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Entries / Publishing houses (entry)

Publishing houses (entry)

Categories / Literature. Book Publishing/Publishing Houses

PUBLISHING HOUSES. Publishing in St. Petersburg dates back to 1711, when Tsar Peter the Great ordered the St. Petersburg Printing House to be established. The first printed matter issued in St. Petersburg was Vedomosti newspaper. From 1713 the total of published books had been largely made up of those translated from European languages. By 1725 several printing houses had been established in St. Petersburg - attached to the Senate, Alexander Nevsky Monastery, and the Naval Academy. In 1727 the Academic Printing House was set up; from the mid-1750s state printing houses were associated with various educational institutions and public establishments. The first private printing houses started to appear in the early 1770s, their increase in number was favoured by the Decree of Empress Catherine II "On Private Printing Houses" (1783). The second half of the 18th century saw the advent of publishers in the modern sense of the word, who distributed their orders to various printing houses and pursued a definite publishing programme. In the 1770s large-scale publishing activity in St. Petersburg was carried out by N.I. Novikov; a noticeable mark in the publishing of the late 18th century was made by P.I. Bogdanovich, I.G. Rakhmaninov, V.G. Ruban et al. Krylov and Co Printing House (1791-94) published nearly 20 book titles in two and a half years. In St. Petersburg, the 1810s were the starting point for the development of market trade of books issued by St. Petersburg publishers. The major publishing houses for non-specialised literature of the first half of the 19th century were V.A. Plavilschikov's company, the Glazunovs' company, and A.F. Smirdin's company. A.A. Pluchart's publishing house specialised in the issue of luxuriously illustrated editions. The 1840s was the time of intense publishing activity for M.D. Olkhin and Y.A. Isakov, the same was true for A.F. Bazunov in the 1860s. In the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century the largest universal publishing houses were those of M.M. Stasyulevich (functioned in 1866-1908), M.O. Wolf's company, A.F. Marx' company, A.S. Suvorin's company, all of them catering for mass-readership. At the same time some specialized publishing houses appeared in St. Petersburg, which issued scientific, engineering, popular scientific and educational matter. The best known among them were the following publishing houses: K.L. Rikker's Practical Medicine (functioned in 1861-1919), which published medical literature and literature on natural science; A.F. Devrien's publishing house (functioned in 1872-1917), which published books on agriculture, natural science and geography; V.A. Berezovsky's publishing house (functioned in 1879-1918), which published military literature. The production of A.A. Ilyin's Mapping Establishment which worked in 1859-1918 was also highly rated. Expensive gift editions were issued by E.A. Granstrem whose company was active in 1881-1916. In the late 19th century and early 20th century Brokgauz-Efron joint-stock company published Encyclopaedic Dictionary, while Prosveschenie publishing house issued Comprehensive Encyclopaedia. The large-scale activity of P.P. Soykin's publishing house and F.F. Pavlenkov's publishing house was directed towards various educational aims. The publishing activity of L.F. Panteleev, M.A. Malykh, O.N. Popova, M.I. Vodovozova et al. was mostly concentrated on social and political issues. A special niche in the publishing of the early 20th century was occupied by Knowledge publishing house whose editions enjoyed wide popularity. M. Gorky who split with Knowledge in 1913 tried to revive its democratic traditions with Sail publishing house (1915-18). The publishing house of the St. Eugenia Community (1896-1920) pursued various charitable ends. The latest literary Art Nouveau trends were embodied in the activity of Ory publishing house (1906-13), Sirin publishing house (1912-14), Pantheon publishing house (1907-12), Brier publishing house, Hyperborean Publishing House etc. A wide educational programme was fulfilled in 1911-22 by Lights publishing house. In 1910, 555 newspapers and journals were registered in St. Petersburg, which exceeded the same figure for Moscow by almost twice. In 1913, over 7,800 books were published in St. Petersburg with the total circulation of 31.8 million copies; altogether, every fourth book in the country was published in St. Petersburg. After October 1917, the number of publishing houses dramatically declined, and was then followed by a significant rise owing to the opening of new state, co-operative and private publishing houses (the latter were especially in the years of NEP). In 1918 Gorky initiated the establishment of the World of Literature publishing house, aimed at the publication of the world classical literature. Surf publishing house was re-established in 1922 and for a while was one of the largest in the country; regarding the scope of its work, it was second only to Gosizdat (the State Publishing House). The publishing policy of the new Government was put into practice by Literary and Publishing Department of People's Commissariat for Education (1917-19), the Publishing House of the Petrograd Soviet (1917-19), and Petrogosizdat (Petrograd State Publishing House) (1919-24; renamed Lengiz in 1924-30). Lenoblizdat, established in 1930 (called Leningrad State Publishing House from 1938), is still one of the largest publishing houses in St. Petersburg. Among the numerous co-operative and private publishing companies of the late 1910s - 1920s, the most notable were Co-operation publishing house (1917-27), which specialised in the issue of social and economic literature; Ear publishing house (1918-25), which published books on sociology, historical literature and memoirs; Science and School publishing house (1918-29), which published scientific and educational literature both of a technical and a humanitarian character; Petropolis publishing house (1918-23), which issued works of contemporary poets, literature and drama studies; Aquilon publishing house (1921-24), whose editions were remarkable for the high level of their artistic design and polygraphy; symbolist Alkonost publishing house; the first Soviet children's publishing house Rainbow etc. The work of Academia publishing house came to be a prominent event in the history of publishing in Leningrad. In the 1930s, some departments of central Moscow publishing houses were opened in Leningrad (they amounted to 32 in 1940). They included the Soviet Writer publishing house (based on the Publishing House of Leningrad Writers which existed in 1927-34), Children's Literature, Science, Teaching Publishing House (from 1931, called Enlightenment from 1964), Art (from 1938, among other things, it was well-known for its editions on art history, dedicated to Leningrad - St. Petersburg), State Publishing House for Fiction (from 1930, called Literary Art from 1963) etc. The city contained two central publishing houses also, Military-Naval Publishing and Hydrometeor Publishing House (established in 1934). In the 1960-80s, Leningrad was one of the largest centres of publishing and polygraphy in the USSR. Central publishing houses functioned, such as Leningrad Publishing House, Aurora, Hydrometeor, Shipconstruction; it also contained several other publishing houses, for example, the Publishing House of Leningrad State University, Artist of RSFSR, and the editing and publishing department of Leningrad Organization of Knowledge RSFSR company. Leningrad also had 17 departments of central and independent publishing houses. In total they published over 60 million copies a year. The city possessed a widely developed network of editing and publishing departments of higher educational institutions, scientific research institutes, scientific development and production associations and other organizations. Meanwhile literature was also distributed by samizdat (the underground press) which operated illegally and was not subject to censorship. In the 1990s publishing in St. Petersburg sustained serious structural changes: thus, a large number of private publishing houses appeared, while their distribution experienced significant transformations under tough competition and difficult economic situation. In 2003 St. Petersburg was second to none but Moscow in the country considering the bulk of publishing production which totalled less than 10% of all Russian publications. Altogether, almost 300 private and state publishing houses function in the city; they include Aurora, Alphabet, Academic Project, Aleteya - St. Petersburg, Amphora, All Publishing House, Dmitry Bulanin, Zlatoust, Ivan Limbakh's Publishing, St. Petersburg State University Publishing House, Art - St. Petersburg, Composer - St. Petersburg, Culture-Information-Press, Doe, Leningrad, Image of Russia, Limbus Press, Children's-Liceum Press, Letter Publishing house, Logos, St. Petersburg Science, Neva, Parity, Petersburg Oriental Studies, Poligon, Piter, Symposium, Slavia, Special Literature, Construction Press etc. In 2000 St. Petersburg publishing houses issued 2534 book titles with the circulation of over 22.9 million copies. See also Publishing, Printing Houses.

References: Книжное дело Петербурга - Петрограда - Ленинграда. Л., 1981; Баренбаум И. Е. Книжный Петербург: Три века истории: Очерки изд. дела и книжной торговли. СПб., 2003.

D. N. Akhapkin.

Bazunov Alexander Fedorovich
Berezovsky Vladimir Antonovich
Bogdanovich Peter Ivanovich
Catherine II, Empress
Devrien Alfred Fedorovich
Gorky Maxim (Alexey Maximovich Peshkov)
Granstrem E.A.
Ilyin Alexey Afinogenovich
Isakov Yakov Alexeevich
Malykh Maria Alexandrovna
Marx Adolf Fedorovich
Novikov Nikolay Ivanovich
Olkhin Matvey Dmitrievich
Panteleev Longin Fedorovich
Pavlenkov Florenty Fedorovich
Peter I, Emperor
Plavilshchikov Vasily Alexeevich
Pluchart Adolf Alexandrovich
Popova Olga Nikolaevna
Rachmaninov Ivan Gerasimovich
Rikker Karl Leopoldovich
Ruban Vasily Grigorievich
Smirdin Alexander Filippovich
Soykin Peter Petrovich
Stasyulevich Mikhail Matveevich
Suvorin Alexey Sergeevich
the Glazunovs
Vodovozova Elizaveta Nikolaevna
Wolf Mavriky Osipovich

Книжное дело Петербурга - Петрограда - Ленинграда. Л., 1981
Лавров Н. П. Книжный мир Ленинграда: Крат. справ. читателя. Л., 1985
Баренбаум И. Е. Книжный Петербург: Три века истории: Очерки изд. дела и кн. торговли. СПб., 2003

The subject Index
Alexander Nevsky Lavra
Admiral Makarov Sea Academy
Academic Printing House (see Science, Printing House)
Brokgauz-Efron, publishing house, 1889-1930
Enlightenment, publishing house, 1896-1922
Giperborey (Hyperborean), publishing house and journal, 1914-18
Lights, the Publishing House, 1909-1922
World of Literature, publishing house, 1918-1924
Surf, the Publishing House, 1913, 1922
Alkonost, publishing house, 1918-1923
Rainbow Publishing House, 1922-1930
Academia, publishing house, 1921-1937
Soviet Writer, the Leningrad Department of the Publishing House
Children's Literature, the Leningrad Department of the Publishing House
Science, publishing house
Aurora, publishing house, from 1969
Publishing (general article)
Printing Houses (entry)