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Parent companyCengage
Founded1954; 70 years ago (1954) (as Gale Group)
FounderFrederick Gale Ruffner Jr.[1]
Country of originU.S.
Headquarters locationFarmington Hills, Michigan
Publication typesPrimary sources, databases, e-books, e-learning, Thorndike Large Print
Official websitewww.gale.com

Gale is a global provider of research and digital learning resources. The company is based in Farmington Hills, Michigan, United States,[2] west of Detroit. It has been a division of Cengage since 2007.

The company, formerly known as Gale Research and the Gale Group, is active in research and educational publishing for public, academic, and school libraries, and businesses. The company is known for its full-text magazine and newspaper databases, Gale OneFile (formerly known as Infotrac), and other online databases subscribed by libraries, as well as multi-volume reference works, especially in the areas of religion, history, and social science.

Founded in Detroit, Michigan, in 1954 by Frederick Gale Ruffner Jr.,[3] the company was acquired by the International Thomson Organization (later the Thomson Corporation) in 1985 before its 2007 sale to Cengage.


Logo during Thomson Corporation ownership
Gale booth at ALA tradeshow
Gale booth at ALA tradeshow

In 1998, Gale Research merged with Information Access Company and Primary Source Media, two companies also owned by Thomson, to form the Gale Group. Thomson has acquired Information Access Company (publisher of InfoTrac) in 1995 and Primary Source Media (formerly named Research Publications) in 1979.[4]

In 1999, Thomson Gale acquired Macmillan Library Reference (including Scribner's Reference, Thorndike Press, Schirmer, Twayne Publishers, and G. K. Hall) from Pearson (which had acquired it from Simon & Schuster in 1998; Macmillan USA was purchased by Simon & Schuster in 1994).[5] In 2000 it acquired the Munich-based K. G. Saur Verlag,[6] but then sold it to Walter de Gruyter in 2006.[7]

On October 25, 2006, Thomson Corporation announced that it intended to wholly divest the Thomson Learning division, because, in the words of Thomson CEO Richard Harrington, "it does not fit with our long-term strategic vision." Thomson has said that it expected this sale to generate approximately $5 billion. Thomson Learning was bought by a private equity consortium consisting of Apax Partners and OMERS Capital Partners for $7.75 billion and the name was changed from Thomson Learning to Cengage Learning on July 24, 2007.[8]

Patrick C. Sommers was president of Gale from October 22, 2007,[9] until he retired in 2010.


Gale produces hundreds of products, such as Gale Academic OneFile,[10] Biography and Genealogy Master Index,[11] General OneFile, General Reference Center, Sabin Americana (based on Sabin's Bibliotheca Americana), and World History Collection.[12]

Gale print imprints include the reference brands Primary Source Media, Scholarly Resources Inc., Schirmer Reference, St. James Press, The TAFT Group and Twayne Publishers, among others. Five Star Publishing is Gale's fiction imprint, with hundreds of books in print in the Western, Romance, Mystery and Science Fiction & Fantasy genres. Gale also sells into the K–12 market with several imprints, including U·X·L.[13] Gale also owns large print publishers Christian Large Print and Wheeler Publishing.

See also


  1. ^ "Gale - Helping Libraries Prepare for the 21st Century". www.inforum.cz. Retrieved 2024-06-28.
  2. ^ "Privacy Statement and Terms of Use". Gale. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
  3. ^ "Frederick Gale Ruffner Jr. : 1926-2014: Ohio State grad made fortune in reference-book publishing". The Columbus Dispatch. 25 August 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2024.
  4. ^ Anonymous (October 1998). "Gale Research, Information Access Company and Primary Source Media merged into the Gale Group by Thomason Corporation". Information Intelligence Online Libraries and Microcomputers. 16 (10): 3–4. ISSN 0737-7770. ProQuest 206804972. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  5. ^ Hane, Paula J. (1999-06-21). "Thomson's Gale Group Acquires MacMillan Library Reference USA". Retrieved 2018-05-13.
  6. ^ The Academic Publishing Industry: A Story of Merger and Acquisition – Reed Elsevier. Archived 2015-10-30 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Chronologie des K. G. Saur Verlags" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 2022-04-28.
  8. ^ "Thomson Gale Part of Larger Sale" by Norman Oder, Library Journal, June 1, 2007
  9. ^ "Cengage Learning Names Patrick C. Sommers President of Gale". Archived from the original on 2007-12-29. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
  10. ^ "Databases: Academic OneFile". Austin TX: University of Texas Libraries. Archived from the original on October 10, 2014.
  11. ^ "eReviews: Biography: Biography and Genealogy Master Index", Library Journal, April 15, 2012, archived from the original on October 17, 2016, retrieved October 10, 2014, BGMI is a throwback to another era
  12. ^ Cengage Learning. "Database Title Lists". Gale: Title Lists. Archived from the original on April 10, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  13. ^ "Gale". Retrieved 6 February 2013.

External links

Gale-owned sites and services