(from German Fest + Schrift
, "celebratory writing")
A compilation or anthology published to honor a person or group. The items making up a festschrift are typically works of art and/or scholarship, or essays about the life, history or field of study of the honoree.
A festschrift is typically published to coincide with an anniversary, birthday, retirement, or some other momentous occasion, and a copy is generally presented to the person so honored. Contributors, friends and colleagues sometimes write personal congratulations on the copy to be presented.
The original form of a festschrift -- a book of contributions -- has changed over the years to include festschrift conferences which honor a person with several days of presentations.
If I should ever earn a festschrift conference, please honor me by banning PowerPoint from all such talks.