Serving the Library Community for More than 100 Years

William S. Hein & Co., Inc. has been serving the library community for more than 100 years as a legal publisher, periodical subscription agent, and the world’s largest distributor of legal periodicals. Our research and reference tools for law, international relations, political science, and foreign affairs are among our most important contributions to the publishing world.

If you are an author and would like to submit a manuscript or proposal, please visit the Submit a Proposal page to learn more. In addition, we always welcome suggestions from researchers regarding titles that should be reprinted and preserved for future generations.

What We Do

World’s Largest Distributor of Law and Law-Related Periodicals

We are the world’s largest distributor of legal periodicals, with thousands of titles in stock. We also warehouse the back issues of more than 900 legal periodicals and have the reprint and microform rights to hundreds of others. Combined with our secondhand inventory and network of dealers worldwide, Hein is your one-stop source for any legal periodical.

Subscription and Continuation Agent

Hein can help you get the most out of your library’s resources by consolidating purchasing and standing orders to eliminate paperwork and claiming. We offer single purchase and standing order service of texts, treatises, serials, state reports, and state codes from many legal publishers. Today more than 75% of the academic law libraries in the United States use Hein as their subscription agent. If you are a publisher interested in marketing your titles to the law library community, we can help. Simply contact our Marketing Department for more information.

Microform Publisher

In the mid-1970s, as library budgets began to tighten and shelf space became more difficult to obtain, Hein developed more and more products on microform. Today, with more than 80 million images on microfilm or microfiche, no other legal publisher can offer the combination of microform services available from Hein.

Digital Services

From reprinting, to microfiche, to HeinOnline, we’ve successfully delivered high-quality documents to the research community for more than 40 years. With our experience and state-of-the-art equipment and technology, we understand how to scan based on document type and we can recommend the most cost-effective approach to document conversion.

Our Story

Our true beginnings can be traced back to the early 1920s, when Fred O. Dennis began selling law books and legal forms from his office in Buffalo, NY. At the time, Ohio’s numerous county law libraries were in need of the session laws and other reports from all of the states in the Union. Dennis began to network on a nationwide scale, traveling from law library to law library in order to fill the needs of the Ohio county law libraries. In his travels, Dennis became intimately familiar with the collections of the nation’s law libraries, an intimacy which quickly earned him the respect and trust of law librarians. In 1940, Dennis published Law Library News, the first service of its type, which provided information on new law titles, along with brief descriptions. Very shortly after this, the need arose for supplying out-of-print Government Printing Office (GPO) documents, and Dennis again met the needs of his customers by becoming one of the major reprinters in the nation for out-of-print GPO documents. Other reprint titles soon followed, including the first 25 volumes of Yale Law Journal and many other legal periodicals and legal classics.

The Beginning of Hein

At the age of 16, William S. Hein Sr. became an apprentice to his uncle, Fred O. Dennis, who began to teach him everything he knew about the law publishing business. Bill remained with the Fred O. Dennis company for 27 years, but the desire to own his own company led to his departure from his uncle’s business. In 1961 Bill and his wife Ilene started William S. Hein & Co., Inc. Within just a few years, Hein became one of the major law book reprinters in the United States, and this foothold allowed for expansion into original publications. In 1974, the microform division of William S. Hein & Co., Inc. was launched, propelling the company into the modern age of collection development. Also during this time, Hein expanded into many other law library services, including periodical distribution, subscription services, and continuations services. All of these were created with one goal in mind: to satisfy the needs of the law librarian and make his or her job easier. In his time, Bill Hein Sr. was credited with no fewer than three landmark achievements: his ability to perceive changes in legal education and research; his realization that microforms were necessary to help libraries deal with space issues; and his ability to open foreign markets to American law books. When he died in 1976, Bill Hein Sr. left the company in the able hands of his family and dedicated employees, who had worked behind the scenes to help create the Company’s success.

In late 1976, Bill Hein’s son, William S. Hein Jr., made his first major mark on the Company and its customers by acquiring the Nebrich Bindery. This acquisition allowed Hein to have total quality control over its book production, which benefited the customer by guaranteeing a high-quality book on library shelves.


By the early 1980s, William S. Hein & Co., Inc. had not only entrenched itself in the North American market, but had also expanded into the markets of Australia, Japan, Western Europe, South America, and Israel as well. With the acquisition of the Dennis Company in 1983, Hein became the world’s largest distributor of legal periodicals in both hardcopy and micro format.

The company continued its successful growth in the 1990s, publishing well-respected titles dealing with U.S. and international treaty research, as well as other valuable collections for the law library community. In 1991, the company debuted its first CD-ROM product, Hein’s U.S. Treaty Index, at the AALS Meeting. 

The company also expanded into digital imaging, leading the industry in maximizing digital technology to deliver high-quality reprint titles. Hein donated its high-quality images of the Nuremberg Trials to Yale’s Avalon project. By the late 1990s, Bill Hein Jr. realized that in order to continue to be able to provide superior customer service, Hein was in need of a major acquisition. In late 1998, Hein acquired Fred B. Rothman & Co. of Littleton, Colorado. Although Rothman and Hein had been competitors in the law publishing industry for years, this acquisition was beneficial in ensuring the continued success of a family-owned law publisher that would deliver a high level of customer service that was quickly disappearing in the industry.


William S. Hein & Co., Inc. continues to be a thriving, customer service-driven provider of legal products and services including HeinOnline, the world’s largest image-based legal research database, which was launched in May 2000 after years of collaborating with the law library community. At its launch, the Law Journal Library was the only library in HeinOnline and contained only 25 law journals. Early institutional subscribers saw the value that online page images brought to the legal research community and encouraged Hein to add content beyond the scope of historical legal periodicals. As a result, Hein expanded its initial goal and HeinOnline now delivers more and more content that is needed by today’s legal researchers. Today, HeinOnline contains more than 100 databases, and subscribers in more than 175 countries enjoy online access to more than 211 million pages of legal research material that, in many instances, is exclusive to HeinOnline.

Hein is recognized as a leader in the preservation of retrospective legal materials. Our digital images of American State Papers have been used by the United States government, and a major legal research institution is utilizing our expertise to digitally store and reproduce high-quality reprints of legal classics, ensuring the availability of these important works for future generations of legal researchers.

Our growth and development have been steady since the early 1920s. Our focus to deliver the highest quality products and services to the law library profession remains the primary goal at Hein. As we move further into the digital age of information delivery, our commitment to our customers remains as strong as ever.

Our Mission

Serviens Integritate

[Service with Integrity]

Our mission is to expand our capabilities and advance all services necessary to assist the effectiveness of our growing, worldwide customer base, while maintaining our reputation of competency and professionalism. Our goal is to provide the best customer service in our industry.

Commitment to Excellence

We ask our employees to treat our customers as they wish to be treated. We will manage our individual careers and live accordingly to the highest personal and professional standards. We will encourage, challenge, risk-taking, and lifelong learning as a vital to creativity and as essential to achieving excellence in all we undertake.

Value Our Employees

We will consider each person’s individual needs for a healthy and productive life and will promote an appropriate work/life balance. It is the desire of the company to create a culture where employees can thrive.


We will remain focused, collaborative with each other, amongst departments, and with those whom we serve to achieve common objectives. We take pride in presenting high-quality work, which reflects our commitment and loyalty to our customers, each other, and the company.

Open Communication

We will speak our hearts and minds and will share information on a timely basis to build trusting, productive relationships. We will listen with sensitivity to others’ viewpoints, making every effort to hear – rather than judge – new ideas and approaches.

Honesty and Integrity

We will stand by our word consistently and rigorously, always following through on all our commitments.

Corporate Citizenship

We resolve to be good corporate citizens, making a positive difference in our community.

Dedication to Quality and Service

William S. Hein & Co., Inc. is committed to serving its customers with fast, dependable, reliable, and high-quality service. Pleasing our customers is our number one priority.

Create an Inclusive Culture

In recognizing our mutual humanity, we will value and empower people of all races, colors, ethnicities, cultures, religions, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, and socioeconomic and disability statuses. We strive to create a safe environment that challenges biases, where all people feel welcome, accepted, and free to be their authentic selves. It is our goal to center marginalized voices, so we can make decisions that uplift both our employees and the communities we serve.