Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Chair for the History of Science

Alrun Schmidtke, M.A.

Alrun Schmidtke M.A.
alrun.schmidtke (at)
This page is no longer updated as of 23/09/2020

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Workshop organization


Alrun Schmidtke is doctoral candidate at the chair for the history of science. Her PhD project focusses on scientists as advisers in scientific publishing up until the 1960s. It is funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation.

Alrun Schmidtke has studied history of science and technology at the Technische Universität Berlin and history at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Her graduate work was supported by the German National Academic Foundation. Alrun Schmidtke’s research has been supported by the Thyssen Foundation, the German Historical Institute in London, and the Collaborative Research Centre “Cultures of Decision-Making” in Münster. She was a visiting predoctorial fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. Funding from the Gerda Henkel Foundation commenced in February 2017.


  • History of science (19th+20th c.)
  • Science publishing, academic publishing
  • Historical epistemology of archives


Current Project

Schmidtke HU Website Historikertagposter 250pxThe dissertation project investigates the tension between science and the book market historically, thus contributing to current debates in the history of science on the relationship of science and the marketplace. Focused on the figure of the publishing consultant in the academic book trade in the middle of the 20th century, the freelance consultant’s decidedly ambiguous position is analysed as a means to assert scientific as well as commercial interests. Starting from the science publisher Julius Springer Verlag and its pre-war consultants, the focus will be on the consulting career of chemist Paul Rosbaud, who lived in London after 1945 where he was active in the Anglo-American scientific publishing book trade and worked for Pergamon Press, North-Holland, Oxford University Press and Wiley Interscience, among others.

Picture credit: Historikertag 2018/ Alrun Schmidtke.




  • PDF und Schluss? Wissenschafts- und Buchgeschichte, 18.-20. Jahrhundert, in: NTM 27/1 (2019), pp. 95-106. DOI: 10.1007/s00048-019-00206-x

  • Learning by the Book. Manuals and Handbooks in the History of Knowledge, in: Bulletin of the German Historical Institute Washington 63 (Autumn 2018), pp. 141-148.

  • Mapping a distant empire: Bruno Hassenstein’s Atlas of Japan (1885/87), in: Holt Meyer, Susanne Rau, Katharina Waldner (eds.), SpaceTime of the Imperial, Berlin/Tokyo: De Gruyter 2016, pp. 367-393.
  • Ausgestelltes Wissen. Ausstellungen als Modus und Medien der Wissenskommunikation im 20. Jahrhundert (Bielefeld, 21.-23. Juli 2011), in: H-Soz-u-Kult, 8. Oktober 2011.


Extracurricular Projects

  • Reading group Archival Histories (since summer term 2016)
  • Working group Experts as Resources in Decision-Making Processes (since June 2016)



  • Gesellschaft für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, der Medizin und der Technik (GWMT)

  • Internationale Buchwissenschaftliche Gesellschaft

  • Forschungszentrum Gotha

  • assoziiertes Mitglied im IGK des SFB 1150 „Kulturen des Entscheidens“ (Münster)

  • Redaktionsmitglied für das kommentierte Vorlesungsverzeichnis Wissenschaftsgeschichte (2011-13, 2015-16)


Workshop organization


Schmidtke HU Website Masterclass Dommann web 250px


  • Please find the program here.

Schmidtke HU Website IBG Forum web 250px


  • Please find the program here.
Schmidtke HU Website Archivgeschichte web 250px


  • Please find the program here.


Poster-design: Alrun Schmidtke