Moscow: Tsentrizdat, 1931. Item #823
30 pp.: ill. 22x15,5 cm. In original wrappers with letterpress design. Near fine.
First and only edition. One of 10 000 copies produced. Extremely rare. Illustrated throughout with the images of typography workers and the process of printing.
Tsentrizdat was the publishing house which full name translates as ‘The central publishing house of the peoples of USSR’, it existed from 1924 to 1931. Based in Moscow it was formed following Lenin’s idea, articulated on Xth party meeting, ‘to help the working masses of the non-Russian nations [i.e. nevelikorusskim narodam] to catch up with the Central Russia, that is ahead]. By 1931 it was printing the periodical and non-periodical editions in 63 different languages, using latin, Cyrillic, Arabic and Chinese scripts.
The printing in national languages was also active in the regions itself, but the Tsentrizdat material was more distinguished by its printing quality. The brochure gives the overview of the work of the publishing house, which became the first and only one, as it was soon closed down. The stats given show the dynamics for 7 years - from 1923 to 1929. All in all in that period over 3000 titles very printed with the total print run of 14 million copies. The largest group printed was propaganda literature, followed by educational material, followed by the agricultural.
The brochure is very important as one of the few sources on the policy and economy of the printing for the ethnical minorities in 1920s. Most of the languages represented have been undergoing some kind of process of reform in 1920s. For example, all of the Turkic languages agreed on the shared Latin script called Janalif. A lot of languages for the smaller ethnical groups was first given the script and the alphabet in early 1920s. Despite the print-runs nowadays the editions by Tsentrizdat are rare. It also has to do with the fact that by Stalin’s decision all of the languages of national minorities had to change to Cyrillic starting 1938.
Overall, very interesting account on the cultural revolution by the intermediary, illustrated by the photographs of printing machines and the workers of the national publishing houses (for example, Buryat-Mongol female printer at work).
Worldcat doesn’t track any copies.
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