Library Lingo: Festschrift

October 8, 2009 – 8:37 AM

Festschrift is one of those great German “portmanteau” (or “suitcase”) words.  Fest means “celebration” and schrift is a “written thing,”  and a Festschrift is a publication celebrating something – most often a distinguished senior academic’s birthday (65th, 70th, or older!) or retirement.  Often a Festschrift is an edited book that includes essays by the honoree’s former doctoral students and colleagues on topics that the honoree has spent her career researching.   It may also, very usefully, include a full list of the honoree’s own publications – a great source for bibliography!  The German plural is Festschriften, but you may also see the term Festschrifts.

Most Festchriften can be found in GIL by searching for the name of the honoree as a keyword.  If they are in English, they often have a title beginning with “Essays in Honor of… .”

Cover image for The Changing Worlds of Atlantic Africa, published by the Carolina Academic Press.

Cover image for The Changing Worlds of Atlantic Africa, published by the Carolina Academic Press.

This 2009 Festschrift: The Changing Worlds of Atlantic Africa: Essays in honor of Robin Law (of the University of Stirling (Scotland, UK) Department of History) was published by the Carolina Academic Press and is currently available in the Main Library on the Fourth floor at call number DT475 .C475 2009.

  1. 3 Responses to “Library Lingo: Festschrift”

  2. Thank you for the post called Library Lingo. I really like the explanation you have for today’s term: Festschrift. The explanation is so very clear and the examples given are very pertinent. Is this a regular feature on the Library’s website? I would love it to be a regular thing and I would visit it every day. Kudos to those who came up with this idea and to those who are making it happen. Regards,


    By Tariq Perwez on Oct 8, 2009

  3. Tariq,

    We are trying to make Library Lingo a regular feature on the News & Events part of the library’s website. Please feel free to make any suggestions about terms you’d like to see featured in the future.

    By Amy Watts on Oct 28, 2009

  4. Your Library Lingo: Festschrift is just great! I love the way you wrote it. keep them coming.

    By jane rivera on Oct 29, 2009

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