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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Parent companyTaylor & Francis
Founded1851; 173 years ago (1851)
FounderGeorge Routledge
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationMilton Park, Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England, UK
DistributionWorld wide
Key peopleJeremy North
(MD Books)[1]
Publication typesBooks and academic journals
Nonfiction topicsHumanities, social science, behavioral science, education, law

Routledge (/ˈrtlɪ/ ROWT-lij)[2] is a British multinational publisher. It was founded in 1836 by George Routledge, and specialises in providing academic books, journals and online resources in the fields of the humanities, behavioural science, education, law, and social science. The company publishes approximately 1,800 journals and 5,000 new books each year and their backlist encompasses over 140,000 titles.[3] Routledge is claimed to be the largest global academic publisher within humanities and social sciences.[4][5]

In 1998, Routledge became a subdivision and imprint of its former rival, Taylor & Francis Group (T&F), as a result of a £90-million acquisition deal from Cinven, a venture capital group which had purchased it two years previously for £25 million.[6] Following the merger of Informa and T&F in 2004, Routledge became a publishing unit and major imprint within the Informa "academic publishing" division.[7] Routledge is headquartered in the main T&F office in Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire and also operates from T&F offices globally including in Philadelphia, Melbourne, New Delhi, Singapore, and Beijing.[8]

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The firm originated in 1836, when the London bookseller George Routledge published an unsuccessful guidebook, The Beauties of Gilsland, with his brother-in-law W. H. (William Henry) Warne as assistant. In 1848, the pair entered the booming market for selling inexpensive imprints of works of fiction to rail travellers, in the style of the German Tauchnitz family, which became known as the "Railway Library".[9][10]

The venture was a success as railway usage grew, and it eventually led to Routledge, along with W H Warne's brother Frederick Warne, to found the company, George Routledge & Co. in 1851.[11] The following year in 1852, the company gained lucrative business through selling reprints of Uncle Tom's Cabin, (in the public domain in the UK) which in turn enabled it to pay author Edward Bulwer-Lytton £20,000 for a 10-year lease allowing sole rights to print all 35 of his works[9][12] including 19 of his novels to be sold cheaply as part of their "Railway Library" series.[13]

Routledge stand at Senate House History Day 2018

The company was restyled in 1858 as Routledge, Warne & Routledge when George Routledge's son, Robert Warne Routledge, entered the partnership. Frederick Warne eventually left the company after the death of his brother W. H. Warne in May 1859 (died aged 37).[14] Gaining rights to some titles, he founded Frederick Warne & Co. in 1865, which became known for its Beatrix Potter books.[15] In July 1865, George Routledge's son Edmund Routledge became a partner, and the firm became George Routledge & Sons.[16]

By 1899, the company was running close to bankruptcy. Following a successful restructuring in 1902 by scientist Sir William Crookes, banker Arthur Ellis Franklin, William Swan Sonnenschein as managing director, and others, however, it was able to recover and began to acquire and merge with other publishing companies including J. C. Nimmo Ltd. in 1903. In 1912, the company took over the management of Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., the descendant of companies founded by Charles Kegan Paul, Alexander Chenevix Trench, Nicholas Trübner, and George Redway.[17]

These early 20th-century acquisitions brought with them lists of notable scholarly titles, and from 1912 onward, the company became increasingly concentrated in the academic and scholarly publishing business under the imprint "Kegan Paul Trench Trubner", as well as reference, fiction and mysticism. In 1947, George Routledge and Sons finally merged with Kegan Paul Trench Trubner (the umlaut had been quietly dropped in the First World War) under the name of Routledge & Kegan Paul.[18] Using C. K. Ogden and later Karl Mannheim as advisers the company was soon particularly known for its titles in philosophy, psychology and the social sciences.

In 1985, Routledge & Kegan Paul joined with Associated Book Publishers (ABP),[19] which was later acquired by International Thomson in 1987. Under Thomson's ownership, Routledge's name and operations were retained, with the additions of backlists from Methuen, Tavistock Publications, Croom Helm and Unwin Hyman.[20] In 1996, a management buyout financed by the European private equity firm Cinven saw Routledge operating as an independent company once again. In 1997, Cinven acquired journals publisher Carfax and book publisher Spon.[21] In 1998, Cinven and Routledge's directors accepted a deal for Routledge's acquisition by Taylor & Francis Group (T&F), with the Routledge name being retained as an imprint and subdivision.[22][6]

In 2004, T&F became a division within Informa plc after a merger. Routledge continues as a primary publishing unit and imprint within Informa's 'academic publishing' division, publishing academic humanities and social science books, journals, reference works and digital products. Routledge has grown considerably as a result of organic growth and acquisitions of other publishing companies and other publishers' titles by its parent company.[23][24][25] Humanities and social sciences titles acquired by T&F from other publishers are rebranded under the Routledge imprint.[24]

Routledge is a signatory of the SDG Publishers Compact,[26][27] and has taken steps to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These include achieving CarbonNeutral® publication certification for their print books and journals, under the Natural Capital Partners' CarbonNeutral Protocol.[28]


The English publisher Fredric Warburg was a commissioning editor at Routledge during the early 20th century. Novelist Nina Stibbe, author of Love, Nina, worked at the company as a commissioning editor in the 1990s.[29] Cultural studies editor William Germano served as vice-president and publishing director for two decades before becoming dean of the humanities at Cooper Union.[30]


Routledge has published works from Adorno, Bohm, Butler, Derrida, Einstein, Foucault, Freud, Al Gore, Hayek, Hoppe, Jung, Levi-Strauss, McLuhan, Malinowski, Marcuse, Popper, Johan Rockström, Russell, Sartre, and Wittgenstein. The republished works of some of these authors have appeared as part of the Routledge Classics[31] and Routledge Great Minds series. Competitors to the series are Verso Books' Radical Thinkers, Penguin Classics, and Oxford World's Classics.[citation needed]


Routledge has been criticised for a pricing structure which "will limit readership to the privileged few", as opposed to options for open access offered by DOAJ, Unpaywall, and DOAB.[32]

Reference works

Taylor and Francis closed down the Routledge print encyclopaedia division in 2006. Some of its publications were:

Reference works by Europa Publications, published by Routledge:

Many of Routledge's reference works are published in print and electronic formats as Routledge Handbooks and have their own dedicated website: Routledge Handbooks Online.[37] The company also publishes several online encyclopedias and collections of digital content such as Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy,[33] Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism,[38] Routledge Performance Archive,[39] and South Asia Archive.[40]

Routledge Worlds series consisted of 66 books as of July 2023, which the publisher described as "magisterial surveys of key historical epochs".[41] Included in the series are The Sikh World, The Pentecostal World, published in 2023, The Quaker World, The Ancient Israelite World, and The Sámi World published in 2022.[41]

Book series



  1. ^ "Managing Director, Humanities & Social Science Books, Taylor & Francis Group". Informa. Archived from the original on 14 February 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  2. ^ Upton, Clive; Kretzschmar, William A. Jr. (2017). The Routledge Dictionary of Pronunciation for Current English (2nd ed.). Routledge. p. 1164. ISBN 978-1-138-12566-7.
  3. ^ "About Us – Routledge". Archived from the original on 6 June 2023. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  4. ^ "Publishing With Us – Routledge". Taylor & Francis Group. 2016. Archived from the original on 21 July 2019. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Outsell HSS Market Size Share Forecast" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 May 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  6. ^ a b Cope 1998.
  7. ^ "Academic Publishing". Archived from the original on 10 September 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  8. ^ "T&F Group Global Offices". Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Yellowbacks: III – Routledge's Railway Library". Archived from the original on 16 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  10. ^ a b Wagner, David Paul. "Routledge's Railway Library (George Routledge)". Book Series List. Publishing History. Archived from the original on 19 March 2022. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  11. ^ "UCL Library Services: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd Archives – 1850–1984". Archived from the original on 16 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  12. ^ Sutherland 2009, pp. 527, 553.
  13. ^ Barnes, James J.; Barnes, Patience P. (2004). "Routledge, George". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/24184. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  14. ^ "William Henry Warne (1822–1859) – Genealogy". Geni. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  15. ^ "Taylor and Francis Informa". Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Routledge, George". Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 49. Archived from the original on 14 September 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015 – via Wikisource.
  17. ^ "PUBLISHER: Kegan Paul, Trench & Company; Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Company, London". The Lucile Project. University of Iowa. Archived from the original on 6 November 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  18. ^ Franklin 1986.
  19. ^ Whipp 1992, p. 47.
  20. ^ Richardson, Jean (13 May 1996). "U.K. venture firm to buy Routledge". Publishers Weekly. 243 (20): 16–17. ISSN 0000-0019. Archived from the original on 2 June 2024. Retrieved 30 October 2022.
  21. ^ Kernan, M. A. (2013). "Routledge as a global publisher: A case study, 1980-2010". Publishing Research Quarterly. 29 (1): 52–72. doi:10.1007/s12109-013-9304-9. ISSN 1053-8801. S2CID 255517143. Archived from the original on 20 December 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  22. ^ Clark & Phillips 2008, p. xvi.
  23. ^ Munroe, Mary Hovas (13 March 2007). "Taylor & Francis". Academic publishing industry: A story of merger and acquisition. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Libraries.
  24. ^ a b Taylor & Francis
  25. ^ "Results for 12 months to 31st December 2015" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 September 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  26. ^ "SDG Publishers Compact Members". United Nations Sustainable Development. Archived from the original on 26 July 2023. Retrieved 18 July 2023.
  27. ^ "SDG Publishers Compact". United Nations Sustainable Development. Archived from the original on 21 July 2023. Retrieved 20 July 2023.
  28. ^ "Our Commitment to Sustainable Publishing". Routledge. Archived from the original on 12 August 2023. Retrieved 31 August 2023.
  29. ^ "About Nina Stibbe". Archived from the original on 4 February 2023. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  30. ^ "William Germano, Editor and Key Figure in Rise of Cultural Studies, Is Ousted by Publishing House". Chronicle of Higher Education. 15 September 2005. Archived from the original on 17 April 2023. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  31. ^ "Routledge Classics and Routledge Great Minds". Archived from the original on 18 January 2020. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  32. ^ Fister, Barbara (22 October 2019). "The Writing on the Unpaywall". Inside Higher Ed. Archived from the original on 8 December 2022. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  33. ^ a b "Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy". Archived from the original on 28 October 2019. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  34. ^ "Europa World Online". Archived from the original on 1 January 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  35. ^ "World Who's Who". Archived from the original on 19 March 2022. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  36. ^ "The Europa World of Learning". Archived from the original on 23 July 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2006.
  37. ^ "Routledge Handbooks Online". Archived from the original on 30 April 2023. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  38. ^ "Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism". Archived from the original on 6 April 2023. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  39. ^ "Routledge Performance Archive". Archived from the original on 29 April 2023. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  40. ^ "South Asia Archive". Archived from the original on 24 May 2022. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  41. ^ a b "Routledge Worlds - Book Series - Routledge & CRC Press". Routledge. Archived from the original on 15 July 2023. Retrieved 15 July 2023.
  42. ^ Stone, Thomas E. "Collecting The Broadway Travellers Series". The Books In My Life blog. Archived from the original on 19 April 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  43. ^ "Colloquial Series". Archived from the original on 6 March 2023. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  44. ^ "Routledge Essential Grammars – Book Series – Routledge & CRC Press". Archived from the original on 30 November 2022. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  45. ^ "Morley's Universal Library (George Routledge) - Book Series List". Archived from the original on 24 June 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  46. ^ Krygier, John (28 March 2016). "Muses' Library". A Series of Series. Ohio Wesleyan University. Archived from the original on 13 April 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2019 – via WordPress.
  47. ^ Krygier, John (December 2017). "Republic of Letters". A Series of Series. Ohio Wesleyan University. Archived from the original on 13 April 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2019.


External links

This page was last edited on 2 June 2024, at 20:40
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