The history of the Beilstein-Institut goes back to 1881 when the Beilstein Handbook of Organic Chemistry was published. The Beilstein-Institut is named after the author of the handbook, Friedrich Konrad Beilstein. He developed a systematic catalog of organic compounds which was a milestone in the history of organic chemistry.


The Beilstein-Institut was founded in 1951 as “Beilstein-Institut für Literatur der organischen Chemie” (Beilstein-Institut for literature of organic chemistry) as a non-profit foundation. “The purpose of the foundation is exclusively and directly the promotion of the chemical sciences, in particular by continuing the publication of the Handbook of Organic Chemistry and related scientific articles.” (Excerpt from the original constitution of 1951).


The Beilstein-Institut revised and updated its constitution in 1999, redefining its role in the era of electronic publishing and online information systems.