Sunday, July 23, 2017

Links & Reviews

- Theft alert: four signed books were stolen from Bloomington, IN.

- The AHA posted a quick update on congressional budget actions taken last week regarding cultural heritage programs. It's good news so far, but we must keep the pressure on.

- Preview tickets for this year's Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair (8–10 September) are now available; this year proceeds from the preview will benefit the Rare Book School Scholarship fund.

- The Princeton Graphic Arts Collection blog highlights a new edition of Swift's A Modest Proposal.

- From the same blog, a short piece about William Earl Dodge and the preservation of some of Audubon's bird plates.

- Susan Falciani profiles book thief James Richard Shinn for Atlas Obscura.

- A new "fused imaging" technique developed at Northwestern University may be useful for reading fragments hidden inside bookbindings.

- Over at Lux Mentis, Booksellers, Ian Kahn posts about an absolutely awesome new acquisition: a record player, albums, and technical specs from the Library of Congress' Talking Books project. He's shared lots of pictures too - have a look!

- Erin Blake writes about her time at Rare Book School at The Collation: "I learned to read Secretary Hand!!!! (And so can you)"

- Janice Hansen writes for the Chapel Hill Rare Book Blog about a recent find in the stacks.

- Duke has acquired a volume from Thomas Jefferson's library that also happened to be owned later by William Howard Taft.

- Ian Sansom rereads Jane Austen for the TLS.

Reviews

- Robert Thake's A Publishing History of a Prohibited Best-Seller; review by David Coward in the TLS.

- Francis Spufford's Golden Hill; review by Karen Heller in the WaPo.

- Adam Begley's The Great Nadar; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- Fine Literature & Fine Books at PBA Galleries on 27 July.

- Rare Books and Works on Paper at Bloomsbury on 27 July.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Links & Reviews

- A very happy anniversary to Tavistock Books, celebrating twenty years on Saturday! They've posted a Q&A with Vic Zoschak to mark the occasion.

- From Scientific American, "Peering beneath the Surface of Ancient Manuscripts."

- A €10 million redevelopment plan has been announced by the National Library of Ireland.

- Roger Gaskell and Erin Schreiner write about the new replica 18th-century rolling press at Rare Book School at JHIBlog.

- From Aaron Pratt at Cultural Compass (the HRC blog), "Instructions for reading aloud in the Gutenberg Bible."

- The Watkinson Library at Trinity College has acquired the personal library of Trinity alumnus Charles Hayden Proctor, kept intact since Proctor's death in 1890.

- Nate Pedersen talks to Edwin D. Rose for the FB&C "Bright Young Collectors" series.

- ABAA posted an alert about a missing book in San Francisco.

- Willamette Week highlights The Brautigan Library.

- The MHS has acquired Col. Robert Gould Shaw's Civil War sword, which recently turned up in a Shaw family home.

- At the Peter Harrington blog, "The Book Huntresses: Women Bibliophiles."

- Katy Lasdow talks to Alea Henle for the Junto's "Where Historians Work" series.

- There's a fascinating update on the Discovering Lost Manuscripts Project at the University of St. Andrews.

- A new exhibition at Marsh's Library highlights the stories of books stolen from the library since its founding.

- Biblio and Rare Book Hub are partnering to allow Hub subscribers to sell directly through the site using Biblio's search and e-commerce systems.

- Sarah Hovde posts at The Collation about some tricky Shakespearean "novelettes."

- Book collector Sir Sydney Carlyle Cockerell is featured as the ONDB "Life of the Week."

- Over at Steamboats Are Ruining Everything, Caleb Crain offers "A Longitudinal study of self-presentation on the interwebs."

- Biographer Kenneth Silverman died this week; see the NYTimes obituary.

- The ABAA blog reposts Richard Norman's "History of Vellum and Parchment."

- Book collector John Mellman has posted a "History and Personal Assessment" of the Harper Torchbooks series at Publishing History.

- I've begun playing around with Tropy, a new software program for research photo management from CHNM. Still in beta, but it looks really promising so far! [h/t Mitch Fraas]

Book Reviews

- The Card Catalog; review by Michael Lindgren in the WaPo.

- Lucy Worsley's Jane Austen at Home; review by Amy Bloom in the NYTimes.

- Helen Kelly's Jane Austen: The Secret Radical; review by John Sutherland in the NYTimes.

- Fred Kaplan's Lincoln and the Abolitionists; review by Manisha Sinha in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 19 July.

- Children's & Illustrated Books at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 20 July.

- Space Exploration at Sotheby's New York on 20 July.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Links & Reviews

- From Vayos Liapis at the OUP blog: "The real thing: the thrills of inauthentic literature."

- Erin Blake writes for The Collation about an ~1857 photographic facsimile, one of the first made of an entire book.

- A walking stick once owned by Sir Walter Scott will be on the auction block this week.

- The Godmersham Lost Sheep Society is on the hunt for books containing the bookplate(s) of Montagu George Knight.

- The first issue of Thresholds, a new "experiment in digital publishing," is out.

- A crowdfunding effort is underway to digitize and make available the slide collection of Christopher Clarkson.

- Danuta Kean reports for the Guardian on the latest Voynich Manuscript theory.

- Echoes from the Vault marked the 330th anniversary of the publication of Newton's Principia.

- The Library of Congress has posted video of an April talk by Wayne Wiegand, "How Long, O Lord, Do We Roam in the Wilderness? A History of School Librarianship."

- From FB&C, "The Lost Libraries of London," by A. N. Devers.

- An 1812 Jane Austen letter parodying a recent novel will be sold at auction this week.

- Mississippi State University has acquired a large collection related to Lincoln and the Civil War.

- The JTA highlights Amsterdam's Livraria Ets Haim, described as "the world's oldest functioning Jewish library."

- Some recent finds from a study of Cornell's illuminated manuscripts using XRF technology are featured in the Cornell Chronicle.

- New from the Massachusetts Historical Society, and freely available as an e-book, "The Future of History."

- Also from MHS, a new fundraising campaign to support transcription and digitization of John Quincy Adams' diaries.

- From the NYTimes Upshot blog, "The Word Choices That Explain Why Jane Austen Endures."

- Over on the Scholars' Lab blog, James Ascher posts on "Transcribing Typography with Markdown."

- Forgot this last week: a photo claimed to be of Jesse James has surfaced, and will be sold at auction on August.

Reviews

- William Hogeland's Autumn of the Black Snake; review by Tom Cutterham at The Junto.

- Rebecca Brannon's From Revolution to Revolution; review by Christopher Minty at The Junto.

- Abigail Williams' The Social Life of Books; review by Ernest Hilbert in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- English Literature, History, Children's Books and Illustrations, including The Garrett Herman Collection: The Age of Darwin at Sotheby's London on 11 July.

- Valuable Books and Manuscripts at Christie's London on 12 July.

- Art & Illustration - Fine Children's Literature at PBA Galleries on 13 July.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Links & Reviews

- Catherine Allgor has been appointed the next president of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

- David Whitesell posts at Notes from Under Grounds about a major new acquisition.

- The Junto has a Q&A with David Gary of the American Philosophical Society as part of their "Where Historians Work" series.

- Tess Goodman writes for JHIBlog on "The Idea of the Souvenir: Mauchline Ware."

- Common-place has a new issue up, with thirteen emerging scholars introducing pre-1800 American texts.

- Also at JHIBlog, Yitzchak Schwartz has a review of this year's Manfred R. Lehman Workshop on the History of the Hebrew Book in "Towards a History of Hebrew Book Collecting."

- There's a great deal in the July Rare Book Monthly: Bruce McKinney on quite an interesting Revolutionary War collection, Thibaut Ehrengardt on an "untouched collection" in Belgium, and Eric Caren on the 15 June Christie's sale of important items from his collection.

- Over at Past is Present, "The Practice of Everyday Cataloging: 'Blacks as Authors' and the Early American Bibliographic Record."

- Mary Beard's "Learning to be a librarian" made me laugh out loud at least twice.

- Paul Grondahl reports on a recent eBay find of an Albany County judicial ledger; the story has a connection to the Daniel Lorello archives thefts from several years ago.

- The Sion College Library Provenance Project has been relaunched.

- APHA is now "accepting short articles on lesser known aspects of the history of printing and related arts and crafts, including calligraphy, typefounding, typography, papermaking, bookbinding, illustration, and publishing" for publication on the APHA website.

Reviews

- Charlie English's The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu; review by William Dalrymple in the Guardian.

- Sarah Williams' Damnable Practises; review by Penelope Gouk at H-Net Reviews.

- Ronald White's American Ulysses; review by Chris Fobare at H-Net Reviews.

Upcoming Auctions

- Western & Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures at Drewatts & Bloomsbury on 6 July.

- Fine Books & Manuscripts at Potter & Potter on 8 July.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Links & Reviews

Seemed like a quiet week - you'd think there was a major conference or something going on ... thanks to all who tweeted from #RBMS17; it was nice to follow along from afar!

I begin with a request: I'd like to get a copy of Henry Morris' 1999 spoof Booblio; if any bookseller out there has one in an ephemera bin (I don't find any copies currently online), please let me know.

- A fun look at the iconography of the Pickwick Papers as found in the Dickens collection of Samuel William Meek on the Princeton Graphic Arts Collection blog.

- The JHIBlog contributors give us a look at their summer reading lists.

- Houghton Library's accession books from 1941 to 1983 have been digitized.

- Glenn Fleishmann writes for Wired on "How Letterpress Printing Came Back from the Dead."

- Not all that much new here, but Danuta Kean highlights famous misprints for the Guardian.

- Chris Phillips writes about his recent Rare Book School course at Criticism by Other Means.

Book Reviews

- Frank Felsentein and James J. Connolly's What Middletown Read; review by Cassie Brand on H-Net Reviews.

- Alicia Brazeau's Circulating Literacy; review by Richard Mikulski on H-Net Reviews.

- Fred Kaplan's Lincoln and the Abolitionists; review by Eric Foner in the NYTimes.

- Edward Dolnick's The Seeds of Life; review by Abraham Verghese in the NYTimes.

- The Australian National Dictionary; review by Barry Humphries in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- La bibliothèque de Pierre Bergé - Musique et Poésie at Sotheby's Paris on 28 June.

The Erotica Sale at Bloomsbury on 29 June.

- Americana - Travel & Exploration - World History - Cartography at PBA Galleries on 29 June.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Links & Reviews

- Rebecca Fishbein offers "A Brief History of the Strand," founded ninety years ago this year.

- David Laskin writes for the NYTimes Travel section on "The Hidden Treasures in Italian Libraries."

- A nicely illustrated 1819 ship's log sold at Swann last week for $20,800.

- Keith Houston highlights a new punctuation mark ("a Dutch interrobang") and interviews the typographer behind it.

- Tawrin Baker writes for the Huntington's blog on "Visualizing the Anatomy of the Eye."

- Maggs Bros. new shop gets the Architectural Digest treatment.

- Over at Past is Present, an interview with Chris Phillips about his research at AAS.

- Edward Whitley asks "Where did Leaves of Grass come from?"

- On 15 July, the Massachusetts Historical Society will host a "Transcribe-a-thon" to mark John Quincy Adams' 250th birthday.

- The Chicago Tribune reports on the upcoming $11 million renovation at the Newberry Library.

- Ellen G.K. Rubin's collection of movable books is featured in Atlas Obscura.

- Ian Ehling has been appointed Director of Fine Books & Manuscripts at Bonhams New York.

- Bookseller Garrett Scott offers up a really fascinating probate inventory featuring a detailed library list.

- In the TLS, Stuart Kelly on "Writing beyond the grave."

- If you have bought from or sold to ebay user davius-9srhw8rb, please contact the ABAA.

Reviews

- Yael Rice reviews the Sackler Gallery's recent exhibition "The Art of the Qu'ran" in the LARB.

- Erica Benner's Be Like the Fox; review by Edmund Fawcett in the NYTimes.

- Rüdiger Safranski's Goethe: Life as a Work of Art; review by Michael Hofmann in the NYTimes.

- Joe Berkowitz's Away with Words; review by Allan Fallow in the WaPo.

- The British Museum's exhibition and catalog on Hokusai; review by Peter Maber in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- Books, Autographs and Works at Paper at Bloomsbury on 22 June.

- Fine Judaica at Kestenbaum and Company on 22 June.

- Books and Ephemera at National Book Auctions on 24 June.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Links & Reviews

- Two notices from the ABAA about missing/stolen books: a copy of the first English edition of Melville's The Confidence Man, and an original photo album of the construction of the Madeira-Mamore Railroad.

- Rebecca Rego Barry highlights some key lots from the 15 June Christie's sale of the ornithological library of Dr. Gerald Dorros.

- NPR ran a story this week about Lovecraft-inspired board games.

- From Heather Wolfe at The Collation, "Imagining a lost set of common-place books."

- At Libraria, a report about recent research which has revealed forty sealskin binding over-covers on manuscripts from the library of Clairvaux Abbey, with indications that the practice may have been even more widespread in the collection.

- Over at the Princeton Graphic Arts Collection blog, "The Shakespeare that almost didn't happen."

- Rare Books Digest takes a look at the Vinegar Bible.

- Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney write for the TLS about the long-distance friendship between Harriet Beecher Stowe and George Eliot.

Book Reviews

- Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent; review by Ron Charles in the WaPo.

- Mike Rapport's The Unruly City; review by Russell Shorto in the NYTimes.

Upcoming Auctions

- Art, Press & Illustrated Books at Swann Galleries on 13 June.

- Fine Books & Manuscripts, Including Americana at Sotheby's New York on 13 June.

- Fine Books, Atlases, Manuscripts and Photographs at Bonhams London on 14 June.

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 14 June.

- The Metropolitan Opera Guild Collection at Christie's New York on 15 June.

- The Ornithological Library of Gerald Dorros, MD at Christie's New York on 15 June.

- Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts Including Americana and the Eric C. Caren Collection at Christie's New York on 15 June.

- Rare Books & Manuscripts at PBA Galleries on 15 June.

- Books & Manuscripts at Freeman's on 16 June.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Links & Reviews

- Registration is now open for a very interesting-looking conference this September, "BH and DH: Book History and Digital Humanities."

- Over at Past is Present, a new list of recent articles and books published by members of the AAS community.

- The National Library of Norway is planning to digitize works from the collections of Nigeria's National Library published in the Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba languages.

- At recto | verso, a look at American documentary photography around the turn of the twentieth century.

- A report in the Telegraph suggests that Italian authorities have recently unraveled an art and book theft ring in the Turin area; one manuscript was found to have been stolen from the Royal Library of Turin in 2012. If anybody has more information about this story, I'd love to see it.

- Melbourne Rare Book Week begins on 30 June this year.

- Mary McClure posts at Echoes from the Vault about a lovely Book of Hours from the St Andrews collections.

- June's Rare Book Monthly articles include an update on the California law about the sale of autographed materials, and a report from Michael Stillman on the theft of an RAF logbook.

- Boston 1775 explores Isaiah Thomas' involvement with an American edition of Fanny Hill.

- Natasha Pizzey writes for the BBC about the Luis de Carvajal manuscript recently returned to Mexico.

- Danuta Kean reports for the Guardian about the sale of the library of William O'Brien, coming up this week at Sotheby's.

Book Reviews

- Anthony Horowitz's Magpie Murders; review by Charles Finch in the WaPo.

- Max Décharné's Vulgar Tongues; review by Allan Fallow in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books at Swann Galleries on 7 June.

- The Library of William O'Brien: Property of the Milltown Park Charitable Trust at Sotheby's London on 7 June.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts, including Illustration Art at Bonhams New York on 7 June.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Links & Reviews

- Two theft notices from the ABAA: a Thomas Jefferson autograph note and a 1610 folio volume, A Display of Heraldry.

- NEH Chairman William Adams resigned from his post last week. The agency is targeted for elimination under the president's FY18 budget (call your representatives). See their FAQ on where things go from here.

- On the proposed budget cuts (which reach far beyond NEH), see Bethany Nowviskie's post to a Digital Library Federation list.

- Alcoholics Anonymous has filed suit for the return of the printers' copy of the organization's "Big Book," scheduled to be sold at auction on 8 June by Profiles in History. The annotated typescript was previously sold at auction in 2004 and 2007.

- Honey & Wax Booksellers have announced a new book-collecting prize open to women book collectors in the U.S. under 30 years old.

- Aaron Pratt has been appointed the new Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts at the Harry Ransom Center.

- Carla Giaimo writes for Atlas Obscura on "The Lost Typefaces of W.A. Dwiggins."

- Rob Rulon-Miller provides an overview of this summer's Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar.

- Elizabeth Savage posted a new update to her census of early modern frisket sheets (project homepage) and has a post at The Conveyor about a recent related find.

- Rare Book School's summer lecture schedule is out.

-Book curses on the BL's medieval manuscripts blog.

- Kate Mitas has begun a series on archival cataloging for booksellers.

- A new exhibition at the National Library of New Zealand, He Tohu, highlights three important founding documents in the country's history.

- From James Ascher on the UVA Scholars' Lab blog, "Visualizing Paper Evidence Using Digital Reproductions."

- At Echoes from the Vault, a look at some interesting finds from the St Andrews Burgh records.

- Mary Bendel-Simso talked to The Academic Minute about her work using digital newspaper archives to find early American detective fiction.

- At Notes from Under Grounds, Nora Benedict Frye posts about her current UVA Special Collections exhibition on Borges and bibliography.

- Rebecca Mead reports on the recent identification of a "lost" Edith Wharton play.

- Will Gore writes for the Spectator on "Why rare books are thriving in the digital age."

- Danuta Kean reports for the Guardian about Peter Steinberg and Gail Crowther's recent identification of unpublished Sylvia Plath poems found by examining a sheet of carbon paper in Plath's papers at the Lilly Library.

- Miranda Cooper writes for Tablet Magazine about "500 Years of Treasures from Oxford," an exhibition now on display at the Center for Jewish History.

- Tom Hyry highlights the current Houghton Library exhibition, "Open House 75: Houghton Staff Select."

- A few early bookplates from Princeton's collections are featured on the Graphic Arts blog.

- At Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, notes on an NYPL breviary fragment.

- Abbie Weinberg marked the 400th birthday of Elias Ashmole with a Collation post.

- Thirty-three books stolen from Jewish communities were donated to the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Warsaw last week.

Book Reviews

- Charlie English's The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu; review by Justin Marozzi in the Spectator.

- Holger Hoock's Scars of Independence; review by Jane Kamensky in the NYTimes.

- James Barron's The One-Cent Magenta; review by Rebecca Rego Barry at the Fine Books Blog.

- John Grisham's Camino Island; review by Jocelyn McClurg in USA Today (apparently it's about rare book and manuscript collecting ... )

- Beth Underdown's The Witchfinder's Sister; review by Helen Castor in the NYTimes.

- Rüdiger Safranski's Goethe: Life as a Work of Art; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

- Stephen Fry's new audiobook edition of the Sherlock Holmes stories; review by Simon Callow in the NYTimes.

Upcoming Auctions

The Richard Beagle Collection of Angling and Sporting Books, Part I on 1 June at PBA Galleries.

Arader Galleries Summer 2017 Sale on 3 June.

Books and Ephemera at National Book Auctions on 3 June.

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.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Links & Reviews

- The 10th biennial conference of the Society of Early Americanists is coming up this week in Tulsa. I've organized a panel there on the future of American library history, where I hope to prompt a good conversation about current tools for working with historical library records and what tools we need in order to make even better use of these.

- After that, it's off to New York for Rare Book Week: three book fairs and lots of other goings-on.

- Harvard Magazine features a highlight article in celebration of Houghton Library's 75th anniversary.

- Coming soon, the Stationers' Register Online.

- Dawn Albinger of Archives Fine Books in Australia has a post up on the ILAB site about her work recently to restore a stolen book to its rightful home.

- A serialized Walt Whitman novel from 1852 has been identified and published. More coverage on NPR.

- From Erin Blake at The Collation, "Manuscripts in libraries: catalog versus finding aid."

- In the "Bright Young Booksellers" series, Nate Pedersen talks to Derek and Anna Walker of Edinburgh's McNaughtan's Bookshop.

Reviews

- John Stubbs' Jonathan Swift: The Reluctant Rebel; reviews by James McNamara in the NYTimes and Jeffrey Meyers in the LATimes.

- Anders Rydell's The Book Thieves; review by Michael S. Roth in the WaPo.

- Sean Wilentz's The Politicians & the Egalitarian; review by Christopher Childers at Reviews in History.

Upcoming Auctions

- Fine Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams London, 1 March.

- Rare Books at Heritage New York, 8 March.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams New York, 9 March.

- Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books at Swann Galleries, 9 March.