Funded by the Federal Foreign Office
The archives of publishing houses contain numerous and extensive correspondence with authors, translators, agents, and other publishers; they have thus always contained materials and insights that go beyond the confines of the archive itself. Working in cooperation with publishing houses as well as scholars of publishing and book history in Europe, the USA, Latin America, Africa, and Asia, the rich holdings of the DLA Marbach and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (SBB) provide the opportunity to research publishers in their function as cultural mediators and global networks.
As a result of the numerous publishers’ archives among their holdings – the archives of Cotta, several exile publishers, S. Fischer, Suhrkamp, Insel, DVA, Luchterhand, Piper, to name just a few – the DLA Marbach and the SBB possess a wide range of multilingual, international holdings which present unique global literary connections and extend beyond any individual national or linguistic borders. They facilitate an historical perspective on the German-language publishing landscape in its global contexts which extends right through to the present day. In the 21st century publishers continue to be faced with new challenges that are intertwined with demands for Open Access as well as the question of whether there is (still) such a thing as a global readership. Investigating the historical constellations of facilitating and appropriating, establishing and receiving authors in an international literature and reading market permits nuanced engagement with current developments and trends.
Together with the SBB, the DLA Marbach is launching a project, which, by working closely with international early career scholars, will (1) reinforce the connections of publishers’ archives across the world and make their referential contexts more visible through digital methods. This project will (2) be a cultural-political tool for publishers across the world, providing them with support in their work and with a communication platform for current questions. Finally, (3) an exhibition project (2021) will give the public insights into the work of publishing houses and the challenges facing them in the future.