The origins of the Böhlau publishing house go back to the Weimar court in the 17th century. Today, Böhlau is both an imprint of Brill Deutschland GmbH, based in Cologne, and an imprint of Brill Österreich GmbH, based in Vienna. Both locations focuses their publishing programs on history, politics, legal history, history of art and architecture, literature and cultural studies, and music history. In addition to outstanding academic publications, Böhlau also cultivates a small non-fiction segment aimed at a somewhat broader, interested reading public.

Böhlau Vienna’s program traditionally focuses on Austrian history and politics. The central themes include the development of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and its successor states in Central, Southern and Eastern Europe. In addition, Böhlau is particularly known and appreciated for its high-level scholarly editions on Austria's role in the Second World War and the restoration of democracy.

At Böhlau Verlag in Cologne, the program centers heavily on the fields of art history and legal history. In the area of historical publications, focal points have developed in early modern studies, cultural history and historical anthropology. Böhlau is also an important partner for research in regional history, in particular in the Rhineland. Böhlau is also strongly anchored in the field of cultural studies at both the imprint’s locations. Publications on music and architecture as well as on design and photography top off the interdisciplinary and thematically varied program of the Brill imprint.

Due to the outstanding brand reputation, the high quality of the books and the professional supervision of the publications, Böhlau is a valued publishing partner for a large number of regional and national academic, political and cultural institutions, both in Cologne and in Vienna.