Institut für Buchwissenschaft Erlangen
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen/Nürnberg
Navigation ein- und ausschalten


Prof. Dr. Ursula Rautenberg

Full Professor

Katholischer Kirchenplatz 9, Raum 0.017

Phone: 0049 9131 85-23195
Fax: 0049 9131 85-24727


Ursula Rautenberg built the program for book history and publishing studies in Erlangen into one of the largest (as measured by the number of students and personnel) and most prominent university programs of its kind. Her most important areas of research are early printing (development of the title page; book design, typography and reading) as well as the mediality and communicative function of the book in both past and present. She has devoted particular attention to the publication of definitive reference works for the field of book history and publishing studies, for example reference dictionaries such as »Reclams Sachlexikon des Buches« (2003; revised edition 2015); and handbooks including »Buchwissenschaft in Deutschland. Ein Handbuch« (2010) as well as »Lesen. Ein Handbuch« (with Ute Schneider, 2015). As part of DFG funded research projects from 2006 to 2012, she oversaw the establishment and content creation for the publishing-related portions of an information portal for library, publishing, and information science. Ursula Rautenberg studied German literature, comparative literature and philosophy at the Ruhr University Bochum and was a fellow of the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes). During her time as an assistant to the chair of Prof. Dr. Siegfried Grosse, she was a guest instructor for six months at Waikato University in New Zealand (1987) and taught for a half year at Tongji University in Shanghai (1988), which formed the roots for the enduring and multi-faceted contacts with China enjoyed by the Erlangen program for publishing studies and a continuing focus of its curriculum. Following her habilitation in Bochum that saw publication of her book on the cultural tradition and publication history of saints’ lives in Cologne, »Überlieferung und Druck. Heiligenlegenden in Kölner Offizinen« (1989), she held a leading position from 1990 to 1994 at the then newly founded Otto Schäfer Library in Schweinfurt. She guided the transition of the world renowned bibliophile collection of illustrated books of the fifteenth through twentieth centuries into a research library and museum, and initiated several museum displays. Following visiting academic appointments in Essen and Heidelberg, she accepted the offer of a professorship for book history and publication studies at the FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg in 1997, which has been an academic chair since 2010. She has in addition held guest appointments at the Institute for Media and Communications Management (University of St. Gallen, 2010) and on several occasions at Tongji University in Shanghai. She is a frequent participant in the international scholarly community through lectures and conference presentations both in Europe and in China and Brazil.

At the institute responsible for

Head of Chair for Book Studies | Member of the Collegial leadership of the Institute for Book Studies | editor of »Jahresbericht der Erlanger Buchwissenschaft« | editor of the series »Alles Buch. Studien der Erlanger Buchwissenschaft«

Involvements at the FAU

Member of the allocation committee of the German Dr. Schweiger Foundation | Member of the Library Committee of the University Library of Erlangen-Nuremberg (since 2013)


Honorary Researcher des »Chinese Institute of Publishing Science« (CIPS) in Peking (2008)

Publications and Speeches

Rautenberg, Ursula: What can German readers learn about China? Literature from and about China on the German book market. Information Management School / Publishing Science Department der Wuhan University, Wuhan, 17.10.2018.

Rautenberg, Ursula: Top ten, highbrow and lowbrow: on the different audiences of individual and complete editions. A case study of Sigmund Feyerabend’s publishing strategy. The European dimensions of popular print culture, Universität Utrecht, 08.06.2018.

Rautenberg, Ursula/Schlusemann, Rita: German prose romances (»Prosaromane«): From »joyous and profitable« literature in the late Middle Ages to censored chapbooks. Crossing borders, crossing cultures. Popular print in Europe (1450-1900), EDPOP (The European Dimensions of Popular Print Culture), Trient, 16.06.2017.

Rautenberg, Ursula: »Last Words on the History of the Title Page«: Research on the Origin and Development of the Title Page from Alfred W. Pollard to Today. IMAGO LIBRORUM. Mille anni di forme del libro in Europa, Rovereto, 26.05.2017.

Rautenberg, Ursula: The Title-Pages from the Printing Shop of Aldus Manutius (1495-1515). In: Infelise, Mario (Ed.): Aldo Manuzio. La costruzione del mito, Venezia 2016, p. 163-181.

Rautenberg, Ursula: Aldine title-pages. Design and function. ›Aldus Manutius and the Making of the Myth‹, Università Ca‘ Foscari, Venedig, 27.02.2015.

Rautenberg, Ursula/Engl, Elisabeth/Qiu, Ruijing: 德国图书市场上的中国形象——与中国相关的德语出版物研究. In: Publishing Science. Wuhan 23 (2015) No. 5, p. 81–86. Download der Datei (PDF)

Rautenberg, Ursula: New books for a new reading public: Frankfurt “Melusine” editions from the press of Gülfferich, Han and heirs. In: Kirwan, Richard; Mullins, Sophie (Ed.): Specialist markets in the Early Modern book world (Library of the written world. The handpress world 40), Leiden 2015, p. 85–109.

Rautenberg, Ursula: The incunable title page in the Netherlands. ›The Changing Face of European Narratives in the Early Period of Print‹, Universität Antwerpen, Belgien, 16./17.09.2014.

Rautenberg, Ursula: Editoria e ricerca in Germania. Sviluppo e interdipendenze di una relazione complessa. Traduzione di Alessandro Italia. C.R.E.L.E.B. Università Cattolica, Milano/Edizioni CUSL. In: Minima Bibliographica. (2014) No. 17, p. 3–20.

Rautenberg, Ursula: Academic book trade in Germany: Past and Present. ›4th International Conference on Publishing Industry and Publishing Education in the Digital Era‹, Wuhan, China, 22.11.2013.

Rautenberg, Ursula: ›Melusine‹ editions (1473/74–1491) and their readers. New findings from the interdisciplinary cooperation of three disciplines: Book History, Language History and Art History. ›Incunabula. Printing, Trading, Collecting, Cataloguing (PRIN 2009 »Incunaboli lombardi: storia e catalogazione«)‹, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Mailand, 12.09.2013.

Rautenberg, Ursula: A Bela Melusina. In: Livro. Revista do Núcleo de Estudos do Livro ed da Edição. (2013) No. 3, p. 25-40.

Rautenberg, Ursula: Book trade and science in Germany. Development and interdependencies of a difficult relationship. ›Simpósio Internacional Livros e Universidade‹, University of Sao Paolo, Brasilien, 08.11.2012.

Rautenberg, Ursula: The story of the fair Melusine. Printing, publishing and selling popular books in the early modern period. ›Des livres pour tous: textes populaires et imprimés de grande Diffusion‹, Metropolitanbibliothek Bukarest, Rumänien/Mamaia, 24.09.2012.

Rautenberg, Ursula: The printing and publishing house of Gülfferich/Han and heirs in Frankfurt. Producing and selling popular literature for a specialized market in the 2nd half of the sixteenth century. ›Specialist markets in the early modern book world. The fourth annual St. Andrews book history conference‹, St. Andrews, Schottland, 28.06.2012.

Rautenberg, Ursula: Digital Reading in Germany. Universität Nanjing, VR China, 05.04.2012.

Rautenberg, Ursula: De Guo Dian Zi Shu Yu Dian Zi Shu Yue Du Qi De Xian Zhuang Ji Wei Lai Fa Zhan. In: Publishing Science. 19 (2011) No. 1, p. 415–479.

Rautenberg, Ursula: E-books and e-readers on the German book market – current state and future developments. ›3rd International conference on publishing industry and publishing education in the digital age‹, Wuhan, VR China, 19.10.2010.

Rautenberg, Ursula/Jörg, Ulrich (Ed.): Han yi de guo chu ban ci dian. Beijing 2009.

Emrich, Kerstin/Rautenberg, Ursula: De guo chu ban ye fa zhan bao gao. In: International Publishing Blue Book 2008, Beijing 2009, p. 217–282.

Rautenberg, Ursula: De Guo Dian Zi Chu Ban Ye Dang Qian Zong Ti Qu Shi Ji Wei Lai De Fa Zhan. In: Publishing Science. 17 (2009) No. 1, p. 17–21.

Rautenberg, Ursula: Cinquante ans de recherche en histoire allemande du livre. Principaux développements d'ensemble. In: Histoire et Civilisation du Livre. Revue internationale. (2009) No. 5, p. 343–353.

Rautenberg, Ursula: Current trends and the future development of German E-publishing industry. ›2nd International conference on publishing industry and publishing education in the digital age‹, Wuhan, VR China, 15.11.2008.

Rautenberg, Ursula: Electronic Publishing in Germany: An Overview of Developments in Industry and Education. In: Qin, Fang; Ruskin, Sherman (Ed.): Publishing in the Digital Age. The First International Conference on the Publishing Industry and Publishing Education in the Digital Age (Wuhan University), New York 2008, p. 15–21.

Rautenberg, Ursula: La page de titre. Naissance d’un dispositif typographique dans les débuts de l’imprimerie. In: Messerli, Alfred; Chartier, Roger (Ed.): Scripta volant, verba manent. Schriftkulturen in Europa zwischen 1500 und 1900, Basel 2007, p. 61–92.

Rautenberg, Ursula: Electronic Publishing in Germany. An overview of developments in industry and education. ›1st International conference on publishing industry and publishing education in the digital age‹, Wuhan, VR China, 02.11.2006.

Rautenberg, Ursula: Tu shu yu jia ge-de guo tu shu shi chang zong ti kuang jia tiao jian yu xian shi qu shi. In: China Press and Publication News. (2006) No. 2769, p. 4.

Rautenberg, Ursula: Tu shu yu jia ge-de guo tu shu shi chang zong ti kuang jia tiao jian yu xian shi qu shi. In: China Press and Publication News. (2006) No. 3774, p. 4.

Rautenberg, Ursula: Printer’s and publisher’s devices and the title-page in Germany, Venice, the Netherlands and Basle. In: L’Erasmo. Trimestrale della civilità Europea. 25 (2005), p. 14–20.

Rautenberg, Ursula: Pojawlenije titula w epochu rannewo knigopetschatania. In: Kniga i ziwilisazia. Band 2, Moskau 2004, p. 86–89.

Rautenberg, Ursula: Knigowedenie i knigowedetscheskie isledowania w Federatiwnoi Respublike Germanii. In: Bibliotetschnoje Delo 2004: Wseowtschaja dostupnost informazii, Moskau 2004, p. 217–218.

Rautenberg, Ursula: La page de titre – la naissance d’un dispositif typographique aux débuts de l’imprimerie. ›Textes – matériels de lecture – lecture: Formes de présentation et d'appropriation des médias imprimés au début de l'époque moderne‹, Centro Stefano Franscini, Monte Verità, Ascona, 02.11.2003.

Rautenberg, Ursula: The incunable title-page. ›Incunabula and their readers‹, British Library, London, 01.12.2000.

Rautenberg, Ursula: From Mainz to the World: Book Printing and the Book Trade in the Incunabula Period. In: Stadt Mainz, (Ed.): Gutenberg. Man of the Millennium. From a secret enterprise to the first media revolution [Ausstellungskatalog], Mainz 2000, p. 146–156.