Sunday, January 19, 2020

Links & Auctions

- Guilty pleas were filed this week in the Pittsburgh Carnegie Library thefts. Former archivist Greg Priore pleaded to theft and receiving stolen property, while bookseller John Schulman pleaded to receiving stolen property, theft by deception, and forgery. Prosecutors agreed to drop the remaining counts against both men. Sentencing is scheduled for 17 April. See Paula Reed Ward's report for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette for more. Coverage also from Smithsonian, CNN, the WaPo, and Book Patrol.

- And if you thought that was going to be the main archives/rare books-related news story of the week, it was until Friday night, when Joe Heim reported for the Washington Post that the National Archives had altered an image of the 2017 Women's March displayed at the entry to an exhibition on the centennial of women's suffrage, blurring signs that were critical of Donald Trump or which referenced women's anatomy. An entirely-justified torrent of criticism ensued nearly immediately, and by Saturday afternoon the Archives had reversed both course and the altered photograph. In a statement which began "We made a mistake," the Archives said they would "immediately start a thorough review of our exhibit policies and procedures so that this does not happen again." More from the NYTimes and a followup from the WaPo. Also worth reading is Joe Heim's Twitter thread on how he turned this story up.

- Registration is now open for CABS–Minnesota 2020, to be held 12–17 July at St. Olaf College.

- Oberlin College Libraries and the RBS SoFCB are hosting a symposium on Teaching and Learning with Objects for Colleges on 13–14 March. See the link for schedule and registration info.

- This month's Free to Use and Reuse collection of images from the Library of Congress focuses on Maps of Discovery and Exploration.

- James Raven did a Q&A for the British Academy about his career as a book historian.

- Stephen Marche writes in the NYTimes on his collecting obsession with Thomas Browne first editions. Yep, been there, done that.

- From The Collation, "Sizing Shakespeare's Sonnets," by Faith Acker.

- Randi Ragsdale writes for the HRC blog on "Seeing stars in the Blaeu World Map."

- "Swann in Profile" highlights Devon Eastland, the auction house's new senior specialist for early printed books.

- Aaron Pratt writes for the HRC on "Revealing an English Schoolmaster's Piers Plowman."

- From Ed Simon for The Millions, "Annotate This: On Marginalia."

- Christopher Tolkien died this week at the age of 95. See his obituary in the Guardian.

- Over on the NYPL blog, "Ben Franklin: The Ultimate Bibliophile."

- The UK has placed a temporary export bar on an early 16th-century manuscript guide for hermits and anchorites.

Upcoming Auctions

- Editions & Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 21 January.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 22 January.

- Fine Literature – Fine Press – Fine Bindings at PBA Galleries on 23 January.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Links & Auctions

- Will Noel has been appointed AUL for Special Collections at Princeton University. Congratulations to Will and to Princeton!

- Charlotte Higgins has a long report in the Guardian about the continuing scandal of the stolen papyrus fragments. Much background on Dirk Obbink and the Oxyrhynchus collection.

- In the Atlantic, Cullen Murphy: "Before Zuckerberg, Gutenberg." (This is really about the importance of Elizabeth Eisenstein.)

- Betty Schellenberg writes for The Collation on "The Eighteenth-Century Manuscript Verse Miscellany."

- For the HRC blog, a Q&A with Bruce Hunt about the background of the Blaeu World Map.

- The American Museum of Natural History has begun a three-year initiative to make the museum's archives and memorabilia collections more accessible.

- Robert Caro's papers have been acquired by the New-York Historical Society.

- Liz Adams writes for the Devil's Tale on "The Satirist and Tinkerer, Hogarth."

Book Review

- Bruce Licher and Karen Nielson Licher's Savage Impressions; review by Paul Moxon on the APHA Blog.

Upcoming Auctions

- Fine Books, Maps, and Manuscripts at Revere Auctions (online) on 13 January.

Autographs, Books, Declaration Signers, FDR & More at University Archives on 16 January.

- Hebrew & Judaic Printed Books at Kestenbaum & Company (online) on 16 January.

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Links & Auctions

- The ABAA posts a theft alert from a break-in at Passages Bookshop in Portland, Oregon, where more than 100 books were stolen from display cases.

- In the January Rare Book Monthly, Michael Stillman runs down the top 500 book and paper sales of 2019, Bruce McKinney provides some statistics on recent auction sales and reports on the recent Audubon sale. Here's the full batch of new articles.

- Get the rundown of Public Domain Day 2020 from the Center for the Study of the Public Domain.

- Princeton opened its collection of T.S. Eliot letters this month, after a long embargo. Per Eliot's wishes, Houghton Library released a 1960 letter from Eliot at the same time.

- Lisa Baskin was interviewed for the AbeBooks podcast about her collection and the current exhibition at the Grolier Club.

- The Graphic Arts Collection at Princeton has recently acquired an early-20th-century sample book from the Suffolk Engraving & Electrotyping Company of Boston.

- From Peter Kidd, "A Draft List of the Brölemann Manuscripts."

- Rebecca Romney posted her list of favorite books and objects that passed through her hands in 2019.

- From the Internet Archive blog, "Preserving the legacy of a library when a college closes."

- Karin Wulf had an op/ed in the WaPo in December about the importance of keeping historical records public and accessible.

- A man purchased several original engraving blocks for Alice in Wonderland from a clearance sale for £50, according to media reports.

- Also from Karin Wulf, at The Geyser, "How Style Informed the US Constitution."

- David Levy posted a reflection on his year in collecting.

- From Mary Sarah Bilder, "Madison's Notes Don't Mean What Everyone Says They Mean."

Upcoming Auctions

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions (online) on 9 January.

- Art & Illustration – Occult & Hermeticism at PBA Galleries on 9 January.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Links & News

- Kurt Zimmerman found some excellent biblio-association items recently, which he recounts in "Miss Stillwell and F. Richmond: The Recording of Incunabula in America."

- Pierre de Coubertin's "Olympic Manifesto" manuscript sold for $8,806,500 this week, setting a new auction record for sports memorabilia. The buyer has not been announced.

- The copy of Audubon's Birds of America, also at Sotheby's this week, sold for $6,642,400. Barron's reports that the buyer was Graham Arader.

- Over on the Fine Books Blog, Barbara Basbanes Richter on "Books in Movies: Binding for Little Women."

- From Freya Parr in the Guardian, "Browsing the dream" about spending a week managing The Open Book in Wigtown, Scotland.

- The Vatican Library has launched Thematic Pathways on the Web, offering annotations and narratives for manuscripts from their collections.

- Mills College will sell their copy of the Shakespeare First Folio and a Mozart music manuscript to support college functions.

- Jeffrey William Grande has been charged with the trafficking of stolen property after he sold four rare books to a Scottsdale, AZ rare book shop. The books had been stolen from the home of an acquaintance. Grande will appear in court on 13 January.

- From Peter Kidd at Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "The Brölemann 'Catalogue A' has Resurfaced," noting the upcoming sale at auction of an important manuscript catalogue of the Brölemann collection (also I begin to suspect the auctioneer's estimate may be a tad under on this one).

- The AP reports on the ongoing sales at Heritage Auctions of Jim Davis' "Garfield" cartoons.

- Rebecca Rego Barry reviews the exhibition of Lisa Baskin's collection now on display at the Grolier Club, "Five Hundred Years of Women's Work."

- There's a new "missing in transit" notice from the ABAA.

- From the Washington State University "Insider," "Searching for La Belle Dame."

- In the HRC Magazine, "The Conservation Behind the Blaeu World Map."

- I was very sorry to hear of the death of bookseller Dan Siegel of M&S Rare Books on 18 December. Obituary. I can't say it any better than Garrett Scott did on Twitter: "I offer the highest praise for a bookselling colleague that I could imagine: He had a great eye for interesting material."

A quiet week in the salerooms coming up. Happy holidays, all! May your stockings be full of good books.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Links, Reviews & Auctions

Wednesday afternoon will see many of us paying close attention to the sale of an excellent, complete copy of Audubon's Birds of America at Sotheby's New York. The set is an early subscriber's copy, belonging to the Yorkshire Philosophical Society from publication until its sale at Sotheby's London in December 1946. Bookseller Charles Traylen purchased the set and sold it in turn to Joseph Verner Reed, Sr. of Greenwich, CT. In 1973 the Birds were bequeathed to Deerfield Academy, which sold them privately in 1985. Five years later the set sold again at Sotheby's London for £1,760,000 to the current consignor. Considering where prices have been recently, and the excellence of this set, the current estimate of $6–8 million seems a good benchmark. See also Selby Kiffer's "John James Audubon & The Double Elephant Folio."

- There are a few good book sales out there that may be of interest to some of you: at Johns Hopkins University Press, everything is 40% off with free media mail shipping using code HHOL; at the University of Massachusetts Press, paperbacks are 30% off with free shipping using code S754; at the University of North Carolina Press, all books are 40% off with free shipping above $75 using code 01HOLIDAY; at Harvard University Press, get 30% off all books using code HOLIDAY19. There are quite a few relevant books about books and book history at each, so ... have fun!

- Over on the Princeton Graphic Arts Collection blog, a look at a priced and annotated 1818 auction catalog of prints.

- The ABAA put out a theft alert for an inscribed copy of Churchill's My Early Life from an auction house in Derbyshire.

- The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Garden has received a gift to establish the Shapiro Center for American History and Culture, which will include programming, fellowships, a book prize, and more.

- Applications for the Justin Winsor Library History Essay Award are now available; submissions are due by 20 February 2020.

- From UVA, "The Old Card Catalog: Collaborative Effort Will Preserve Its History." Huge respect to all concerned with this great project.

- Jennifer Howard writes in a recent issue of Humanities on "The Complicated Role of the Modern Public Library."

- Over at Atlas Obscura, Sabrina Imbler on "How the Library of Congress Unrolled a 2,000-year-old Buddhist Scroll."

- From Randi Ragsdale for the HRC, "The Science Behind the Blaeu World Map."

- On the Cambridge University Library Special Collections blog, "The Polonsky Foundation Greek Manuscript Project: The Conservators' Challenge, Part I."

- The ABAA has launched a mentorship program that will match established antiquarian booksellers with those new to the trade.

- Penn has posted a finding guide to their collection of objects useful in teaching book history and material texts courses. I love this idea, and hope to be able to adapt it soon!


- Janine Barchas' The Lost Books of Jane Austen; review by John Mullan in the Guardian.

- Nicolas Barker's At First, All Went Well ... & Other Brief Lives and The Pirie Library; review by Rebecca Rego Barry on the Fine Books Blog.


- Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books at Swann Galleries on 17 December.

- History of Science and Technology at Sotheby's New York on 17 December.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including the Olympic Manifesto at Sotheby's New York on 18 December.

- John James Audubon's The Birds of America at Sotheby's New York on 18 December.

- Americana – Custeriana – Travel & Exploration – Cartography at PBA Galleries on 19 December.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Links & Auctions

- The December Sammelband post is Kate Ozment's "Teaching with Enumerative Bibliography."

- From Frankie Chappell on the Royal Society's blog, "The great plaintain debate."

- Over on the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Medieval bookbindings: from precious gems to sealskin."

- Peter Kidd has begun a series of posts on "The Manuscripts of T. O. Weigel," beginning with an examination of the catalogs of the collection.

- In the Irish Times, an exciting update on the effort to virtually recreate the records destroyed in the 1922 fire of the Public Records Office.

- The second Type Punch Matrix catalog, "Classics Pulped," is out and makes for absolutely excellent reading.

- From Christie's, "5 minutes with ... the Ireland Shakespeare Forgeries."

- Johns Hopkins University has acquired a copy of John Addington Symonds' A Problem in Greek Ethics; this is just the sixth known surviving copy of the first edition (of a total run of ten copies). See also the bookseller's description of this important volume.

- Mike Kelly is profiled in the Amherst student newspaper "Staff Spotlight."

Upcoming Auctions

- Illustration Art at Swann Galleries on 10 December.

- Max & Béatrice Cointreau Library at Artcurial on 10 December.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions (online) on 10 December.

- Rare Books & Literature at Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers on 10 December.

- English Literature, History, Children's Books & Illustrations (online) at Sotheby's ends on 10 December.

- Ansel Adams and the American West: Photographs from the Center for Creative Photography at Christie's New York on 10 December.

- Important Books, Atlases, Globes & Scientific Instruments from the Collection of Nico and Nanni Israel at Christie's London on 11 December.

- Shakespeare and Goethe: Masterpieces of European Literature from the Schøyen Collection at Christie's London on 11 December.

- Valuable Printed Books & Manuscripts at Christie's London on 11 December.

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 11 December.

- Modern Literature & First Editions, Children's, Private Press & Illustrated Books at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 12 December.

- Livres Anciens–XXe Siècle at ALDE on 12 December.

- Éditions Originales du XIXe au XXIe Siècle at ALDE on 12 December.

- Livres Anciens & Modernes at Pierre Bergé on 13 December.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Links & Auctions

Okay: lots to pass along, sorry for the long delays with some of it!

- The Brontë Society successfully acquired the Charlotte Brontë "little book" offered at auction on 18 November. More from the NYTimes.

- Leadership of the Egypt Exploration Society provided a statement at the society's general meeting indicating that at least 120 papyrus fragments have been identified as missing and that the EES is working with Oxford University and the police to investigate. More from the ARCA blog

- Sarah Werner's has posted a couple excellent installments of her newsletter, Early Printed Fun: "Too Many 12mos" and "p's and q's."

- The director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum was fired in September after he loaned a manuscript copy of the Gettysburg Address to Glenn Beck's Mercury One "museum."

- Annalisa Quinn writes for the NYTimes on the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae (T.L.L.). 

- There's an update on the Georgian Papers Programme from the Omohundro Institute.

- The Fall issue of the AAS Almanac is now available.

- From the Cambridge University Special Collections blog "The Polonsky Foundation Greek Manuscripts Project: Apart, together ...," about how catalogers work with fragments.

- Applications for the 2020 Mark Samuels Lasner Fellowship in Printing History are due to APHA by 5 December.

- New in Heritage Science, "Poisonous Books," a deep analysis of four bindings containing arsenic-filled paint.

- John-Mark Philo writes in the TLS on the recent identification of Elizabeth I as the translator of a Tacitus manuscript in Lambeth Palace Library.

- The Harry Ransom Center is hosting what looks like a great seminar this summer: "The Long Lives of Early Printed Books" (16–18 July). Applications are due before 15 February.

- Over at Early Modern Female Book Ownership, Ann Lake's copy of Richard Sibbes' The Soules Conflict (now at the Folger).

- The NYPL has acquired a collection of more than 150 Virginia Woolf-related items.

- A research team at Carnegie Mellon University has identified the printers of Milton's Areopagitica.

- The New Yorker "Double Take" column offered up a few of the magazine's pieces about forgeries and hoaxes.

- At Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "Psalter Cuttings at Princeton and Yale, II."

- James Cummins Bookseller is looking for a bookseller/cataloger.

- The Huntington Library has acquired at auction two major collections related to American slavery and abolition.

- The American Trust for the British Library and Houghton Library have announced a new joint fellowship program.

- On the APHA blog, "Ands & Ampersands."

- Stephen Grant has the second part of "Henry Clay Folger's Deltiological Profile" at The Collation.

- On the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Classics lost and found."

- At The Collation, Kathryn Vomero Santos on "A Dictionary for Don Quixote" and Elizabeth DeBold on "Stuff in Books: A Conundrum."

- The Oddest Book Title prize for 2019 has been announced.

- Vanessa Knight writes for the Royal Society's blog on "The Collector Earl" (Thomas Howard).

Upcoming Auctions

- Aristophil 28: Germanica at Aguttes on 4 December.

- History of Science and Technology at Bonhams New York on 4 December.

- Relics, Autographs, Photos & Ephemera at University Archives on 4 December.

- Fine Literature, Featuring Two Private Collections at Bonhams New York on 5 December.

- Fine Literature – Bukowski & the Beats at PBA Galleries on 5 December.

- The Collection of James Kwis Leonard at Heritage Auctions on 5 December.

- Maps and Atlases at Forum Auctions (online) on 6 December.