Heinemann Educational Books Archive

Reference: HEBDate: 1949-1999Extent: 859 files

Heinemann was founded in 1890 as William Heinemann Ltd. On Heinemann’s death in 1920, One half of the company was purchased by the U.S. publisher, Doubleday. Doubleday’s interest was then sold back to the British directors of Heinemann during the Wall Street crash in 1929. Windmill Press, Kingswood, Surrey was the headquarters of distribution, accounting and promotion activities of the Heinemann Group of Companies. Heinemann was purchased by the Octupus Publishing Group in 1985. Octopus was purchased by Reed International (now Reed Elsevier) in 1987. Random House bought Heinemann’s trade publishing (now named William Heinemann) in 1997.

Heinemann’s educational unit grew into an independent company in 1961. It became part of Harcour Education when Reed Elsevier purchased the company in 2001. Pearson purchased the UK, South African, Australian and New Zealand arms of Harcourt Education in May 2007. The American operations were purchased by Houghton Mifflin.

The University of Reading holds the Heinemann Educational Books archive which was transferred in 1987 and then subsequent deposits were accepted. The William Heinemann archive is held by Random House.

There are two series of catalogued Heinemann archives at the University of Reading, Special Collections: The African Writers Series and New Windmill.

In 1962, Heinemann the African Writers Series began with the publication of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart in paperback. Heinemann published African fiction, poetry and drama. 270 titles were published by 1985. The University of Reading, Special Collections holds 617 editorial and correspondence files mainly relating to the African Writers series with some miscellaneous files which have been catalogued relating to the Asian and Caribbean Writers series.

Heinemann also published the New Windmill Series. A series of educational books aimed at Secondary School age children. The series embraced modern classics, biography and travel and a range of current fiction. The University of Reading, Special Collections holds 242 editorial and correspondence files relating to the New Windmill Series.

More Information