The Georg Eckert Institute conducts applied, multidisciplinary research into textbooks and educational media, informed primarily by history and cultural studies. It also provides advisory services to national and international education policymakers, practitioners and organisations, and acts as a coordinator and mediator in international issues and projects around textbooks. Research, knowledge transfer and research infrastructure services are all closely interconnected at the GEI; as a non-university institution both carrying out and facilitating research into textbooks and educational media, the institute is on its way to becoming an internationally recognised centre of excellence in the field.
One of the principal attractions of the GEI to researchers from around the world is its research library, whose collection of history, social studies, religious studies and geography textbooks is unparalleled worldwide. The GEI’s information and communication gateway Edumeres.net provides virtual access to the world of textbook and educational media research; among its principal features are the user-led textbook reviews it publishes. The institute’s extensive programme of fellowships and scholarships is dedicated to raising awareness of textbooks and research into them and advancing academic work in the field, as is its research award for outstanding work in the area and its support scheme for visiting academics. The year 2012 saw the inception of the “Textbook of the Year” award, with which the GEI honours excellence in educational media annually at the Leipzig Book Fair.