Changes in the social status of the elites have been relatively well-mapped in the case of the families of the higher nobility, more rarely also for some better-off knightly families. Nevertheless, research has ignored the fates of the noble families that did not settle in the country but were tied to (mainly royal) towns and that completely blended in the 18th and 19th centuries with the local dignitaries and ceased to use their aristocratic attributes, especially nobiliary particles.
The members of the Zink family ran a bookbinding workshop in České Budějovice for 140 years. From the activities of the two last bookbinding masters, two accounting books with records for the years 1788–1804 and 1817–1868 have been preserved. These books are unique sources on the clientele of the bookbinding workshop, the volume of the bookbinding work performed and the amount of the prices charged for it. After more than two centuries, they make it possible to identify the authors of book bindings of a number of official books preserved in the collections of the state district archives in České Budějovice.
The article presents the results of the research activities of Hana Slovik-Vávrová concerning the mapping of preserved all-metal brass book bindings in the collections of institutions in the Czech Republic. She has recorded a total of 145 of these exceptional book bindings from between the end of the 18th century and the 1920s, coming from 18 organisations. All-metal book bindings have not been devoted enough attention although they represent a very interesting chapter in the history of book binding. An outcome of this work is a comprehensive description and detailed documentation of all researched all-metal book bindings. A valuable part is a catalogue of book bindings and of ornaments used in the decoration of all-metal book bindings.
Based on two intertwined case studies, this essay shows the economic importance of almanacs for Bohemian printing houses under the reign of Maria Theresa (1740–1780). The first case study focuses on the printing house of Sophie Rosenmüller (Kirchner-Klauser) in Prague, which during the 18th century published the only two newspapers in Bohemia, one in German and one in Czech. After her husband’s death (1745), Sophie Rosenmüller asked the Viennese administration for the permission to close the loss-making Cžeský postylion neboližto NOWJNY Cžeské [Bohemian Postilion or Czech Newspaper], which never had more than twelve subscribers per year. But Empress Maria Theresa insisted on the existence of the Czech newspaper. As compensation, she granted Sophie Rosenmüller privileges to publish highly profitable almanacs. In 1771, the empress finally agreed to suspending the paper. The second study deals with the severe impact of Maria Theresa’s religious reforms on provincial printing houses, like the one of Ignaz Hilgartner in the South Bohemian town of Jindřichův Hradec. Thoroughly discussed short-term issues included the reduction of the number of holidays and the fact that they were no longer to be printed in red in almanacs; more severe problems involved the loss of important clients, caused by the disbanding of some secular religious fraternities and foremost the Jesuits, and the end of some important genres, e.g. school dramas with their printed synopsis; the biggest problem was caused by the societalisation of the school system and the printing of textbooks. Due to the lack of a secular literary market (universities, enlightened clientele) in South Bohemia, Hilgartner saw only two possibilities to compensate for these losses: either to move his office to Prague or to assume the privileges of Sophie Rosenmüller (and especially her best-selling almanacs) after her death in 1780. Nevertheless, both possibilities were denied to him.
The relation of subjected municipalities of urban type on the Moravian-Silesian border to books and to education in general can be demonstrated on the example of Místek, situated in the Hukvaldy demesne. The craftsmanship–agricultural character of the town along with its position on a trade route near the Moravian-Silesian border was involved in the shaping of the social environment. Valuable sources of information on burgher households are probate inventories. It is possible to determine from them not only whether burghers owned any books at all and how many, but sometimes even what types of books they were. Among others, likewise the information on book owners, their profession and financial situation is undoubtedly interesting. Although personal motives and the attitudes of Místek burghers towards books usually remain hidden from us, it is still possible to reveal a part of everyday life.
The issue of the Edict of Toleration legalised Protestants of Lutheran and Reformed confessions in Bohemia and Moravia. Their religious life required the support of printed materials in the form of religious literature of the corresponding confession approved by the state. Relatively high production of Protestant books, both original and translated, began to emerge. They anchored both Protestant denominations but simultaneously became mutually competitive and sometimes came into controversy with Roman Catholic authors. The author of this article monitors all printed Protestant literature in Bohemia and Moravia of the so-called toleration period, i.e. the period when the believers of the two Protestant confessions did not have full-fledged positions and were affected by numerous restrictions. In terms of book culture, it is divided into: 1) the period of early toleration (1781–1800), 2) the period of established toleration (1800–1848) and 3) the period of late toleration (1848–1861). In this framework, he provides an overview of Protestant literature in terms of its typological, authorial and publishing development and also evaluates the readership of this literary production.
At the turn of the 20th century, Slovaks faced new national challenges in the political and social conditions of Austria-Hungary. The Hungarisation efforts of the Hungarian government along with frequent accusations of pan-Slavism motivated a part of Slovak students coming from a nationally conscious environment to leave for studies in the Czech part of the monarchy. From its foundation in 1882, the Detvan association in Prague planned to develop educational and literary activities with an emphasis on the Slovak language and culture. This led to an urgent need for the establishment of the association’s own library, which could be used by its members. The article focuses its attention on the creation and systematic expansion and improvement of the book collection of the Detvan association between 1882 and the end of the 19th century. It primarily deals with the growth, subdivision and genre profiling of the library and, last but not least, also with lending activities, closely associated with that.