Sunday, May 14, 2017

Links & Reviews

- From the Globe and Mail, a profile of Alberto Manguel in his new role as director of Argentina's national library.

- An 800-word Harry Potter prequel written by J. K. Rowling and sold for charity in 2008 was stolen from Birmingham last month.

- The BBC reported this week on the identification of an early Caxton leaf at the University of Reading.

- Rebeccca Rego Barry writes for the Fine Books Blog about Maggs Bros. new headquarters, which will open on 24 May.

- Ruth Guilding has a "First Person" profile of T. J. Cobden-Sanderson for the TLS.

- Alex Preston writes for the Observer on "How real books have trumped ebooks," drawing on several recent studies showing a recent increase in print book sales.

- Another security alert from the ABAA, for a copy of Steele's Essay upon Gardening (1793) believed stolen from the New York Book Fair.

- Lloyd Cotsen, known for his collection of children's books which now form the Cotsen Children's Library at Princeton, died this week at age 88. See the LATimes obituary.

- A new digital archive, Early American Serialized Novels, is now available.

- Christopher Lancette writes for the Fine Books Blog about his visit to the Washington Antiquarian Book Fair, and about rediscovering a love for his own library.

- Dalya Alberge writes for the Guardian about the forged Dylan artwork mentioned here last month.

- Elizabeth Yale's piece in the Atlantic on the new film "The Circle" asks "how can the past be used to reimagine women’s technological agency?"

Reviews

- John Boles' Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty; review by Jonathan Yardley in the WaPo.

- Matthew Rubery's The Untold Story of the Talking Book; review by Matthew P. Brown for Public Books.

Upcoming Auctions

- 19th & 20th Century Literature at Swann Galleries on 16 May.

- Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs at Lyon & Turnbull on 17 May.

- Fine Literature & Fine Books at PBA Galleries on 18 May.

- Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts and Continental and Russian Books and Musical Manuscripts at Sotheby's London on 23 May.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Links & Reviews

Apologies for the radio silence; it's been a busy month. As I mentioned previously, I traveled to the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair two weekends ago and to the Washington Antiquarian Book Fair last weekend; both were excellent events with good, vibrant crowds.

- Garrett Scott has a really touching "In Memoriam" post on the ABAA blog about Robert Fraker of Savoy Books, who died this week after a battle with cancer. I remember well Robert's wonderful talk at the 2012 AAS event Garrett mentions. About ten years ago at the Boston Book Fair, Robert sold me one of the items I'm most pleased to have in my own collection, and consistently since then he's had something to show me at the fair that he knew would make my mouth water and/or that I would want to help find a home for. Visiting him and his wife Lillian at their booth has long been a highlight of the fair for me. My deep, deep condolences to Lillian, his family, and his colleagues, and thanks to Garrett for his lovely post.

- Entries for this year's National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest are now being accepted; they are due by 31 May.

- May's Rare Book Monthly articles include Michael Stillman on a stolen library book returning to the shelves and a report on the BPL's rare books inventory.

- Serial book thief Laéssio Rodrigues de Oliveira and an accomplice, Valnique Bueno, are suspected in the theft of more than four hundred rare books from the Rio de Janeiro Federal University in Brazil during a construction project. Via Mitch Fraas, a longer article about the thefts, in Portuguese, includes a list of the stolen titles.

- A list of stolen maps and engravings has been posted over on the ABAA blog, as has the description of a copy of Paine's Common Sense stolen by fraud to someone in Los Angeles and two more books stolen in the New England area in mid-April.

- Princeton has acquired a vellum fragment of a Gutenberg Bible preserved as a binding. Eric White has an excellent writeup.

- Lisa Fagin Davis has a thorough post on the manuscript recently returned by the Boston Public Library to the Italian government. More via the Fine Books Blog and the Boston Globe.

- The Harry Ransom Center has acquired the archive of Peter O'Toole for $400,000.

- The earliest known draft of a portion of the King James Bible, identified at Cambridge in 2015, has now been digitized and published in the Cambridge Digital Library.

- Joe Felcone talked to Wendi Maloney for an LC blog post about his work with 19th-century copyright records.

- A 13th-century manuscript stolen from a Turkish library was identified in a Sotheby's auction catalog withdrawn from sale, according to Turkish media reports.

- Fascinating post by conservator Kristi Westberg for the Huntington blog about "Preserving the Signs of Censorship."

- Adam Reinherz goes inside the Caliban Books warehouse for the Jewish Chronicle.

- The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has acquired an important collection of early Virginia maps.

- In the New Yorker, "How to Decode an Ancient Roman's Handwriting."

- Two new digital collections from the Library of Congress are now available: Manuscripts from St. Catherine's Monastery and the Margaret Bayard Smith papers.

- A manuscript copy on parchment of the Declaration of Independence in the West Sussex Record Office, while long cataloged, is being studied closely for the first time by researchers for the Declaration Resources Project; they have concluded it probably dates to the 1780s. Coverage in the NYTimes and Phys.org.

- Rebecca Romney looks at thirty years of cover designs for The Handmaid's Tale.

- Nicholas Pickwoad's obituary of Christopher Clarkson appeared in the Guardian.

- Lauren Hewes has posted a second installment of photographs showing printers at work, from the AAS collections.

- Cambridge (MA) bookseller and bookbinder Robert Marshall died on 9 April; an obituary appeared in the Boston Globe.

- From Mike Furlough, "What Libraries Did With Google Books," based in part on James Somers' Atlantic piece "Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria."

- Over at Manuscript Road Trip, a stop in New Bedford to look at an important and understudied Book of Hours in the New Bedford Public Library.

- More Shakespeare's World finds for the OED.

- Among the scholarships available for this year's CABS is the new Belle da Costa Greene Scholarship for a bookseller or librarian from an underrepresented community.

- A new book has been published to mark the Houghton Library's 75th birthday. Looks like a good one! More on the anniversary celebrations here.

- Swann sold a complete copy of The Cherokee Messenger on 27 April; it fetched $4,500.

- New: a University of Surrey project, Women's Literary Culture before the Conquest.

- The UVA Law Library has received a grant to digitize copies of the books Jefferson included in his original selection of law texts for the university.

- Robert Oldham writes for the APHA blog about Adam Ramage's one-pull common press.

- The State Library of Massachusetts blog has a post on the history and travels of the manuscript of William Bradford's Of Plimoth Plantation.

Reviews

- John Julius Norwich's Four Princes; review by Alan Mikhail in the NYTimes.

- Peter Brooks' Flaubert in the Ruins of Paris; review by Sunil Iyengar in the WaPo.

- Beth Underdown's The Witchfinder's Sister; review by Carrie Dunsmore in the WaPo.

- Helena Kelly's Jane Austen, the Secret Radical; review by Ruth Franklin in the WaPo.

- Jeff Vandermeer's Borne; review by Elizabeth Hand in the LATimes.

- Charlie English's The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu; review by Peter Thoneman in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- Travels, Atlases, Maps & Natural History at Sotheby's London on 9 May.

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winters Auctioneers on 10 May.

- Manuscripts at Heritage Auctions on 11 May.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Links & Reviews

- Christela Guerra reports for the Boston Globe about current effort at the BPL to get a full inventory of the rare books and manuscripts in their collections.

- From John Garcia at JHIBlog, "The Other Samuel Johnson: African-American Labor in the Vicinity of the Early U.S. Book Trade."

- Over at The Pressbengel Project, making parchment out of salmon skin.

- Humanities magazine has an interview with library historian Wayne Wiegand.

- Maria Sibylla Merian is the featured subject at Echoes from the Vault.

- The NEH Impact Index is well worth spending some time with.

- Lisa Fagin Davis posts at Manuscript Road Trip about Otto Ege and the Lima (OH) Public Library.

- Jennifer Schuessler reports for the NYTimes on the James Baldwin archive, newly purchased by the Schomburg Center but some of which will remain closed to researchers for twenty more years.

- Scott Rosenberg writes for Backchannel on "How Google Book Search Got Lost."

- AAS has a podcast interview with Ezra Greenspan about his work on Frederick Douglass, editing Book History, and more.

- More on that archive of Sylvia Plath letters mentioned last month from Sylvia Plath Info and the Guardian.

- In the Irish Times, a story about a library theft that has inspired a new children's book.

- The British Library has announced a major expansion plan.

Reviews

- The Card Catalog, a new Library of Congress publication; review by Rebecca Rego Barry for the Fine Books Blog.

- Lyndal Roper's Martin Luther; review by Andrew Pettegree in the NYTimes.

- Brian Doyle's The Adventures of John Carson in Several Quarters of the World; review by Jenny Davidson in the NYTimes.

- Shelley DeWees' Not Just Jane; review by Caroline Franklin in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- Images & Objects: Photographs & Photobooks at Swann on 20 April.

- Americana - Travel & Exploration - World History - Directories - Cartography at PBA Galleries on 20 April.

- The Maurice Neville Collection of Modern Literature (Part III) at Sotheby's New York on 24 April.

- Rare Books, Autographs & Maps at Doyle on 26 April [includes books deaccessioned from the College of New Rochelle].

- The Giancarlo Beltrame Library of Scientific Books (Part III) at Christie's London on 26 April.

- Printed & Manuscript Americana at Swann on 27 April.

- The Library of the Late Hubert Dingwall at Bloomsbury on 27 April.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Links & Reviews

A very nice Virginia Antiquarian Book Fair is in the books; if you missed it this year, make sure you get it on your calendar for next spring. Well worth a visit.

- Philip Durkin writes for the Shakespeare's World blog about a new use of "white lie" discovered by a transcriber, antedating the previous OED citation by nearly two centuries!

- Now on display at UVA's Special Collections library, a new exhibition on Borges and his publication history, curated by Nora Benedict.

- What looks a very interesting new concept from the American Philosophical Society: a circulation-driven recommendation tool for archival and manuscript repositories. It'll be very interesting to see this in action.

- Rachel Chanter writes for the Peter Harrington blog about a Bob Dylan artwork forgery: a cautionary tale indeed.

- JHIBlog is hosting a "book forum" on Jeffrey Andrew Barash's Collective Memory and the Historical Past. Michael Meng has the first post.

- Hugh Gilmore has the first in a series about a recent house-call to look at a professor's book collection.

- Always look through the box of random books.

- Over at Modern IP History, Zvi Rosen writes on his efforts to find and make available more than 2,000 pages of pre-1870 American copyright records that had been presumed lost.

- The Kickstarter campaign for Bruce Kennett's biography of W. A. Dwiggins remains open; though the project was fully funded, you can still sign up for various rewards, &c.

- The Watkinson Library (Trinity College) has received a nearly-complete set of the Modern Library's first series (some 600 volumes).

- The Daily Beast has a report on the January theft of rare books from a London warehouse.

- Videos of the 2017 Sandars Lectures by Toshiyuki Takamiya are now available.

- A complaints book of the Plantin Press journeymen for the period 1713–1769 is available online [via Aaron Pratt on Twitter].

- The Library of Congress and the National Museum of African American History and Culture have jointly acquired a photo album containing and early and previously unknown photograph of Harriet Tubman.

- Atlas Obscura has a piece on the work by researchers at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage who are trying to "capture, analyze, and catalog historic and culturally important scents."

- Will Pooley's "Floundering" is a great read on the sometime drudgery of archival research.

- Acme Binding's Paul Parisi is the subject of a brief profile in the Boston Globe.

Reviews

- A. C. Grayling's The Age of Genius; review by Thomas Colville for Reviews in History.

- Yale's new edition of the Voynich Manuscript, edited by Raymond Clemens; review by Eamon Duffy in the NYRB.

- Paul Watson's Ice Ghosts; review by Ian McGuire in the NYTimes.

- Brian Doyle's The Adventures of John Carson in Several Quarters of the World; review by James McNamara in the WaPo.

- Michael Dirda highlights several recent books about books in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auction

- Rare Golf Books & Memorabilia at PBA Galleries on 13 April.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Links & Reviews

Lots of book fairs coming up this month: I'll be at the Virginia Antiquarian Book Fair in Richmond next weekend, then the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair (21–32 April) and the Washington Antiquarian Book Fair (28–29 April) - if you're there too, please do come by the Rare Book School table! (Speaking of which, there are still open seats in several RBS classes this summer in case you're thinking about applying).

- The ABAA blog reports a theft from Atlanta Vintage Books on 30 March. A list of the stolen items is included.

- A 17th-century notebook containing scholarly notes on Shakespeare's works showed up at the "Antiques Roadshow" stand at Caversham Park in Berkshire. The segment will air on tonight's episode of the show (in the UK). Grace Ioppolo notes on Twitter that other manuscripts quoting Shakespeare can be found in the Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts (CELM).

- The University of Rochester has acquired an important collection of letters by Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and other suffragettes, as well as related printed material. The archive was collected by Isabella Beecher Hooker, and used as a kind of "circulating library," according to Jennifer Schuessler's report in the NYTimes. See also the University's press release.

- The NEH announced $21.7 million in grants for some 200 projects this week.

- The presidents of Independent Research Libraries Association (IRLA) libraries released a joint statement this week in support of the NEH, IMLS, and NHPRC.

- In the TLS, Dennis Duncan offers "Index, A celebration of the".

- Over at Medieval Manuscript Provenance, Peter Kidd profiles bibliophile Henry Huth.

- "Typographic Satire" from the Princeton Graphic Arts Collection blog.

- Rebecca Rego Barry writes for the Fine Books Blog on "HarperCollins at 200." The company's bicentennial website is very much worth a browse (disorienting effects aside).

- Submissions for the 17th ILAB Breslauer Prize are due by the end of April.

- Paul Moxon is compiling a list for the APHA website of printing history publications written or edited by APHA members, award laureates, lecturers, and fellows. Help him if you can.

- This week's Bonhams sale "The Contents of Glyn Cywarch" was a rare white-glove auction, in which every lot sold. I'll have more on this one in the next Fine Books & Collections.

- Richard Hell offers some "Confessions of a Book Collector" in the Village Voice.

- Allan Stypeck of Second Story Books is the subject of a WaPo profile by Neely Tucker.

- A collection of material related to Mata Hari sold at auction in the Netherlands this week for €45,000.

Reviews

- David Bellos' The Novel of the Century; reviews by Tobias Grey in the NYTimes and Michael Lindgren in the WaPo.

- Caroline Winterer's American Enlightenments; review by Tom Cutterham at Reviews in History.

Upcoming Auctions

- Printed Books, Maps & Atlases at Dominic Winter on 5–6 April.

- Fine Books with Science at Medicine at PBA Galleries on 6 April.

- Spring Magic Auction at Potter and Potter on 8 April.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Links & Reviews

- A. S. G. Edwards reports for the TLS on this years Sandars Lectures, delivered by Toshiyuki Takamiya.

- JFK's diary covering the summer of 1945 will be sold at RR Auction on 26 April.

- New editor(s) are sought for Common-place.

- Sarah Hovde writes for The Collation on "The Guild of Women-Binders and the 'bindings of tomorrow.'"

- Edward Wong in the NYTimes: "Printing the Ancient Way Keeps Buddhist Texts Alive in Tibet."

- The British Library is digitizing its Anglo-Saxon manuscripts: 175 are available as of last week.

- Rudolf II's collection of some 750 watercolors of plants and animals will go on long-term loan to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

- Author Charlie Lovett is profiled in the News & Record.

- James McBride of William Reese Co. gets the "Bright Young Booksellers" spotlight this week.

- Jennifer Schuessler has a great piece in the NYTimes, "A Journey Into the Merriam-Webster Word Factory."

- A seventeenth-century map found wadded up and stuffed into the chimney of an Aberdeenshire house has been conserved and is now on display at the National Library of Scotland.

- The Londonist goes "Inside London's Oldest Bookshop," Hatchard's.

- Kate Murphy writes for the NYTimes about love letters at auction.

Reviews

- James Barron's The One-Cent Magenta; review by Sarah Laskow in the NYTimes.

- Richard Holmes' This Long Pursuit; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- Two Great Scottish Collections: Property from the Forbeses of Pitsligo and the Marquesses of Lothian at Sotheby's London on 28 March.

- The Contents of Glyn Cywarch at Bonhams London on 29 March.

- Books and Works on Paper at Bloomsbury on 30 March.

- Printed & Manuscript African Americana at Swann Galleries on 30 March.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Links & Reviews

Apologies for the delays in getting a post up: it hasn't been for lack of news, but simply because much travel over the last several weeks has kept me very busy. The SEA conference in Tulsa was an excellent one, and it was a delight to see so many friends both there and during the book fair festivities in New York last weekend.

- From the book fair: Scott Zieher for the Village Voice; Erin Schreiner for LitHub; Rebecca Rego Barry for Fine Books Blog.

- The president's budget plan calls for the elimination of the NEA, NEH, and IMLS, among many other effective, efficient, and worthy programs. While this is indeed only a proposal, it says much about the priorities of this administration, and if you value the good works supported by these and other programs targeted, I urge you to contact your representatives and tell them so. Some links on this front: Christopher Knight in the LATimes "The NEA works. Why does Trump want to cut it?"; Andrea Scott in the New Yorker; Amanda French's "A Visit to the Rayburn Building"; "Why We Need the NEA and the NEH" by Mellon Foundation executive vice president Marlët Westermann; a call from AHA to its membership urging them to contact Congress about the budget plan; Sophie Gilbert in the Atlantic on "The Real Cost of Trump's Abolishing the National Endowment for the Arts"; PEN America's excellent "What You Can Do" post; statement by the leadership of the Digital Library Federation;

- The March Rare Book Monthly articles include Michael Stillman's report on the brazen warehouse theft of rare books in late January, a piece by Forum Auctions' Rupert Powell on the state of the book auction world, and Eric Caren on several of his upcoming auctions.

- From Molly Hardy at Past is Present, "Running the Numbers on Early American Literature."

- The Newberry Library has acquired the Bexley Hall Rare Book Collection.

- Helen Hazen writes for the American Scholar about her job as librarian of a convent library in Peru and her efforts to catalog the rare materials in the collection.

- From Sarah Laskow for Atlas Obscura, "The Unsung Delight of a Well-Designed Endpaper."

- Vincent Noce has an update in The Art Newspaper about the Aristophil collection of rare books and manuscripts, auctions of which could begin at Drouot as early as September. The sales could be spread out over "at least six to ten years," according to the report.

- Jane Kamensky has won the New-York Historical Society's annual book prize for A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley.

- Senators McCaskill and Carper have written to AOTUS David Ferriero expressing concern about the Trump Administration's compliance with the Presidential Records Act and the Federal Records Act.

- Jay Moschella has an update on the BPL's project of digitizing their earliest printed books.

- Ebook sales in the UK fell in 2016, for the second year in a row, as print sales increased.

- New blog of interest: Caribbean Histories.

- The family of Antonin Scalia will donate the justice's papers to the Harvard Law School Library.

- I've neglected to link to a recent volume of the Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society which will be of interest to many readers; the papers are drawn from the APS symposium "Fabrication, Verification, Authentication," and include Nick Wilding's essay "Forging the Moon," on the Galileo forgeries.

- Owen Williams and Rachel Dankert post for The Collation about "The Folger as a Collection of Collections."

- Registration is open for this year's Texas A&M Book History Workshop.

- From Tess Goodman at Inciting Sparks, "Reading As If To Live."

- Jackie Penny posts at Past is Present about the upcoming construction project at AAS.

- Daniel Dreisbach has a post for SHEAR adapted from his new book Reading the Bible with the Founding Fathers.

- The Maine State Library and Archives have jointly launched the Digital Maine Transcription Project.

- Rebecca Romney gets the "Bright Young Booksellers" spotlight.

- The Liesborn Gospels will return to Germany after a $3 million deal.

- Noah Sheola posts for the Houghton Library Blog about recataloging several undated seventeenth- and eighteenth-century quartos of Julius Caesar from the Houghton collections.

- Over at The Junto, a Q&A with Patrick Spero and Michael Zuckerman, editors of The American Revolution Reborn.

- The Book Collector has launched a contest to design the "27th letter."

- There's an excellent cataloging/provenance mystery post over on the Perne & Ward Libraries blog.

- Publisher George Braziller died this week at the age of 101. See the NYTimes obituary.

- Peter Steinberg has a post at Sylvia Plath Info about an important Plath archive currently offered for sale by bookseller Ken Lopez.

- At Verso, the Huntington Library's blog, Andrew Walkling posts about the printing process(es) used for a 1685 songbook.

- Scholar-librarian Michael Turner also died this week: Ian Gadd has a post on SHARP-L about Turner's long and productive career.

- Oxford professor Adam Smyth talks to cataloger Lucy Kelsall and conservator Nikki Tomkins about the library of Nicholas Crouch, now at Balliol College.

Reviews

- Charlie Lovett's The Lost Book of the Grail; review by Rebecca Rego Barry at the Fine Books Blog.

- The American Revolution Reborn, edited by Patrick Spero and Michael Zuckerman; review by Christopher Minty at The Junto.

- James Barron's The One-Cent Magenta; review by Timothy R. Smith in the WaPo.

- Spencer McBridge's Pulpit & Nation; review by Jonathan Wilson at The Junto.

- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich's A House Full of Females; review by Louisa Thomas in the WaPo.

- Eugene Hammond's Jonathan Swift and John Stubbs' Jonathan Swift; review by Claude Rawson in the TLS.

- Sidney Berger's The Dictionary of the Book; review by Dennis Duncan in the TLS [paywalled].

Upcoming Auctions

- Fine Literature with Lawrence Ferlinghetti and the Beats at PBA Galleries on 23 March.

- Texana and Western Americana at Heritage Auctions on 24 March.

- Spring 2017 auction at Arader Galleries on 25 March.