A partwork is a "written publication released as a series of planned magazine-like issues over a period of time. Issues are typically released on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis, and often a completed set is designed to form a reference work on a particular topic." (source: Wikipedia).
Prominent partwork publishers have included:
United Kingdom: BBC; Eaglemoss Publications; Fabbri and Partners Ltd.; IPC; Marshall Cavendish; Orbis; Purnell & Sons; Sampson, Low
Italy: De Agostini; G E Fabbri; Fabbri and Partners; Del Prado
Sweden: International Masters Publishers
United States: Time-Life
Australia: Bay Books
Well-known partwork series have included:
Bay Books: Two Hundred Years (1988)
BBC: Classic Drama
G E Fabbri: Discovering Great Painters; Discovering Opera
Fabbri and Partners Ltd: The Great Musicians
International Masters Publishers: Masterpiece
IPC: International Encyclopedia of Stamps
Marshall Cavendish: Carrier's Kitchen; Great Artists; Great Composers; Great Writers; Nice'N'Easy; Times Past (1987).
Orbis: All About Science; Blues Collection; Complete Cook; History of Rock; The Movie; Talking Classics
Purnell & Sons: Discovering Art (1970); Discovering Art (1964-66); History of the English Speaking World (1971); History of the 20th Century (1972); Knowledge (1962); Man, Myth and Magic (1970); The Masters (1965); Purnell's History of the Second World War (1966)
Sampson, Low: Understanding Science (1962-65)
Some sample partwork series in more detail:
Two Hundred Years. Bay Books (61 Anzac Parade, Kensington NSW 2033, Australia), c. 1988. 48 issues. Published weekly. An exploration of the 200 years of Australian history to 1988.
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Author: David Paul Wagner
(David Paul Wagner on Google+)