About Us

Click on a year to find out key milestones in Collins’ long history.

  • 1819

    Collins founded in Glasgow by William Collins.

  • 1821

    First Collins schoolbook published: A System of Commercial Arithmethic for Use in Schools and Private Families.

  • 1824

    First Donnegan's Greek and English Lexicon (dictionary) published.

  • 1825

    Cartographers John Bartholomew & Son founded in Edinburgh.

  • 1840

    irst illustrated dictionaries published.

  • 1862

    William Collins appointed publisher to the Scottish School Book Association; followed by an invitation to be publisher for Irish National Schools.

  • 1865

    Collins publishes 55 atlases and 100 wall maps for the mass market

  • 1875

    Collins buys out the Scottish School Book Association; there are now 920 schoolbooks in the catalogue.

  • 1902

    First Collins English gem dictionary published; the bilingual gem dictionaries follow in the 1920s.

  • 1907

    Collins atlases and dictionaries form part of the Penny Library for schools.

  • 1914

    Queer Things - Lessons of various conditions of plant, animal and insect life - published.

  • 1945

    New Naturalist Nature Guides launches with Butterflies by Dr E B Ford and London's Natural History by R S R Fitter.

  • 1965

    First Collins European Atlases published.

  • 1970

    First Collins Revision book published: Practice in the Basic Skills.

  • 1971

    Collins publishes the first comprehensive bilingual dictionary.

  • 1973

    First Collins Road Atlas published, based on the Mobil Road Map Seies, first published in 1961.

  • 1987

    Collins creates COBUILD database with the University of Birmingham, the first database containing evidence of how English is used for learners of English.

  • 1989

    Collins and Bartholomew becomes part of HarperCollins Publishers.

  • 2010

    Collins acquires Letts & Lonsdale, and Folens Primary.

  • 2011

    Collins launches www.collinsdictionary.com, the largest authoritative online dictionary to consider word submissions from the public.

  • 2012

    Atlas by Collins app launched.


William Collins’ dream of ‘knowledge for all’ began with the publication of his first book in 1819. Since then, Collins has published some of the world’s most prestigious and well-known reference and school books. Collins is an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishersworldwide, part of News Corp. The Collins brand encompasses an extensive range of education resources for ELT (English Language Teaching), Mathematics, Science, Computer Science as well as market-leading dictionaries, atlases and support materials for teachers. It aims to give teachers everything they need to teach today, in a way that is fully supported and is clear for students to use.

At Collins Learning, we strive to deliver content that is not only scientifically accurate, but also that stimulates curiosity in the young, impressionable minds and equips them with tools to become better human beings.Our primary objective is to empower educators with pedagogical tools so that they can leverage their expertise in shaping the future of their students. Our professional development programmes further our objective of supporting educators by honing their skills and prodding them to encourage learners ‘How to think’ instead of ‘What to think’. Through our carefully planned educational resources, we aim to facilitate well-rounded development of learners that supports cultivation of a healthy thought process and enhances their cognitive abilities. We consciously use examples in our books that resonate with the needs of the 21st century learners and promote experiential learning.

We celebrate uniqueness of every child, and it is our endeavour to always support the educators who passionately work in a heterogeneous environment catering to students with varied learning capabilities. Our meticulously planned and graded titles, along with support materials for teachers in the form of Teacher’s Manuals and digital resource called ‘DigiSuite’, not only assuage some load off the teachers, but also create an invigorating and most enthralling teaching-learning experience in the classroom for the learners. This year we have forayed into new avenues with our pre-primary series ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’ and ‘Easy Learning’ that will lay a strong foundation for young learners by piquing their curiosity and enhancing their appetite to learn. We have added to our ELT bouquet a new Grammar series ‘Collins English Grammar and Composition’ that aims to enable learners to master the rules of the English language; a new multi-skill series ‘English Alive!’ that uses constructivist teaching and learning methods; and ‘Tune In!’, a series that primarily fosters listening and speaking skills in students. Our new Social Science series ‘Excursions’ equips learners with a better understanding of the national and global scenarios. We have also ventured into other languages with our Hindi series ‘Aarambh’ to bring forth new dimensions in this space. To meet the needs of the changing educational landscape we have revised some of our titles, such as ‘Engaging English’, ‘Maths Matters’, ’Science Panorama,’ ‘Computer Craft,’ and ‘Knowledge Whizz’.

We look forward to your patronage and cooperation as we continue to strengthen the education system for our learners so that they understand and appreciate varied perspectives, and in the process move towards the path of progressive self-discovery and become truly global citizens.