For the third issue of the journal Lingua Franca: The History of the Book in Translation, which has grown out of the SHARP translations project, the editors have chosen to translate a selection of articles by the leading French book historian Jean-Yves Mollier. Jean-Yves marked his retirement at the 2016 SHARP conference in Paris on Languages of the Book. It thus seemed a fitting tribute to honor his career and his dedication to furthering the cause of Book History internationally, particularly in South America, with a special issue showcasing his research for an English-speaking audience. Jean-Yves has for decades been a leading figure in French Book History, supervising dozens of dissertations and publishing a number of seminal works exploring the French publishing scene from the eighteenth century to the present day. However, little of his work has been made available in English to date.

The first three articles, based on presentations at the panel “Jean-Yves Mollier and the History of Modern French Publishing: A Critical Appreciation” at the Paris conference, offer insights into particular aspects of his intellectual legacy. While our editorial practice in the first two issues was to provide a brief introduction to each article, for this issue, these three articles are intended to serve as a critical introduction to Jean-Yves’s work as a whole. The five other articles have been selected for translation by Jean-Yves himself as representative of his research activity over the decades. They are presented in roughly chronological order of subject and thematically from general surveys of the publishing field to more detailed investigations of a specific sector of it.

More broadly, as interest in the crossover between Book History and Translation Studies grows, with a number of recent conferences and calls for papers highlighting the synergies between the two fields, Lingua Franca: The History of the Book in Translation is proving a timely venture indeed. Next year’s issue, currently in the planning stage, will focus on the development of Book History in South America and Eastern and Central Europe. This collection will be partly based on a selection of papers delivered to the special seminar sponsored by the Delmas Foundation at the SHARP conference in Paris in 2016. The editors’ wish list for the future includes issues with a regional focus on the Hispanic world, Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent, and a thematic focus on manuscript studies and the medieval book.

The new journal’s aims and scope can be found here. We particularly thank the thirteen scholars from around the world, representing some dozen languages, who have generously agreed to support the new venture by joining our editorial board. Our thanks also to the original publishers of each article for permission to translate (details are given in each article), and to our translation and copy-editing team, Nancy Burgess, Clare Ferguson, Linda Gardiner, Charles Penwarden, and Christine Shultz-Touge (editors Martyn Lyons and Susan Pickford also provided translations).

As always, we invite SHARPists to send us nominations for articles and ideas for special issues, and we always welcome expressions of interest from members with language skills, particularly outside the major Western European languages.

Emeritus Professor Martyn Lyons
Sharp Executive Member-at-Large,
University of New South Wales,

Susan Pickford
Chair of the SHARP translation committee, 2013
Université Paris-Sorbonne,


  1. Martyn Lyons – Jean-Yves Mollier and the legacy of Lucien Febvre in the history of nineteenth-century French publishing
  2. Patricia Sorel – The world of twentieth-century French publishing analyzed in all its dimensions
  3. François Vallotton – Transnational book history, or the journey of a teacher, researcher and “ambassador”
  4. Jean-Yves Mollier – Publishing in the Nineteenth Century
  5. Jean-Yves Mollier – A silent cultural revolution in Belle Époque France
  6. Jean-Yves Mollier – Staging literature in the Belle Époque
  7. Jean-Yves Mollier – The School Textbook and the People’s Library
  8. Jean-Yves Mollier – Women authors and their publishers in nineteenth-century France
  9. Jean-Yves Mollier – Paris as a publishing capital for foreign authors