Back in Germany with Napier’s publishing postgrads

Last week I had the opportunity to fly back home to Germany as part of an exchange of our publishing course at Edinburgh Napier University and the Mainz University. Early this year I already had the chance to meet some of the Mainz students while they were visiting our University. It was great to see them again and get to know each other better.

We arrived late at night on the 1st of May and started on the 2nd of May with a day at the Mainz University. We got the chance to listen to a lot of interesting topics and learn about the German book market, which was also new to me since I studied something different in my undergrad. The day ended with us seeing the Archives of the University and having a get-together with all students and speakers of the day. This obviously included some traditional food for the region, which I have to admit really missed back in Edinburgh.

On our 2nd day we had the pleasure to go to Heidelberg and not only see the beautiful city but also visited the Springer Nature office. The staff was very nice and showed us many presentations about Springer Nature’s history, future visions, and their complex looking production workflow. Thank you so much to Melanie Lehnert, Dr. Niels Peter Thomas, Viktoria Meyer and Renate Bayaz for the amazing time!

Melanie Lehnert, Communications Specialist
Dr. Niels Peter Thomas, Chief Book Strategist at Springer Nature
Dr. Niels Peter Thomas, Chief Book Strategist, Springer Nature
Viktoria Meyer, Team Leader STM Book Production, Springer

Day 3 took us back to Mainz. After visiting the federal state government we had a wonderful sightseeing tour throughout the city which one of the German students Maike Malzahn organized. 

Of course, we couldn’t resist hopping in the Gutenberg museum and see the highly protected Gutenberg Bibles and other amazing books from the past.


Our final stop was at the music publisher Schott Music. We were lucky to see the Wagner room and many first prints of Mozart and Beethoven. As I used to play the piano when I was younger I was amazed by their evolving techniques to print sheet music. They were so welcoming and even put us (the Edinburgh Napier postgrads) up on their welcome board next to their important artists who visited for that day.

Our trip ended with all of us – the German students included – meeting up in a traditional German pub the ‘Eisgrub Bräu’ in the evening. I had a really fun time and enjoyed every part of this trip. Thank you so much to all the students and teachers from Napier and Mainz for making this exchange so amazing!

I had a really fun time and enjoyed every part of this trip. Thank you so much to all the students and teachers from Napier and Mainz for making this exchange so amazing!




RSE Award

The Royal Society of Edinburgh has awarded a Caledonian Research Foundation Visiting Research Fellowship to the Scottish Centre for the Book (SCOB) based at Edinburgh Napier University.

The Fellowship will support the visit by Professor Christoph Bläsi from Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, to the Centre in May and June 2014. During that period, Professor Bläsi will be working with Derek Allan and Professor Alistair McCleery on new business models for e-publishing, the subject of his recent report to the European Booksellers Association. He will also be speaking at a symposium on e-publishing for Scottish publishers sponsored by SCOB.

Professor McCleery commented: “This award from the RSE represents another recognition of the quality of the work on publishing being carried out at Edinburgh Napier that has already attracted key support from the AHRC, the ESRC, the British Academy and the Carnegie Trust.”

SCOB recently received funding from Skillset Scotland to develop its first online module in e-publishing as part of its CPD provision.

Professor Bläsi will be the fourth Visiting Professor within SCOB this academic year: he follows Professor Shen Min from Hang Zhou University in China and Professor Iain Stevenson from University College London who is spending his AHRC research leave with SCOB; and Professor Shef Rogers from the University of Otago will be coming to the University in August.