What we publish (and how)
Mandragora publishes exhibition catalogues and essays in history, art history, architecture and photography, as well as guidebooks, art books and children’s books on Florence and Tuscany. Other publications are the result of projects developed in conjunction with several institutions, such as the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, the Michelucci Foundation, Florence and Arezzo City Councils, Arezzo Province, the Regione Toscana, the Casa Buonarroti (since 2000), SESV Spazio Espositivo di Santa Verdiana of Florence University (since 2001), the Laurentian Library (since 2004). Other titles were published for exhibitions and events in Biel (Switzerland), Brussels, Rome.
Design and setting
It is our belief that each book should be unique: interaction between text and images is carefully fine-tuned until a balance is reached that brings out the book’s content to the full – until, that is, the book develops its own personality. The final design of a book or series is, more often than not, the final stage of a process where familiarising oneself with the project as a whole, acquainting oneself with the subject matter and sources, and discussing issues with the authors or editors come first. Accordingly, our books are never typeset by a DTP technician; rather, it is up to the editor who proofed and revised the text to construct the book through his knowledge of its contents and structure.
During the first revision of a text normal editing operations are performed: correction of misprints and factual errors, spelling and grammar check (with particular attention to errors generated by the word-processing software through automatic correction or inaccurate conversion of particular symbols or signs from non-Latin alphabets), adaptation of the material to our editorial standards in matters of style, quotations, etc. – standards which we developed over the years after prolonged discussion and careful scrutiny of Italian and foreign practice. Bibliographic entries are double-checked against the records available on reliable OPACs (on-line public access catalogues), such as those of the Library of Congress, Harvard, the British Library and COPAC, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Internet culturale, etc. Sources are consulted directly, when necessary, at the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, the Kunsthistorisches Institut, the Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento, the Laurentian Library. The editors inform the author of corrections and proposed changes: this close working relationship is remarkably time-saving, as it usually renders multiple rounds of proofing unnecessary. The final version of the text is then read once again.
Many of our publications are translated into English, French, German and Spanish. The translation is entrusted to native speakers with whom we work on a regular basis, and is then re-checked by the editor responsible for editions in that particular language. Once again, corrections and changes are discussed with the translator, who eventually re-reads the text. The final version is then checked for spelling errors. Sometimes the translation process draws attention to mistakes or inaccuracies in the original text: the necessary changes are then discussed with the author and the editors responsible for the other languages.