AQ -- Book Trade and Publishing


Publishers' International ISBN Directory. München [et al]: Saur [et al.]. 30 cm. (Handbook of International Documentation and Information, 7). Previous titles: Publishers' International Directory with ISBN Index and Internationales ISBN-Verlagsverzeichnis [International ISBN Publisher Directory]. ISSN 0939-1959

25th ed. 1998/99 (1998). 3 vols. ISBN 3-598-21607-6: DM 598.00


Publishers' International ISBN Directory Plus. CD-ROM ed. [Providence, NJ]: Bowker. ISSN 0000-1716

2d ed. 1997/98 (1997). 1 CD-ROM + user's manual. ISBN 0-8352-4001-0: DM 598.00, DM 898.00 (with printed ed.)

Now in its 25th edition, the Directory represents a combination of two earlier works: an international directory of publishers from Saur and an index, published by the International ISBN Agency in Berlin, matching publishers and their assigned International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN). As separate publications, the Saur directory covered more publishers with more up-to-date information than the ISBN index, which was compiled from reports by the national and regional ISBN registries. Yet the ISBN reports became the sole source for the combined directory/index. Fortunately, the growth of ISBN usage and improved reporting from the registries have significantly increased its coverage of the publishing world since the merger in 1989, and made more information available on those publishers still outside the ISBN system. However, editorial vetting of reported data remains quite limited.

The current edition covers 210 countries, as did the previous one. Only 148 belong to the ISBN system, but these countries are said to account for 95% of the world's book production. The number of publishers represented (some 400,000) has grown nearly 10% from the previous edition. While only active publishers are listed in the directory volume (vol. 1), those gone out of business (designated as such) can also be found in the indexes (vols. 2 and 3). With this edition, address information (beyond place name) is no longer provided in volume 2 (the ISBN index), forcing users to seek it in volume 1.

Alphabetical listing is based on the company's legal name, ensuring welcome consistency but necessitating many more cross references (especially under embedded family names) than are provided. Directory references are also needed for publishers no longer in business but whose names continue as imprints of other publishers. The existence of an electronic version does not obviate these needs, because most users will continue to depend upon the print version for the foreseeable future.

The editions on CD-ROM are currently appearing midway between print editions, enabling six-month updates for those libraries able to afford subscriptions to both; unfortunately, the discount for buying both formats has shrunk considerably from the previous CD-ROM edition. A welcome new feature, though, is a looseleaf user's manual; however, it is only published in English, while the Directory itself is in German and English. [sh/gw]


Music Publishers' International ISMN Directory. International ISMN Agency. München [et al.]: Saur; Berlin: International ISMN Agency [et al.]. 30 cm. ISSN 0948-5678

2d ed. 1998/99 (1998). xxxii, 381 p. ISBN 3-598-22248-3: DM 360.00

The second edition covers some 11,000 publishers in 72 countries, as compared to 7,200 in 62 countries in the first. Still, several weaknesses of the previous edition remain: (1) a coverage imbalance, evidenced by the fact that nearly twice as many pages are devoted to Germany as to the United States, France, and Great Britain combined; (2) the tiny (but growing) proportion of publishers in the directory that actually use International Standard Music Numbers (ISMN) and the heavy coverage of general publishers that also issue music books; (3) the lack of contact information (beyond street addresses) and ISBN data for these general publishers, although (or perhaps because) readily available elsewhere; (4) the space-wasting display of complete entries in the indexes as well as the directory.

Since the large number of very small publishers listed here (and not, for instance, in the Publishers' International ISBN Directory; see the first review in this section) would seem to make this directory especially useful not only in the music business but also to copyright-deposit libraries, the reviewer tried contacting a number of these publishers and found that roughly a third of those were either inaccurate or badly out of date. In light of these problems, even libraries collecting extensively in music should consider carefully whether this directory is worth the purchase price. [sh/gw]


Verzeichnis der Veröffentlichungen [Publications List]. Carl Heymanns Verlag KG. Köln [et al.]: Heymann. 22 cm

1945-96 (1997). viii, 1444 p. ISBN 3-452-23805-9: free


Verzeichnis der Veröffentlichungen [Publications List, CD-ROM version]. Carl Heymanns Verlag KG. Köln [et al.]: Heymann

1945-96 (1997). 1 CD-ROM: free (included with print version)

The publishing company Carl Heymann has never issued a detailed history of its publications, though it has regularly issued cumulative lists. The present volume, which covers the period from 1945 to 1996, claims to list all books, collections of legal decisions, as well as electronic publications and serials that appeared during this time. Regrettably, this book is more of a publisher's catalog than a proper bibliography. The treatment of personal names is inconsistent, the cross-referencing is unreliable, and the abbreviations for corporate bodies are frequently not explained. Furthermore, prices are given for items that are long since out of print and unavailable. The CD-ROM version of this list is an improvement over the printed version, but its retrieval functions are also unreliable. The excellent historical catalog produced by Springer Verlag (cf. RREA 1:135-136) is the model that Carl Heymann should seek to emulate. [rf/ldl]

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