Elzevir family


Elzevir family
or Elsevier family

Family of Dutch booksellers, publishers, and printers, 15 members of which were in business between 1587 and 1681.

Members of the family operated at The Hague, Utrecht, and Amsterdam. They were best known for their books or editions of the Greek New Testament and the classics. Though their work enjoyed an almost legendary reputation for excellence of typography and design, it is now regarded as merely typical of the high quality that prevailed in their day in Holland.

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▪ Dutch family
also spelled  Elsevier 

      a family of Dutch booksellers, publishers, and printers, 15 members of which were in business between 1587 and 1681. They were best known for their books or editions of the Greek New Testament and the classics.

      Louis (1540?–1617), son of a printer of Leuven, settled in Leiden as a Protestant émigré about 1581, set himself up as a bookbinder and bookseller, published over 100 books, and began the family specialization in learned books. The business in Leiden enjoyed its greatest success between 1622 and 1652 under his son Bonaventure (1583–1652) and grandson Abraham (1592–1652), during which time they became printers to the university. Two notable and widely imitated series were their Petites Républiques, 35 volumes concerned with different countries and published between 1625 and 1649, and their literary classics. The Leiden bookshop was closed in 1659, but publishing and printing continued, although in declining quantity and quality, until 1681. Members of the family operated branches under the Elzevirs' name at The Hague (c. 1590–1665), Utrecht (c. 1603–75), and Amsterdam (1638–81).

      After having enjoyed an almost legendary reputation among bibliophiles for excellence of typography and design, the Elzevirs' work is now regarded only as typical of the high quality that prevailed in their day in Holland. Among their four chief typographical devices, the “solitary,” consisting of an elm tree, a fruitful vine, and a man alone, with a motto Non solus (“Not alone”), is perhaps the best known.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Elzevir — El ze*vir, a. (Bibliog.) Applied to books or editions (esp. of the Greek New Testament and the classics) printed and published by the Elzevir family at Amsterdam, Leyden, etc., from about 1592 to 1680; also, applied to a round open type… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • elzevir — I. ˈelzəˌvi(ə)r, lsə adjective Usage: usually capitalized Etymology: after the Elzevir (Elzevier) family, Dutch printers and publishers that flourished in the 16th & 17th centuries : of, relating to, or being books or editions especially of the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Elzevir — Elzevirian, adj. /el zeuh vear , veuhr, seuh /, n. 1. Louis, c1540 1617, Dutch printer: founder of a printing firm at Leyden (1591?) that was operated by his descendants through the 18th century. 2. a book produced by this printing house. 3. a… …   Universalium

  • family — /fam euh lee, fam lee/, n., pl. families, adj. n. 1. parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not. 2. the children of one person or one couple collectively: We want a large family. 3. the spouse and children …   Universalium

  • Elzevir — /ˈɛlzəvɪə/ (say elzuhvear) noun 1. Louis, c. 1540–1617, founder of a Dutch printing firm at Leyden, carried on by his son, Bonaventure, 1583–1652, and his grandson, Abraham, (nephew of Bonaventure), 1592–1652. –adjective 2. of or relating to the… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Elzevir — [el′zə vir΄] n. name of a family of Du. printers & publishers of the 16th & 17th cent …   English World dictionary

  • Elzevir — or Elzevier biographical name family of Dutch printers including especially Lodewijk or Louis 1546? 1617, his son Bonaventura 1583 1652, & his grandson Abraham 1592 1652 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ELZEVIR —    the name of an eminent family of printers residing in Amsterdam and Leyden, Louis the first of them, who started in Leyden; their publications date from 1594 to 1680 …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • ELZEVIR EDITIONS —    editions of the classics printed at Amsterdam and Leyden during the 16th and 17th centuries by a family of the Elzevirs, and considered to be immaculate …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • House of Elzevir — Book about fencing published in Leiden by Isack Elsevier in 1619 Elzevir is the name of a celebrated family of Dutch booksellers, publishers, and printers of the 17th and early 18th centuries. The duodecimo series of Elzevirs became very famous… …   Wikipedia


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