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Archiv für Geschichte des Buchwesens ed. by Ursula Rautenberg and Ute Schneider (review)
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It may seem strange to offer a review of a single volume of such a well-established organ as the Archiv für Geschichte des Buchwesens, but the 2012 volume does mark something of a milestone. For the past thirty years, since volume 23, published in 1982, responsibility for editing the originally irregular but now annual volumes has lain in the most capable hands of Dr Monika Estermann. Throughout this time she has worked tirelessly to raise the international profile of the AGB by encouraging a steady flow of major studies mostly, though not exclusively, on the history of the book in Germany. One of the chief merits of the AGB is, and has always been, that it has welcomed contributions that have been too long for the usual kind of academic journals but perhaps not long enough or too recondite to warrant separate publication in book form. The editorship has now passed to Professor Ute Schneider of the University of Mainz and Professor Ursula Rautenberg of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, both of them very experienced historians of the book. Other new features in this volume are the adoption of a new typeface that can cope better with the unusual characters and diacritics often needed in bibliographical studies, the revival of abstracts in both German and English (one hopes more successfully than of yore — I recall an abstract in a very early volume of AGB where the German 'Donate', meaning 'Donatuses', that is, editions of Aelius Donatus's Ars grammatica, was rendered by an uncomprehending translator as 'donation certificates'!). A further innovation is the inclusion of a reviews section. AGB is now also available in electronic form.

The editors have also explicitly stated that they are happy to consider contributions written in English, and indeed the very first contribution in this volume is Jonathan Green's 'Printing the Future: The Origin and Development of the Practica Teütsch to 1620', a substantial study of the printed booklets, first produced around 1470, containing astrological prognostications for the coming year and associated particularly with Wenzel Faber von Budweis (c. 1455-1518) and Johannes Virdung (1463-c. 1539). Green shows how changes in the structure and contents of the Practica mirrored changes in society and new ways of presenting information in print. Jochen Schäfer's 'Adeliger Buchbesitz in der Zeit des bürgerlichen Wandels' is a study of the books owned by a minor nobleman in Hessen, Georg Ernst von und zu Gilsa (1740-98), many of which are still in the family's hands. Apart from Schäfer's analysis of the collection, the most valuable part of this lengthy study is the complete transcription and edition of Georg Ernst's own contemporary inventory of his books, some 800 items. Brigitte Klosterberg provides an interim report on a project, funded by the German Research Foundation, to identify the original owners of private collections of books subsumed in the holdings of the Halle Orphan age founded by the Pietist August Hermann Francke (1663-1727) and now known as the library of the Franckesche Stiftungen. Even her preliminary results show how important such work is for throwing light on the networks of Pietists and other scholars.

Sebastian Vogler's '"Angekauft Tiniussche Auction in Leipzig . . . "' has the intriguing sub-title: 'Books from the library of an alleged murderer in the Thuringian University and Regional Library at Jena'. The story concerns Johann Georg Tinius (1764-1846), since 1809 parish priest at Poserna near Weissenfels where he indulged his bibliomania to the extent that by 1813 he had accumulated between forty and sixty thousand books according to different estimates. During the years 1810-13 a number of highway robberies were committed in the Weissenfels area, with at least two of the victims killed, and Tinius came under suspicion. He was arrested, though he denied any involvement, and his case dragged on for several years until he was sentenced to a long spell in prison, eventually being released in 1835. The authorities compulsorily sold his library by auction, in 16,642 lots, in 1821, and Vogler analyses the auction catalogue and is able to show that some of the books were purchased by no less a...

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