Jan Otto

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Jan Otto (portrait of Jan Preisler )

Jan Otto (born November 8, 1841 in Primislau , † May 29, 1916 in Prague ) was a Czech publisher .


The eldest child in a soldier's family studied at Ed. Because his parents could not finance him . Gréger took over the printing trade and worked there for over ten years as a clerk and dispatcher. Through his hard work, hard work, but also marriage to the daughter of the wealthy Prague bookseller Jan Pospíšil , he was able to set up his own business. In 1874 he founded a successful bookstore, which was expanded into a publishing house. In 1899 he sold the printing company and founded the Czech graphic company Unie . From the Charles University 's bookstore has been certified to the university bookstore.

In addition to his publishing activities, he also took an active part in social life. Otto was a member of numerous associations. He worked in the Sokol in Prague , in Umělecká beseda , in the committee for the construction of the National Theater . In the commercial bank ( Živnostenská banka ) he was a member of the senior citizens' council and deputy board member. He was active in the city council and the Chamber of Commerce, in the committee for the National Jubilee Exhibition in 1891, in the executive committee for the Ethnographic Exhibition in 1895 ( Národopisná výstava ). In 1912 he was appointed a member of the manor house . He met regularly with leading figures such as Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and Edvard Beneš .

Otto was awarded numerous medals, including the Golden Medal of the City of Prague in 1886, the Knight of the Franz Joseph Order (1891) and the Order of the Iron Crown III. Class in 1898 and with the gold medal at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900 .

He also appeared as a patron , supported local popular education organizations and left memorials, including in Pribislau burial mounds of Jan Žižka .

Published works

The publication of Brehm's animal life was important , but it could not be compared with his life's work Otto's Konversationslexikon ( Ottův slovník naučný ). This lexicon appeared from 1888 to 1909 in a total of 27 volumes. In addition to the extensive version, there was also a paperback edition (1908) and a two-part summary (1905–1906). The work has now also appeared on CD-ROM.


He published books of every genre, starting with undemanding literature such as the Salon Library (Salonní bibliotéka), Russian Library (Ruská knihovna), Library of the Golden City of Prague (Knihovna Zlaté Prahy), Library of Popular Entertainment (Knihovna Besed Lidu), World Library (Světová knihovna) ) and English Library (Anglická knihovna). Edited works by Jaroslav Vrchlický , writings by Adolf Heyduk , collection of world poetry, dramatic works by William Shakespeare , collected works by Alois Jirásek , Karolina Světlá and Jakub Arbes .

Travel reports

Emil Holub , Josef Štolba , František Adolf Šubert , Vojtěch Sláma , Miroslav Rutte , Josef Kořenský , Fridtjof Nansen .

Specialist literature

Philosophy, mathematics, linguistics, encyclopedias, including a collection of lectures and treatises (Sbírka přednášek a rozprav), health encyclopedia (Slovník zdravotní), Lidové rozpravy lékařské (popular disputation on medicine), interpretation of the municipal laws of Josef Schwarz (Vákí obalté) by František Šembera (Dějiny středověké), Slavic Almanac (Sborník slovanský), historical and geographic compilations (Sborník historický a Zeměpisný), Political Library (Politická bibliotéka), collection of political and economic writings, Czechoslovakia, a collection of political and economic writings (Sickodohosp Teaching library (Česká knihovna zábavy a poučení)

Scientific literature

Text and art books

including album by Václav Brožík , Antonín Chittussi , Mikoláš Aleš

Illustrated books

National Theater ( Národní divadlo ), Legend about Saint Prokop by Jaroslav Vrchlický (Vrchlického Legenda o sv. Prokopu), The Holy Scriptures with Illustrations by Gustave Doré (Písmo svaté s illustracemi Doréovými), King Rudolf's journey through Eastern countries (Kralevice zema Rudolfích východních), Bohemian-Slavic folklore exhibition (Národopisná výstava českoslovanská), stories, arabesques and humoresques of Svatopluk Čech (Povídky, arabesk a humoresky Svat. Čecha), as well as the extensive work Bohemia (Čechy).


Golden Prague (Zlatá Praha), Lumír , Illustrated World (Ilustrovaný svět), Světozor , humorous thumbsling (humoristický Paleček), scientific journal Athenaeum, Prague business newspaper (Pražské Hospodářské Noviny), Autonome Rundschau (Samosprávný Obziva., Belebt Obzorliche) Rundschau (Obzor národohospodářský), Budec-Bote (Posel z Budče).


Web links

Commons : Jan Otto  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Otto, Jan . Short biography on the website of the Austrian Parliament , accessed on September 17, 2019