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German Museum of Books and Writing of the German National Library – a centre for publishing history from the 16th to the 21st century

Press release:  April 24, 2017

Further additions to the comprehensive publishing history holdings of the German Museum of Books and Writing of the German National Library: the "Frankfurt" archive and library of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (the German Publishers and Booksellers Association), which the Börsenverein gifted to the German National Library in 2012, are currently being relocated to Leipzig. Containing over 60,000 volumes, the holdings not only constitute one of the largest specialist libraries in Germany, but they also help raise the profile of the German Museum of Books and Writing as a centre for publishing history with its unique archive holdings. Together with the economic history holdings of the Saxon State Archives in Leipzig and individual publisher archives at the University Library of Leipzig, the Leipzig collections represent a unique and internationally used source of information for book-history research.

A conference entitled "Der Buch- und Informationsmarkt in Deutschland 1990 bis 2015" is being held on 27 and 28 April 2017 in cooperation with the Historical Commission of the Börsenverein. To mark this occasion, the German Museum of Books and Writing is providing a glimpse into its extensive holdings: historical book publishing posters reflecting 100 years of book advertising.

The publishing history collections held in the German Museum of Books and Writing stem from the Börsenverein der Deutschen Buchhändler which was founded in 1825 in the book city of Leipzig. They include hundreds of thousands of written and pictorial resources from the 16th to the 21st centuries. There are roughly 25,000 circular business letters, 4,300 bookseller portraits, 18,000 publishers' signets and 1,800 posters. The many significant autographs and publishers' archives include those of Karl Robert Langewiesche, Gustav Fischer, and Faber & Faber. Partial estates of booksellers, including the Göschen letter collection, the Dr. Alphons Dürr Foundation and the Kummer archive, but also an extensive collection of publisher and antiquarian book catalogues, are set to grow in importance, including in the context of provenance research.

Leipzig - a centre for publishing and book trade history
Presentation of the German Museum of Books and Writing of the German National Library at the conference of the Historical Commission of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels e.V.
24 April to June 2017
Monday to Friday 9:00 - 22:00
Saturday 10:00 - 18:00
Free admission

Background

The book has shaped our culture and civilisation like no other medium. For centuries our knowledge about the world and its peoples has been stored, handed down and updated in books. The task of the German Museum of Books and Writing (Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum) is to collect, exhibit and process evidence of book and media history. Founded in 1884 as the Deutsches Buchgewerbemuseum (German Book Trade Museum), it was integrated in the Deutsche Bücherei in 1950 following the loss of its building and some of its stock in World War 2. It is the oldest book culture museum in the world, and also one of the most important with regard to the scope and quality of its collection.

More information about the conference (available in German only)

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Schriftbanner mit Deutscher Nationalbibliothek Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main