The Universitätsverlag Winter (UWH) is the oldest publishing company in the German university city of Heidelberg. Its origins go back to a publishing house established by Jacob Benjamin Mohr in Frankfurt in 1801. Four years later, the Academic Senate of the University of Heidelberg (which was, at this time, being completely reorganised) granted Mohr permission to open a book-shop and publishing house in Heidelberg. The academic book-shop and publisher, Mohr und Zimmer (1805–1815), became well-known for its association with ‘Heidelberg Romanticism’, with its publications including Des Knaben Wunderhorn (a seminal collection of folk-songs and tales) by Arnim and Brentano, Görres’ Teutsche Volksbücher, the newspaper Einsiedlerzeitung, and many other works still famous today. When J.G. Zimmer retired from the publishing business in 1815, his successor was a friend of his younger days, Christian Friedrich Winter, who was born in Gochsen in 1773. The joint-owners of the publishing house, Mohr and Winter, decided to go their own separate ways in 1822. Winter had radical liberal leanings, and his name is closely associated with the meeting of so-called Heidelberg Assembly in March 1848 and the events of the German revolution of 1848/49.
The publishing house remained under family ownership for 170 years, but its last 2 years under the auspices of the two brothers, Otto and Carl Winter, were dogged by ill-fortune and difficult circumstances. During 1992, the printing house lost several major clients just at a time when the rapidly worsening economic climate ruled out any hope of finding adequate replacements. The sale of the publishing company to the ‘Heidelberger Verlagsanstalt’ on 15th February, 1993, averted its having to be closed down. Soon after the takeover, the ‘new’ Winterverlag headed by Ruprecht Schulze and now called the ‘Universitätsverlag C. Winter Heidelberg GmbH.’ became affiliated with the publishing firms, ‘HVA’ and ‘Edition Schindele’ (later ‘Edition S’). The move from Lutherstrasse to new premises in Hans-Bunte-Strasse 18 also took place in 1993, and the opening of a spacious new warehouse and delivery centre in Leimen-St. Ilgen (less than 5 miles outside Heidelberg) followed 2 years later.
In the company’s anniversary year, 1997, a completely new design was devised for all of its publications – modern and up-to-date while nonetheless preserving a clear sense of tradition. Thus, the time-hallowed and distinctive ‘Winter blue’ was retained as the basic colour shared by all books and journals, whereas the features and details of their layout acquired a more explicitly contemporary look. The underlying publishing concept remained unchanged, however. Even though the company no longer belonged to him, Dr. Carl Winter continued working as the supervisor of the editorial department until the time of his retirement.
Almost exactly 10 years after the company had passed from the control of the Winter family, the ‘Heidelberger Verlagsanstalt’ also ran into financial difficulties, and the subsidiary publishing company was sold for a second time to the public limited company, ‘Memminger MedienCentrum’ based in the Allgäu region of Bavaria.
Since 5th December 2002, the publishing house has operated as a limited company under the name ‘Universitätsverlag Winter GmbH Heidelberg’; it has continued to be based in Heidelberg, although it moved to new premises once again in September 2003, this time in the historic suburb of Handschuhsheim in the small historic palace, the ‘Handschuhsheimer Schlösschen’ by the Grahampark.
Winter publishes twelve magazines and journals: Amerikastudien, Anglistik, Comparatio, Beiträge zur Namenforschung, the journal devoted to German literary history (now over a century old), Euphorion, the Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift, Germanistische Mitteilungen, Gymnasium, a journal dealing with traditional humanistic education embracing the teaching of classical languages, the Romanistische Zeitschrift für Literaturgeschichte, Sprachwissenschaft, the Zeitschrift für Slavische Philologie and Trumah, the journal of the College of Jewish Studies in Heidelberg.
It also publishes a great amount of series of academic books covering numerous disciplines. Mention might be made of the Schriften der Philosophisch-historischen Klasse der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften as well as the ongoing supplements to various journals, the Germanistische and the Indogermanische Bibliothek or the Bibliothek der Klassischen Altertumswissenschaften.
Ever since its establishment, our publishing house has been closely associated with Heidelberg University, and this is evident from publications such as the historical journal Heidelberger Abhandlungen zur Mittleren und Neueren Geschichte, the Schriftenreihe der ‘Hochschule für Jüdische Studien’, Schriftenreihe des Marsilius-Kollegs or Heidelberger Schriften zur Universitätsgeschichte.
The Universitätsverlag Winter is now numbered among Germany’s leading academic publishing houses of international standing.
The programme of ‘Edition S’ (ES) is concerned with the education and training of persons with learning difficulties. Its publications include works dealing with diagnostics, therapy, sociology and psychology relating to the most diverse forms of handicap, including: sensory impediments (sight and hearing problems), mental handicaps, physical handicaps and multiple/combined handicaps, difficulties and disturbances relating to learning, behaviour and development, speech impediments and pre-school learning. Series such as the Heidelberger Sonderpädagogische Schriften (dealing with aspects of teaching mentally and physically challenged pupils) and Beiträge zum Unterricht mit lernschwachen Schülerinnen und Schülern (concerned with the education of children with learning difficulties) demonstrate the company’s particularly close link with the Heidelberger Pädagogische Hochschule (a teachers’ training college). Another important feature of the programme is the publication of the Arbeitshefte zur heilpädagogischen Übungsbehandlung (offering practical exercises in the field of remedial teaching) edited by Clara Maria von Oy, the joint-author of the Lehrbuch der heilpädagogischen Übungshandlung that has now run to no less than 12 editions.