From the printed encyclopedia to digital knowledge and educational offers

Between tradition and digital, Brockhaus shows how a traditional analog brand can become a provider of digital knowledge and educational content. May 4, 2022 was the 250th birthday of company founder FA Brockhaus.


at national scale

Press release

NE GmbH | Brockhaus

  • © Brockhaus

The Dortmund-born publisher, together with the Brockhaus, created one of Europe’s most important printed encyclopedias. What began with a six-volume first edition ended two centuries later in 2005 in the 21st edition with 30 printed volumes. What hardly anyone knows: Brockhaus’ knowledge was digitized as early as the 1990s and was offered as the first multimedia version on CD-ROM together with the print edition from 2001. The claim to make knowledge accessible to all and to promote general education has always been in the foreground and remains the leitmotif to this day.

Since 2015, Brockhaus has been owned by the Swedish company NE Nationalencyklopedin AB and is dedicated to digital knowledge and education: today’s knowledge services – online encyclopedia, online children’s dictionary and offers e-learning – score points with verified knowledge and quoting figures, Facts and Figures.

© Brockhaus

Thomas Littschwager, CEO Brockhaus NE:

“For us, the digital first approach applies to everything we develop: how to create reliable knowledge and teaching offers, adapted to our digital world and for the people who use them – students, teachers, individuals. We have a decisive bonus: not only did we start digitizing our content 30 years ago. Brockhaus is absolutely credible because we have been synonymous with quality and tested content for decades. Our vision is to enable the best learning experience digital through cutting-edge knowledge services and e-learning offerings.”

Access is already available for teachers and their students in four federal states (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony-Anhalt) via state licenses. Nationwide, library users can also access Brockhaus knowledge services. This means that more than two million library visitors and a total of 2.67 million schoolchildren, or around a third of all schoolchildren in Germany, already use the tested products from Brockhaus. Modern e-learning offers such as media skills training are intended for teachers to digitally support their lessons, which they can use in a modular and individual way. Additionally, private users also have access through a simple subscription model.

© Brockhaus

The content of Brockhaus’ online offerings is developed by experts and educators. The conditions of the digital world are addressed: the content is intended to be multimedia, contains visual and auditory content and links to additional information. The question of accessibility is also an important issue at Brockhaus Digital: Various reading aids, such as the highlighting of parts of speech or the read-aloud function, facilitate the assimilation of knowledge of the content of the digital lesson using plastic player.

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