Pamphlet

Last updated
An 18th-century painting of a girl with a basket of pamphlets Girl with a Basket of Pamphlets.jpg
An 18th-century painting of a girl with a basket of pamphlets
Due to their low cost and ease of production, pamphlets have often been used to popularize political or religious ideas. A sermon preached at Fort St. George on the coast of Chormandel in East India, February 21 1668.jpg
Due to their low cost and ease of production, pamphlets have often been used to popularize political or religious ideas.

A pamphlet is an unbound book (that is, without a hard cover or binding). Pamphlets may consist of a single sheet of paper that is printed on both sides and folded in half, in thirds, or in fourths, called a leaflet or it may consist of a few pages that are folded in half and saddle stapled at the crease to make a simple book.

Contents

For the "International Standardization of Statistics Relating to Book Production and Periodicals", UNESCO defines a pamphlet as "a non-periodical printed publication of at least 5 but not more than 48 pages, exclusive of the cover pages, published in a particular country and made available to the public" and a book as "a non-periodical printed publication of at least 49 pages, exclusive of the cover pages". The UNESCO definitions are, however, only meant to be used for the particular purpose of drawing up their book production statistics. [1]

Etymology

The word pamphlet for a small work (opuscule) issued by itself without covers came into Middle English c. 1387 as pamphilet or panflet, generalized from a twelfth-century amatory comic poem with an old flavor[ clarification needed ], Pamphilus, seu de Amore ("Pamphilus: or, Concerning Love"), written in Latin. [2] [3] Pamphilus's name is derived from the Greek name Πάμφιλος, meaning "beloved of all". [4] The poem was popular and widely copied and circulated on its own, forming a slim codex.

History

The pamphlet form of literature has been used for centuries as an economical vehicle for the broad distribution of information. Pamphlet dutch tulipomania 1637.jpg
The pamphlet form of literature has been used for centuries as an economical vehicle for the broad distribution of information.

Its modern connotations of a tract concerning a contemporary issue was a product of the heated arguments leading to the English Civil War; this sense appeared in 1642. [3] In some European languages, this secondary connotation, of a disputatious tract, has come to the fore: compare libelle , from the Latin libellus, denoting a "little book". [5]

Pamphlets functioned in place of magazine articles in the pre-magazine era, which ended in the mid-nineteenth century. There were hundreds of them in the United States alone. They were a primary means of communication for people interested in political and religious issues, such as slavery. Pamphlets never looked at both sides of a question; most were avowedly partisan, trying not just to inform but to convince the reader.

Purpose

Pamphlets can contain anything from information on kitchen appliances to medical information and religious treatises. Pamphlets are very important in marketing because they are cheap to produce and can be distributed easily to customers. Pamphlets have also long been an important tool of political protest and political campaigning for similar reasons.

A pamphleteer is a historical term for someone who produces or distributes pamphlets, especially for a political cause.

Collectibility

Ephemeral and to wide array of political or religious perspectives given voice by the format's ease of production, pamphlets are prized by many book collectors. Substantial accumulations have been amassed and transferred to ownership of academic research libraries around the world.

Particularly comprehensive collections of American political pamphlets are housed at New York Public Library, the Tamiment Library of New York University, and the Jo Labadie collection at the University of Michigan. [6]

Commercial uses

The pamphlet has been widely adopted in commerce, particularly as a format for marketing communications. There are numerous purposes for pamphlets, such as product descriptions or instructions, corporate information, events promotions or tourism guides and they are often used in the same way as leaflets or brochures.

See also

Footnotes

  1. UNESCO definition
  2. OED s.v. "pamphlet".
  3. 1 2 Harper, Douglas. "pamphlet". Online Etymology Dictionary .
  4. πάμφιλος . Liddell, Henry George ; Scott, Robert ; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
  5. In German, French, Spanish and Italian pamphlet often has negative connotations of slanderous libel or religious propaganda; idiomatic neutral translations of English pamphlet include "Flugblatt" and "Broschüre" in German, "Fascicule" in French, and "folleto" in Spanish. In Russian and Romanian, the word "памфлет" in Russian Cyrillic, "pamflet" in Romanian also normally connotes a work of propaganda or satire, so it is best translated as "brochure" ("брошюра" in Russian, broşură in Romanian). (DEX online - Cautare: pamflet)
  6. Oakley C. Johnson, Marxism in United States History Before the Russian Revolution (1876-1917). New York: Humanities Press, 1974; pg. vii.

Related Research Articles

Book Medium for recording information in the form of writing or images

A book is a medium for recording information in the form of writing or images, typically composed of many pages bound together and protected by a cover. The technical term for this physical arrangement is codex. In the history of hand-held physical supports for extended written compositions or records, the codex replaces its immediate predecessor, the scroll. A single sheet in a codex is a leaf, and each side of a leaf is a page.

Publication documents distributed to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending

To publish is to make content available to the general public. While specific use of the term may vary among countries, it is usually applied to text, images, or other audio-visual content, including paper. The word publication means the act of publishing, and also refers to any printed copies.

Legal deposit is a legal requirement that a person or group submit copies of their publications to a repository, usually a library. The requirement is mostly limited to books and periodicals. The number of copies varies and can range from one to 19. Typically, the national library is one of the repositories of these copies. In some countries there is also a legal deposit requirement placed on the government, and it is required to send copies of documents to publicly accessible libraries.

National Library of Wales Legal deposit library

The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, is the national legal deposit library of Wales and is one of the Welsh Government sponsored bodies. It is the biggest library in Wales, holding over 6.5 million books and periodicals, and the largest collections of archives, portraits, maps and photographic images in Wales. The Library is also home to the national collection of Welsh manuscripts, the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales, and the most comprehensive collection of paintings and topographical prints in Wales. As the primary research library and archive in Wales and one of the largest research libraries in the United Kingdom, the National Library is a member of Research Libraries UK (RLUK) and the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL).

Chapbook Short, inexpensive booklet

A chapbook is a small publication of up to about 40 pages, sometimes bound with a saddle stitch.

Miniature book Very small book

A miniature book is a very small book. Standards for what may be termed a miniature rather than just a small book have changed through time. Today, most collectors consider a book to be miniature only if it is 3 inches or smaller in height, width, and thickness, particularly in the United States. Many collectors consider nineteenth-century and earlier books of 4 inches to fit in the category of miniatures. Book from 3-4 inches in all dimensions are termed macrominiature books. Books less than 1 inch in all dimensions are called microminiature books. Books less than 1/4 inch in all dimensions are known as ultra-microminiature books.

A brochure is an informative paper document that can be folded into a template, pamphlet, or leaflet. A brochure can also be a set of related unfolded papers put into a pocket folder or packet. Brochures are promotional documents, primarily used to introduce a company, organization, products or services and inform prospective customers or members of the public of the benefits.

Bavarian State Library state library of the Free State of Bavaria

The Bavarian State Library in Munich is the central "Landesbibliothek", i. e. the state library of the Free State of Bavaria and one of Europe's most important universal libraries. With its collections currently comprising around 10.36 million books, it ranks among the best research libraries worldwide. Moreover, its historical stock encompasses one of the most important manuscript collections of the world, the largest collection of incunabula worldwide, as well as numerous further important special collections.

The Labadie Collection at the University of Michigan, originating from the collection of radical ephemera built by Detroit Anarchist Jo Labadie, is recognized as one of the world's most complete collections of materials documenting the history of anarchism and other radical movements from the 19th century to the present.

Tract (literature) type of literary work

A tract is a literary work and, in current usage, usually religious in nature. The notion of what constitutes a tract has changed over time. By the early part of the 21st century, a tract referred to a brief pamphlet used for religious and political purposes, though far more often the former. Tracts are often either left for someone to find or handed out. However, there have been times in history when the term implied tome-like works. A tractate, a derivative of a tract, is equivalent in Hebrew literature to a chapter of the Christian Bible.

Working Class Movement Library library

The Working Class Movement Library (WCML) is a collection of English language books, periodicals, pamphlets, archives and artefacts relating to the development of the political and cultural institutions of the working class which were created by the Industrial Revolution. It is situated in Salford, Greater Manchester, England.

Operation N

Operation N was a complex of sabotage, subversion and black-propaganda activities carried out by the Polish resistance against Nazi German occupation forces during World War II, from April 1941 to April 1944. These activities were organized by Office N, which in October 1941 was transformed into an Autonomous Sub-Department N of the Bureau of Information and Propaganda of the Armed Resistance, later of the Home Army. It was headed by Tadeusz Żenczykowski.

National Library of Malaysia National library in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The National Library of Malaysia (PNM) is a library established under the National Library Act 1972 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Folded leaflet

Leaflets that are folded are usually used for advertising or marketing purposes, or for information supplementary to labels. There are many types of folds; only the most popular types are listed here. Although it is difficult to put a date on when some of these folds were first used, it is evident that their popularity boomed when the first mass production printers were introduced.

William L. Clements Library rare book library of the University of Michigan

The William L. Clements Library is a rare book and manuscript repository located on the University of Michigan’s central campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Specializing in Americana and particularly North American history prior to the twentieth century, the holdings of the Clements Library are grouped into four categories: Books, Manuscripts, Graphics and Maps. The library’s collection of primary source materials is expansive and particularly rich in the areas of social history, the American Revolution, and the colonization of North America. The Book collection includes 80,000 rare books, pamphlets, broadsides, and periodicals. Within the other divisions, the library holds 600 atlases, approximately 30,000 maps, 99,400 prints and photographs, 134 culinary periodicals, 20,000 pieces of ephemera, 2,600 manuscript collections, 150 pieces of artwork, 100 pieces of realia, and 15,000 pieces of sheet music.

Kings Library

The King's Library was one of the most important collections of books and pamphlets of the Age of Enlightenment. Assembled by George III, this scholarly library of over 65,000 volumes was subsequently given to the British nation by George IV. It was housed in a specially built gallery in the British Museum from 1827 to 1997 and now forms part of the British Library. The term 'King's Library' was until recently also used to refer to the gallery in the British Museum built for the collection, which is now called the "Enlightenment Gallery" and displays a wide range of objects relating to the Enlightenment.

Long-form journalism is a branch of journalism dedicated to longer articles with larger amounts of content. Typically this will be between 1,000 and 20,000 words. Long-form articles often take the form of creative nonfiction or narrative journalism.

Beit Ariela

Beit Ariela Shaar Zion Library is the central public library in Tel Aviv.

Pamphlet wars refer to any protracted argument or discussion through printed medium, especially between the time the printing press became common, and when state intervention like copyright laws made such public discourse more difficult. The purpose was to defend or attack a certain perspective or idea. Pamphlet wars have occurred multiple times throughout history, as both social and political platforms. Pamphlet wars became viable platforms for this protracted discussion with the advent and spread of the printing press. Cheap printing presses, and increased literacy made the late 17th century a key stepping stone for the development of pamphlet wars, a period of prolific use of this type of debate. Over 2200 pamphlets were published between 1600–1715 alone.

Slavonic Library in Prague library in Prague

The Slavonic Library in Prague is a publicly accessible specialised research library for the field of Slavic Studies. It is one of the largest and most important Slavic libraries in Europe. Since its foundation in 1924, it has been systematically complementing, processing and making accessible its collection of world research Slavic literature and selected original production of Slavic authors. Its depositories contain more than 850,000 volumes of library documents, a collection of maps, posters, visual and artistic materials, and numerous collections of special documents.