2002

AQ -- Book Trade and Publishing


Wörterbuch des Buches [Dictionary of the Book]. Helmut Hiller and Stephan Füssell. 6th fundamentally rev. ed. Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2002. 363 p. 18 cm. ISBN 3-465-03220-9: EUR 29.80 [02-2-247]

From its initial appearance in 1954, this has become the most widely used and useful one-volume dictionary about books, publishing, and libraries. The sixth edition (compiled by Füssell following the death of Hiller, who authored the previous editions) has indeed been “fundamentally revised,” even with only a slight increase in length and many historical articles unchanged. Legal topics (e.g., copyright) and ones on professional education have received the most extensive updating. There are about 2,000 articles, all without bibliographical references. The work includes entries for ISBN and ISSN, but not ISMN (International Standard Music Number); for HTML and PDF but not DOI (Digital Object Identifier); as well as for such colorful printers’ terms as “Hurenkind” (“whore’s child” = widow) and “Schimmelbogen” (“white horse page” = blind print page). Concise, up-to-date articles about German-speaking publishing houses are a feature setting this reference source apart from the competition. [sh/gw]

Dictionnaire encyclopédique du livre [Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Book]. Ed. Pascal Fouché. Paris: Éditions du Cercle de la Librairie. 31 cm. [02-2-250]

Vol 1. A–D. 2002. xxx, 900 p. ill. ISBN 2-7654-0841-6: EUR 178.00

From the publisher of the multi-volume Histoire de l’édition française [History of French Publishing] (Paris, 1989–1991) and Histoire des bibliothèques françaises [History of French Libraries] (Paris, 1989–1992), this work is projected for three volumes to be complete in 2005. Entries from over 700 contributors—coordinated by experts in the history of the book, libraries and reading, graphic design, and publishing— cover persons, corporate bodies, places and regions, ongoing publications, as well as definitions of technical terms (providing English equivalents) and longer topical articles. Several weaknesses should be noted. Among many good articles are some that are misleading or erroneous. Corporate bodies are entered sometimes under acronyms alone, sometimes under inverted names: e.g., “Congrès américain, Bibliothéque du” for the Library of Congress. Bibliographic references are provided for only a third of the articles, in an appendix. Although international in principle, France and francophone countries receive the most attention. For greater, and more truly international scope, see the Lexikon des gesamten Buchwesens [Dictionary of the Entire Book World]. However, for information about French persons, institutions, and technical terms, the Dictionnaire encyclopédique du livre will be a welcome addition for most large academic libraries. [sh/ab]

Safêlivre: guide des salons et fêtes du livre [Safêlivre: Guide to Book Fairs and Festivals]. André Muriel. Founded by Roger Gaillard. Vitry: CALCRE, 2002. 224 p. 30 cm. ISSN 0765-2186; ISBN 2-906018-14-7: EUR 35.00

An RREO Original Review

This new edition of Safêlivre is published under the auspices of CALCRE, Association d’Information et de Défense des Auteurs, which also publishes AUDACE, Roger Gaillard’s similarly formatted triennial evaluative directory of French publishers (last edition 2000). Following a similar format, Safêlivre is a much needed, updated guide to the book fairs and salons du livre held mainly in France. The guide includes information about 450 salons, festivals, fairs, and conferences concerning books. The authors offer complete entries for 360 events, including practical, detailed, and current information about these events in France and a few other countries.

Gaillard’s introduction is a very interesting review of the historical background of the fairs. The “culture of the book” replaced the earlier agricultural fairs. The structure of the salons revolves around two aspects: diversity and seasonal concentration. The salons that are considered generalist, or concentrating on general literature, amount to only a fourth of the entries, which Gaillard considers low. All the international, national, or regional salons are of the general kind (e.g., Barcelona Book Fair, Salon du Livre de Paris, Bruxelles Book Fair, Genève Book Fair).

According to Gaillard, juvenile literature fairs are the most popular, attracting a large number of students and their families. Between 5,000 and 15,000 guests attend 80% of these events.

Well-attended poetry salons, such as the Marché de la Poésie (Saint-Sulpice in Paris) show the strength of those poets and poetry fanatics who consider poetry and life itself inseparable.

The BD (bandes dessinées) fairs for comics have been very successful, claiming 10,000 to 15,000 visitors, both youngsters and adults. Attendees at history book fairs aren’t as numerous. History salons, regional and local, find an audience in the provinces.

The last fourth of the work includes information about expo-ventes [sales exhibits], such as conferences, author-centered sessions, or those linked to an association’s meetings or conferences, such as the Journée du Livre. Under this category are also classed the professional book fairs, such as Frankfurt, Auvergne, Educate, as well as the rare books and antiquarian events.

As for the principal participants, Gaillard points out the three most important: publisher exhibitors, the authors, and the book vendors (bookstores) without whom there would be no fairs. Safêlivre aims to provide these users a tool for planning their participation and activities. Gaillard offers some cogent advice on how to make the best out of this endeavor. An illustrative sample entry is used to help the reader decode the entries for events, which are classified in alphabetical order by the name of the city or locality hosting the event. Indexes can be used to access information by name of the salon, genre/sectors, region and country (which include some North American but no Latin American events), date, statistics, month or season, and number of visitors, as well as lists of prizes and contests.

Finally, Safêlivre offers a pense-bête [agenda, checklist] for exhibitors. Also included is a page to submit information about events not covered in the guide.

Safêlivre would be a good addition to the reference collections of both academic and public libraries.

Illustrierte Bücher 1945–2000: Katalog der Arbeitsbibliothek Annemarie Verwayen [Illustrated Books 1945–2000: Catalog of the Working Library of Annemarie Verwayen]. Ed. Gisela Meichsner. Dresden: Sächsische Landesbibliothek–Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, 2001. xlix, 447 p. ill. 24 cm. (Schriftenreihe der Sächsischen Landesbibliothek–Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden, 6). ISBN 3-910005-26-8: EUR 26.00. (Sächsische Landesbibliothek... D-01054 Dresden, fax [49 351] 463 37173, e-mail: direktion@slub-dresden.de) [02-1-030]

Gifts to publicly supported libraries of large private collections, at least in Germany, are today rather the exception than the rule. They are especially welcome when, as in the case of the collector Annemarie Verwayen’s 1998 gift to the Sächsische Landesbibliothek–Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (SLUB) [Saxon State Library-State and University Library], they form an ideal complement to existing collections.

The gift consisted of around 10,000 volumes and documents: the 4,954 illustrated books presented in this catalog, dating from 1945–2000 and emanating from 200 different presses in the German language area, form the core of the collection. The collection’s concentration on West Germany complements the SLUB’s exhaustive holdings of illustrated books from East Germany. The latter were listed in an annual bibliography: Bibliographie illustrierte Bücher der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik [Bibliography of Illustrated Books from the German Democratic Republic] (Dresden, 1974–1990). Verweyen’s books are now exactly where they ought to be.

The catalog describes the roughly 5,000 titles alphabetically by illustrator and, within that arrangement, by author, and notes their call numbers. Four indexes list authors and titles; artists and some subject terms; places of publication with presses; and presses. Full-page reproductions, some in color, of selected illustrations fill p. xxiii– xlix. Because a considerable part of the collection is of illustrated fairy tales, Verweyen received the 2000 Märchenpreis [Fairy Tale Prize] of the Stiftung Walter Kahn [Walter Kahn Foundation]. The speech in her honor is included here, as is a self-description by Verweyen, both of which give details about the formation and character of her collection. [sh/dss]

The African Publishing Companion: A Resource Guide. Hans M. Zell. Lochcarron: Hans Zell Publishing Consultants. 30 cm. (Hans Zell ..., Glais Bheinn, Lochcarron, Ross-shire, IV54 8YB, Scotland, UK, e-mail: hzell@dial.pipex.com, URL: http://www.africanpublishingcompanion.com) [02-1-031]

Vol. 1. 2002. xi, 246 p. ISBN 0-9541029-0-8: £80.00 (includes Internet version)

Hans Zell, perhaps the most important bibliographer of publications from the African continent, has brought out a work that provides detailed information about African publishers and trade shows, book dealers and bookstores, significant bibliographies, a chronology of important dates in African publishing, and an annotated bibliography. It is also well indexed. Anyone who purchases the print publication can request a password, valid for two years, for the online edition of the book, advisable not only because of the ongoing updating of the information, but also for the links it contains to e-mail and Internet addresses. [sh/ldl]

Der Greifenverlag zu Rudolstadt 1919–1993: Verlagsgeschichte und Bibliographie [The Greifen Publishing House of Rudolstadt, 1919–1993: History and Bibliography]. Carsten Wurm, Jens Henkel, and Gabriele Ballon. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2001. 414 p. ill. 24 cm. (Veröffentlichungen des Leipziger Arbeitskreises zur Geschichte des Buchwesens: Schriften und Zeugnisse zur Buchgeschichte, 15). ISBN 3-447-04501-9: EUR 59.00 [02-2-260]

This work combines a comprehensive history of the Greifen publishing house with its complete bibliography. Known primarily as a leading literary publisher of the German Democratic Republic, Greifenverlag made its name printing exile literature and works by leftist authors in the 1950s. The publisher was not state-owned until the death of founder Karl Dietz in 1964, and it ceased production after privatization efforts failed in 1993. Both its recent history and the lesser-known early history— founded in 1919, temporarily halted production in 1930—are covered in two equally thorough sections. The bibliography is similarly divided into two parts, by different authors: 1919–1933 (1–212) and 1945–1993 (213–921), by Jens Henkel and Gabriele Ballon, respectively. Both sections include full physical descriptions, an improvement over the 70th-anniversary bibliography from 1989 that omitted such information as the lengths of works. The appendix includes a six-page list of series titles, 80 pages of production statistics, and an index to persons and institutions. Typographical distinctions of authors would have been useful. Two hundred fifty-five entries simply give see-references. Some works by important authors were omitted without explanation. [sh/mm]

Bücher für das “dritte Geschlecht”: der Max-Spohr-Verlag in Leipzig: Verlagsgeschichte und Bibliographie (1881–1941) [Books for the “Third Sex:” The Max Spohr Publishing House in Leipzig: Company History and Bibliography (1881–1941)]. Mark Lehmstadt. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2002. 300 p. 24 cm. (Veröffentlichungen des Leipziger Arbeitskreises zur Geschichte des Buchwesens: Schriften und Zeugnisse zur Buchgeschichte, 14). ISBN 3-447-04538-8: EUR 38.00 [02-2-262]

Max Spohr (1850–1905) was an early “program publisher” in late 19th-century Germany. In 1888, his entire catalog consisted of works about the new religiosity, the literary avant-garde, and sexual enlightenment. His commitment to the homosexual emancipation movement is well known today among experts on the subject. In 1897, he and Magnus Hirschfeld founded the Wissenschaftlich-Humanitäres Komitee [Scientific-Humanitarian Committee] and from 1899–1922 published the Jahrbuch für sexuelle Zwischenstufen [Yearbook for Sexual Intermediate Stages], edited by Hirschfeld. The alliance with Hirschfeld and the homosexual movement remained after Spohr’s death, when his brother, Ferdinand, took over, continuing the publishing house under Max’s name. Slowing of publishing activity began in 1923, and only one or two books appeared each year from 1925 on; in some years, especially after 1930, nothing at all was published.

The bibliographical portion of this work aspires to completeness, but is limited in its fulfillment of its goal. Since no archive of the publishing house exists, the bibliographer consulted publishers’ catalogs, announcements in books, the Börsenblatt (a serial bibliography of the German book trade), book trade catalogs, and library catalogs. According to the bibliographer, potential lacunae are to be expected in the area of reprints. Information is presented chronologically and includes detailed title entries with the following annotations: location with classification number (personally inspected copies are marked with an asterisk), printer, details about the copy (e.g., dedications), acts of censorship, and locations in bibliographies and of reviews. An index of personal and corporate names is included. A subject index is lacking.

This work is a model of its genre. One hopes to see more such publications in this series. [sh/rm]

Die Bibliographie des Suhrkamp-Verlages 1950–2000 [The Bibliography of the Suhrkamp Publishing House, 1950–2000]. Comp. Wolfgang Jeske, with an introd. by Siegfried Unseld. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2002. xxi, 845 p. 21 cm. ISBN 3-518-41164-0: EUR 50.00 [02-2-265]

This bibliography is one of a spate of publications issued by Suhrkamp, arguably the most prestigious literary publisher of postwar West Germany, to commemorate its first fifty years. The publication coincides with the death of Suhrkamp’s long-time director, Siegfried Unseld, and the resulting uncertainty about the company’s future in a time of industry consolidation and changing tastes.

The arrangement of author and title entries is explained clearly in the introduction. Author entries are sub-arranged, with collected works presented first, and with coauthored works following those authored alone. The wide scope of entries, including most persons credited on a title page, is welcome, but there are crossreferences only for title changes among editions. The alphabetical arrangement is somewhat quirky, in that numerals are filed as if spelled out (e.g., 1983 before 1982), while strings consisting of parent and section titles are interfiled with single titles (e.g., Neues Hörspiel O-Ton before Neues Hörspiel. Texte Partituren). Also, in collocating works by and about an author, titles containing the author’s name in direct order are filed as if the name were inverted (e.g., “Max Weber” under W). This listing together of works by and about a person, incidentally, has its limits, as a work is entered only once, and author has priority over subject. This is partially mitigated by the extensive name index, which includes all persons named on title pages, each with the page numbers of all relevant entries.

Though the preface seems to promise a faceted profile of the Suhrkamp publishing program, this is hard to discern in the bibliography’s catalog-style alphabetical arrangement. An arrangement based on subject and genre categories would have been more useful, as well as more in tune with online information display practice. The fact that only first printings are recorded, and that no chronological listing is given, represents a lost opportunity to present the history of Suhrkamp and to show its connections with the history of postwar West Germany and its reading public. [rf/gw]


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Last update: March 6, 2006 [BG]
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