Sunday, March 27, 2016

Links & Reviews

- The AAS has launched a great new web exhibit: From English to Algonquian: Early New England Translations.

- Adam Hooks has added a new post at Anchora, "Shakespeare's Beehive 2.0." Take the time and read the whole thing.

- Coming up at the Bodleian Library at the end of May, a conference on "Mesoamerican Manuscripts: New Scientific Approaches and Interpretations."

- Jennifer Schuessler reports for the NYTimes on this year's Folger First Folio Road Show, dropping in on the Folio currently visiting South Dakota.

- The Oakland Tribune has a brief update on the case of the rare books stolen from North Oakland following the California Antiquarian Book Fair in February. A reward remains unclaimed and the books remain unrecovered.

- New York's Strand Bookstore is profiled in the "Interview with a Bookstore" series.

- Adrienne Lafrance writes for the Atlantic about a new project to figure out a way to preserve and visualize historic machine-programmed theater lighting designs.

- Peter Dobrin, reporting for the Philadelphia Inquirer, has an update on the legal feud between the Maurice Sendak estate and the Rosenbach. The library has asked a Connecticut court to remove the estate's executors and compel the estate to turn over books from Sendak's collection to the Rosenbach. The new court proceedings follow a failed settlement attempt in January.

- Over at The Collation, Erin Blake writes about the Folger's current effort to systematically update call numbers to match the second edition of STC.

- Simon Beattie has turned up another fascinating biblio-curiosity: a guide for Soviet librarians on how to write catalog cards.

- John Dugdale writes for the Guardian about the recent run of "rediscovered" manuscripts, highlighting Michael Scammel's NYRB piece about Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon, the original German manuscript of which was identified last year in a Zurich library.

- New from the NYPL, the Photographers' Identities Catalog, containing biographical data on more than "115,000 photographers, studios, manufacturers, dealers, and others involved in the production of photographs."

- Scholars are condemning plans by the trustees of the venerable Society of Antiquaries to reduce staff at the Society's library from 3.5 full-time positions to three part-time positions.

- Since it's making the rounds, I post this Telegraph slideshow of "the most valuable rare books in existence" only as a PSA to stay away from it, since it's chock-full of baloney.


- Claire Harman's Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart; review by Elizabeth Toohey in the CSM.

- Abby Smith Rumsey's When We Are No More; review by Nicholas Carr in the WaPo.

- Frank Cioffi's One Day in the Life of the English Language; review by Mary Norris in the TLS.

- Piers Paul Read's Scarpia; review by Allan Massie in the WSJ.

- Iain Pears' Arcadia; review by Scott Bradfield in the NYTimes.

- Several new books on Samuel Pepys, including Kate Loveman's Samuel Pepys and His Books; review by Arnold Hunt in the TLS.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Links & Reviews

- Rare Book Week NYC is coming up soon! Book fairs, auctions, and exhibits galore.

- The Chemical Heritage Foundation has purchased Isaac Newton's manuscript copy of an alchemical treatise by George Starkey; the document also contains a record of one of Newton's own alchemical experiments. CHF curator James Voelkel says that digital images of the manuscript will soon be available via The Chymistry of Isaac Newton.

- The British Library has launched Discovering Literature: Shakespeare, a collection of articles, digitized materials from the library's collections, &c. Coverage from the Guardian.

- Hugh Schofield writes for the BBC Magazine about the Aristophil ponzi scheme.

- Eric Kwakkel's talk at the University of Toronto's Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, "Commercial Books Before Gutenberg," is now available for your listening pleasure (and there are lots of other good lectures available there too).

- The BBC reports on the Mapping Paper in Medieval England project, based at Cambridge.

- The Jewish Theological Seminary's Geniza Collection will be deposited at the Princeton University Library until the fall of 2019, when the JTS's renovated rare book room opens.

- Charlton Heston's collection of Shakespeariana (including two 17th-century quartos), plus a number of movie props and other materials, will be sold at Bonhams Los Angeles this week.

- Books on early American topics swept the Bancroft Prizes this year.

- Christie's London will sell copies of all four Shakespeare folios on 25 May; the First Folio is reportedly an unrecorded copy.

- On the Houghton Library Modern Books and Manuscripts blog, Ryan Wheeler highlights some books bequeathed to Houghton by Thomas Carlyle.

- Texas A&M has acquired an early map of Texas and related documents once in the collections of surveyor James M. Manning.

- The typescript of a history of superstition written at least in part by H.P. Lovecraft (under commission by Harry Houdini!) has been found, and will be sold by Chicago's Potter & Potter auction house on 9 April.

- From Exeter Working Papers in Book History, "Sir Walter Scott and the Parisian pirates: a bibliographical paddle in murky waters."

- The NYPL announced that digitization has been completed on a number of fascinating early American manuscript collections, including the papers and receipt book of printer Hugh Gaine.

- A volume of Grimm's fairy tales signed by Anne Frank will be sold at Swann on 5 May.

- The Diagram prize for oddest book title has been awarded to Too Naked for the Nazis.


- Claire Harman's Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart; reviews by Deborah Friedell in the NYTimes and Jonathan Rose in the WSJ.

- Elaine Showalter's The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe; review by Rebecca Steinitz in the Boston Globe.

- John Aubrey's Brief Lives, edited by Kate Bennett; review by Ruth Scurr in the TLS.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Links & Reviews

- Matthew Kirschenbaum's Rosenbach Lectures are coming up this week in Philadelphia.

- Cambridge University Library is celebrating its 600th anniversary with a physical and online exhibition, "Lines of Thought: Discoveries that Changed the World." Sarah Knapton writes in the Telegraph about the show, focusing on Isaac Newton's copy of his Principia. Maev Kennedy covers the exhibit for the Guardian.

- Two Tel Aviv men have been indicted on charges of burglary, breaking and entering, conspiracy, and trespassing after they broke into the Rambam Library in Tel Aviv and stole 17th-century rabbinical manuscripts.

- The NYTimes editorial board weighs in on the ongoing budgetary battle that threatens the future of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln editorial project.

- Folger curator and RBS faculty member Heather Wolfe is profiled in the WSJ for some of her recent paleographical discoveries.

- Geoffrey Giller writes for the Yale Alumni Magazine about some of the copper plates from Audubon's Birds of America, several of which are at Yale's Peabody Museum.

Anthropomorphic landscapes are the order of the day at Public Domain Review.

- The second portion of Hugh Selbourne's library was sold at Bonhams London this week; in total, the library realized more than £2.6 million.

- Tess Goodman has a post at Inciting Sparks on the creation of authorial personae, highlighting Elizabeth Gaskell and Walt Whitman.

- The new Common-place is up, and it includes Hilary Wyss on "Eighteenth-Century Letter-Writing and Native American Community."

- Also now available, the March 2016 issue of the AAS Almanac.

- Shakespeare's World is highlighted by Charlotte Salley for The American Scholar.

- The National Archives has released images and a transcription of a letter written by Walt Whitman acting as amanuensis for a dying Civil War soldier. More from Michael Ruane in the WaPo.

- The Boston Globe editorial board argues for changes at the BPL as a new leader is sought.

- Jonathan Guthrie, writing in the Financial Times, explains "Why collecting books can be a deep source of pleasure."

- Emory University has acquired W.E.B. DuBois' copy of David Walker's Appeal.

- Antiquarian bookseller Éamonn de Búrca is profiled in the Irish Times.

- Sarah Minegar is up next in the FB&C "Bright Young Librarians" series.

- From the New Yorker, Daniel Gross on "The Custodian of Forgotten Books."

- Alexander Historical Auctions will sell what's being described as Hitler's own copy of Mein Kampf.

- This week's "On the Media" is all about books, from publishing to theft to industrial bookselling.

- Missed this last month: Greg Cram writes for the NYPL blog on the process they undertook to evaluate the rights status of all those public domain images they released recently.


- Anne Boyd Rioux's Constance Fenimore Woolson; review by Wendy Smith in the Boston Globe.

- Elaine Showalter's The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe; review by David Hugh Smith in the CSM.

- Austin Reed's The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict; review by Annette Gordon-Reed in the WaPo.

- Eric Burns' The Golden Lad; review by Del Quentin Weber in the WaPo.

- Vanessa Ogle's The Global Transformation of Time; review by Thomas Meaney in the TLS.

- Matthew Kirschenbaum's Track Changes; review in Kirkus Reviews.

- Catherine Lowell's The Madwoman Upstairs; review by Rebecca Rego Barry at FB&C.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Links & Reviews

I had the great pleasure of representing Rare Book School at the Washington Antiquarian Book Fair this weekend: it's the first time I've been able to attend this fair, and I found it very much worth the visit. There were some excellent books to be found, good crowds on Friday night and all day Saturday, and the fair was organized extremely well. The addition of the Typewriter Rodeo on Saturday afternoon was a nice touch, too.

Prior to the fair I stopped in at the Folger Shakespeare Library for their current exhibition, "Shakespeare, Life of an Icon." If you can go check that out before it closes at the end of this month, take the time and do it: the chances of all the great items included ever being in the same place again seem pretty slim.

- A reward has been offered for information leading to the return of the books stolen from bookseller Lawrence Van De Carr following the California Antiquarian Book Fair.

- The Lindau Gospels is currently on display at the Morgan Library, and in bright light too, so the details of the crazily jeweled binding are readily visible.

- A inscribed copy of Brideshead Revisited sold for £52,500 at the auction of the Duchess of Devonshire's estate.

- The National Library of Scotland has digitized more than 3,000 Scottish chapbooks from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

- Simon Beattie highlights a German translation of an English novel, the original of which is known only from advertisements, reviews, and a single copy of the first volume of three.

- Teresa Breathnach has a new blog about shipboard printing, which seems like it'll be worth a follow.

- David Whitesell's new exhibition on gothic fiction is now up at UVA: he blogs about the show at Notes from Under Grounds. Another one worth a visit if possible.

- Some 6,000 items from an archive kept by Bob Dylan have been acquired by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the University of Tulsa. The deal was brokered by Glenn Horowitz.

- Caroline Duroselle-Melish has a great Collation post up about fallen type in handpress-era books.

- Barbara Heritage writes on "New Directions in Bibliography and Critical Hermeneutics" for the JHIBlog.

- Tim O'Neill writes for Slate on a Quora question about what lost ancient works historians would most like to recover.

- Seamus Heaney's papers are now open to researchers at Emory University.

- Claire Voon writes about "blooks" for Hyperallergic.

- Alix Christie has a nice piece remembering Elizabeth Eisenstein for the Seattle Review of Books.

- A judge has agreed that Harper Lee's will can remain sealed.

- The March Rare Book Monthly articles are up: they include Michael Stillman on what AbeBooks is up to lately, a profile of Louis Weinstein (formerly of Heritage Book Shop and now a collector of Hawaiiana), and a quick overview of a sale of items from Charlton Heston's estate, soon going on the block at Bonhams.

- From Emily Rhodes in The Spectator, "A bookseller's guide to book thieves."

- The Hinckley family has donated five rare Mormon books from the library of Gordon Hinckley to BYU.

- Alexis Buchanan writes for Nonprofit Quarterly about severe building issues that threaten the collections at the Carter G. Woodson Regional Library in Chicago.

- Amazon will open a second brick-and-mortar store in San Diego this summer.

- Diane Dias DeFazio is profiled in the FB&C "Bright Young Librarians" series.


- Elaine Showalter's The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe; review by Jill Lepore in the NYTimes.

- Ricky Jay's Matthias Buchinger; review by Jim Ruland in the LATimes.

- Fergus Bordewich's The First Congress; review by Carol Berkin in the NYTimes.

- Stephen Cross' The Fever of 1721; review by Joyce Chaplin in the NYTimes.

- Jack Lynch's You Could Look It Up; review by Alberto Manguel in the NYTimes.

- Claire Harman's Charlottë Bronte: A Fiery Heart; review by Michael Upchurch in the Boston Globe.