The new Mainz Publishing Archive is a most valuable treasure of German publishing history

Archive with a scope unique in Germany will be used for scientific purposes at the JGU Institute of Book Science

06.10.2009

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) receives valuable treasures of German publishing history. The publisher couple Dr. Sabine and Kurt Groenewold from Hamburg donated the publishing archives of the Europäische Verlagsanstalt, of the Rotbuchverlag, and of the Syndikat-Verlag to Mainz University and thus provided a generous contribution to the establishment of the Mainz Publishing Archive."

"We cordially thank Dr. Sabine and Kurt Groenewold for their generous donation. It is donations such as that to the Mainz Publishing Archive that initiate projects and create structures that would otherwise never see the light of day in our time of tight budgets," says the President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Professor Dr. Georg Krausch. "This unique archive contributes to the profile of book studies in general, which is a traditional focus in research and teaching at our university."

Rowohlt Publishers also donated the oldest German paperback archive. The Rowohlt Archive was divided in cooperation with the German Literature Archive in Marbach (DLA) so that the German Literature Archive took the fiction section in line with its specialization in German literature and Mainz University received the non-fiction books, paperbacks, children's and youth literature, including correspondence of the authors, production and marketing documentation, editing documents, protective covers as well as authors' copies.

In 2004, Sabine and Kurt Groenewold sold their three publishing houses, i.e. Europäische Verlagsanstalt, Rotbuchverlag, and Syndikat-Verlag. However, the publishing' archives were excluded from the assets to be sold to protect their historical value. These archives and some unique manuscripts were now donated to JGU. Together with the Rowohlt archives, they form the new Mainz Publishing Archive and are being explored by the JGU Institute of Book Studies. Mainz University offers adequate reading and study rooms in the office building on the Taubertsberg near Mainz central station.

The director of the JGU Institute of Book Studies, Professor Dr. Stephan Füssel, accepted the donations on behalf of JGU: "We will formally document and, above all, scientifically evaluate the scope and variety of this publishing archive, which is unique to German universities. Particularly Mainz students of Book Studies can access it for their master's and doctoral theses, and external researchers will also be able to dig among the treasures of German publishers' history." The first master's thesis on children and youth books has already been completed. The "History of the book trade in the Federal Republic of Germany" is currently being compiled here.