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Schaubücher was the brand name of a series of photo books that was published between 1929 and 1932 by Orell Füssli Verlag, Switzerland .

The editor of the series and also the editor of some volumes was Emil Schaeffer . The trained art historian Schaeffer designed a book series that, with the increased possibilities of photography and reproduction technology, wanted to serve the changed reading behavior and buying behavior of an audience that, according to a publisher's brochure, has to be tight with seconds, has no more time to study learned readers and therefore quickly , but still want to be taught well . The focus of the volumes should be instruction and eye candy with excellent photographs. In terms of content, in contrast to the series Die Blauen Bücher published by Langewiesche since 1912, the books at Orell Füssli should have a distinct reference to the present. Six themes were identified when planning the series: culture and society; Art, film and theater; Technology and architecture; Sport and physical culture; Man and race; Nature and research, the size and external design should be uniform, the subject groups were given a color code on the spine of the book.

The graphic artist Willy Burger was (probably) won as a book designer . The volumes are in half-linen, the book cover is illustrated with photos, the back cover is covered with gray-brown paper. The colored linen spine bore information about the author and the short title and the serial abbreviation SB and the volume number on the base . Some volumes differed in format. The volumes were covered with a transparent cellophane envelope when they were sold. The first edition of the volumes is not known; it is assumed to be between 6,000 and 12,000. Few volumes received a (identifiable) reprint. The unit price was 3 francs, or 2.40 Reichsmarks or 4.30 shillings.

The volumes had a text section between 16 and 24 pages and a photo section with 56 to 90 illustrations with explanations. The explanations of the pictures were sometimes written by different authors than the texts. In the majority of the volumes, the photos are not from a single photographer, but the publisher provided the photos from photographers, archives and agencies on a topic-related basis.

The publisher was able to license volumes 6, 17, 28, 30, 31 and 33, they were published in the English version by Routledge under the series title Seen by the Camera .

The effects of the global economic crisis led Orell Füssli-Verlag to discontinue the series, the publisher Zutt was dismissed, the publisher Schaeffer returned to Germany. The remainders were halved prices sold off .

At the same time as the start of the Schaubücher series , Orell-Füssli-Verlag began the What Jungens Tell series , in which fifteen volumes were published by 1933 that were written by young authors and photographers and aimed at a young readership. The first volumes were translated licensed editions from the American.


SB 2 The Russian Revolutionary Film (1929)
in SB2:
Jakow Alexandrowitsch Protasanow : The Forty- First (1927)
SB 14 Liberated Housing (1929)
SB 43 The Reichstag meets (1931)
1 The daily work of a Pope . 84 images, initiated by PM War. 1929
2 The Russian revolutionary film . 67 pictures, introduced by AW Lunatscharsky , to the pictures of Leo Hirsch
3 Technical beauty . 64 pictures, introduced and explained by Hanns Günther : Photo u. a. W. Roerts, EO Hoppe and Albert Renger-Patzsch . 1929
4 Olympic winter sports . 68 images, introduced by Carl Joseph Luther . 1929
5 women of the Orient . 64 pictures, introduced by Ewald Banse . 1929
6 The beautiful animal . 64 pictures, introduced and explained by Friedrich Schnack . With recordings by Hedda Walther . 1929
7 At the courts of the Maharajas . 64 pictures, taken and explained by Alice Schalk . 1929
8 Old Masters from the Basel Art Collection . 70 pictures, introduced, explained by HA Schmid . 1930
9 New ways in hotel construction, Hotel Alpina and Hotel Edelweiß Murren, project and construction management Arnold Itten . 57 pictures, introduced and explained by Walter Amstutz . 1929
10 Football, the world sport . 69 images, introduced by Willy Meisl . 1930
11 hands and what they say . 64 pictures, introduced and explained by Adolf Koelsch . 1929
12 The Lüneburg Heath . 64 pictures, introduced by Emil Schaeffer . 1929
13 Holy Places in the Bible . 62 pictures, introduced by Theodor Däubler , explained by Alb. Gsell. 1929
14 Liberated living . 85 pictures, explained by Siegfried Giedion . 1929
15 giant buildings in North America . 64 images, introduced and explained by Frank Washburn. 1930
17 Negro types from the black continent . 65 pictures, introduced by M.Gehrts Schomburgk . 1930
18 contemporary dancers . 57 pictures, explained by Fred Hildenbrandt . 1931
19 Sun, moon and the planets . 70 pictures, introduced and explained by Peter Stuker. 1931
20 Attic places of worship . 56 pictures, introduced by Emil Waldmann , explained by Walter Hege and Emil Schaeffer. 1931
21 Gottfried Keller's living space . 75 pictures, introduced by Eduard Korrodi . 1930
23 The last face . 76 pictures, introduced by Egon Friedell . 1929
24 Franz Schubert and his group . 68 images, introduced by Felix von Weingartner . 1929
25 dog breeds - pedigree dogs . 89 pictures, introduced by (Theodor) Knottnerus-Meyer. 1929
26 “Weekend” - and what you need for it . 71 pictures, introduced and explained by Adolf Behne . 1931
27 A ghetto in the east, Vilna . 65 pictures by M. Vorobeichic , introduced by Salman Chneour. 1931 (The Schaubuch was available in three different editions; German / Hebrew, German / Yiddish and English / Hebrew. A reprint of the German / Hebrew edition was published by Frölich & Kaufman in 1984).
28 From China and Chinese . 64 pictures and text by Heinz von Perckhammer . 1931
29 Nias, the island of idols - pictures from the western island of the island . 66 pictures, introduced by Paul Wirz . 1931
30 The face of the beast . 65 pictures, introduced and explained by Adolf Koelsch . 1931
31 The male body . 59 pictures, introduced by Emil Schaeffer , explained by Eugen Matthias. 1931
32 Goethe and the Goethe sites . 88 pictures, introduced by Rudolf Pechel . 1931
33 Hollywood the way it really is . 61 pictures, introduced and explained by Erwin Debries. 1930
36 Over Switzerland in a zeppelin . 55 pictures, introduced by Hans von Schiller , pictures by Ernst Erwin Haberkorn. 1930
37 Richard Wagner and Bayreuth . 84 images, introduced by Oscar Bie . 1931
38 Davos - the sunny city in the high mountains . 82 pictures, introduced by Kasimir Edschmid . 1931
39 Illuminated bodies . 81 pictures, introduced and explained by Karl Döhmann . 1931
40 The Rhine from the Alps to the sea . 67 pictures, introduced by Hermann von Wedderkop , explained by Emil Schaeffer . 1931
41 Do X - the largest flying ship in the world . 73 pictures, introduced by Claudius Dornier , explained by Erich Tilgenkamp. 1931
43 The Reichstag meets . 72 images, introduced by Paul Kirschner. 1931
did not show up

Nine titles were planned by the publisher and announced with an issue number.

16 The design language of plants
20 Technical highlights
22 The face of the flowers
34 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
34 The Witteisbachers
35 The ocean ship - shape and purpose
38 Three great film comedians
39 Oberammergau and its Passion Play
42 Istanbul - Constantinople, then and now


  • Stefan Kern: The Schaubücher: a series of books by Orell Füssli Verlag: Zurich . In: Librarium. Journal of the Swiss Bibliophile Society, 39 (1996), Issue 1. pp. 59–66 PDF
  • Timm Starl: "Look books" A picture book series 1929-1932 , in: photo story , issue 61, 1996, pp 47-58
  • Roland Jaeger: In contrast to the reader. The “Schaubücher” series from Orell Füssli Verlag, Zurich . In: Manfred Heiting, Roland Jaeger (Hrsg.): Autopsy. German-language photo books 1918 to 1945. Volume 1 . Steidl, Göttingen 2012, ISBN 978-3-86930-412-0 , pp. 314–331

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The presentation is based on Roland Jaeger: Contrary to the reading book , 2012
  2. ^ Publishing prospectus, quoted by Timm Starl: "Schaubücher" , 1996, p. 47
  3. Hans-Peter Wittwer: Burger, Willy. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  4. ^ Roland Jaeger: Pictures for young and old. Children in photo books and photos in children's books . In: Manfred Heiting, Roland Jaeger (Hrsg.): Autopsy. German-language photo books 1918 to 1945. Volume 1. Steidl, Göttingen 2012, ISBN 978-3-86930-412-0 , pp. 364–381, here p. 374