Grolier’s Early History
Grolier Inc. originated with the Grolier Society founded in 1895 by a group of Boston scholars. Named after Jean Grolier, – a designer and collector of French Renaissance books – the Society produced deluxe editions and memoirs in elegant bindings and sold them on a subscription basis. The society was incorporated as a business organisation under the name, The Grolier Society Inc., in 1936 and finally changed its name to Grolier Incorporated in 1960.
We publish encyclopedias, children’s books, reference sets, educational materials, and also multimedia products. Our best-known titles include Encyclopedia Americana and the New Book of Knowledge – a children’s encyclopedia. Our multimedia products consist of the Guinness Multimedia Disc of Records and the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia.
While we published the popular 30-volume Encyclopedia Americana, our best seller was the 20-volume Book of Knowledge, which gained wide acceptance as a basic reference material for children in elementary school. Other Grolier products included the 50-volume set of the World’s Greatest Classics, the 20-volume Encyclopedia International, the 20-volume American Peoples Encyclopedia, the 10-volume Grolier Universal Encyclopedia, the 10-volume Book of Art, the Book of Popular Science, the Encyclopedia Canadiana, and several other encyclopedias, yearbooks, and reference materials in French, Spanish, and Japanese.
In 1969, these products were sold in 40 foreign countries where most of the revenues came from door-to-door sales through 7,000 salesmen who were based on commission. By the late 1980s we were already a leading worldwide publisher and distributer of encyclopedias, children’s books, reference sets, and educational materials.
In June 2000, we became a part of the Scholastic Group.