Christoph Merian Verlag is an Swiss publishing house that specialises in books on art, photography and architecture, as well as non-fiction books with a regional relevance. The Christoph Merian Verlag is an Institution of the Christoph Merian Foundation Basel.
Who was Christoph Merian?
Christoph Merian (1800-1858) came from a patrician family in Basel. Contrary to the family tradition – his father was a successful business man – the son opted for agriculture. Later in life he acquired great wealth, being his parents’ only heir and having astutely administered his assets. Christoph Merian and his wife Margaretha, née Burckhardt, lived a life marked by piety and a sense of social responsibility. Together they supported a number of social and religious works. As they had no children of their own, Christoph Merian appointed his wife, and after her his “dear hometown of Basel”, as his one and only heir. He specified that the revenue from his assets be used for “necessary and useful purposes in the city”. Since the death of Margaretha Merian in 1886, the foundation named after Christoph Merian has been involved in non-profit activities.
It all began with the Baseldeutsch-Grammatik ...
The Basler Stadtbuch has been published annually since 1879. In the early 1970s, however, it seemed as if the end of that traditional publication was nigh. In order to preserve the Basler Stadtbuch, the Christoph Merian Foundation decided to take it over and publish it. The concept was altered and the historiographical publication became an annual chronicle with essays on all aspects of life in the city. Shortly afterwards, the Foundation initiated a popular scholarly grammar of the Basel dialect, Baseldeutsch. So as be able to publish this grammar and the Basler Stadtbuch, a repository was necessary, and therefore the Christoph Merian Verlag was founded in 1976.
To this day, it is still a business and cultural enterprise affiliated to the Christoph Merian Foundation Basel. It operates according to the commercial principles customary in the publishing industry, but also publishes books that are not profitable. The publishing house is independent in its decisions regarding what it publishes. The freedom it is granted within the framework of the Foundation also means that the publishing house bears the entrepreneurial risks itself.
… the Christoph Merian Verlag publishes about 15 to 20 publications a year. In 2012 the publishing house began an eBook programme that is being constantly expanded.
In the future the Christoph Merian Verlag will continue to be a niche for special publications. As we are rooted in the region of Basel, books with a regional relevance are a fixed component of our publishing programme. In the field of art, photography and architecture, we collaborate with important museums and institutions and publish monographs and books on design and architecture.
Parallel to its non-fiction programme, the Christoph Merian Verlag, together with the Swiss Radio and Television (SRF), published top-quality radio plays. In collaboration with the Radio Basel Foundation, which awards the annual International Feature Prize, the Christoph Merian Verlag issued the winning feature in the form of an audiobook. We are particularly proud that the feature “Fallbeil für Gänseblümchn” was awarded the 2014 German Audiobook Prize in the category Best Non-Fiction Audiobook.
As per 2018 no new audiobooks will be published and the programme has been discontinued.