Our 1.5-day kick-off conference (download the flyer here), held in May of 2013, gave us the chance to hear about scholarly work on the D-A-CH area as well as by German-speaking scholars. We heard from scholars representing several different disciplinary perspectives; the papers spanned the late 14th to 21st centuries and dealt with manuscripts, book bindings, typography, publishing archives, editorial strategies and more. Most importantly, however, we dedicated a panel-length session to the foundation of a research network. We were delighted that our conference was able to bring together scholars from the UK, the USA, Israel, Switzerland, and Germany. We were in agreement on the necessity for closer collaboration and communication in particular. Inspired by the blog that the Nordisk Forum for Boghistorie has put together, we decided to launch this blog. Furthermore, during the Freiburg conference, a study group on the relationship between texts and images (in books, periodicals, etc.) was founded. The study group’s goals are to hold a workshop in 2014 and collaborate on a special issue of a journal in the near future.
Overall, the conference proved how wide-spread book and print historical research is amongst German-speaking scholars not only in Europe, but worldwide. It also underlined how much research potential is to be found in the D-A-CH area because our archives house a wealth of relevant materials. In addition, the conference brought to light many exciting possibilities for collaboration between dedicated scholars. and foremost however, we took first steps towards better visibility of German-language research and towards closer collaboration. We thank SHARP and the English department of the University of Freiburg for the financial support of this conference!
Program overview (including most abstracts)
Stefanie Lethbridge (Freiburg im Br.); with Doris Lechner (Freiburg im Br.) and Corinna Norrick-Rühl (Mainz)
Bill Bell (Cardiff/Göttingen): The Mahout on the Elephant: In Search of the Paratext
Corinna Norrick-Rühl (Mainz)
Charlotte Kempf (Freiburg im Br.): Johannes Heynlin von Stein und der Beginn der Druckgeschichte Frankreichs
Closing Remarks and Discussion
Doris Lechner (Freiburg)