De Gruyter has digitized its book archive of over 53,000 titles dating back to 1749. This marks the completion of the De Gruyter Book Archive project, which began in 2017. All titles have been scanned and cataloged and are now available digitally on degruyter.com and as print-on-demand copies.
The archive documents more than 270 years of German and European intellectual history and makes thousands of original scholarly works permanently accessible. It includes the program of the publishing houses Georg Reimer, G.J. Göschen, I. Guttentag, Karl I. Trübner, and Veit & Comp., which Walter De Gruyter merged in 1923 to found his publishing house.
The archive is not only closely associated with names such as Klopstock, Wieland, Goethe, Schiller, Fichte, Humboldt, Schleiermacher, Tieck, Novalis, Kleist or the Brothers Grimm. It also represents an archive, unique in scope and depth, of German Classicism and Romanticism, of the pre- and post-March periods, and of the burgeoning enthusiasm for medicine and the natural sciences in the wake of the Enlightenment.
Digitized highlights from over 270 years include such diverse classics as Lessing’s Hamburgische Dramaturgie, August Crelle’s Lehrbuch der Arithmetik und Algebra, Emil Du Bois-Reymond’s Gesammelten Abhandlungen zur allgemeinen Muskel- und Nervenphysik, Friedrich Kluge’s Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache (of which the 26th edition is currently in preparation), and Karl Jaspers’ Die geistige Situation der Zeit.
The publisher worked closely with partner institutions to identify, locate, and scan archival titles. The Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, for example, enabled the publisher to digitize numerous De Gruyter book titles from its holdings by making them available on loan. All books were sent to partner Datagroup, where they were carefully retro-digitized and optimized by hand. About 40 employees at De Gruyter and Datagroup were involved in the realization of the project.
With the completion of the project, all archive titles are now available as indexed PDFs with full text search on degruyter.com. They are easily discoverable through DOIs and MARC records and are available to libraries as a complete collection, as individual titles, or individual packages.
In 2017, De Gruyter had decided to digitize its entire book archive, having previously made 10,000 out-of-print titles accessible again with its on-demand service e-dition.
Carsten Buhr, Managing Director, De Gruyter, said: “We are proud that we have now completed the digitization of our publishing archive, and we hope that researchers and historians of science will make active use of the digitized content today and in the future.”