Sunday, June 17, 2018

Links & Reviews

- An obituary for Bill Reese ran in the 15 June NYTimes. The Beinecke Library has also posted a tribute page, as well as a podcast of Bill talking about Audubon's Birds of America which I recommend most highly.

- The Portland Audubon sold at Christie's on Thursday for $9.65 million, the second-highest auction price for a copy of Birds of America.

- In other Audubon news, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported this week that the copy of Birds of America owned by the city's Carnegie Museum of Natural History was sold last fall to a California buyer for $6 million. The sale was facilitated by ... Bill Reese.

- Elizabeth Povoledo reports for the NYTimes on the return to the Vatican of a stolen Columbus Letter. See also the press release from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware. This is the third such restitution in two years (and the second this month).

- The ABAA has posted a "Missing in Transit" notice for a number of autograph letters and a book from Stalin's library.

- The Petau Book of Hours sold at Drouot on Saturday for the equivalent of $5 million.

- Jessica Lester Hester writes for Atlas Obscura on the use of manuscript and printed waste in bookbindings.

- As the film about the 2004 Transylvania University special collections theft arrives in theaters, BJ Gooch, the librarian the thieves assaulted, has spoken about her experience to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

- If you can, be sure to stop by the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at UVA to see the new exhibition "Eminent Miniatures."

- Another week, another Voynich Manuscript theory.

- Alex Johnson writes for the Independent about the library brought along on Scott's Discovery expedition from 1901–1904.

- Really enjoyed the news that the Massachusetts Historical Society has installed a "little free library" on the front steps.

- New from the AAS, an illustrated inventory of the Society's collection of ribbon badges.

- From Caroline Duroselle-Melish at The Collation, "Engraved to Sell."

- David McKitterick has a short post on the Cambridge University Press blog about his new book The Invention of Rare Books.

- Fleur Macdonald reports for the BBC on the ongoing analysis of the manuscripts in the library of St. Catherine's monastery in the Sinai.

- Corey Kilgannon profiles Carolyn Waters, head librarian at the New York Society Library.

Review

- Giorgio van Straten's In Search of Lost Books; review by Alberto Manguel in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- Five Aristophil sales this week: Beaux-arts, œuvres et correspondances (4) at Aguttes on 18 June; Littérature, écrivains et poètes du XIXe-XXe (5) at Drouot on 19 June; Littérature, écrivains et poètes du XIXe-XXe (6) at Aguttes on 19 June; Musique, de Jean-Sébastien Bach à Boulez (7) at Ader on 20 June; Musique, de Lully à Stravinsky (8) at Aguttes on 20 June.

- Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs at Lyon & Turnbull on 19 June.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts, Atlases & Historical Photographs at Bonhams London on 20 June.

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 20 June.

- Autographed Documents, Manuscripts, Books & Relics at University Archives on 20 June.

- Revolutionary & Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III at Swann Galleries on 21 June.

- Modern Literature & First Editions at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 21 June.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Links & Reviews

We lost one of the greats this week. Bill Reese was not just an extraordinary bookman and bookseller, but also an indefatigable supporter of biblio-institutions and causes. I had long been a great admirer and somewhat voracious collector of his catalogs, but I first went up and introduced myself at the 2010 Boston Book Fair, to thank him for his support of the Reese Fellowships at Rare Book School (I had been the recipient that year). Frequently thereafter we were able to chat briefly at various book fairs, something I always looked forward to (usually he shared some very funny anecdote about past book fairs). In 2016 he came and gave a wonderful Rare Book School talk, "Starting Out: My Early Days as a Rare Book Dealer." The next day he joined an RBS class, "Reference Sources for Researching Printed Americana," and talked to the students about his favorite reference sources. I had the great pleasure of sitting in on that session, and will remember it very fondly. Nobody wanted to go to coffee break at the end of that one. My deepest condolences to Bill's family and colleagues, and here's to many more years of great books and great catalogs to come from Temple Street.

There will certainly be more posts to come, but for now, see the ABAA's In Memoriam, Kurt Zimmerman's post at American Book Collecting, and Rare Book School's news post, which contains a list of his other RBS lectures.

- Along with the Portland Audubon coming up this week, Christie's will also offer a proof copy on wove paper (one of just six known) of the Stone facsimile of the Declaration of Independence.

- The National Library of Scotland's collection of early Scottish Gaelic manuscripts has been added to UNESCO's UK Memory of the World register. Sir Robert Cotton's manuscripts at the BL have also been added.

- Erin Blake writes for The Collation about a proof print from the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery.

- Mary Yacovone posts on "The Joy of Bookplates" over on the MHS blog. Also on the Beehive this week, Kate Viens explores the history and origins of the Massachusetts Historical Review.

- The BBC reports on a fascinating "hidden diary" from 1880–1 discovered written on the underside of a parquet floor of a French chateau.

Book Reviews

- Carys Davies' West; review by David Vann in the NYTimes.

- Fiona Sampson's In Search of Mary Shelley; review by Charlotte Gordon in the WaPo.

- Stuart Kells' The Library; review by Steve Donoghue in The National.

Upcoming Auctions

- Fine Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams New York on 12 June.

- Rare Books & Manuscripts at PBA Galleries on 14 June.

- The Portland Audubon, followed by Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts, Including Americana at Christie's New York on 14 June.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Some modern first editions have gone missing from the Portland, OR area; see the ABAA theft report.

- Live Science follows up on the investigation into the theft of books from a London shipping warehouse in January 2017.

- Dennis Duncan joined David Attenborough at the ABA Rare Books Fair last weekend and reported on it for the TLS. Scott Reyburn also reported on the fair for the NYTimes.

- Sarah Thomas will retire as Harvard University Librarian at the end of the year.

- June's selection of Rare Book Monthly articles is posted.

- Posted on Exlibris, a letter of thanks from the BnF to ILAB for assistance in recovering some stolen books and prints.

- Not new, but passed along to me this week and very interesting, a 2012 Bookhunter on Safari post about the book catalogs of P. M. Barnard.

- "The paper that poisoned its printers" in the Economist.

- The manuscript of the Two Ronnies "Four Candles" sketch (watch on YouTube) sold for £28,000 this week at East Bristol Auctions.

- Weird bookmarks in the Guardian.

Reviews

- The Bodleian's new Tolkien exhibition; reviews by Samantha Shannon in the Guardian and John Garth in the Telegraph.

- Kirk Wallace Johnson's The Feather Thief; review by Joshua Hammer in the NYTimes.

- Matthew Pearl's The Dante Chamber; review by Patrick Anderson in the WaPo.

- C. D. Rose's Who's Who When Everyone is Someone Else; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

- Stuart Kells' The Library; review by John Glassie in the NYTimes.

Upcoming Auctions

- Autographs, Manuscripts, and Certificates at Dorotheum on 4 June.

- Illustration Art at Swann Galleries on 5 June.

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

- Fine Books & Manuscripts at Skinner (online) continues through 8 June.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Links & Auctions

- In the Guardian, AN Devers explains what inspired her Second Shelf project, which now includes a Kickstarter campaign.

- Daniel Elkind writes for PDR about the "lost art of intarsia."

- Heather Wolfe has an update on the next phase of the Shakespeare's World project, Before Farm to Table: Early Modern Foodways and Cultures.

- Wendi Maloney posts a Q&A with Kenneth Breisch on the LC's Inquiring Minds blog about Breisch's new book about American library architecture.

- Over at Books @ Bromer, "Finding Something Never Lost: A 'Ghost' Edition of Ovid."

- Simon Beattie highlights a really interesting book he will be offering at this week's London Rare Book Fair.

- Heather Wacha's work on book stains is featured in the Wisconsin State Journal.

- In Pacific Standard, Sophie Yeo writes about the effects of climate change on collections of rare books and manuscripts.

- From Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "An Effaced Ink Stamp Deciphered."

- Aïda Amer writes for Atlas Obscura about "How a Hole Punch Shaped Public Perception of the Great Depression."

- Michael Dirda offers up his summer reading list in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- Fine Autograph Music: the Property of Helmut Nanz and Family and Musical Manuscripts at Sotheby's London on 22 May.

- Fine Prints at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on 23 May.

- Livres et Manuscrits at Sotheby's Paris on 24 May.

- Books & Prints at Arenberg Auctions on 25 May.

- Livres rares et Manuscrits at Christie's Paris on 29 May.

- Wassenaar Zoo: A Dutch Private Library at Bonhams London on 30 May.

- Modern First Editions, Illustrated Books & Limited Editions at Chiswick Auctions on 30 May.

- Americana with Manuscript Material - Travel & Exploration - Cartography at PBA Galleries on 31 May.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Mark Godburn has a guest post at The Bookhunter on Safari about what appears to be a contemporary "dust-jacket" on a 1559 book.

- From Shakespeare's World, a new report on some important new OED examples discovered during the transcription process.

- Over at The Collation, "Hinman, Redux," by Andrew J. Walkling.

- Now available for searching, the Scottish Book Trade Index.

- Reminder: the deadline for the 2018 Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize is 1 June.

Reviews

- Sara Milstein's Tracking the Master Scribe; review by Michael Hundley at Marginalia.

- Tom Feiling's The Island That Disappeared; review by Michael Pye in the NYTimes.

- James E. Lewis Jr.'s The Burr Conspiracy; review by Edward G. Gray in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- 19th & 20th Century Literature at Swann Galleries on 15 May.

- Antiquarian and Collectors' Books at Toovey's on 15 May.

- Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History Including the Library of Colin and Joan Deacon at Sotheby's London on 15 May.

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 16 May.

- Spring Miscellany at PBA Galleries on 17 May.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Links & Reviews

- May's Rare Book Monthly articles include Bruce McKinney's "Inhumanity in New York," Michael Stillman running down an upcoming Supreme Court ruling which will affect the collection of out-of-state sales tax and on recidivist Irish book and art thief Andrew Shannon heading back to jail, Thibault Ehrengardt on that Mont-Saint-Michel manuscript mentioned last week, and Susan Halas on "Women in the Antiquarian Book Trade."

- Over at Notabilia, "Vestiges of a Lost Carolingian Bible Discovered at Princeton."

- Many congratulations to Kevin J. Hayes, awarded the 2018 George Washington Book Prize for George Washington: A Life in Books.

- Kare Ozment posts at Sammelband about "Teaching Manuscripts: Commonplace Books."

- Cambridge University Librarian Jessica Gardner writes for the Independent about a new exhibition, Tall Tales: Secrets of the Tower.

- Alison Flood reports for the Guardian about some recent scholarship on the sources used during the drafting of the King James Bible.

- The University of Illinois has acquired Isaac Newton's manuscript translation of the alchemical tract "Opus Galli Anonymi."

- Nadine Zimmerli writes for Uncommon Sense: "Atomic Bonds," about a library book borrowed by J. Robert Oppenheimer.

- Dan Cohen has a good writeup of the newly-launched Boston Resource Center.

- Meghan Brody posts for the Clements Library Chronicle about working with the John Louis Ligonier letter books.

- A "Jack the Ripper warning postcard" was hammered down for £22,000 at a Kent auction house.

- More notes on the "Provenance of the NYPL-Duke Bible" at Medieval Manuscripts Provenance.

- Michael Caines writes for the TLS on "Acquiring Kapital" - Marx's works on the antiquarian book market.

Reviews

- Kirk Wallace Johnson's The Feather Thief; review by Maureen Corrigan for NPR.

- Patricia O'Toole's The Moralist; review by Jennifer Szalai in the NYTimes.

- Christopher Buckley's The Judge Hunter; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- Autographed Documents, Manuscripts, Photos, Books & Relics at University Archives on 8 May.

- Comics & Comic Art at Heritage Auctions from 10–12 May.

- Rare, Out-of-Print, and Used Books at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society on 11 May.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Links & Reviews

My goodness, you all have been very busy. Missed a week (I was at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair last weekend) and just look at all the links that piled up!

- Two missing/theft reports: one 1734 cookbook that has gone missing in transit, and two works by Poe and Dickens reported stolen through credit card fraud.

- Missed this from when I was traveling: a judge blocked the sale of a volume of Rhode Island colonial court records on eBay.

- Ben Breen writes about one of my favorite characters for Public Domain Review: good old George Psalmanazar, the "False Formosan."

- Robert Darnton talked to Publishers Weekly about his new book A Literary Tour de France and the current state of the publishing industry.

- You can now submit paper proposals for the APS' "Past, Present, and Future of Libraries" conference, coming up in late September. Deadline is 15 May.

- Now on display at the BL, while the Lindisfarne Gospels has gone off public display for a rest until the autumn, "A Bible fit for a king."

- At Connexion, a report on the French government's blocking the sale of a 12th-century Mont-Saint-Michel manuscript.

- The Library of Congress has released a digital version of its collection of Benjamin Franklin's papers.

- Also from LC, the Japanese Censorship Collection, comprising more than a thousand "marked-up copies of monographs and galley proofs censored by the Japanese government in the 1920s and 1930s."

- Over at Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, a bit more on a Cistercian Missal once owned by Otto Ege.

- A New Zealand bookseller has inherited a collection of some 6,000 mountaineering adventure books from a Massachusetts collector; Bill Nye of Adventure Books plans to build an exhibition and research area for the collection in his shop.

- Richard Ovenden writes for the Financial Times: "The Windrush scandal reminds us of the value of archives."

- Simon Beattie highlights what certainly seems to be an 18th-century dust-wrapper (and possibly the earliest documented example?), used to protect a set of unbound plates.

- Alison Flood writes for the Guardian about the discovery of the first known example of a palimpsest text in which a Coptic text of Deuteronomy appears beneath a Qur'an text. It sold at Christie's on Thursday for £596,750.

- For Penn Today, Peter Stallybrass talks about five books that shaped his teaching.

- Richard Davies from AbeBooks has launched a podcast, "Behind the Bookshelves."

- Over on the Trinity College Dublin blog, "The Fascination of Fore-Edges," by Helen McGinley.

- Kate Bolick writes for the NYTimes Material Culture column on "Who Bought Sylvia Plath's Stuff?" See also Peter Steinberg's post on his experience with the Plath sale.

- There's an update on the very fascinating Prize Papers Project on the National Archives (UK) blog.

- Andrew Keener writes for the HRC magazine about his work there as a research fellow working on bilingual and multilingual works printed in England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

- Sarah Hovde surveys a few of the items in the Folger's collection attributed to Shakespeare's spirit.

- From the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, a look at what may be the oldest English writing in the BL's collections.

- The Providence Athenaeum has received a $100,000 anonymous gift to develop the library's special collections.

- Ina Kok has been awarded the 17th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography.

- Rebecca Rego Barry notes the 25 April sale at Doyle of items from the estate of Dr. Leo Hershkowitz, well known as an "archival scavenger." The Ratzer Map sold for $150,000.

- From Laura Kolb at The Collation, "The itemized life: John Kay's notebook."

- Stephen Mielke writes for the HRC magazine on "The archivist's archive: Visions of the future past."

- Barron's previews the 14 June Birds of America sale at Christie's.

- Pradeep Sebastian writes about bibliomysteries in The Hindu.

- A. N. Devers notes on the Fine Books Blog the acquisition by London bookshop Any Amount of Books a large number of file copies from Orion Books.

- Two men have pleaded guilty in Moscow to carrying out a series of rare book thefts from 2001 to 2008.

- Hester Blum quibbles about AMC's "The Terror" for Avidly.

Reviews

- The Multigraph Collective's Interacting with Print; review by Abigail Williams in THE.

- Alex Johnson's Book of Book Lists, Stuart Kells' The Library, and Alberto Manguel's Packing my Library; review by Sarah Laskow at Atlas Obscura.

- Margit J. Smith's The Medieval Girdle Book; review by Nicholas Yeager in The Bonefolder.

- Benjamin Park's American Nationalisms; review by Skye Montgomery at The Junto.

- Alexander Bevilacqua's The Arabic Republic of Letters; review by Jacob Soll in TNR.

- Lynne Murphy's The Prodigal Tongue; review by Lionel Shriver in the TLS.

- Michael Dirda surveys some classic and contemporary creepy tales. This one definitely added a few to my reading list.

Upcoming Auctions

- Fine Books and Manuscripts at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on 1 May.

- Rare Book & Collectors' Sale at Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers on 2 May.

- Graphic Design at Swann Galleries on 3 May.

- Fine Literature: The Fred Bennett Collection (with additions) at PBA Galleries on 3 May.

- The Original Working Manuscript for the Alcoholics Anonymous 'Big Book' at Profiles in History on 5 May.