Bibliographisches Institut

Title page of Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., 1889

The German publishing company Bibliographisches Institut was founded 1826 in Gotha by Joseph Meyer, moved 1828 to Hildburghausen and 1874 to Leipzig. Its production over the years includes such well-known titles as Meyers Lexikon (encyclopaedias, since 1839, see Meyers Konversations-Lexikon), Brehms Tierleben (animal life, 1863-69, 4th ed. 1911-18); Duden (dictionaries on every aspect of the language, since 1880); Meyers Reisebücher (guide books, 1862–1936); Meyers Klassiker (home and foreign literature); atlases (Meyers Handatlas, Der Grosse Weltatlas), and others.

The buildings of the company were completely destroyed by the bombing raids on Leipzig 1943/44; the company itself expropriated by the communist regime of East Germany in 1946 and turned into a Volkseigener Betrieb. The shareholders moved the concern to Mannheim in West Germany in 1953 (Bibliographisches Institut AG). Titles like Meyers (Enzyklopädisches) Lexikon, Der Große Duden, Schlag Nach! and Meyers Großer Weltatlas appeared again. In Leipzig remained the VEB Bibliographisches Institut, operating in the same field, publishing Meyers Neues Lexikon", Duden etc.

In 1984 Bibliographisches Institut AG amalgamated with its biggest competitor in the market of reference works, F.A. Brockhaus of Wiesbaden to Bibliographisches Institut & F.A. Brockhaus AG, having their seat in Mannheim. After German reunification the company regained its former properties in Leipzig in 1991.

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