|Successor||Walter de Gruyter|
|Country of origin||Germany|
|Distribution||HGV (most of world)|
TriLiteral (Americas Books)
EBSCO (US journals)
|Key people||Carsten Buhr (CEO)|
|Imprints||De Gruyter Mouton|
De Gruyter Saur
De Gruyter Akademie
De Gruyter Oldenbourg
|Revenue||€63 million (2017)|
|No. of employees||350|
The roots of the company go back to 1749 when Frederick the Great granted the Königliche Realschule in Berlin the royal privilege to open a bookstore and “to publish good and useful books.” In 1800, the store was taken over by Georg Reimer (1776–1842), operating as the Reimer'sche Buchhandlung from 1817, while the school’s press eventually became the Georg Reimer Verlag. From 1816, Reimer used the representative Sacken'sche Palace on Berlin's Wilhelmstraße for his family and the publishing house, whereby the wings contained his print shop and press. The building became a meeting point for Berlin salon life and later served as the official residence of the President of Germany.
Born in Ruhrort in 1862, Walter de Gruyter took a position with Reimer Verlag in 1894. By 1897, at the age of 35, he had become sole proprietor of the hundred-year-old company known for publishing the works of German romantics such as Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Friedrich Schleiermacher, and Heinrich von Kleist. De Gruyter later acquired four other publishing houses – Göschen, Guttentag, Trübner, and Veit – and, in 1919, merged them into one: Vereinigung wissenschaftlicher Verleger Walter de Gruyter & Co., located in Genthiner Straße, where it is still headquartered today. The four publishers specialized in philosophy, theology, German literature, medicine, mathematics, engineering, law, political science, and natural science, and it is for many classics in these fields that de Gruyter is still known today. By the time he died in 1924, Walter de Gruyter had created one of the largest modern publishing houses in Europe. De Gruyter's son-in-law, Herbert Cram (1893–1967) succeeded him in the management of the company and it continues to be family-owned.
During World War II, the roof and top floor of the de Gruyter building were destroyed and the basement warehouse flooded, however, the building itself survived. On 14 May, 1945, the publisher again registered for trading and was the first publisher in the British zone to receive a license. The company became the Walter de Gruyter GmbH in 2012. In addition to its headquarters in Berlin, De Gruyter maintains offices around the globe, namely in Munich, Vienna, Basel, Warsaw, Boston, and Beijing.
Imprints and partnershipsEdit
Several former publishing houses have become imprints of De Gruyter:
- "De Gruyter Mouton/De Gruyter Saur" (formerly "Mouton de Gruyter") was purchased by de Gruyter in 1977. It was originally known as Mouton Publishers and based in The Hague. The imprint specializes in the field of linguistics and publishes academic journals, research monographs, reference works, multimedia publications, and bibliographies.
- K. G. Saur Verlag, based in Munich, was acquired in 2006 and retains the imprint "De Gruyter Saur". It specializes in reference information for libraries.
- De Gruyter acquired the journals of Berkeley Electronic Press in 2011.
- After filing for bankruptcy protection in 2012, publisher Birkhäuser was acquired by De Gruyter.
- In 2012 De Gruyter also acquired the open access publisher Versita. From 2014 until 2018, Versita was fully integrated into the imprint "De Gruyter Open", which also hosted several so-called mega journals and a blog, OpenScience, on open access in academia, reflecting the growing popularity of open access among researchers and academic institutions. In 2018, De Gruyter Open was relaunched as Sciendo.
- In 2013 De Gruyter acquired two academic publishers from Cornelsen Verlag: Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag and Akademie Verlag.
The Walter de Gruyter FoundationEdit
In 2006, three granddaughters of Walter de Gruyter co-founded the Walter de Gruyter Foundation, the purpose of which is to continue the legacy of Walter de Gruyter, who, aside from being a successful publisher, was also a socially engaged benefactor. The majority of the foundation's endowment comes from a 10% share in the company.
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