In her article, the author discusses the merits of the German craft bookbinder Paul Kersten (1865-1943) in the development of modern decorative papers as an expression of artistic individuality in the field of applied arts. From the Middle Ages, decorative paper had been used in decoration and bookbinding. Bookbinding workshops had traditionally made starched marbled paper. The interest of Paul Kersten, coming from a bookbinding family, in these papers had already dated from his youth. During his travels abroad, he was aware of the poor state of the bookbinding craft, which was affected by the mass production of books and book bindings as well as the industrialisation of paper production at the end of the 19th century. Kersten helped to introduce Art Nouveau into the design of German bookbinding and the methods of the modern production of decorative papers. At first, he worked as a manager in German paper manufactures and then as a teacher of bookbinding. His work was later oriented towards Symbolic Expressionism and he also tried to cope with the style of Art Deco.
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.
The Diseases of Central European Modernization in Austrian Pre-March (Vormärz) and Revolutionary Journalism as a Discursive Landscape
Jakub Raška and Matěj Měřička
This article is devoted to an early discussion of pauperism and the social question in the early stage of Central European industrialisation on the pages of periodicals of the Habsburg Monarchy with an emphasis on Czech journalism. The authors attempt to follow the development of the discussion from the beginning of the 1830s until the collapse of the revolution of 1848. They pay attention to the semantic dynamics of the terms and discourse that were used in connection with mass poverty, as well as the foreign models that contributed to the specific expression of ideas of the causes of the social question and its solutions. The paper studies the development of mass poverty representation at the time from the general Romantic rejection of the modernisation process to proposals for solutions to the social question, which had already been formulated on the basis of affiliation to a political group.
The paper evaluates the importance of the French-written Histoire de la littérature tchèque I–III [The History of Czech Literature] (1930–1935) by Hanuš Jelínek (1878–1944), a leading expert and authority on French–Czech cultural relations. His synthetic work destined for French readers and completed outside the modern methodological context of the 1930s draws on Ernest Denis’ concept of Czech literary development as the ‘literature of struggle’ against the German element, while its composition is inspired by Arne Novák’s history written in German, and his expository method follows in the footsteps of his mentor Jaroslav Vlček. Therefore, Jelínek conceives literary development as a continual motion of ideas within an aesthetic form, as a subject-stratified, multi-layered story unified by the central outlook enabling him on the one hand to emphasise the nationally defensive aspect of Czech literature, and, on the other hand, to present it through parallels and illustrative examples within the European perspective. Jelínek’s Histoire, supplemented with a number of his own translations of Czech authors, is a particular narrative–historical genre – the epitome of the young Czech nation’s cultural policy and an archetype of cordial relations between the Czechoslovak and French cultures.
The library preserved in the collections of the Hussite Museum in Tábor is a reflection of the life of the Prague burgher and pharmacist Jan Dobromil Arbeiter (1794–1870). In the context of three quarters of the 19th century, it testifies to the emergence of the National Revival, the renewed interest in the Czech language and the related development of Czech theatre. J. D. Arbeiter was an important Prague burgher and patriot actively involved in social and political events. His versatile interests and the support of patriotism led him to the foundation and expansion of his personal library. He was a member of many associations, including Stálci, established by Amerling. Its members regularly purchased Czech books and thus supported the development of Czech, in particular scientific, literature. Arbeiter was also a generous patron. Among other things, he supported the education of poor students. He played an important role in the establishment of the Realgymnasium grammar school in Tábor, to which he donated his library. He had developed it for his entire life; originally, it comprised an impressive number of 3,000 volumes. The library of J. D. Arbeiter is not only an example of one of a few extant burgher libraries of the 19th century. Thanks to the breadth of Arbeiter’s interests, it also provides a selective overview of Czech book production at the time.
The development of school libraries established at schools providing elementary education in the 19th century is closely related to the development of this type of schools after 1774, when the General School Rules were published. For the first time, they referred to education as a political issue and declared the interest of the state in the education of all the population. In the 1820s, a decree of the court study committee ordered district school supervisors to inspect books in school libraries and gave them the right to decide whether a particular book fits into the school library. In 1869, a new school act cancelled the supervision of the Church over schools and transferred it to the state. First, the state supported school libraries by listing them among the teaching aids that should be available for every school. In addition, a decree of the Ministry of Cult and Education encouraged the establishment of school libraries where they were still missing. Subsequently (1875), however, the ministry ordered teachers to check new books acquired by school libraries, to inspect also all the other books already deposited in the libraries and to discard all of those that were unsuitable. Ten years later (1885), new inspection of all school libraries was ordered.
An important role in the activities of the Slovakophile movement, which was born in Bohemia and Moravia at the end of the 1870s, was played by book culture. Especially by means of books and articles in magazines, Czech Slovakophiles acquainted the wider Czech public with the position of Slovaks in Hungary and aroused interest in the development of Czech-Slovak solidarity. A significant role in this activity was played by the national-defence and Slovakophile association Czechoslovak Unity in Prague (1896–1914), which would send the Slovaks books and magazines, and even the entire libraries. Cooperation in this area was supported even by T. G. Masaryk, but especially by such Slovakophiles as Rudolf Pokorný, Josef Holeček, Adolf Heyduk, Karel Kálal, Jaroslav Vlček, František Pastrnek and František Bílý.
The article works with sources concerning the history of the library of Bohuslav Dušek (1886–1957), a bank clerk and a collector of books and art. Dušek built his library, comprising more than 3,000 volumes, from the beginning of the 20th century. Despite changing state regimes, he kept it until his death. His second wife, Hermína Dušková (1910–2012), organised the library and donated it in 1977 to the National Museum Library. The personal archival collection of Bohuslav Dušek, deposited in the National Museum Archives, provides as-yet unpublished information on the development of the library and its owners as well as on the process of the handover of this unique collection to the National Museum Library.
The article presents the history of Otto’s publishing house from its establishment in 1871 until the death of its founder, Jan Otto, in 1916 with an emphasis on the formative years of the development of the business (1871, 1883/84, 1899). It deals with the transformation of the company and Otto’s exceptional business success. Otto managed to build the biggest nationally Czech publishing enterprise, characterised by a sophisticated universal editing programme, through which he tried to cover all literary needs of the Czech nation. At the end of Otto’s life, his company stopped expanding and gradually began to stagnate. The lack of a suitable successor in the management of the company and fights over the inheritance eventually led to the fall of this company.
The activities of the Landfras printing works and the associated publishing house are an important part of the history of book culture in the Czech lands in the 19th century and form a significant chapter in the history of book printing and publishing in this period. The focus of the production of the printing works and the publishing house reflected the new needs of literate broad social classes in the 19th century, showing increased interest in the printed word. The company used the modern methods and technologies available, which reduced the price of the final book or other printed materials. For publication, it selected titles whose sales were guaranteed or at least expected. The result was the repeated printing of a number of titles of religious, educational and entertainment literature, which had already been popular in previous centuries, and the development of contemporary titles for the general public from both urban and rural areas. For centuries, great popularity was mainly enjoyed by the titles of religious folk literature (Himmelschlüssel prayer books by the theologian Martin von Cochem and other prayer and devotional books), in which Baroque Catholic piety was reflected until the late 19th century. To the original Himmelschlüssel and other traditional titles, the printing works added titles of its regular authors and their translations of contemporary prayer and religious literature. It complemented the titles of secular entertainment literature (reprints of original works, e.g. Kronika o Štilfridovi [The Chronicle of Štilfríd] or Kronika sedmi mudrců [The Chronicle of the Seven Wise Men]) with translations and original works by Jan Hýbl and Václav Rodomil Kramerius, and it also printed moralising stories by local priests. Educational literature, such as guides for homesteaders, cooks and the like sold also well. A separate activity section comprises the publication and printing of textbooks mostly for local schools. Until the end of the 19th century, they were abundantly complemented by printed broadsides, affordable to every household. A significant chapter of the 19th century was the development of periodicals, which was mirrored in the second half of that century also in newly emerging regional titles, especially in the weekly Ohlas od Nežárky [Echoes from the River Nežárka], which began to be published in 1871.