Adam Helms Lectures

Who was Adam Helms?

The publisher Adam Helms was an innovative spirit within marketing in the book industry and a pioneer within international co-productions between publishers.

Helms was born in Denmark in 1904 and worked there in the book selling business. In 1939 he married Greta Nilsson, a Swede who was active in the publishing industry, and moved to Stockholm. Through Greta, he received a position at the Bonnier bookshop for imported books. The couple helped revolutionise the Swedish book club system through Bokklubben Svalan during the early 1940s. When the Bonnier group was formed in 1944, Helms was given charge of the publishing firm Forum. The company was to primarily release new editions of classics, but Helms also purchased new literature, which became a major success, thanks in large part to his modern approach to marketing. In 1971, Helms left Forum and started the publishing company Trevi together with his colleague Solveig Nellinge. Trevi made a name for itself by primarily publishing female authors.

At his death in 1980, he left the Swedish Publishers’ Association an extensive collection of books about book marketing, book publishers and book selling. Through a donation, this collection is now a part of Uppsala University Library: Adam Helms Collection of Books in the History of Publishing and Bookselling.

Read more about Adam Helms and the Adam Helms Lectures:
Always on the hunt: Adam Helms Lecture 20 years, Stockholm: University Library, 2013.

Previous Adam Helms Lectures

Some previous lectures are published in printed form in Adam Helms’ Lecture Series, and are also available in PDF format in DiVA. Lectures held 2009–2016 have been filmed and can be viewed at Stockholm University Library’s website: Previous Adam Helms’ Lectures.

2016
Mary Jay - African publishing in a globalised world

2015 
Elena Evgrafova - Three phenomena of book publishing — today and tomorrow

2014
Claire Squires - The Red Pen, the Publisher and the University

2013
Mark Coker - The future of book publishing

2012
Anneli Høier - Den litterära agenten då och nu

2011
John B. Thompson - Merchants of Culture. The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century (filmed lecture)

2010
Thomas Steinfeld - De griniga, de gråtfärdiga och de glada. Om kritiken i ett samhälle där alla är kritiska (filmed lecture)

2009
Alberto Manguel - The End of Reading (filmed lecture)

2008
Emilia Lodigiani - The importance of being earnest and the tricky privilege of publishing Scandinavian literature in Italy

2007
A. S. Byatt - Ghosts and Documents. The relation between history, biography and fiction

2006
Martha Woodmansee - Publishers, Privateers, Pirates. 18th Century German Book Piracy Revisited

2005
Jamie Byng - Nonconformity: How to Survive as an Independent Publisher

2004
Michael Krüger - Giants and Dwarfs. Notes at the End of Reading

2003
Eva Bonnier - Börs och Katedral - sex generationer Bonniers

2002
Suzanne Brøgger - Forfatter-forlægger

2001
Michael Joyce - A web of caring: The book as it was to us

2000
Tim Waterstone - Bookselling and the Digital World

1999
John Sutherland - Puzzles, Enigmas and Mysteries in the English Novel. Real Approaches to Fictional Universes

1998
Peter Mayer - Traditional Values in the Age of the Marketplace Triumphant. Publishing Today in a Global World

1997
P. D. James - Murder and Mystery. The Craft of the Detective Story

1996
Janice Radway - Books and Reading in the Age of Mass Production

1995
Hans Hertel - 500.000 £ er priesen: Bogen i mediesymbiosens tid

1994
Robert Darnton - Censorship in Comparative Perspective: France, 1789 - Germany, 1989