About this site

Notice for the browser - How the site came about - Scope - What you will find on the site - What does BDKR stand for?

Notice for the browser

This is a hobbyist site and it is not associated with the Baedeker publishing firm. However, we gratefully acknowledge the kind agreement of Mr Rainer Eisenschmid, Chefredakteur of Verlag Karl Baedeker GmbH for us to use graphics and other content from the pre-1945 guidebooks.

Bibliographical data on this site has been completed and verified by reference to "Baedeker's Reisehandbücher 1832-1990" by Alex W. Hinrichsen, Verlag Ursula Hinrichsen, Bevern 1991 with kind permission by the author.

Nonetheless, the information on the site is not complete, nor can we guarantee that it is correct, though we have taken care to ensure that it is as error-free as we can make it. Please see also our terms and conditions of usage.

How the site came about

Starting with a small Baedeker collection, your editor one day in the summer of 2004 found himself wondering how to find out more about these wonderful books. There is an excellent bibliography called "BAEDEKER'S REISEHANDBUCHER 1832-1944" by Alex W. Hinrichsen, which first appeared in 1979 and then in several further editions. This work is the standard reference for Baedeker guides. Unfortunately, it is nowadays as hard to obtain a copy of that book as it is to find an 1840's "Deutschland und dem Österreichschen Kaiserstaate". So, what to do?

Was there perhaps a website for Baedeker collectors? No, there wasn't one to be found. So we decided to build up a database on all the editions from online information available in descriptions by antiquarian booksellers, and sometimes from other published works. Eventually, we managed to find a reference copy of Hinrichsen's work at a local library, and could then verify the data gathered and complete some gaps in our knowledge.

It also seemed like a good idea to collect pricing information, both from bookshops and from online auctions. The database grew quickly (there are 200-250 online auctions ending with a sale of a pre-1945 Baedeker every month) and finally, we thought - why not make all of this information available on the web? Having done so, a very kind visitor one day donated a copy of the 1991 edition of Mr Hinrichsen's work, and, with his permission, we are now in the process of completing the missing data. Of course, there are still Baedeker facts to be discovered - that's one of the great reasons for collecting and researching these guides.

Scope

The site deals only with Baedeker travel guides (but not with other publications from the firm, for example the "Traveller's Manual of Conversation") and only with those guides which were catalogued by Hinrichsen in the D, E and F series. Essentially, this means the guide books published from 1832 until, in December 1943, the RAF put a (temporary) end to the publishing activities in a massive bombing raid on Leipzig. (Though one edition represented here is actually dated 1944, and the very first edition of "Rheinreise" was published in 1828. Both are covered on this site, as they have Hinrichsen "D" numbers.)

We have used the Hinrichsen numbering system as an index to the editions. On that basis, there are exactly 500 editions in German, 266 in English and 226 in French.

What you will find on the site

Apart from the introductory pages about Baedekers and this site in general, there are more than 1100 pages of information available. These can be accessed from the Find editions page.

There are three main types of pages: one for each year of publication, showing (more or less) those editions which were available that year; one page for each geographic area, representing to some extent how the different editions are related to each other; and finally, one page for each edition.

On all of these pages, you will find links to editions - just click on a link and you will be sent to the page for that edition. Links are in red for German editions, green for English editions and blue for French editions.

Below you will find an explanation of the information that can be found on each edition page. You can also find a shorter version of this explanation if you click on the "Editions legend" button. This opens in a separate window, so you can make reference to it while browsing editions.

  1. Short name of edition. This is typically, but not always, the same as the title on the spine - it is an abbreviated title mostly for the purpose of making it easy to identify each edition in tabular displays.
  2. The edition number (in the language of the edition) and year of publication.
  3. Hinrichsen number. These are the classification numbers assigned by Hinrichsen in the standard reference work, see above. German editions have a D number, English an E number and French editions an F number.
  4. Full title (where possible - some early editions have such long titles that it was necessary to truncate them in this field. The real full title is then shown under 9.
  5. Number of introductory pages (roman number) and main pages. This is the traditional way of displaying the page numbers, and also the numbering used in the books themselves. However, try pointing your mouse at the roman number... If there is a question mark here, the number of pages is not known to us. If you know, please send us an e-mail!
  6. Number of maps and plans in this edition. Plans can be either town/city plans, or sometimes floor plans of museums and such. Where possible, we have tried to separate out floor plans and list them under 9. In late editions (from the 1920's onwards) the sum of maps and plans is sometimes shown. Again, question marks indicate that we don't know and would be very grateful for any information.
  7. The likely price in a bookshop of this edition in "BDKR condition" - see Collecting Baedekers. This price is based on a survey of the market in October-November 2004, but it's only a guide - don't take it too seriously! Many factors can cause the price to vary.
  8. A photo of the edition (if one is available).
  9. Additional features, such as panoramas, floor plans and other illustrations. Also any bound-in or loose appendices and any other notes.
  10. If available, records of prices achieved at auctions online. We monitor the most widely used online auction sites and record the results. However, this is only a hobby site, so we can't guarantee that we catch them all! Where there are more than one record, we show the average, minimum and maximum prices achieved, as well as the number of results found - this should give you an idea of how statistically relevant the results are. Please remember that the books auctioned can be in any condition, so there may well be a wide range of results.
  11. All prices in the database are kept in Euros. Auction results in other currencies are translated into Euros at the exchange rate prevalent on the day when we record the result. However, if you don't feel confident about the value of a Euro, you can point your mouse at these currency abbreviations and have all the monetary information translated for you. The exchange rate used is that we used when we were last recoding auction results, so it may be out of date and in any event, we only use a rate with three significant digits, so don't rely on it for anything other than a general idea.
  12. Link to the previous edition in this series, if any. There may be more than one such link where two series were merged, for example when the English editions of South-Western and South-Eastern France were merged back into Southern France in 1902.
  13. Link(s) to related editions. These links may be either to corresponding editions in the other languages; or to "sibling" editions which in some way relate to this edition, for example the three main Italian editions; or other editions which may be relevant, for example the two German series on Austria. This is work in progress!
  14. Link to following edition in the series. Again, there may be more than one link, where the series was split into separate editions.
  15. If this edition is currently in an online auction known to us, a link direct to that auction. See note 10. above - we don't guarantee that we catch them all. Naturally, there may be more than one of these links.
  16. Link to a page showing, more or less, those editions which were current this year - that is, the latest editions available in each series.
  17. Link to a search for this edition on Abebooks. There are other online bookstores, of course, but Abebooks have a very wide reach and it is also possible to link directly to a search for a specific book, which is not possible on some others, unfortunately. We should also disclose that we have joined Abebooks affiliate programme so stand to make some commission earnings if a sale results from a click-through on one of our links.

What does BDKR stand for?

It's an abbreviation of "Baedeker Datenbank und Kenner-Referenz", or Baedeker Database and Collector's Reference. But it's also quite easy to remember and a short name to type in...

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