Brill Publishers

Brill (EuronextBRILL) (known as E. J. Brill, Koninklijke Brill, Brill Academic Publishers) is a Dutch international academic publisher founded in 1683 in Leiden, Netherlands. With offices in Leiden, Boston, Paderborn and Singapore, Brill today publishes 275 journals and around 1200 new books and reference works each year. In addition, Brill is a provider of primary source materials online and on microform for researchers in the humanities and social sciences.

Brill in Leiden
Brill Publishers
Brill Publishers
Traded asEuronextBRILL
FounderJordaan Luchtmans
Country of originNetherlands
Headquarters locationLeiden
DistributionTurpin Distribution[1]
Publication typesBooks, academic journals
ImprintsGlobal Oriental, Hotei Publishing, Brill Nijhoff, Brill Hes & De Graaf, Brill Rodopi

Areas of publication

Brill publishes in the following subject areas:

  • African Studies
  • American Studies
  • Ancient Near East and Egypt
  • Archaeology, Art & Architecture
  • Asian Studies (Hotei Publishing and Global Oriental imprints)
  • Book History and Cartography
  • Biblical Studies and Early Christianity
  • Classical Studies
  • Education
  • History
  • Jewish Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Literature and Cultural Studies (under the Brill-Rodopi imprint)
  • Media Studies
  • Middle East and Islamic Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Religious Studies
  • Slavic and Eurasian Studies
  • Social Sciences
  • Theology and World Christianity
  • Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
  • International Law
  • International Relations
  • Science
  • Biology


Luchtmans, 1683–1848

The roots of Brill go back to May 17, 1683, when a certain Jordaan Luchtmans was registered as a bookseller by the Leiden booksellers' guild.[2] As was customary at the time, Luchtmans combined his bookselling business with publishing activities. These were primarily in the fields of biblical studies, theology, Oriental languages, and ethnography. Luchtmans established close ties with the University of Leiden, which was then one of the major centers of study in these areas.

E. J. Brill, 1848–1896

E.J. Brill (Collection Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum)

In 1848, the business passed from the Luchtmans family to that of E. J. (Evert Jan) Brill, a former employee. In order to cover the financial obligations that he inherited, E. J. Brill decided to liquidate the entire Luchtmans book stock in a series of auctions that took place between 1848 and 1850.[3] Brill continued to publish in the traditional core areas of the company, with occasional excursions into other fields. Thus, in 1882, the firm brought out a two-volume Leerboek der Stoomwerktuigkunde ("Handbook of Steam Engineering"). More programmatically, however, in 1855 Het Gebed des Heeren in veertien talen ("The Lord's Prayer in Fourteen Languages") was meant to publicize Brill's ability to typeset non-Latin alphabets, such as Hebrew, Aramaic, Samaritan, Sanskrit, Coptic, Syriac, Arabic, among several others.[4]

Brill goes public, 1896–1945; World War II

In 1896, Brill became a public limited company, when E. J. Brill's successors, A. P. M. van Oordt and Frans de Stoppelaar, both businessmen with some academic background and interest, died. A series of directors followed, until in 1934, Theunis Folkers took over the reins. His directorship marked a period of unprecedented growth in the history of the company, due to a large extent to Folkers' cooperation with the German occupying forces during World War II. For the Germans, Brill printed foreign-language textbooks so that they could manage the territories they occupied, but also military manuals, such as "a manual which trained German officers to distinguish the insignias of the Russian army."[5] In 1934, the company had a turnover of 132,000 guilders; by 1943, this had increased to 579,000 guilders.[6]

Brill's recent history, 1945–present

After the war, the Dutch denazification committee determined the presence of "enemy money" in Brill's accounts. Folkers was arrested in September 1946, and deprived of the right to hold a managerial post.[7] The company itself, however, escaped the aftermath of the war relatively unscathed; after some negotiation its fines were fixed at 57,000 guilders.[8]

Brill's path in the post-war years was again marked by ups and downs, though the company remained faithful in its commitment to scholarly publishing. The late 1980s brought an acute crisis due to over-expansion, poor management, as well as general changes in the publishing industry. Thus, in 1988–91 under new management the company underwent a major restructuring, in the course of which it closed some of its foreign offices, including Cologne. Its London branch was already closed by then. Brill, moreover, sold its printing business, which amounted "to amputat[ing] its own limb."[9] This was considered painful, but necessary to save the company as a whole. No jobs were lost in the process. The reorganization managed to save the company, which has since then undergone an expansion that as recently as 1990 had been inconceivable. As of 2008, Brill was publishing around 600 books and 100 journals each year, with a turnover of 26 million euros.[10]

Open access

Brill publishes several open access journals[11] and is one of thirteen publishers to participate in the Knowledge Unlatched pilot; a global library consortium approach to funding open access books.[12]

In 2013, Brill created the IFLA/Brill Open Access Award for initiatives in the area of open access monograph publishing together with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.[13] Brill is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association.

See also


  1. ^ Ordering from Brill
  2. ^ Sytze van der Veen, Brill: 325 Years of Scholarly Publishing (Leiden: Brill, 2008), ISBN 978-90-04-17032-2) p. 11.
  3. ^ van der Veen, 45.
  4. ^ van der Veen, 51.
  5. ^ van der Veen, 108.
  6. ^ van der Veen, 103 and 109.
  7. ^ van der Veen, 111.
  8. ^ van der Veen, 115.
  9. ^ van der Veen, 144.
  10. ^ van der Veen, 153.
  11. ^ "Brill Open".
  12. ^ "Good for publishers".
  13. ^ "Brill and IFLA announce new OA prize".


  • The most up-to-date history of the company is Sytze van der Veen, Brill: 325 Years of Scholarly Publishing (Leiden: Brill, 2008), ISBN 978-90-04-17032-2
  • Tom Verde, "Brill's Bridge to Arabic", Aramco World, 66 (2015), nr. 3, pp. 30–39 online edition.
  • Brill Annual Report 2012

External links

Abu al-Walid al-Baji

Abu al-Walid al-Baji (or Sulayman ibn Khalaf ibn Sa`d or Sa`dun ibn Ayyub, al-Qadi Abu al-Walid al-Tujaybi al-Andalusi al-Qurtubi al-Baji al-Tamimi al-Dhahabi al-Maliki) (1013–1081) was a famous Maliki scholar and poet from Beja, Al-Andalus.Al-Baji worked at various times as a watchman and a goldsmith to support himself. He was a contemporary of the jurist Ibn Hazm. He died in 1081.

Animal Biology (journal)

Animal Biology is a peer-reviewed scientific journal in the field of zoology. It is the official journal of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Dierkundige Vereniging (Royal Dutch Zoological Society) and published on behalf of the society by Brill Publishers. The journal was established in 1872 as the Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie and renamed Netherlands Journal of Zoology in 1967. Since 2004 it is known under its current name.

Behaviour (journal)

Behaviour is a double-blind peer-reviewed scientific journal covering all aspects of ethology. It is published by Brill Publishers and was established in 1948 by Niko Tinbergen and W.H. Thorpe. The editor-in-chief is Frans de Waal (Emory University).


Crustaceana is a peer-reviewed scientific journal specialising in carcinology. It was established in 1960 and is published monthly by Brill Publishers. The journal is abstracted and indexed by BIOSIS Previews, the Science Citation Index, The Zoological Record, and GeoRef. According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2011 impact factor of 0.464.The journal is edited by J.C. von Vaupel Klein. It charges an unspecified publication fee from authors of all regular papers, and an optional open access fee of USD 1830.

Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica

Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica is a scientific book series of entomological identification manuals for insects (and other terrestrial arthropods) in North-West Europe, mainly Fennoscandia and Denmark. The series is used by a number of groups, such as ecologists, biologists, and insect collectors. The books are in English, and published by the Dutch academic publishing house Brill.

Historical Materialism (journal)

Historical Materialism is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal published by Brill Publishers of historical materialism, the study of society, economics, and history using a Marxist approach. The journal started as a project at the London School of Economics from 1995 to 1998. Currently it is affiliated at the SOAS the University of London. Starting from 2008 the journal organises an annual conference and a book series.

Indo-European Etymological Dictionary

The Indo-European Etymological Dictionary (commonly abbreviated IEED) is a research project of the Department of Comparative Indo-European Linguistics at Leiden University, initiated in 1991 by Peter Schrijver and others. It is financially supported by the Faculty of Humanities and Centre for Linguistics of Leiden University, Brill Publishers, and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

International Review of Pragmatics

The International Review of Pragmatics is a biannual peer-reviewed academic journal covering research in pragmatics and related disciplines. It was established in 2009 and is published by Brill Publishers. The editor-in-chief is Piotr Cap (University of Lodz).

Journal of Crustacean Biology

The Journal of Crustacean Biology is a quarterly peer-reviewed scientific journal in the field of carcinology (crustacean research). It is published by The Crustacean Society and Oxford University Press (formerly by Brill Publishers and Allen Press), and since 2015 the editor-in-chief has been Peter Castro. According to the Journal Citation Reports, its 2016 impact factor is 1.064.The journal has a mandatory publication fee of US$ 115 per printed page for non-members of the Society and an optional open access fee of $1830 minimum.

Journal of Moral Philosophy

The Journal of Moral Philosophy is a peer-reviewed journal of moral, political, and legal philosophy with an international focus. It publishes articles in all areas of normative philosophy, including pure and applied ethics, as well as moral, legal, and political theory. Articles exploring non-Western traditions are also welcome.

The Journal seeks to promote lively discussions and debates for established academics and the wider community, by publishing articles that avoid unnecessary jargon without sacrificing academic rigour. It encourages contributions from newer members of the philosophical community. One issue per year is normally devoted to a particular theme and each issue will contain articles, discussion pieces, review essays, and book reviews. The founding editor was Thom Brooks (2003–2012).

According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2015 impact factor of 0.379, ranking it 42nd out of 51 journals in the category "Ethics".

Martinus Nijhoff Publishers

Martinus Nijhoff Publishers was an independent academic publishing company dating back to the nineteenth century, which is now an imprint of Brill Publishers. The name was changed to Brill–Nijhoff in 2013. Nijhoff's portfolio focuses on areas in public international law, human rights, on humanitarian law and increasingly on international relations. Its annual publication program consists of over 20 academic journals, 20 annuals, and some 120 new book titles. Its back-list comprises over 2,000 titles.

Mnemosyne (journal)

Mnemosyne is an academic journal of classical studies published by Brill Publishers. It was established in 1852 as a journal of textual criticism. It publishes articles in English, French, German, and Latin. The journal is abstracted and indexed in the Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Current Contents, and MLA International Bibliography.

Novum Testamentum

Novum Testamentum is an academic journal covering various aspects of the New Testament.

Numen (journal)

Numen: International Review for the History of Religions is a bimonthly peer-reviewed academic journal covering the history of religions of any regions and times. It was established in 1954 and is published by Brill Publishers. The editors-in-chief are Laura Feldt (University of Southern Denmark), and Greg Alles (McDaniel College).

Oud Holland

Oud Holland - Quarterly for Dutch Art History is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal covering the history of Dutch visual arts. It was established in 1883 by Adrianus Daniël de Vries and Nicolaas de Roever. From 1973 the journal has been published by the Netherlands Institute for Art History; since 2008 in collaboration with Brill Publishers. From 1885 till 1946, the editor-in-chief was Abraham Bredius. The current editors-in-chief are Y. Bruijnen, E. Buijsen, R.E.O. Ekkart, C.W. Fock, V. Manuth, and F.G. Meijer. Articles are published in Dutch, English, French, and German.

Phronesis (journal)

Phronesis is a peer-reviewed academic journal covering the study of ancient philosophy. It is indexed by PhilPapers and the Philosopher's Index. The journal was established in 1955 by Donald James Allan and Joseph Bright Skemp, who wrote in the first issue that the goal of the journal was to bring together philosophers and classicists from across national borders so as to improve the specialty of ancient philosophy, but also to include insights for those in medieval studies. Phronesis has been described as "pioneering" and one of the major English-language journals for ancient philosophy. The journal is published by Brill Publishers and the editors-in-chief are George Boys-Stones (Durham University) and Ursula Coope (Oxford University).

T'oung Pao

T’oung Pao ([tʰʊ́ŋ.pâu]; Chinese: 通報; pinyin: Tōngbào; literally: 'Messages, Circulars"), founded in 1890, is a Dutch journal and the oldest international journal of sinology.

T'oung Pao's original full title was T’oung Pao ou Archives pour servir à l’étude de l’histoire, des langues, la geographie et l’ethnographie de l’Asie Orientale (Chine, Japon, Corée, Indo-Chine, Asie Centrale et Malaisie) ("Tongbao or Archives for Use in the Study of the History, Languages, Geography, and Ethnography of East Asia [China, Japan, Korea, Indochina, Central Asia, and Malaysia]"). It is published by the Leiden publisher E. J. Brill.

The first co editors-in-chief were Henri Cordier and Gustav Schlegel. Traditionally, T'oung Pao was co-edited by two sinologists, one from France and one from the Netherlands. However, the tradition has been discontinued. The current editors are Vincent Goossaert (French – Centre national de la recherche scientifique), Martin Kern (German – Princeton University), and James Robson (American – Harvard University).

Vetus Testamentum

Vetus Testamentum is a quarterly academic journal covering various aspects of the Old Testament.

Vigiliae Christianae (journal)

Vigiliae Christianae: A Review of Early Christian Life and Languages is a peer-reviewed academic journal published by Brill Publishers in the field of early Christian studies. According to the publisher:

Vigiliae Christianae contains articles and short notes of an historical, cultural, linguistic or philological nature on early Christian literature written after the New Testament, as well as on Christian epigraphy and archaeology. Church and dogmatic history are dealt with as they relate to social history; Byzantine and medieval literature are treated as far as they exhibit continuity with the early Christian period.

The initiators of this journal were Jan Hendrik Waszink and Christine Mohrmann.

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