About this site
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.
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.
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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