Books carry ideas. Books reflect their time and their world. Books contain the compressed knowledge of mankind, and they only live when opened and read. In times of the Internet and smartphones, books are having a hard time. They do not consist of bite-sized educational snacks, but require undivided attention. For the spoiled reader of the 21st century, it is almost like an obstacle course to engage with old books. They are written in a language that hardly anyone can read fluently, and the writings in which they are set must be laboriously deciphered. However, the biggest obstacle is the fact that we no longer have the historical, social and intellectual context in which these books were written.
And this is where Bookophile comes into play. We want to tell the stories of books. We want to convey why a book was so exciting / important / scandalous / modern / progressive during its time. We pack this information into short, bite-sized appetizers that whet the appetite for more, and spur the desire to plunge headlong into the great adventure that is reading.
Bookophile is the idea of Jürg Conzett and Ursula Kampmann. It was born in the MoneyMuseum‘s newly built library, out of a common thought about how we could transmit our love of books to others.
Jürg R. Conzett, born in 1947, studied history and psychology at the University of Zurich (doctorate 1972); in the USA, he completed a management school at Stanford University, California (MBA, 1976). He spent several years in New York and Tokyo (1976-1980) at Citibank as a financial analyst, being trained in global investment management. As a member of the Executive Board of Dow Banking Corporation in Zurich (1982-1986), he designed the investment policy of this bank. At Bank Cantrade in Zurich (1986-1990), an affiliate company of UBS, he was responsible for financial analysis and investment strategy.
However, Jürg Conzett has his roots in the publishing business. He is the great-grandson of Verena Conzett, who has made Conzett & Huber an important publishing house. This publishing house is still known to many book lovers today through the Manesse Verlag, a German publishing house founded in 1944 and responsible for the Manesse Library of World Literature.
Jürg Conzett has been self-employed since 1990 and is dedicated to financial investments and corporate investments. Since 1999, his main commitment has been to the Sunflower Foundation and its projects. Bookophile is now one of them.
Ursula Kampmann, born in 1964, studied history, numismatics and archaeology at the Universities of Munich and Saarbrücken. During her doctorate, she worked as an expert for antique coins in the international coin trade of Munich, Basel and Zurich before becoming self-employed in 2002.
Today, Ursula Kampmann is one of the most internationally renowned authors in numismatics and economic history. She heads a numismatic press service, is founder and managing director of the international trade journal MünzenWoche / CoinsWeekly, and editor-in-chief of the industry journal for central banks and mints, Mint News Quarterly.
Like most historians, Ursula Kampmann cannot get enough of books, and to write about them is a very special pleasure for her.
Dr. Ursula Kampmann is curator of the MoneyMuseum‘s book collection