Plavil’shchikov, Vasilii Alekseevich
Born 1768; died Aug. 14 (26), 1823, in St. Petersburg. Russian publisher and bookseller. Son of a merchant.
Beginning in 1794, Plavil’shchikov began to build up a large book-publishing business utilizing the resources of the former printing office of I. A. Krylov and Company in St. Petersburg. Over a period of 30 years he published more than 300 books and periodicals, primarily on the theater. In 1813 he founded a bookselling business. In his bookstore on the Moika Canal, he organized the well-known Library for Reading, which served for many years as a unique club where St. Petersburg scholars and literary men of Pushkin’s time gathered for work and friendly conversation. A catalog of the library was compiled by V. G. Anastasevich in 1820. Anastasevich also compiled six annual supplements to the catalog (1821–26), which represented the first Russian attempt at a current bibliographical listing. When Plavil’shchikov died, his entire enterprise, in accordance with the terms of his will, passed to his salesman, A. F. Smirdin, who subsequently became the most important Russian publisher.
REFERENCE“Vasilii Alekseevich Plavil’shchikov” (obituary). Otechestvennye zapiski. 1823, part 15, no. 41.
“Tri knigoprodavtsa minuvshego vremeni: V. A. Plavil’shchikov.” In Bibliograf. 1892, no. 1.
I. F. MARTYNOV