Frankfurt Book Fair Celebrates 60th Anniversary

New website launched to illustrate the Fair's rich history
The Frankfurt Bookfair, (Frankfurter Buchmesse, in German) will open its doors for the 60th time from 15 to 19 October 2008. Once upon a time with only 200 exclusively German exhibitors, the Fair has increased to over 7,000 exhibitors from 100 countries and has become the world’s largest international Book Fair. What were initially 10,000 exhibited titles have grown to about 400,000. During the upcoming five Book Fair days, the organisers are anticipating over 280,000 visitors – in 1949, there were only 14,000.

The German trade magazine Börsenblatt once described the premiere of the Frankfurt Book Fair in 1949 as a “Prelude to a new phase of the German book trade”. It has become much more than that. Today, the Book Fair is a media event, which successfully manages a balancing act between culture and commerce. But how has the Frankfurt Book Fair developed from a humble book show to a major cultural event on an international scale? How will the sector’s largest get together progress? Let’s have a look at the past – and at the future!

In honour of the anniversary, a special website has been launched. At the history of the Frankfurt Book Fair is revealed from the point of view of its many visitors and exhibitors. Media and history are reflected in the Book Fair’s transformations – the website is a treasure trove of anecdotes, photos, vodcasts and podcasts.

Always looking to the future, the Book Fair is currently conducting a survey about book digitization -- they "want to find out your opinion about how digitization will influence the future of the publishing industry and who will be the driving force behind it. Last year’s survey showed that digitisation was seen as the greatest challenge for the book sector worldwide." Complete the survey here.

The Frankfurt Book Fair also organizes the participation of German publishers at more than 25 international book fairs and is co-founder of the Cape Town Book Fair in South Africa. It maintains the most visited website worldwide for the publishing industry at The Frankfurt Book Fair is a subsidiary of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association.