Sunday, December 09, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Interesting new blog to watch: Early Modern Female Book Ownership.

- From Louis Menand in the New Yorker, "Literary Hoaxes and the Ethics of Authorship."

- Also from the New Yorker, Sam Knight asks "Do Proteins Hold the Key to the Past?"

- Edward O'Reilly has an excellent post on the N-YHS blog, "John Winthrop's Sermon and an 'Erasure of Collective Memory.'"

- Heather O'Donnell and Rebecca Romney of Honey & Wax are featured on the Curious Objects podcast.

- From Alison Hudson on the BL's medieval manuscripts blog, "Women and books in Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms."

- On the 175th anniversary of the publication of A Christmas Carol, Tina Jordan looks back at the NYTimes' coverage of the story over the years.

- Not to be missed: Erin Blake on "The key to removing a card catalog rod (literally)."

- John Paul Floyd talked to Rebecca Rego Barry for the Fine Books Blog about his new book A Sorry Saga: Theft, Forgery, Scholarship, and the Vinland Map.

- In the Columbia Journalism Review, "What's behind a recent rise in books coverage?"

- From Michael Dirda in the WaPo, "The '90s are having a literary moment. That is, the 1890s ..."

- New York's Strand Bookstore is asking that the city not assign landmark status to its building.

- Einstein's "God Letter" sold at Christie's this week for $2,892,500, and a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone set a new auction record at $162,500.


- Nathaniel Philbrick's In the Hurricane's Eye; review by Carol Berkin in the WaPo.

- Thomas Reinerstsen Berg's Theater of the World: The Maps that Made History; review by Lorraine Berry in the WaPo.

- Diane Setterfield's Once Upon a River; review by Ellen Morton in the WaPo.


- Lettres & Manuscrits Autographes at Ader on 10–11 December.

- Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams London on 11 December.

- Books & Manuscripts at Artcurial on 11 December.

- Printed Books & Maps; Children's & Illustrated Books; 20th Century Literature at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 12–13 December.

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

- Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books at Swann Galleries on 13 December.

- Americana – Travel & Exploration – Hunting & Sporting – World History – Cartography at PBA Galleries on 13 December.

- Fine Autograph Letters and Manuscripts from a Distinguished Private Collection: Part II | Music, Americana, English and Continental Literature at Sotheby's New York on 13 December.

- La bibliothèque de Pierre Bergé at Sotheby's Paris on 14 December.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Links & Auctions

- The Ticknor Society has announced the George and Anna Eliot Ticknor Book Collecting Prize. See the page for full details; the deadline is 15 April 2019.

- Alison Flood writes for the Guardian about the National Trust project to preserve and catalog the Chute family library at The Vyne (with a side of schoolboy marginalia).

- Also from Alison Flood in the Guardian, a previously-unknown manuscript collection of John Donne's poetry has been identified at Melford Hall in Suffolk.

- In Rare Book Monthly for December, Michael Stillman writes on the AbeBooks Revolt, Susan Halas considers what to do with books that don't sell, and Bruce McKinney reports that David Hall of National Book Auctions has been charged with second-degree grand larceny after allegedly failing to pay a consignor.

- In Smithsonian, Zita Cristina Nunes on Howard University librarian Dorothy Porter.

- Manfred Heiting's extensive collection of photobooks was destroyed in the California wildfires; the library had recently been donated to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, but had not yet been transferred.

- The recently-discovered copy of Poe's Tales in wrappers sold at Skinner for $315,000.

- Over on the APHA blog, "A Linotyper for Life."

- In the HRC magazine, an interview with Alan Gribben about his extensive work on Mark Twain's library.

- Susan Orlean talked about her new book The Library Book for the NYPL podcast.

- Annie Rowlenson is featured in "Bright Young Booksellers."

- On the JHIBlog, Molly Nebiolo on "John Parkinson and the Rise of Botany in the 17th Century."

- A warm welcome to several new ABAA members.

- From Simon Beattie's blog, "Inscribed to Amelia Opie."

- Also on the ABAA blog, a notice of censure, a short announcement about forged LDS material, and a report about a book misdelivered and now missing in London.

- More on the LDS thefts/forgeries from GephardtDaily and the Standard-Examiner.

- J.L. Bell has some notes on the pronunciation of several 18th-century printers' names.

- Elena Weissmann writes about the new Penguin Mini editions of several John Green books for the CSM.

- Former Librarian of Congress James Billington died; see coverage in the NYTimes and on the Fine Books Blog.

Upcoming Auctions

- Music, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts and Continental Books at Sotheby's London on 4 December.

- Albert Einstein: The God Letter and Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana at Christie's New York on 4 December.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts including the World of Hilary Knight and History of Science and Technology, including Space Technology at Bonhams New York on 5 December.

- Rare Autographs, Books, and Relics at University Archives on 5 December.

- Illustration Art at Swann Galleries on 6 December.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Links & Auctions

Coming up this week, the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (16–18 November), accompanied of course by the Boston Book, Print, and Ephemera Fair on Saturday, 17 November.

- The concerted action of more than 600 booksellers around the world forced AbeBooks to back down from their plan to withdraw service from certain countries. See coverage in the NYTimes, the Guardian, Antiques Trade Gazette. Well done to all who helped bring about this result!

- David Pearson writes for the Cambridge University Library Special Collections blog about his current work on Cambridge bookbindings from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries. He's interested in feedback and/or more information about Cambridge bindings, so feel free to contact him (info at the end of the blog post) if you can help.

- Over at Echoes from the Vault, Farshad Sonboldel highlights his recent work on updating catalog records for the Arabic and Persian manuscripts in the St Andrews collections.

- Jessica Bigelow writes about the incunabula in the collections of the American Antiquarian Society.

- On the N-YHS blog, "Lab Notes: The Florence Flood and the emergence of library conservation."

- Mary Fissell writes for the Huntington Library's blog on "A History of the Medical Book," a conference coming up there this week.

- Some drafts of the screenplay for The Wizard of Oz will be sold at auction next month.

- Abigail Cain writes about letterlocking for Atlas Obscura.

- Over on the Fine Books Blog, Barbara Basbanes Richter reports on big changes in the New Haven antiquarian bookselling scene.

Upcoming Auctions

- The Fine Cartographic and Printed Americana Collection of Evelyn and Eric Newman at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on 12 November.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on 13 November.

- Rare Books, Autographs & Maps at Doyle New York on 13 November.

- 19th & 20th Century Literature at Swann Galleries on 13 November.

- Travel, Atlases, Maps & Natural History at Sotheby's London on 13 November.

- Fine & Rare Books at PBA Galleries on 15 November.

- Aristophil 11: Livres Illustres et Éditions Originales, Manuscrits et Lettres Autographes des XIXe et XXe Siècles at Ader on 15 November.

- Fine Books & Manuscripts at Skinner on 18 November.

- Livres Rare et Manuscrits at Christie's Paris on 20 November.

- Books and Manuscripts at Sotheby's Paris on 21 November.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts, Atlases and Historical Photographs at Bonhams London on 27 November.

- Russian Literary First Editions & Manuscripts: Highlights from the R. Eden Martin Collection at Christie's London on 28 November.

- The Craig Noble Collection of L. Frank Baum & the Wizard of Oz at PBA Galleries on 29 November.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 29 November.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Links & Reviews

- An announcement from AbeBooks that they would no longer be supporting booksellers based in certain countries as of 30 November (including Czechia, Hungary, Russia, and South Korea) has sent major ripples through the bookselling community. It prompted the ABA to decline AbeBooks' sponsorship offer for the 2019 Firsts summer book fair. ILAB president Sally Burdon noted that "The ILAB Committee applaud the action taken by the ABA in deciding to decline ABE's sponsorship of Firsts next year. This sacrificial action on their behalf, will of course make their fair more difficult to stage and thus sends a clear message to ABE that booksellers around the world stand together and will not ignore blows to the businesses of others."

- In solidarity with their colleagues in the affected countries, more than one hundred ILAB booksellers from around the world have announced that they will withdraw their stock from AbeBooks. I can't take that same step, obviously, but as a frequent buyer of books, I can support the movement in my own tiny way: I will not be purchasing books through ABE's platform while this continues, but will instead buy directly from the booksellers or through another purchasing platform. As an alternative search site, viaLibri is much better anyway, since it includes many additional listings. As I get more information on this, I will be sure to pass it along.

[Update, at 5:50 p.m. on 4 November: see this new article from the NYTimes.]

- Sarah Werner will deliver APHA's Lieberman Lecture on Thursday, 13 December at the Library of Congress: "Working towards a feminist history of printing."

- Proposed new EU license regulations "would require art, antiques and antiquities that are more than 250 years old (regardless of their value) to have import licences in order to enter an EU country," according to a report in the Art Newspaper. ILAB president Sally Burdon says "as it was originally written, the proposed legislation is not workable for antiquarian booksellers, European librarians, private collectors or the many others involved for business or pleasure with old books or manuscripts." ILAB has proposed that the regulations set a higher age and include a value threshold.

- The copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover used by the judge during the obscenity trial sold for £56,000 at auction.

- Marc Harrison writes for the Fine Books Blog about the fall iteration of Bibliomania in Paris.

- Nick Aretakis will be returning to manage the Americana department at the William Reese Company.

- Alexander Alter covers the new Penguin Minis flipbacks for the NYTimes. I ordered these and found them even better than the ones Hodder & Stoughton issued a few years ago: the typeface is much improved, for one thing. I hope Dutton/Penguin will issue a bunch more of them.

- From R. B. Bartgis at Sammelband, "Teaching Bibliographic Format."

- The London Library reported this week on recent research into books on the library's shelves which have been identified as those used by Bram Stoker while he was researching and writing Dracula.

- Rebecca Romney offers some excellent bookish podcast recommendations in her "Book Curious" newsletter this week. I'll add one that dropped after her email arrived: Rebecca Baumann is on this week's "Behind the Bookshelves" podcast talking about her collection.

- Over at Notabilia, "Rare Book Working Group Examines 'Her Book'."


- Nancy Campbell's The Library of Ice; review by Gavin Francis in the Guardian.

- David Grann's The White Darkness; review by Colin Dickey in the NYTimes.

Upcoming Auctions

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 7 November.

- Autographs at Swann Galleries on 8 November.

- Food & Drink at PBA Galleries on 8 November.

- Rare & Used Books at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society on 9 November.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Links, Reviews & Auctions

- The Library of Congress launched a new crowd-sourced transcription tool.

- A man was arrested this week after attempting to steal a copy of Magna Carta from a display case at Salisbury Cathedral.

- A. N. Devers writes for the Fine Books Blog about Elizabeth Young's new Brooklyn bookshop.

- Sam Lemley, a doctoral student at UVA, won this year's National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest.

- Ken Sanders talked to France 24 in a short interview about his many years of tracking down book thieves, and about material he's handled relating to disappeared poet Everett Ruess.

- Over at Res Obscura, Ben Breen highlights isochronic maps.

- On the American Scholar's "Smarty Pants" podcast, "The Future is Feminist Book Collecting."

- The Washington Papers editorial project celebrates its fiftieth birthday.

- An unpublished Sylvia Plath story will be published in January by Faber, the Guardian reports.


- Benjamin Balint's Kafka's Last Trial; review by Lev Mendes in the NYTimes.

Upcoming Auctions

- Bibliothèque de François Mitterand: Livres Modernes de 1900 à nos jours - Première partie at PIASA on 29 October.

- Bibliothèque de François Mitterand: Livres Modernes de 1900 à nos jours - Seconde partie at PIASA on 30 October.

- Travel Literature and Sporting Books from the Library of Arnold 'Jake' Johnson at Doyle New York on 30 October.

- Sotheby's single-item sale of one of just three known copies of a 1932 poster for The Mummy starring Boris Karloff ends on 31 October.

- The Adventure & Exploration Library of Steve Fossett, Part I at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on 31 October.

- Autographed Documents, Manuscripts, Photos, Books & Relics at University Archives on 31 October.

- The Joel Harris Collection of Original Illustration Art and Illustrated Books (with additions) at PBA Galleries on 1 November.

- Rare Books & the Harrison Forman Archive at Addison & Sarova on 3 November.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Links & Reviews

Back in the saddle this week with lots of backlogged news to pass along. It was great to be back at the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair last weekend (and the city provided a few days of absolutely stunningly lovely weather, too). Coming up next is the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (16–18 November), accompanied of course by the Boston Book, Print, and Ephemera Fair on Saturday, 17 November.

- There was an update in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on 12 October on the Pittsburgh Carnegie Library thefts case; the story includes some embedded documents. Other reports indicate that both Priore and Schulman will be going to trial, and that arraignment has been scheduled for 29 November.

- Sarah Lindebaum writes on the Houghton Library blog about "Looking Beyond the Text in Frances Wolfreston's Books."

- Video of the recent conference at the American Philosophical Society, "Past, Present, and Future of Libraries," is now available.

- An article I've been watching for for a while is now up: "Passing the Book: Cultures of Reading in the Winthrop Family, 1580–1730."

- Over at Notabilia, a great new Princeton acquisition is highlighted: a textbook signed by several Revolutionary-era students.

- Coming up on 6 November, Heather O'Donnell will deliver the Van Sinderen lecture at Yale's Beinecke Library: "Scouts, Spies, and Surveyors: Collectors of the Future."

- The Adams Papers team at MHS have released transcriptions of John Quincy Adams' diaries from 1821 through February 1825.

- The Library of Congress has digitized its collection of Theodore Roosevelt's papers.

- Book collector and philanthropist Jay Kislak died on 3 October; see his obituary in the Miami Herald or Rebecca Rego Barry's post on the Fine Books Blog.

- William Helfand also passed away earlier this month: Neil Genzlinger wrote the NYTimes obituary.

- Reading Copy has a good background post on forger Lee Israel, as the new movie based on her book Can You Ever Forgive Me? (starring Melissa McCarthy) hits theaters.

- Police in Stranraer, Scotland are looking for information about the June theft of a 1549 "Treacle Bible" from the Old Kirk, outside Drummore village.

- A great highlight from Edward O'Reilly on the N-YHS blog: a manuscript facsimile of a rare 1725 Benjamin Franklin imprint.

- The Lilly Library is featured in the IU Magazine.

- Margaret Atwood writes for the Guardian about Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book.

- On the JHI Blog, "Norse Fantasies and American Foundings," by Derek Kane O'Leary.

- "The Importance of Language in Rare Books" at Rare Books Digest.

- Susan Orlean's new book The Library Book was featured on NPR's "Weekend Edition" last weekend.

- Trinity College Dublin has launched a digital version of its Oscar Wilde collection.

- Also newly digitized, from the BL, more than two hundred Anglo-Saxon manuscripts from before 1100.

- The Guardian reports on the return of the Behemoth Bible (Codex Amiatinus) to the BL from Italy for the library's exhibition on things Anglo-Saxon.

- A complete Egyptian Book of the Dead on papyrus sold for more than 1.3 million Euros at auction in Monaco.


- Susan Orlean's The Library Book; reviews by Michael Lewis in the NYTimes, Ron Charles in the WaPo, and by Jennifer Szilai in the NYTimes.

- David Blight's Frederick Douglass; review by Jennifer Szilai in the NYTimes.

- Maryanne Wolf's Reader, Come Home; review by Jennifer Howard in the WaPo.

- Jill Lepore's These Truths; review by Alex Carp in the NYRB.

Upcoming Auctions

Libros y Documentos at Morton Subastas in Mexico City on 23 October.

- Lettres et Manuscrits Autographes at Ader on 23 October.

- Some books and manuscripts in the Arts of the Islamic World sale at Sotheby's London on 24 October.

- The Sporting Sale at Bonhams Edinburgh on 24 October.

- Rare and Important Travel Posters at Swann Galleries on 25 October.

- Books and Works on Paper (online) at Forum Auctions on 25 October.

- Historical Manuscripts at Heritage Auctions on 25 October.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Links & Auctions

Pardon an abbreviated post this week: just back from Oak Knoll Fest (wonderful, as usual) and I'm tired. And there won't be a post next weekend, as I'll be at the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair.

- Over on the ABAA blog, meet this year's winners of the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest.

- From Aaron Pratt for the Ransom Center blog, "Printing Manuscripts."

- Sian Cain calls bookselling "the most over-romanticized job in the world" in the Guardian.

- Rebecca Rego Barry highlights the recent sale of the lavish illuminated manuscript known as the "Wedding Hours."

- Elizabeth DeBold examines "hex marks" in books from the Folger's collections.

- From Kate Ozment at Sammelband, "Teaching Book History Alongside Literary Theory."

- Video of the recent symposium "The Vinland Map Rediscovered" is now available on YouTube.

Upcoming Auctions

Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, XIXe siècle (1840–1898)First editions – Reviews – Autograph Letters and Manuscripts at Sotheby's Paris on 9 October.

- Autographs & Memorabilia at Chiswick Auctions on 10 October.

- Rare Golf Books & Memorabilia at PBA Galleries on 11 October.