Brockhaus back in Business?

Leipzig, gravestones of members of the Brockhaus family

The 30 volume Brockhaus Enzyklopädie, the largest print encyclopedia in German language, is history. In 2005/06 the last edition appeared, and in 2008 a short-lived online experiment failed. A year later, Bertelsmann bought Brockhaus, and even the German anti trust agency said: Yeah, it’s a monopoly, but the market for print encyclopedias has shrunk so much that the Bertelsmann monopoly would be the least problem to a newcomer.

History? Last edition? Bertelsmann now surprised the literary world with the announcement of a new edition, to be expected for 2014 or 2015. The 22nd edition will be available for tablet pc and other mobile instruments, and the buyer can order excerpts from it by print-on-demand.

We’ll see.

(According to, thanks to Mathias Schindler for the link.)


One thought on “Brockhaus back in Business?

  1. Ziko, Brockhaus has never been “out of business”. When I spoke to the new Bertelsmann-Brockhaus staff at last year’s Frankfurt book fair conventional wisdow was that they were working on a new edition of the print edition. However, they did not appear to have any kind of online strategy which surprised me, indeed. So, I’m wondering how they will fail in this. If they don’t offer a free service such as PONS does for its dictionaries, I expect them to fail really big. Bertelsmann has a lot of money to burn. As Samuel Beckett once said: “Fail again. Fail better.”

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