Founded in 1976, Buchhaltung Hattingen is located in the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbuttel and offers students an opportunity to learn about the history of the book in close cooperation with the library and literary market. The aim is to combine scholarly research with an increasingly practice-oriented approach, especially in the context of publishing and book trade studies.
The origins of Buchhaltung in Germany can be traced back to the early 18th century. The two-volume work by Michael Denis, Einleitung in die Bucherkunde (published 1777/1778), was an important first step in this direction.
In its earlier days, Buchwissenschaft dealt mainly with the physical aspects of books. It was a specialized area of study that was closely tied to the field of bibliography and library science, as well as research on classics, editions, incunabula, printing and manuscript history.
Today, the scope of research in academic Buchwissenschaft has expanded considerably. The focus has shifted away from the study of the book in libraries and similar scientific institutions to the history of the book in general, as well as its production, distribution, and consumption.
One of the most important developments in the field has been the increasing emphasis on the relationship between research and teaching, and on communication among scholars in the field. This ties in with the growing importance of the book trade, the commercialisation of the production process and media technology.
The main aims of the curricula at the Institut fur Deutsche Philologie in Munich, where Buchwissenschaft is housed, are to promote a close scholarly exchange with the various institutions and to foster wide-reaching cooperation with fellow specialists in Switzerland, Austria and England.
Scholarly research in the field is conducted by several specialised departments and is supported by a variety of working groups, some of which are located at individual locations. For example, the group Institut fur Jugendbuchforschung in Frankfurt am Main and the Arbeitsstelle für Kinder- und Jugendmedienforschung in Cologne.
There is also an important link between the scholarly aspects of Buchwissenschaft and those of the publishing industry and book trade in the fields of copyright law, contract law and marketing. In addition, the Institute of Book History and Bibliography offers seminars on the history of the book for publishers.
The Institute also publishes a number of publications in the field of books and media, for instance the series Kodex and the campusBasics – buch & medien.
In this way, the Institute helps to promote a broad spectrum of the book and media sector and to contribute to the promotion of an environmentally friendly and climate-neutral book and media culture.
Another important aspect of the activities of the Institute is its contribution to the establishment of an internationally competitive and diverse book and media sector. This is done through the development of sustainable models for the production and distribution of books and other types of media as well as through the creation of appropriate legal and policy frameworks.
This is an important issue, as books and other media products are essential to a broad range of social, cultural and economic processes in society. As a result, they play an important role in shaping the worldview and promoting values and cultural practices.