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detail, Das Stundenbuch der Marie von Burgund,
15th c. Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibl., 1857 (Adeva)


Facsimiles—from Latin, fac simile (make similar)—is the name given to a genre of publishing based on photomechanical printing techniques used to recreate, with the highest fidelity, an original hand-produced manuscript or printed edition. Since original works must be protected from light and handling fine facsimiles have become during the last century an invaluable resource for historians and art lovers, allowing easy access for the study and dissemination of the original masterworks. The production of these facsimiles is an art in itself and worthy of study in its own right.

OMI is pleased to provide an article by Dr. Manfred Kramer, whose long tenure with Akademische Druck- & Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) and Faksimile Verlag has given him valuable first-hand experience for articulating the concept, process and importance of the facsimile edition, and one by the esteemed art historian Dr. Eberhard König. 

Additional articles will be added in the future.

"What is a Facsimile" by Dr. Manfred Kramer

"The Art of the Facsimile, Preserving History Throughout the Ages" by Dr. Eberhard König

"A facsimile edition is the photo-mechanical reproduction of a unique, practically two-dimensional model; it eliminates as much as possible manual copy work, reflects to the highest degree the inner and outer aspects of the original, incorporates all possible technical means available, garantees the protection and preservation of the original, and is suitable for both scientific and artistic interests. A facsimile must act as a true surrogate of the original for research purposes and bibliophiles."

(Manfred Kramer, "What is a Facsimile")