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French Prize for Bibliography and Book History awarded by SLAM to Guillaume Berthon

The "SLAM Prize for Bibliography and Book History" rewards French-speaking works on the history of printing, the history of ancient and modern books, the history of publishing, book illustration, bookbinding, libraries and bibliophily. It is the only French-speaking prize dedicated to these fields.

The prize is awarded every two years (biennial) to two works (a "First Prize" endowed with 1500 euros and an "Honorary Prize") by the Syndicat National de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne, SLAM.

This year's 21st edition of the Prize, was initially planned to take place in 2020 but had to be postponed due to the pandemic in 2020.

The prize was awarded on Saturday 25 September 2021 covering works published in 2018 and 2019.

Exceptionally, and in order to make up for this delay, a new session concerning works published in 2020 and 2021 will be organised next year during the 2022 edition of the Paris Rare Book Fair. Thereafter, SLAM will return to the biennial periodicity.

The 2021 first prize was awarded unanimously, a fact rare enough to be mentioned, to Guillaume Berthon's work, "Bibliographie critique des éditions de Clément Marot", published in Geneva by Droz in 2019.

"The result of ten years' work, this critical bibliography offers the reader a guided tour of the Marotic publishing maze, completed by a detailed description of all the editions published during the poet's lifetime and just after his death (until 1550)" (Editor's note).

"In my opinion, this is a masterpiece, the ideal of what bibliographic work can aim at..." (Jean-Marc Chatelain, director of the BnF's rare book reserve and member of the jury).

Honorary prizes were awarded by 5 votes to Mrs Linda Gil, for "L'Édition Kehl de Voltaire" published in Paris by Champion in 2018, against 3 votes to Renaud Adam, "Vivre et imprimer dans les Pays-Bas méridionaux", published in Turnhout by Brepols in 2018.

This is the first major work on the subject, with a scholarship and precision that will become a milestone, and it deals with the famous "Kehl" edition of Voltaire's works (70 volumes for the in-8° edition), produced in secret under the patronage of Beaumarchais and Condorcet between 1785 and 1790.

The author of this essay, Linda Gil, gives us the result of a literary and historical investigation based on largely unpublished archives drawn from European funds.

The book is a history of the book, of editorial production and of the reception of Voltaire's work. It also deals with the diffusion of the Enlightenment at a key moment in European cultural history.

To enquire about future SLAM Prizes and for more information on this remarkable award, please contact the SLAM Prize Secretary, Mr. Patrick Hatchuel via the SLAM Secretariat.

Caption of the image above:
From left to right: Nadine Ferey (Conservatrice du fonds ancien de la Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal), Jean-Marc Dechand (SLAM), Patrick Hatchuel (SLAM, président du jury), Jean-Marc Chatelain (Directeur de la réserve des livres rares, BnF), Henri Bonnefoi (SLAM), Linda Gil, Guillaume Berthon (Prix d’honneur et lauréat 2021) Benoît Forgeot (SLAM), Hervé Valentin (SLAM), Emmanuel Pierrat. Excusés : Yann Sordet (Conservateur général de la Bibliothèque Mazarine), George Vigarello.