Rare Books to Honour the Still Alive - “Festschriften and The Private Library”
By L. D. Mitchell
Memorials are published after the death of an author, artist or scientist. “It is rare that such tributes are composed while an honoree is still alive, though such tributes are not unknown.” “Festschriften” – there is no English or American equivalent for what is meant by the German word – are addressed to famous scientists during their life and career. L. D. Mitchell introduces a field of collecting rare books which are popular in the scholarly world, but nearly unknown to bibliophiles.
“There are, however, books that are deliberately published to honor individuals while they are still alive. And while these books, like those noted above, sometimes contain remembrances of and reminiscences about an honoree, that is not their chief attribute. Their chief attribute is original research published in honor of the dedicatee. These books are collectively known as festschriften.”
“Festschriften are most commonly encountered in academia, where it is considered a great honor to be asked to contribute to such a title, and an even greater honor to be asked to edit the volume.”
“English-language volumes often carry the title Essays Presented to... or Essays in Honor of....”