In academia, a Festschrift is a book honouring a respected academic. The term, borrowed from German, could be translated as celebration publication.
A Festschrift contains original contributions by the so-honoured academic's close colleagues, often including their former doctoral students. It is typically published on the occasion of an anniversary. A Festschrift can be anything from a slim volume to a work in several volumes. It often includes important contributions to scholarship or science.
There is no fixed anniversary for a festschrift but they are frequently published on an academic's sixtieth birthday in Germany. In the case of very prominent academics, many Festschriften might be prepared. In Germany it is an honor to be designated to prepare such a collection, and being selected by a prominent academic to edit a Festschrift can symbolize the proverbial passing of the torch. Since no English designation for such a book has been established, the German word Festschrift is widely used internationally. However, Festschriften are often titled something like Essays in honour of... or Essays presented to...