welcome to Wissenmedia. Archived from the original on September 17, 2017 ; accessed on July 14, 2018 .
  2. Article at Retrieved April 13, 2014 .
  3. Brockhaus is over: Bertelsmann gives up lexicon division , June 11, 2013
  4. Goodbye. Publishing team knowmedia. ( Memento from March 18, 2014 in the Internet Archive )

Coordinates: 51 ° 54 ′ 42.8 "  N , 8 ° 25 ′ 48.6"  E