Festschrift

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A memorial or complimentary publication, usually in the form of a collection of essays or addresses by distinguished persons, issued in honor of a specific and well-known person or society.

It is usually published on the occasion of an anniversary celebration, or to commemorate that person's retirement, birthday, or some other milestone.

It is often a collection of essays by that person's associates and students. The subject of the contributions is usually one in which the individual so honored distinguished himself or herself.

For example:

  • Gram, M. S., & Klemke, E. D. (Eds.). (1974). The ontological turn: Essays in honor of Gustav Bergmann. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.
  • Litz, A. W. (Ed.). (1973). Eliot in his time; essays on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of The waste land. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

In the catalogue of the German Die Deutsche Bibliothek there are approximately 17,300; in the catalogue of Die Deutsche Bücherei approximately 25,000 Festschriften listed.

Cataloging and searching for festschriften can present unique problems. For example, a searcher may only know the name of the person being honored, which is usually not a searchable OPAC field.

The word is German (fest = celebration; schrift = publication).

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