Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Mid-Week Links

My inbox runneth over.

- First, happy 175th birthday to the Peterborough (NH) Town Library, which was founded on 9 April 1833 and claims the honor of being the oldest free public library in the world. Some background here. [h/t LISNews]

- Amazon has begun a contest to show off its purchase of J.K. Rowling's Tales of Beedle the Bard. Entrants are asked to "creatively answer" (in 100 words or less) one of three questions: "What songs do wizards use to celebrate birthdays?; What sports do wizards play besides Quidditch?; What have you learned from the Harry Potter series that you use in everyday life?" Entry form, rules, &c. here. I still think there should be a trade edition, this all is getting a bit silly.

- J.L. Bell is examining that age-old question: how did the words "The British are coming?" ever get put into Paul Revere's mouth? See his first and second posts on the subject. John's one of the best historical mythbusters out there, and his work is always worth a read.

- Deeplinking has some samples from John Adams' marginalia, including some of my favorites.

- BibliOdyssey offers up a wonderful selection of printers' ornaments this week, along with a concise and interesting commentary on the use of such devices.

- Don't miss Kristin Ogden's Kenyon Review blog piece, "Antiquarian Book-Collector Wanna-be." [h/t Book Patrol]

- The Morris Library at Southern Illinois University Carbondale has received a copy of Phillis Wheatley's 1773 book Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. The book was donated by John LaPine, owner of Printers Row Fine & Rare Books in Chicago and SIUC alumnus. [h/t RBN]

- April's edition of Common-place is now available, and looks to be as excellent as ever.

- Scriptorium: Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Online, has launched. This site "will comprise full digital facsimiles of at least twenty late medieval and early modern manuscript miscellanies and commonplace books, along with descriptions, transcriptions and bibliographical information; a set of research and teaching resources for students and scholars working on manuscript studies; and an enhanced version of English Handwriting: An Online Course, our interactive palaeography tool."

- The Telegraph reports that the only known copy of William Caxton's "Sarum Missal" (1487) (ESTC S93678) has been purchased by the National Trust "at a cost of almost £500,000". The book will be displayed at Lyme Park beginning next spring. "It is a mystery how many copies were printed but the National Trust's volume, bought from the Legh family of Lyme Park, Cheshire - who have owned it since at least 1508 - still has 243 of the original 266 pages."

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