[18th Century German Publishers and Periodicals]
[This page is still under extensive construction.]
Following is a list of publishers and periodicals relevant to Kant’s publishing activity, based in part on Rehberg , Gause [1996, ii.232-43], and Kohnen . Dietzsch [2003, 125-30] offers a helpful discussion of the censoring of publications in Könïgsberg (the duties for which typically fell on the four faculty deans [more]).
Periodicals listed in the Index (to the left) and that published something by Kant have an asterisk (*) preceding their name.
Five printing houses existed in Königsberg in the 18th century: (1) Gottfried Hallervord was the last of three generations to run this firm, which closed with his death in 1759. (2) Christoph Gottfried Eckhart (1693-1750), who received his privilege in 1722, had worked a time for Hallervord. Eckhart’s firm (on the Kneiphof side of the Schmiedebrücke) was bought by (3) Johann Heinrich Hartung in 1746, who had moved from Erfurt to Königsberg, first working at the print-shop (Druckerei) of Johann Stelter, then marrying his daughter, and assuming control of the print-shop in 1734. (4) Philipp Christoph Kanter opened a print-shop, and in 1732 expanded it to include a bookretailing business. Both Kanter and Hartung formed heavy competition for (5) Reußner, who had a privileged firm since 1640, and who published the weekly paper, the Wochentliche Königsbergische Frag- und Anzeigungs-Nachrichten. Reußner died in 1742, and three years later his widow married the law professor J. L. L’Estocq [bio], who then sold the print-shop and newspaper to Cabrit (1750), who in 1751 sold it to Hartung.
The following are publishers of Kant’s books and pamphlets (articles and notices that he published are listed below, under Königsberg Periodicals and Other Periodicals).
Kant’s publications: 1747 [Living Forces].
Publisher: Martin Eberhard Dorn
Kant’s publications: 1755 [Universal Natural History].
Publisher: Johann Friedrich Peterson
Peterson was the Hofbuchhändler for the duchy of Courland and Semgallen, and on 28 December 1754 asked permission to open a publishing business in Königsberg; this was eventually declined the following spring (24 March 1755), presumably on the basis of complaints by the other local publishers of his unscrupulous practices [Dreher 1896, 174-75].
Kant’s publications: 1756 [Theory of Winds], 1757 [West Winds], 1758 [Motion and Rest], 1759 [Optimism], 1760 [Funk].
Kant’s publications: 1755 [New Elucidation], 1756 [Physical Monadology], 1775 [Races of Mankind], 1783 [Review of Schulz], 1790 [Fanaticism].
Publisher: J. H. Hartung (from 1746 to 1756), Hartung's Widow & others (from 1756 to 1766), G. L. Hartung (from 1766 to ??).
Johann Heinrich Hartung (1699-1756) bought (1746) the firm of Christoph Gottfried Eckart (1693-1750), the first large book publisher in Königsberg. With the death of J. H. Hartung (1756), Johann Heinrich’s widow led the firm with the help of Ludwig Woltersdorf (died 1759) and Johann Daniel Zeise (died 1766), whom she married seriatim. After the death of Zeise, the son Gottlieb Leberecht Hartung (1747-1797) took over the firm, and began again to publish the Königlich privilegierte Preußische Staats-, Kriegs-, und Friedenszeitung (see), typically referred to as the Hartungsche Zeitung, and the Intelligenzblatt. In 1798, Hartung's widow sold the newspapers to the firm Göbbels und Unzer.
Kant’s publications: 1762 [False Subtlety ] [The Only Possible Argument], 1763 [Negative Magnitudes] [Beautiful and Sublime], 1765 [Announcement], 1766 [ Dreams of a Spirit-Seer], 1770 [Inaugural Dissertation].
Publisher: Johann Jakob Kanter (from 1760 to 1781). See also Kant’s essays published in Kanter’s newspaper, the KGPZ.
In 1732 Philipp Christoph Kanter opened a book shop at Langgasse 23 at the corner of Schmiedegasse (in the Altstadt). He was both a printer and a binder, and he made a small fortune printing Quandt’s [bio] bible and hymnal [Gause 1996, ii.128]. When he died in 1764, the inheritance was divided among his four sons, all of whom remained in some aspect of the book business. The three older brothers were Daniel Christoph (d. 1812), who ran the family print-shop (with seven presses, it was the largest in the city); Alexander, who poured metal-type; and Philipp Christoph Jr, who ran the bookbindery and the paper business.
The youngest son, Johann Jacob Kanter (1738-1786), learned the book trade in Leipzig, returned to Königsberg in 1760, received a publishing privilege during the Russian Occupation [glossary] (later confirmed by Friederich the Great), and received a privilege to publish a newspaper so long as it brought no harm to Hartung’s business (who already had a newspaper publishing privilege) — for instance, he could print political news only after a certain period of time had elapsed. This seeming disadvantage actually made him his fortune, as his newspaper — the Königsbergsche Gelehrte und Politische Zeitungen (see) — developed into an important literary organ in Germany, with correspondents in Curland, Poland, St. Petersburg, and throughout Germany, with reviews and articles written by such talents as Hamann, Kant, Hippel, Scheffner, and Herder.
After the great Königsberg fire of 11 November 1764, Kanter rented part of the newly-built Löbenicht Town Hall (on the corner of the Löbenichtsche Langgasse and Münchengasse, with a large square to the west) in 1766, where he installed a bookshop that soon became an important gathering place for the scholars of Königsberg. He rented lodging upstairs — Kant lived with him for eleven years (1766-1777) [more]. The bookshop fell on hard times toward the end of the 1770s, and Kanter gave it up in 1781. After Kanter’s death, the building was sold to G. L. Hartung.
Kant’s publications: 1766 [ Dreams of a Spirit-Seer], 1781 [Critique of Pure Reason], 1783 [Prolegomena], 1785 [Groundwork], 1786 [Metaphysical Foundations], 1787 [Critique of Pure Reason, 2nd ed.], 1788 [Critique of Practical Reason].
Publisher: Johann Friedrich Hartknoch (from ?? to ??).
Johann Friedrich Hartknoch was born (28 Sep 1740) in Goldapp, and died (12 Apr 1789) in Riga. He began in the book trade in 1761 working in J. J. Kanter’s shop in Königsberg, and then ran a new shop that Kanter opened in Mitau (1762). He eventually began his own business (at least by 1765), and moved to Riga in 1767, where his publishing boomed. In a letter to Lambert of 31 December 1765, Kant mentioned that Kanter “has gone into partnership with his former employee, Herr Hartknoch, who managed his affairs in Riga till now” [AA 10:55]. Hartknoch was responsible for publishing many of Kant’s major works, as well as books by Hamann and Herder. [Sources: APB, Gause 1996, ii.245].
 This work was published by both Kanter (in Königsberg) and Hartknoch (in Riga and Mitau). Kanter was the publisher to whom Kant sent his manuscript, but he appears to have shared the work with his former employee. In a letter to J. H. Lambert (31 Dec 1765; #34, AA 10:55), Kant explains (in a separate context) that Kanter “has gone into partnership with his former employee, Herr Hartknoch, who managed his affairs in Riga until now....” [Er ist mit seinem vorigen Handlungsbedienten HEn Hartknoch, der seine Affairen anjetzt in Riga verwaltet, in Compagnie getreten....]
Kant’s publications: 1790 [Critique of the Power of Judgment].
Publisher: François Théodore Lagarde (1756-1824).
Kant’s publications: 1790 [Discovery [Against Eberhard]], 1793 [Religion], 1795 [Perpetual Peace], 1796 [Soemmerring], 1797 [Metaphysics of Moral], 1798 [Conflict of the Faculties], 1798 [Anthropology], 1798 [Making Books], 1803 [On Education].
Publisher: Friedrich Nicolovius (from 1790 to ??).
(Matthias) Friedrich Nicolovius (1768-1836) was born in Königsberg, where he attended the Collegium Fridericianum and then the university (matriculation: 1 Oct 1784). He learned the book trade in Hartknoch’s shop in Riga, finishing his apprenticeship in 1787. He then moved to Königsberg and opened a bookshop and publishing business in 1790, and began publishing the Königsbergischen gelehrten Anzeigen (1791/2), as competition to Hartung's Kritischen Blättern. He published many important Königsberg authors, including: Kant, Ludwig Baczko, G. C. W. Busolt, J. G. Hamann, T. G. Hippel, C. J. Kraus, J. G. Scheffner, and Johann Schultz, as well as others: F. H. Jacobi, Kotzebue, Schlosser, Th. Schmalz., F. L. Stolberg, J. H. Voß.
 His full name is Matthias Friedrich, and he had a twin brother, Balthasar, and an older brother Georg Heinrich Ludwig (1767-1839), who worked in the Prussian ministry for church and educational affairs in Prussia. Their father was the Hofrat Matthias Balthasar Nicolovius (1717-1778), a friend of Kant’s. [Jachmann 1912, 151; APB; Gause 1996, ii.237-38]
Kant’s publications: 1802 [Physical Geography].
1764 [Prize Essay], 1786 [Remarks on Jakob], 1800 [Preface to Jachmann].
Dates of Publication: 1752-1757, 1758-1850.
Frequency: Published twice weekly (Monday and Thursday).
Notes: Commonly referred to as the Hartungsche Zeitung. Wasianski [1912, 262] notes that Kant’s servant, Martin Lampe [bio], had picked up and then returned this paper for Kant twice each week for over thirty years.
Dates of Publication: 1727-1774. Successor: Königsberger Intelligenz-Zettel (see)
Frequency: Published weekly, every Saturday.
Kant’s publications: 1754 [Rotation of the Earth] [Age of the Earth], 1756 [Terrestrial Convulsions] [Earthquakes] [Further Consideration], 1768 [Directions in Space].
Notes: Seems also to be known as the Intelligenz-Blätter. It appeared under various titles until 1850. Digital scans for 1752-54 available
here, courtesy of the Wielkopolska Library.
Publisher: Johann Jakob Kanter until 1796, then Nicolovius.
Dates of Publication: 1764-1796?.
Frequency: Twice-weekly, every Monday and Friday. Each issue is 4 pp. (i.e., a single printer's sheet, folded in half), with consecutive pagination from issue to issue.
Kant’s publications: 1764 [Adventurer Komarnicki] [Maladies of the Mind] [ Silberschlag ], 1771 [Review of Moscati], 1776/1777 [Philanthropin Essays], 1782 [Lambert’s Letters] [Report to Physicians].
Notes: Commonly known as the Kantersche Zeitung. The first issue appeared on 3 February 1764, with a lead essay by J. G. Hamann, who had also taken over the editorial leadership. On the founding, see Westlinning [1995, 81-83]. Gause claimed this to be “one of the most important German newspapers anywhere” [1996, ii.234] — which Brandt contests [1999, 286], noting that the preeminence could at best have been decided in hindsight on the basis of the eventual fame of the contributing authors. Beginning with WS 1765/66, the newspaper printed (in German) a list of the lectures offered each semester at the university.
See Claudia Taszus, Die Königsbergschen Gelehrten und Politischen Zeitungen in den Jahren 1764 bis 1768. Ein Repertorium. (Luxembourg: Centre Universitaire de Luxembourg, 1998), 298pp. This provides a chronological list of contents, reviews, poetry, academic notes, as well as a person and subject index. Taszus reports that years 1764-68, 1771, and 1772 are on film at Bremen (Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek).
Dates of Publication: 1778-1834.
Notes: This continues the Wochentliche Königsbergische Frag- und Anzeigungs-Nachrichten (see).
Publisher: Christoph Frederich Nicolai.
Location: Berlin, moving in 1792 to Kiel because of the oppressive censorship in Berlin.
Dates of Publication: 1765 (vol. 1) to 1796 (vol. 118).
This journal is available online.
An engraving of Kant (by Schleuen, based on the Becker oil-painting of 1768) was published in 1773, as the frontispiece of the first issue of vol. 20. This was the first publication of an image of Kant.
Publisher: Johann Christian Friedrich Roch
Location and Dates: Leipzig (1796–1801).
Kant’s publications: Kant published one public notice in the ALA: 1797 [On Hippel].
This journal is available on microfilm through the Harald Fischer Verlag [1992, ISBN 3-89131-055-2].
The full-title reads: ...oder Annalen der gesamten Litteratur für die geschwinde Bekanntmachung verschiedener Nachrichten aus dem Gebiete der Gelehrsamkeit und Kunst.
Roch died in 1801, and successor journals were founded in Nürnberg (Litterarische Blätter, 1802-1806) and then Münich (Neuer literarischer Anzeiger, 1806-1808).
Publisher: Christian Gottfried Schütz [bio], Gottlieb Hufeland [bio]
Location and Dates: Jena (1785-1803), Halle (1804-1849).
Frequency: Daily (except Sunday). Each issue is 4 pp., and is given an issue number at the top of the first page. Some days have more than one issue. Each page has two columns, and these colums are numbered, rather than the pages, so it might appear (from the page-runs given for an issue), that the issues are 8 pp., rather than 4 pp. Pagination is consecutive between issues.
Content: Primarily book reviews.
Auxilliary Publications: An Intelligenzblatt and (occasional?) Ergänzungsblätter, but also an Allgemeine Repertorium der Literatur, which was intended to be a universal bibliography, organized by discipline (volume one, published in 1793 and nearly 600 pp. long, covered publications appearing from 1785-1790).
Kant’s publications: Kant published six reviews in the ALZ: 1785 [Review of Herder 1] [Review of Herder 2] [Review of Herder 3], 1786 [Review of Hufeland], 1788 [Kraus Review], 1790 [Schultz Review], and six announcements in the ALZ Intelligenzblatt: 1790 [Illegitimate Edition], 1792 [Fichte], 1793 [Bookdealers], 1797 [Against Schlettwein], 1799 [Against Fichte], 1801 [Against Vollmer]. Kant also published his [On Hippel] here in the Intelligenzblatt (#9, 21 January 1797), although it first appeared in the Allgemeiner litterarischer Anzeiger on January 5.
This journal is available online through the Thüringer Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Jena.
The ALZ quickly became an organ for Kant’s new Critical Philosophy.
When Schütz left for Halle, he took the journal (Allgemeine Lit.-Zeitung) with him, and a new journal sprang up in its place in Jena, the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (see).
Publisher: Friedrich Gedike [bio] and Johann Erich Biester [bio].
Location: Berlin (Haude und Spener), moving to Jena in 1792 to avoid the Berlin censorship.
Dates of Publication: January 1783-December 1796 (28 volumes, with two volumes/year).
Frequency: Monthly. The issues for Jan-June and July-December were eventually bound, with continuous pagination in each of the two volumes; thus, when citing, giving the year and page is inadequate. Either the month must be included, or else a “I” or “II” to indicate which volume of that year.
Kant’s publications: Kant published nearly all of his essays here, once the journal was founded: 1784 [Universal History] [Enlightenment], 1785 [Volcanoes ] [Counterfeiting Books] [Concept of Race], 1786 [Conjectural Beginning] [Orientation in Thinking], 1791 [Theodicy], 1792 [Radical Evil], 1793 [ Theory and Practice], 1794 [Influence of the Moon] [The End of All Things], 1796 [New Tone] [Mathematical Conflict] [New Treaty]
This journal is available online.
This was the major literary organ of the late German Enlightenment, and controlled by the Berlin Mittwochsgesellschaft.
Biester wrote to Kant (5 Aug 1797) that “the Berlinische Monatsschrift, which has been slowly creeping towards its demise, has now finally stopped entirely. The delays of the printing of the issues finally made necessary the final decision — and in fact, something quite desirable, for my own part. With the July issue of this year I have begun a new periodical, which at least should appear promptly and without interruption, since it will be printed in Berlin and the printer is a diligent, competent man. If not only the good men, who honored the Monatsschrift with their essays would now want to acknowledge my Blätter with their contributions.”
 On the last page (p. 580) of the December 1796 issue is an “Abschied von den Lesern” written by J. E. Biester, indicating that this was to be the last issue, noting that the journal had begun in January 1783, thus completing 28 volumes [with 2 vols per year].
Publisher: Johann Erich Biester [bio].
Location: Berlin (Carl August Nicolai).
Dates of Publication: vol. 1 (Wednesday, 5 July 97), vol. 2: (4 Oct 97), vol. 3: (4 January 98), vol. 4: (April 98)
Kant’s publications: Kant published one essay here, the last he published with Biester: 1797 [Right to Lie].
Notes: See Biester’s letter to Kant (August 5, 1797, #771). The Berlinische Blätter appeared only two years (1797-98). Four volumes (by pagination). The last volume (p. 411) has a “Nachricht an die Leser” in which Biester notes that this will be the last issue of the Blätter, which should be viewed as a continuation of the Berlinische Monatsschrift (see). In January 1799, with the Friedrich Nicolai Verlag, he will begin publishing the Neuen Berlinischen Monatsschrift (see).
Dates of Publication: 1804-1841
Publisher: Johann Erich Biester [bio].
Location: Berlin (Friedrich Nicolai).
Dates of Publication: January 1799-December 1811
Dates of Publication: 1842-1848
Publisher: Johann August Eberhard [bio] and J. G. E. Maas.
Location: Halle (Gebauer).
Dates of Publication: 1788-1792 (four volumes).
Notes: During its short run, the Philosophisches Magazin served as the mouthpiece for the Wolffians, the single purpose being to criticize the Kantian philosophy, and founded in reaction to C. G. Schütz’s Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (see).
Johann Schultz [bio], with considerable input from Kant (and at his urging) wrote a review of of the second volume, published in the ALZ in 1790 [see]. A successor organ is Eberhard’s Philosophisches Archive (2 vols, 1793-94).
 Eberhard writes in the first issue: “The Critique of Pure Reason and the philosophy contained therein made a sensation such as has not been seen in the philosophical world for a long time. It did this, however, with different people in different ways. [...] Most, however, were stupefied by the boldness of the undertaking, the confidence in its execution, as well as the subtlety of the investigation and the newness of the terminology. Moreover, only a few have been able to recover from this stupor.” [Philosophisches Magazin, vol. 1, pp. 4-5, as translated by Allison (1973, 15).]
Publisher: Christoph Martin Wieland [bio]
Location: Weimar (Carl Ludolf Hoffmanns Verlag).
Dates of Publication: Feb. 1773-1789. Der Neue Teutsche Merkur (1790-1810) is a successor journal.
Kant’s publications: Kant published a single essay with the Teutsche Merkur: 1788 [Teleological Principles]
This journal is available online.
See Thomas C. Starnes, Der Teutsche Merkur: Ein Repertorium (Jan Thorbecke Verlag, 1994).
[18th Century German Publishers and Periodicals]