Over the course of more than 150 years of history, Espasa has played a key publishing role in the cultural development of Spain and Latin America, through its broad catalogue of works of reference and an extensive and select backlist of classics that are complemented with the best in contemporary narrative and non-fiction. The Espasa publishing company was founded in 1860, and in 1926 it associated with Compañía Anónima de Librería y Publicaciones Españolas (Calpe), which made it one of the largest publishers in Europe with major projection in Argentina and Mexico. In 1992 it became part of Grupo Planeta.
A highlight of its catalogue is the Enciclopedia Gran Espasa Universal, the most comprehensive and updated reference work in the Spanish language, and successor to the Enciclopedia Universal Ilustrada which was born in 1905. Today it is presented in twenty-four volumes, on DVD-ROM or CD-ROM and the Internet.
Since 1925 Espasa has been entrusted with publishing the main titles of the Real Academia Española de la Lengua: its Diccionario de la lengua española, its Diccionario esencial, its Ortografía and its Gramática, a landmark for the linguistic culture of all Spanish speakers.
Publisher of the Austral collection, a pioneer in the Spanish-language pocket books sector, Espasa relaunched the collection on the occasion of its seventieth anniversary, maintaining the original spirit of Austral as a universal library that covers all genres and periods of literature, classics and major contemporary authors. In addition, the educational vocation of the collection has been reinforced, with reading guides that help students to better know our classics.
Espasa’s catalogue of fiction continues expanding under the coordinates of modernity and quality, together with a selection of the finest universal works of all times.
Espasa organises two competitions, the Primavera Novel Prize – a prestigious accolade in the Spanish and Spanish-American literary world that was created in 1997 and is awarded jointly with the El Corte Inglés association Ámbito Cultural – and the Espasa Prize, for the dissemination of works of journalism, investigation and communication of issues of interest for our society.