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Institute of German Studies - Edition Johann Caspar Lavater


The Johann Caspar Lavater Research Foundation

Founded in 1997 by Dr. Conrad Ulrich and Prof. Dr. Alfred Schindler, the Research Foundation Johann Caspar Lavater Zurich has to coordinate and to promote the Edition and research projects to Johann Caspar Lavater, and to promote in cooperation with the Swiss National Science Foundation and private foundations. The Board of Trustees combines dedicated theologian, historian, art historian and Germanists, as well as representatives of city and Canton of Zurich. President of the Research Foundation of Johann Caspar Lavater is Prof. Dr. Heinz O. Hirzel since 2014.

In addition to the edition of the selected works of Johann Caspar Lavater (JCLW), the Research Foundation of Johann Caspar Lavater supports also attempts to the processing of lavater's letters and correspondence with individual personalities. The results of this research appear in supplementary and study books Edition. The Research Foundation has inaugurated also for the year 2001 the exhibition to Lavater's 200th anniversary of his death was shown in the Kunsthaus Zürich.


Project Management and Editorial Circle

The edition is organized under the "Deutsches Seminar der Universität Zürich" under the leadership of Prof. em. Dr. Dr. h.c. Horst Sitta.

Editorial members:

  • Prof. Dr. Rudolf Dellsperger (Bern)
  • Prof. Dr. Heinz O. Hirzel (Zürich)
  • Dr. Martin Ernst Hirzel (Bern)
  • Prof. Dr. Barbara Naumann (Zürich)
  • Prof. Dr. Horst Sitta (Zürich)
  • Prof. Dr. Karl Pestalozzi (Basel)
  • Minister Dr. Martin Sauer (Wiesbaden)
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Stadler (Zürich)
  • Prof. Dr. Daniel Tröhler (Zürich)
  • Dr. Conrad Ulrich (Zürich)
  • Prof. Dr. Horst Weigelt (Bamberg)
  • Prof. Dr. Simone Zurbuchen (Freiburg/Üe)



see "Editors"

Former Editors:

  • Dr. Bettina Volz-Tobler
  • Pfr. Dr. Martin Hirzel-Strasky
  • Dr. Dominik Sieber
  • Dr. Christina Reuter


The publication of the 10 volumes of Ausgewählte Werke in historisch-kritischer Ausgabe (including the vast collection of Johann Caspar Lavater's unpublished writings, mainly found in the Central Library of Zurich) is making public a representative selection of major theological, philosophico-pedagogical, political, poetical and critical texts by Lavater. Those works have been included and edited which especially influenced the cultural, theological and intellectual history of the 18th and 19th centuries.

In collaboration with the Research Foundation and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung Publishing House, Voldemeer Editions undertook to follow, oversee and structure publication. Mr Janis Osolin is the right person to make the concept of this edition reality. This concept is to make the format of the edition visibly reflect Lavater's work. Not weighty volumes are to be produced, but an edition that is analagous with the octavo format of the 18th century. What is being put on the market is a high-class aesthetic edition.

Mr Janis Osolin founded his own independent publishing house, Voldemeer Editions Ltd., in 1998 after working for Stroemfeld Publishing Basle. For the present edition of Ausgewählte Werke in historisch-kritischer Ausgabe, Voldemeer Editions is collaborating with the Neue Zürcher Zeitung Publishing House.