More than 170 years of publishing

© SpringerOur history is like a very good book: chapter after chapter, an interesting story unfolds.

On 10 May 1842 (his 25th birthday), Julius Springer founded what is now Springer Science+Business Media in Berlin. Of course, the modern Springer is very different from the company that Julius Springer founded and there are parts of Springer (e.g. Vieweg and Bohn Stafleu van Loghum) that were founded even before 1842.

The first of Julius Springer’s ventures was a bookstore in Berlin, quickly followed by the publishing house.

A. E. Kluwer, the other “father” of the present day company (BertelsmannSpringer and Kluwer Academic Publishers merged in 2004) also founded his publishing house in the 19th Century in the Netherlands.

After the founding of the Vienna office in 1924, Springer opened another branch in New York in 1964, followed by counterparts in Tokyo, London, Paris and Hong Kong shortly thereafter. The company quickly became one of the world’s leading scientific publishers.

In 1999, Bertelsmann acquired a majority share in Springer-Verlag. In 2003, the British financial investors Cinven and Candover acquired Kluwer Academic Publishers (KAP) and BertelsmannSpringer, which were merged in 2004 to form the present-day Springer Science+Business Media.

In October 2008, Springer announced the acquisition of BioMed Central, a pioneer in the world of open access publishing, making Springer, in effect, the world’s largest open access publisher.

In 2013, the sale of Springer to BC Partners, one of the few truly pan-European investors, was announced.

Healthy organic growth and recent acquisitions, the embrace of technological advances (i.e. ePublishing, new platforms, mobile) and its dedicated employees provide the basis for sustainable service to the global scientific and professional community.

Free access to Springer's history

© SpringerSpringer-Verlag History of a Scientific Publishing House
Part 1 Foundation 1842–1945 Maturation Adversity
Authors: Heinz Sarkowski

© SpringerSpringer-Verlag History of a Scientific Publishing House
Part 2 Rebuilding 1945–1992 Opening Frontiers Securing the Future
Author: Heinz Götze




  • Springer’s affiliated Hilfsfonds charity awards $50,000 in grant money
  • Springer Science+Business Media sold to BC Partners
  • Springer’s SpringerLink mobile app now available on Android
  • SpringerPlus journal passes 1,000 article submissions
  • Springer Science+Business Media-Hilfsfonds e.V. donates 25,000 euros for flood disaster victims in Germany
  • Springer celebrates the 1,000th volume of Methods in Molecular Biology
  • Naturwissenschaften – The Science of Nature celebrates 100 years
  • Springer launches the “Springer Book Archives”
  • Springer signs agreement to provide Bookshare, an international leader in providing people with visual impairments, physical disabilities and/or learning disabilities access to copyrighted digital accessible books, with world rights to its titles.
  • Ten of the eleven Nobel laureates in medicine, physics, chemistry and economics are Springer authors


  • Springer launches new platform for the corporate sector: Springer for R & D
  • SpringerLink now offers more than 50,000 eBooks
  • Springer permits commercial use for its hybrid open access program
  • Springer launches interdisciplinary open access journal SpringerPlus
  • Springer launches SpringerLink mobile app for iPhone
  • Springer announces to publish book titles using the open access model. Two months later, Springer imprint Apress announces it was also offering open access books
  • Springer announces the start of migrating its customers to the new SpringerLink at that has been re-engineered with a focus on improving the user experience based on three principles: speed, simplicity and optimization
  • Springer announces the acquisition of the company behind the creation of Papers, a leading reference manager software which allows researchers to organize, use, share and cite their research literature more effectively.


  • Springer opens its API Challenge 2.0
  • Springer announces its acquisition of Wolters Kluwers' Pharma Marketing and Publishing Services (MPS)
  • Springer authors included in list of Nobel Laureates
  • Springer launches an effort to digitize books back to the 1840s
  • Springer grants Haitian students and researchers free access to SpringerLink
  • University of Hong Kong renews Open Choice agreement with Springer
  • Springer announces winners of first API Challenge
  • Springer to partner with Asia Briefing
  • Springer celebrates the launch of its 50th SpringerOpen journal
  • Springer launches
  • Springer teams up with Island Press
  • Springer launches network of job sites for healthcare, science and medical industries
  • Springer partners with Dai Nippon Printing for POD solutions in Japan
  • Springer acquires twelve open access journal titles from Hindawi
  • Springer books are now available for online book review


  • Springer launches
  • Springer to provide exclusive publishing services for Atlantis Press
  • Springer to distribute Wageningen Academic Publishers’ eBooks
  • Springer launches new product line SpringerBriefs
  • Springer and Helmholtz Association sign agreement for open access membership
  • Springer introduces new open access journals
  • Springer Open Choice uptake affects 2011 journal pricing
  • National license for Springer eBooks signed in Germany
  • Springer and Max Planck Society sign agreement
  • University of Hong Kong signs Open Choice agreement
  • Springer ownership change confirmed


  • ACTAR acquires Birkhäuser's architecture and design publishing from Springer
  • EQT and GIC acquire Springer from Cinven and Candover
  • Springer to collaborate with CreateSpace on inventory-free book distribution
  • Springer launches SpringerMaterials at London Online Information 2009
  • Springer and KNO VA sign logistics agreement
  • Lars Müller Publishers now 100% owned by founder
  • Springer launches SpringerImages
  • Springer launches MyCopy service for eBook users
  • Springer launches
  • Springer launches


  • Springer sells FORUM Institut für Management to Ernst Klett Verlag
  • Springer acquires BioMed Central, a leading open access publisher, making Springer the world's largest open access publisher
  • The company launches a pilot project, MyCopy, which provides subscribers to Springer eBook Collections the possibility of ordering "hard copies" of eBooks
  • Expansion of cooperation agreements with Indian scientific institutes and learned societies
  • Springer sells Minerva Wissenschaftliche Buchhandlung to EBSCO
  • Springer and China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) sign agreement which increases Springer’s exposure to researchers attached to CNKI’s customer institutions
  • Springer launches new eProduct: SpringerProtocols
  • Sale of Springer Business Media Austria to WEKA Group


  • Springer reorganizes STM division
  • Springer increases publishing activities in South Korea
  • Springer and other publishers extend commitment to developing world (Research4Life) by providing access to scientific research
  • Acquisition of Spektrum Akademischer Verlag which is specialized in scientific publications
  • Acquisition of FMC, the leading commercial dental publisher in the United Kingdom
  • Springer sells B2B Construction division
  • Crest Premedia Solutions begins operation in Pune, India
  • Springer acquires Bohn Stafleu van Loghum
  • Springer acquires journal titles from Transaction Publishers
  • Springer Healthcare Communications begins providing services to pharma customers


  • Acquisition of Humana Press, Inc., a leading publisher of research-level books and journals in molecular biology, neuroscience, cancer research, and medicine
  • Merger of Eastern Book Service (EBS) and Springer Verlag Tokyo to form Springer Japan KK
  • Springer signs deal with Indian Academy of Sciences (Bangalore)
  • Acquisition of Hubert Ebner Verlags GmbH, the Austrian market leader for driving school media and traffic education
  • Acquisition of Uitgeverij Fundament, the leading Dutch publisher for the footcare sector
  • Sale of Grupa Image in Poland through a management buyout by the former owner Witold Wisniewski
  • Acquisition of Axioma Communicatie B.V. in the Netherlands. Expansion of Springer’s Dutch publishing activities in the area of HR management and pharmaceuticals


  • Acquisition of the Current Medicine Group (CMG), a leading provider of health-sector publications based in Britain and the USA
  • Acquisition of the Dutch publishers Rendement Uitgeverij, Checklist Publishing, Uitgeverij Goed Bestuur and the service company Publicount, and integration into Springer Uitgeverij
  • Opening of representation offices in Beijing (China), Seoul (South Korea), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Taipei (Taiwan)
  • Acquisition of the Dutch titles Reclameweek and Identity Matters
  • Strengthening of market leadership in Russia through new journal agreement with the publishing arm of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Conclusion of far-reaching cooperation contracts with Science Press and Higher Education Press, the two most important scientific publishing houses in China. Springer thereby became the leading provider of Chinese research literature
  • Sale of ArchiPoint to CoboSystems N.V.
  • Sale of Infobuild to Draaiboomken N.V., thus winding up Springer Science+Business Media Benelux N.V.
  • Acquisition of the program of Brouwer Media, part of the Dutch corporation Consolidated Graphics Industries
  • Acquisition of Stiller Informationsmarketing in Celle/Germany by Springer BauMedien GmbH


  • Acquisition of Forum Institut für Management GmbH in Heidelberg
  • Sale of CoboSystems to the Dutch publishing house Arko Uitgeverij BV
  • Management-buy-out at PlusPointMarketing in Belgium. New owner will be former owner Raymond Scheepers
  • Sale of ABI Building Data to British Emap
  • Sale of Media Office to a company of Roularta Media Group in Belgium
  • February 1: Beginning of merger between Springer Science+Business Media and Kluwer Academic Publishers. The newly formed specialist publishing group will be the second largest supplier of STM-information worldwide
  • February 1: Derk Haank and Martin Mos start as new CEO and COO at Springer Science+Business Media
  • Sale of Vieweg magazine Umweltpraxis to Deutscher Fachverlag
  • Merger of Westdeutscher Verlag and Verlag Leske + Budrich to new VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. The new publishing house will be the leading publisher of social-sciences information in the German speaking market


  • 1 April 2003: sale of BertelsmannSpringer to the british financial investors Cinven and Candover. Up from October 2003 the publishing group operates under the new name Springer Science+Business Media
  • Acquisition of German journals from Blackwell Verlag
  • (11 journals and 7 book titles)
  • Acquisition of Leske + Budrich Verlag, specialized in social sciences
  • Sale of Netzeitung
  • Management-buy-out at Bertelsmann Information Professionelle. New owner is former managing director Frédéric Jean-Karl Maout


  • BertelsmannSpringer acquires Netzeitung
  • Springer Italia acquires medical publishing company Medicom Italia
  • Acquisition of the journals med-online, apo-online and dent-online. The acquisition of these journals underlines the partnership with APO-Bank, former editor of these journals.
  • Acquisition of the programmes of the publishing company form. These include the industrial design, graphic design and multimedia journal form and two book series on similar topics.
  • Sale of the specialist publishing company Dinter GmbH. The company's new owner is Konrad Nagl, its former director of publishing.


  • Cooperation between the Austrian publishing companies technopress (BertelsmannSpringer) and Kompetenz Verlag (B-2-B specialist journals). In the course of the year 2002, technopress will acquire a qualified majority in Kompetenz Verlag.
  • Foundation of an extensive online partnership between BertelsmannSpringer and the Deutsche Apotheker- und Ärztebank (APO-Bank). The companies will network their online services for the medical professions and for consumers. This partnership creates the largest German-language medical service in the internet.
  • Acquisition of the journal Bundesbaublatt and merging with Praxis Wohngemeinschaft.
  • Stake in the software development firm L & R Lehnert und Rudholzner Hard- und Softwarevertriebsgesellschaft mbH, who produces a new electronic product in the driving school segment. By acquiring this stake, BertelsmannSpringer has now supplemented its product portfolio concerning the driving school segment.
  • Acquisition of the Belgian construction publisher MediaOffice. BertelsmannSpringer strengthens its marketleading position further.
  • Founding of BSMO - BertelsmannSpringer Medizin Online. This portal accomplishes all online activities of the group in the field of medicine.
  • Acquisition of the service for building products information CoboSystems. BertelsmannSpringer strengthens its leading marketposition and covers the whole value-added chain in the construction area.
  • Acquisition of the architectural services PluspointMarketing and Archipoint in Belgium. BertelsmannSpringer takes over the leading marketposition in the service area of the belgian construction area.
  • Acquisition of the leading specialist media INUFA Transportrundschau and INUFA Katalog in Switzerland. This acquisition strengthens the central business of the Swiss publishing domain.
  • Start of the online marketplace (BertelsmannConstructionEquipmentExchange). Now it is also possible to offer and search for used building machinery in Austria.


  • Acquisition of the program of the Swiss driving school publishing house Die Führerprüfung. BertelsmannSpringer completes its core business in the segment driving school and becomes within this area market leader in Switzerland.
  • Acquisition of the construction publisher Renata Film I in Prague, including the magazine Moderni Byt. BertelsmannSpringer becomes thus the leading specialist publishing house in the Czech Republic.
  • Acquisition of the Swiss construction publisher Schück Söhne AG. With the acquisition BertelsmannSpringer becomes one of the largest publishing houses in Switzerland and leading provider of building information in Europe.
  • Acquisition of specialized activities from EMAP in Germany for the purpose of expanding relevant market segments. These include publishing houses involved in the areas of media data, automobiles and construction.
  • Acquisition of Rot Gelb Grün Verlag (publishing house for traffic education).
  • Acquisition of B-to-B motorcycle dealer magazine Bike + Business, leader in the motorcycle dealer branch.
  • Sale of the Deutsche Finanzdienstleistungs- Informationszentrums GmbH to cash-medien AG.
  • Acquisition of the leading Hungarian magazine for building and construction Családi Ház as an addition to the range of products for architects and people in the building trade.
  • Integration of the medical magazine Seminar HausarztPraxis, formerly at the Berliner Medizinische Verlagsanstalt GmbH, into the specialist journal Der Hausarzt from the Munich-based MED.KOMM. Verlag, a subsidiary of Urban & Vogel, Munich.
  • Acquisition of the Slovakian magazine for long-distance drivers TRUCKER CS Edition, issued in both Czech and Slovak and the market leader in Central Eastern Europe.



  • Merger of the MMV Medien & Medizin Verlagsgesellschaft with Urban & Vogel publishing house.
  • Acquisition of the scientific publishing house B.G.Teubner.
  • Acquisition of the French medical publishing house Valdemars.
  • Increase in the shares held in Groupe Impact Médecin to 100 percent.
  • Acquisition of Burda shares in HOS multimedica and LIFELINE.
  • Acquisition of driving school publishing house Grupa Image (Poland), Müszaki Könyvkiadó (Hungary) and the driving school business Bohmann (Austria).
  • Acquisition of the building trade publishing house Meritum (Slovakia) and SDEP (France) as well as Forum Press AG Schweiz (Swiss local municipalities magazine).
  • Bertelsmann Professional Information Group acquires the majority share in the scientific publishing house Springer-Verlag, Berlin / Heidelberg


  • Bertelsmann Professional Information Group divests of Buch AG and becomes an independent business division.


  • Bertelsmann Professional Information Group sets up an Internet platform and establishes the first online service Baunetz.


  • Bertelsmann Professional Information Group acqirires the French specialist publishing house Codes Rousseau.
  • Bertelsmann Professional Information Group purchases 50 percent of Groupe Impact Médecin, Paris.
  • Springer acquires the Munich medical publishing house-based Urban & Vogel.
  • Foundation of Springer-Verlag Italia.


  • Bertelsmann Professional Information Group founds first publishing company in Eastern Europe with the Czech driving school publishing house Vogel Media.


  • Bertelsmann Professional Information Group founds Etrasa, the Spanish driving school publishing house, representing the first step towards internationalization.


  • Bertelsmann Fachinformation acquires 100 percent of Ärzte Zeitung Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Neu-Isenburg, Germany


  • Foundation of Springer-Verlag France


  • Springer takes over the Swiss publishing house Birkhäuser, Basel, Boston


  • Springer incorporates the economics publishing house Physica


  • Springer takes over the Steinkopff publishing house in Darmstadt


  • Bertelsmann Professional Information Group expands in the area of building and construction through the purchase of Heinze Verlag.


  • Bertelsmann Professional Information Group incorporates Gabler Verlag which has specialized in economic topics since its founding in 1929.


  • Bertelsmann Professional Information Group acquires the majority shares in the publishing house ibau. Subsequent takeover in 1994.


  • Bertelsmann Professional Information Group acquires the publishing house Vieweg, which was founded in Berlin in 1786.


  • Bertelsmann Professional Information Group enters into the medical field with the purchase of Münchener Medizin Verlag, successor to the Münchener Medizinische Wochenschrift which was founded in 1853.


  • Bertelsmann Professional Information Group develops the transport field by taking over Verlag Heinrich Vogel, which was founded in 1935.


  • Founding of Springer-Verlag in New York.


  • Founding of the publishing house Bertelsmann Fachzeitschriften. Development of the German periodical specializing in building and construction, DBZ Deutsche Bauzeitschrift.


  • Springer opens offices in Göttingen and Heidelberg.
  • First postwar Springer publication: Karl Jaspers - Die Idee der Universität.


  • Founding of Springer-Verlag, Vienna.



  • Creation of the Springer logo, the Knight from chess. In the subsequent years systematic development of the Springer engineering and medical programs.


  • Founding of Springer-Verlag; primary focus on political writings, youth literature, agriculture and forestry, pharmacy and engineering.