Our History

Our company’s distinctive name reflects its rich history in reference and educational publishing. The American Bibliographic Center (ABC) was founded in 1955 to create serial bibliographies. Soon after, CLIO Press was formed to publish historical periodicals—and ABC-CLIO was born. Clio, one of the nine Greek muses and patron goddess of history, serves as fitting inspiration for our activities, both then and now.

Over the years, we’ve expanded our focus to include many disciplines and embrace the best of new technologies, but we’ve remained true to our original commitment to excellence, innovation, and meeting the needs of our customers.

We’re proud to be continuing the family tradition begun by Inge and Eric Boehm. Today, ABC-CLIO is owned by the Boehm and Snyder families and operates under the direction of Ron Boehm and Becky Snyder. Together we continue to strive to produce the best materials and to support learning at all levels through innovative solutions.

2020 New Educator Support site launches for ABC-CLIO database subscribers to give teachers and librarians an entirely new kind of support, featuring curriculum-aligned lesson plans and power-packed professional development.

2019 ABC-CLIO moves into new Santa Barbara corporate headquarters, donning a contemporary and open-space design.

2019 ABC-CLIO announces major upgrades to the ABC-CLIO schools database suite, featuring new student activities with guided inquiry questions, a new student-friendly navigation for students to discover resources against curriculum scope and sequence, plus a new student learning video series to break down the research process.

2018 Major visual enhancements made to ABC-CLIO’s academic database suite for the humanities, streamlining the research process for student researchers.

2017 History Hub, ABC-CLIO’s school database support site, is launched, the first open-access community site for classroom and library support.

2017 ABC-CLIO introduces a 16th online curriculum and research database to the suite, Health and Wellness Issues: Understanding Science, Society, and Yourself.

2017 Eric Boehm, ABC-CLIO’s founder and longtime leader, passes away.

2016 ABC-CLIO’s Solutions suite debuts a new research-based interface for schools. The suite of 15 social studies curriculum and research databases showcases an even more intuitive interface design that more vigorously pushes students to ask questions, develop arguments, and discover meaning, and features a number of new student research tools like formative self-assessment quizzes and Google Classroom integration.

2015 ABC CLIO’s Libraries Unlimited imprint launches School Library Connection, the cutting-edge professional development resource for school librarians. A bimonthly magazine with a 24/7 online platform, SLC is by school librarians for school librarians who actively share new techniques and perspectives to boost student learning.

2014 Video lessons called Course Essentials are launched on the American History database (both schools and academic versions). The Course Essentials videos are taught by master teachers and incorporate text, images, and audio/video designed specifically to engage and aid 21st-century learners.

2013 ABC-CLIO Solutions introduces a 15th online curriculum and research database to the suite, Modern Genocide: Understanding Causes and Consequences.

2010 A decade into the 21st century, ABC-CLIO continues in its well-established tradition of tapping the power of digital publishing tools, online distribution, and technology-enabled collaboration to make positive and substantial impacts on teaching, learning, and scholarship.

2009 During the 2009 American Library Association Midwinter Conference, ABC-CLIO’s Pop Culture Universe: Icons, Idols, Ideas database receives the prestigious Dartmouth Medal as the most outstanding and significant reference work of 2008. The company’s eight history databases have now received more than 50 awards, including the Distinguished Achievement Award and the CODiE Award from the Association of Educational Publishers and the Software & Information Industry Association respectively.

2008 ABC-CLIO acquires Greenwood, Libraries Unlimited (LU), and Linworth publishing.

2005 During the company’s 50th anniversary year, ABC-CLIO acquires Journal of the West from Sunflower University Press; publishes World War II: A Student Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO’s first print reference work designed especially for secondary students; and launches its newest subscription website, United States at War: Understanding Conflict and Society.

2004 In September, ABC-CLIO’s sixth social studies website, World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras, is added, making the Solutions databases collection the complete social studies reference resource for secondary students. In November 2004, ABC-CLIO announces the milestone of reaching ten million user sessions for Historical Abstracts and America: History & Life. CLIO Journals, a program to provide low-cost online hosting for history journals, is launched. ABC-CLIO Schools introduces Reel to Real, a feature that provides students and teachers with historical and political context for understanding the people and events featured in recently released historical movies. The Encyclopedia of World War II, the definitive reference on the Second World War, is published.

 The ABC-CLIO Schools division—dedicated to publishing social studies reference and curriculum materials for middle and high school libraries and classrooms—is introduced. In June, ABC-CLIO’s eBook publishing program is launched at the American Library Association’s annual meeting. Later in 2001, CLIO Notes and CLIO Alert are added to Historical Abstracts and America: History & Life, making the databases even more useful to students and scholars. ABC-CLIO Schools adds World History: The Modern Era to the four existing Solutions databases in the social studies suite.

2000 ABC-CLIO introduces its Solutions databases—social studies websites designed for secondary students that provide authoritative reference and integrate teacher curricula—starting with American Government, American History, World Geography, and State Geography. The book publishing division of ABC-CLIO wins an unprecedented 17 awards, with the five-volume Encyclopedia of the American Civil War receiving the Booklist Editors’ Choice award and the RUSA/American Library Association award.

1998 Historical Abstracts and America: History & Life become available on the web.

1994 ABC-CLIO launches Exegy, a multimedia program for school libraries based on the print publication Kaleidoscope, in CD-ROM format. Intellimation begins expanding its multimedia publishing program by partnering with textbook publishers to create digital textbooks and resource links to the curriculum.

1991 ABC-CLIO begins publishing serial bibliographies in CD-ROM format.

1990 Intellimation, a subsidiary of ABC-CLIO, contracts with Apple Computer to publish the Library for the Macintosh, which, in a two-year period, becomes the largest collection of educational courseware for the Macintosh in the United States.

1983 ABC-CLIO expands into publishing for secondary schools with the acquisition of a fact-card file on countries around the world, which is renamed Kaleidoscope: Current World Data and later becomes our first multimedia product for the schools market.

1967 The company’s book publishing division is established—which will become well-known by librarians and scholars everywhere for the quality of its reference titles in the humanities and social sciences, especially history and political science.

1961 CLIO Press is created to publish Historical Periodicals. In Greek mythology, Clio was the muse—patron goddess—of history; as such, she symbolizes the origins of the company’s publishing program in historical literature and bibliography.

1960 Inge and Eric Boehm move the operation to Santa Barbara, California. The index to Historical Abstracts becomes the first computer-produced serial bibliography index.

1955 The first of our serial bibliographies, Historical Abstracts, is published at the University of Vienna’s Historical Institute.