Company History

Elsevier, the modern publishing company, was founded in 1880. It has evolved from a small Dutch publishing house devoted to classical scholarship into an international multimedia publishing company with over 20,000 products for educational and professional science and healthcare communities worldwide. Elsevier takes its name from the original House of Elzevier, a Dutch family publishing house founded in 1580.


The Elsevier Heritage Collection

  • The Elsevier Heritage Collection - Highlights

    The Elsevier Heritage Collection consists of over 2000 volumes with more than 1000 distinct titles published by the original House of Elzevier from 1580 to 1712.

    The collection is divided into our core collection, of around 1500 volumes and a reserve or “duplicate” collection. Approximately 400 non-Elzevier antiquarian titles and over 30 reference titles are also preserved in our museum quality, acclimatized display shelves in our Elsevier headquarters in Amsterdam.

  • Online Catalogue

    The Elsevier Heritage Collection Catalogue provides information about Elsevier's corporate collection of antiquarian books. The collection contains more than 1100 distinct titles printed or published by the early modern Elzevier firm, approximately 400 non-Elzevier early modern antiquarian titles, and over 2000 items in total. The collection is divided into a "core" group, and a "reserve" group, which consists of additional copies of titles in the core group.

    The catalogue includes bibliographic information that allows comparison of items in the collection to similar items worldwide, including reference numbers to the standard Willems and Copinger printed reference works on the Elzeviers, as well as STCN fingerprint data.

  • Partnership with Leiden University

    In 2012, Elsevier founded a three year partnership with the Scaliger Institute to enable the study of 16th -18th century books at Leiden University and the Elsevier Heritage Collection.

    Through the partnership, Elsevier supports scholars to undertake special research assignments at the Scaliger Institute of Leiden University Libraries and the Elsevier Heritage Collection.

  • Meet our experts

    Paul Hoftijzer (1954) is P.A. Tiele professor in the history of the early-modern book at the Department of Book and Digital Media Studies of Leiden University. He has published widely on various aspects of Dutch and international book history and is currently working on a study of the seventeenth-century book trade in Leiden.

  • Watch the videos

    View a selection of Elsevier Heritage Collection videos covering the launch of the online catalogue, the development of a digital exhibition and the work of the collection’s experts. Created between 2010 and 2012, the videos document the story of a collection serving as a source of inspiration for both employees and scholars.

  • News

    Read all the news about the Elsevier Heritage Collection:

    • Upcoming exhibitions
    • Presentations
    • Scholarships
    • Activities

    Check back for all the latest updates.