By Dieter Tausch
375 years ago Michael Wagner, a printer from Augsburg in Germany, founded a publishing house in Innsbruck, Austria, which is still existing today: Universitätsverlag Wagner. To celebrate the 375th anniversary of the publisher the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum has organized an impressive exhibition from 13th June to 26th October, 2014, accompanied by an attractive programme with lectures, concerts, guided tours, a children’s workshop, and a conference with leading Austrian and international scholars and scientists, among them ILAB Patron of Honour Murray G. Hall.
On this occasion, the library of the Ferdinandeum and its curator Roland Sila present an extraordinary exhibition catalogue. On 300 quarto pages the catalogue contains illustrations of all items on show, including „Klarissa“, the oldest still existing press in German speaking countries dating from the year 1550/1560. A main focus of the book lies on the history of musical score printing featuring all the important and famous printers from 17th century Austria, who were mainly located in Innsbruck. The book also gives an overview of early printing in North Tyrol, a history of the Wagner family – who have been printers and publishers for centuries –, a description of the techniques of book printing through the ages, a historical sketch of the Universitätsverlag Wagner under the Nazi Regime along with articles about Tyrolian newspapers and on the history of publishing in Tyrol since 1802, the year when Casimir Schumacher joined Wagner Publishers.
The monumental catalogue is entertaining, thrilling, and informative, with an elegant layout and typography. It is highly recommended to all readers interested in the history of printing and bibliophily.
Druckfrisch. Der Innsbrucker Wagner-Verlag und der Buchdruck in Tirol: Katalog zur Ausstellung im Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum. Edited by Roland Sila. Wagner-Verlag Innsbruck. Hardcover. 284 pp. (29,90 €)
Druckfrisch. Der Innsbrucker Wagner-Verlag und der Buchdruck in Tirol – Exhibition from 13th June to 26th October 2014 at the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck (Austria)
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Picture: Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum. Translation: Barbara van Benthem