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Reclam Museum opens in Leipzig

Reclam publisher's paperbacks are the symbols of German culture — and they now have their own museum.
Published on 29 Nov. 2018
Reclam Museum Leipzig

Leipzig, Germany (dpa) - German publishing house Reclam - famous for it's "little yellow books" from its so-called Universal Library - has opened a new museum, featuring many treasures including an old edition of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's "Faust."

More than 10,000 books published in the company's houses in Leipzig or Stuttgart are now on display in the museum, which is located in Leipzig, where the publisher was first established in 1828.

"The Reclam publishing house is deeply rooted in the cultural memory of the city of Leipzig," the museum's director, Hans-Jochen Marquardt, said on Monday.

The centrepieces of the exhibition are some of the oldest remaining editions of Reclam's Universal Library, including an edition of Goethe's "Faust: A Tragedy, Part One," which was published on November 10, 1867.

The German classic was however not Reclam's first book in the Universal Library series: in March 1865, Shakespeare's "Romeo and Julie" - according to the title page of that edition - became one of the first to be published by Reclam.

"I am fascinated by the way in which literature was made accessible to most of the population for very little money," Marquardt said about the museum.

Another eye-catching favourite in the exhibition is a recreation of an old vending machine that distributed Reclam books, which is on permanent loan from Reclam's branch in Stuttgart.

The vending machines could be found in train stations and hospitals between 1912 and 1917, where people could choose from 12 different books.

Reclam was founded by Anton Philipp Reclam. After World War II, a branch in West Germany was opened in 1947 in Stuttgart. The publisher's old headquarters in Leipzig were closed in 2006.

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