Josep Maria de Casacuberta i Roger (Barcelona, 1897-1985). Publisher and linguist. He earned degrees in Law and in Philosophy and Humanities and furthered his studies abroad. In 1921, he was chosen to direct the recently-created Office of Toponyms and Onomastics of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans (Institute of Catalan Studies). In 1924, he founded Editorial Barcino as a tool to disseminate and normalise Catalan culture and in response to the anti-Catalan attitude of the Primo de Rivera dictatorship. He accomplished this with such emblematic collections as Els Nostres Clàssics and Col·lecció Popular Barcino.
Forced to temporarily suspend the publication of books after the Spanish Civil War, he set out to study the Renaixença and particularly the figure of Jacint Verdaguer, on whom he became a renowned expert, and to whom he devoted the Biblioteca Verdagueriana collection.
After 1947, he gradually resumed publishing the most important collections, undertook new ones and ceased publishing others. During the 1950s and early 1960s, Barcino’s activity branched out with new titles and new collections, although with some difficulties due to the economic outlays involved in undertaking new projects. In 1972, what was then the Fundació Carulla-Font (Carulla-Font Foundation) took over the economic and administrative management of the publishing house, freeing up Casacuberta to devote himself solely to its literary direction until his sudden death in 1985.
Casacuberta, a Romanist with solid training, an expert in Verdaguer and his works and an outstanding mediaevalist, is the kind of publisher that was not limited to just investing capital but instead ensured that the books were published with the utmost rigour and perfection possible. He set aside what could have been his own intellectual output in favour of disseminating and sharing others’ works. In his work at the head of Barcino, he always had the support of his wife, Dolors Hostalrich, a librarian from a wealthy family close to intellectual circles.
Josep Maria de Casacuberta received the Premi d’Honor Jaume I (1979), the Premi d’Honor de les Lletres Catalanes, and the Creu de Sant Jordi (Saint George’s Cross) (1982).