Sunday, February 23, 2014

Links & Reviews

- That theft case from Vermont I mentioned last week took a surprising turn: Patrick J. Rooney, the accused thief, was found dead in his apartment; the death is being considered a suicide.

- There's a new website to highlight all the good things happening in New York City in early April:

- From the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Hidden Away," a post on manuscript fragments recently found in the binding of a John Evelyn commonplace book.

- This morning's CBS Sunday Morning highlighted (with video) what may be the last newspaper in America being printed with linotype.

- Ruth Graham has a lengthy piece in the Boston Globe about the lure of the Voynich Manuscript for scholars, outlining some of the recently-unveiled theories (here's another one) and the skepticism which has greeted them.

- Over at The Collation, Heather Wolfe on some early images of family trees, drawn from preparations for an upcoming Folger exhibition.

- From Princeton, a writeup of the recent 100th birthday celebration for William Scheide.

- At Manuscript Road Trip this week, a rundown of three medieval manuscripts stolen from Connecticut College in the 1950s, and still missing.

- Also in the Boston Globe, a profile of the Boston Athenaeum's conservation efforts.

- This year's nominees for the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year have been announced.


 - Timothy Brook's Mr. Selden's Map of China; review by Rana Mitter in the Telegraph.

- Lawrence Buell's The Dream of the Great American Novel; review by Michael Kimmage in TNR.

- Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction; review by Michael S. Roth in the WaPo.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Links & Reviews

- A new theft case out of Vermont: Patrick J. Rooney, 55, of Colchester pleaded not guilty last month to charges that he stole a page from a 1791 volume of early Vermont records from Burlington's Fletcher Free Library and tried to sell it to UVM's Bailey-Howe Library. Following that discovery an investigation revealed that UVM had previously purchased other material from Rooney, including a volume of Chittenden County Road Commissioner records from 1828-1831 which UVM purchased in May 2013 for $625. Last week Rooney was charged with additional counts relating to the newly-discovered thefts, and he failed to appear for his arraignment on Thursday. Court records revealed that Rooney was linked to prior library thefts in 2001, 1994, and 1991. There's a photo of Rooney here, and the Burlington Police Department has posted a list of documents which may be linked. I'll keep an eye on this, but will appreciate any information others have on this story as well.

- Newly-released, the third volume of Galileo's O: A Galileo Forgery. It's available for pre-order on Amazon, but the text is also available online here as PDFs, which is absolutely fantastic to see.

- From David Whitesell on the UVA Special Collections blog Notes from Under Grounds, an excellent post on book (or manuscript) breaking for pleasure or profit.

- The finalists for the George Washington Book Prize have been announced: Alan Taylor's The Internal Enemy, Jeff Pasley's The First Presidential Contest, and Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy's The Men Who Lost America. The winner will be announced in May.

- Over in the LATimes, Carolyn Kellogg's "Younger book dealers are diving into the antiquarian trade" is a good read.

- Some excellent news for ESTC: UC Riverside has received a $405,000 Mellon grant to fund upgrades and the addition of collaborative features to ESTC.

- On the AAS blog, Molly O'Hagan Hardy on Evans-TCP and some of its potential uses.

- Richard Ovenden has been appointed Bodley's Librarian. Delightful news!

- Author Naomi Novik recently testified to Congress about copyright and fair use. Her arguments are well worth a read.

- Alexis Coe at Buzzfeed has posted her list of eight book folks "killing it online." All folks you should be paying attention to, for sure.

- New from the College Art Association, a report which suggests we're all probably under-using fair use.

- A new exhibit at the Yale Law Library focuses on the use of Reflectance Transformation Imaging to bring out details on early bindings.

- On the APHA blog, Irene Tichenor on the centenary of the death of Theodore Low De Vinne, which will be marked by a Grolier Club exhibition.

- In the New Yorker, George Packer writes on Amazon and its overall impact on the book world.

- The University of Southern California has been awarded a five-year, $1.9 million Mellon grant to support graduate-level training in digital scholarship.

- Steven Koblik, president of the Huntington Library, has announced that he will retire in 2015.

- Seth Parry asks at The Junto, "Are we all book historians now?"

- Over at Open Culture, Josh Jones on the de Caro Galileo forgeries.

- At The Collation, Heather Wolfe on an excellent example of early modern English writing paper.

- Also at The Collation, Goran Proot on the uses of V and U in 17th-century Flemish book titles, and Sarah Werner on transcription style for early modern texts.

- The folks at the Guardian books blog want to know how many books you read at once.

- A fire in some adjacent disused water towers threatened the British National Archives buildings at Kew, but the flames were extinguished quickly.

- OCLC Research issued a report titled "Does Every Research Library Need a Digital Humanities Center?" Dot Porter responds with "What if we do, in fact, know best?"


- Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction; reviews by Al Gore in the NYTimes and Robert Darwall in the WSJ.

- David Brion Davis' The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation; reviews by James Oakes in the WaPo Eric Foner in The Nation.

- Rachel Shelden's The Washington Brotherhood; review by Robert Mitchell in the WaPo.

- Tom Zoellner's Train; reviews by Jonathan Yardley in the WaPo and Hector Tobar in the LATimes.

- Joshua Zeitz's Lincoln's Boys; review by Scott Martelle in the LATimes.

- Timothy Brook's Mr. Selden's Map of China; review by Lisa Jardine in the Financial Times.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Links & Reviews

Lots of updates this week:

- The BSA, Caxton Club, and the University of Wisconsin Libraries are hosting a symposium on 26 April, "Bibliography, Collections, and the History of Science." Speakers will include Michael Shank on stop-press corrections in early modern astronomy, Florence Hsia on Bodleian Librarian Thomas Hyde, and Nick Wilding on the Galileo forgeries. Worth noting: Richard Lan will speak during the afternoon session.

- New at The Appendix, a fascinating index to the published articles. If you're not already reading this great publication, you should remedy that right away.

- The University of Missouri has discovered that some 600,000 books in an offsite storage facility have been damaged by mold. More here from Jennifer Howard at The Chronicle.

- Aaron Brunmeier recaps the recent Liverpool conference on Libraries in the Atlantic World.

- On 5 March, Bonhams will sell books from the collections of the Los Angeles County Law Library.

- The Robert Livingston/Richard Henry Lee draft petition to the British people written in July 1775 sold for a whopping $912,500.

- Andrew Scrimgeour, dean of libraries at Drew University, writes on marginalia in the NYTimes.

- At The Appendix, Benjamin Breen highlights a sorcery manual (now online via the Wellcome Library).

- Over at Student Science, a look at the high-tech efforts being made to hunt for palimpsests in the texts housed at St. Catherine's monastery in Egypt.

- A manuscript leaf, one of a number stolen from the Archdiocese of Turin in 1990, has been returned to Italy.

- The Vatican Library and four Japanese historical institutions will work together to inventory, catalog, and digitize the Marega Papers, an archive of some 10,000 documents related to the persecution of Christians in Japan during the 17th-19th centuries.

- The BL has uploaded more than 15,000 images of Persian manuscripts from its collections.

- has released its annual list of most-searched-for out-of-print books at BookFinder.

- Your must-read of the week is Sarah Werner's "It's History, Not a Viral Feed," about those annoying context-less photo-sharing Twitter accounts.

- The Boston Globe profiled Lisa Fagin Davis about the stories she's been telling over at the Manuscript Road Trip blog.

- I'm delighted to see that the New York Society Library has completed their cataloging of the John Sharp Collection. See their blog posts on the collection here and here.

- A guest post by Thijs Porck at medievalfragments, about scribal abuse in the middle ages.

- At The Junto, Roy Rogers explains his new shelving system for his personal library. Which reminds me, I meant to share the one I came up with for my own. Someday!

- A couple security alerts from the ABAA this week, mostly involving fraudulent credit card transactions. See the full reports here and here. The books are well described, so if you've seen them or recognize them, contact the ABAA Security Committee.

- UVA English professor Brad Pasanek is interviewed for the Ploughshares "People of the Book" series.

- Over at the MSU Provenance Blog, Adversaria, a copy of the 1688 edition of Dryden's Poems containing lots and lots of manuscript annotations and extra manuscript material on inserted leaves.

- At medievalfragments, Irene Daly notes M.R. James' work as a scholar of manuscripts and how that played into his ghost stories.


- Valerie Martin's The Ghost of the Mary Celeste; review by John Vernon in the NYTimes.

- Jeff Vandermeer's Annihilation; review by Lydia Millet in the LATimes.

- Douglas Egerton's Wars of Reconstruction; review by Eric Foner in the NYTimes.

- Greg Grandin's The Empire of Necessity; review by Alan Taylor in the WaPo.

- David Brion Davis' The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation; review by John Stauffer in the WSJ.

- Randy Sparks' Where the Negroes are Masters; review by Jonathan Yardley in the WaPo.

- Alan Jacob's The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography; review by Matthew Mason at Fare Forward.