Sunday, January 04, 2009

Links & Reviews

Before the links and reviews, a note: I've updated the sidebar with a whole bunch of new blogs that I've recently added to my Google Reader, so be sure to stop by and visit them. Among these is one I'm delighted to see: Dr. Johnson's Dictionary. This blog, sponsored and run by staff at Yale's Beinecke Library, is celebrating Johnson's tercentenary by posting one definition a day from Johnson's Dictionary ("words will be taken from the annotated proof copy of the first edition, extra-illustrated with Johnson’s and his helpers' manuscript corrections" at the Beinecke).

- In the Boston Globe today, a feature story about recent trends in library usage, which has skyrocketed with the economic downtown. Seven MA public libraries report circulation increases of 20% or more for June-December 2008. In December alone, the small Groveland public library saw circ increases of a whopping 88% over last year. If there was ever an argument against cutting library funding, here it is. And yet these libraries will almost certainly face more cuts this year, and be expected to provide additional services, for more people, with less money.

- Michael Lieberman notes the publication of the second edition of Library World Records by Godfrey Oswald (McFarland).

- Nick Basbanes comments on the most recent memoir-scandal,

- The Guardian covers the online publication of the letters of Robert Burns, which are being posted in transcribed form. The site lacks context, but there are a number of useful links on the sidebar.

- The Milwaukee Art Museum is currently hosting an exhibit titled "Catesby, Audubon, and the Discovery of a New World." The show runs through 22 March.

- LISNews examines ten major library-related news stories from 2008.

- J.L. Bell points out Ira Stoll's Boston Globe op/ed about the modern relevance of Sam Adams (the man, not the beer).

- Over at BibliOdyssey, spiders!

- Bill Safire's NYTimes column today is on "media coverage of profanities, expletives, vulgarisms, obscenities, execrations, epithets and imprecations, nouns often lumped together by the Bluenose Generation as coarseness, crudeness, bawdiness, scatology or swearing."

- The Yale Law Library has acquired an 1835 John Marshall letter, in which Marshall writes to Washington biographer James Kirke Paulding about how Washington inspired and encouraged him to undertake a career in public service.

- From my old stomping grounds: the Schenectady Daily Gazette covers some interesting ledgers from Wemp's, a family-run store in Schoharie Crossing which catered to Erie Canal travelers in the mid-19th century.

- At Thingology, I posted some Legacy Library updates and completion notices.

- On Friday's "Talk of the Nation," author Steven Johnson discussed his new book, The Invention of Air (Riverhead). It's an excellent segment, and the book (about Priestley and oxygen, plus the scientist's connections with Franklin, Adams, Jefferson and others) sounds great too.

- Glenn Goldman, founder and longtime owner of the West Hollywood bookshop Book Soup, has died. According to reports, the store is now looking for a buyer to keep it open.

- More then 200,000 items from the collections of the now-closed Gotham Book Mart have been donated to the University of Pennsylvania. An anonymous donor purchased the stock and will turn it over to the university

- An Australian man is searching for the owner of a Christian verse book and a Scotch College prize certificate he says he found in the shallows of the Mooloolah River back in the mid-1990s.

- Freelance writer Sarah Lippincott has an essay in today's LA Times about reading Melville's Omoo and Typee while aboard a cruise ship in the Pacific.


- Michael Washburn reviews Paul Maliszewski's Fakers: Hoaxers, Con Artists, Counterfeiters, and Other Great Pretenders for the Boston Globe.

- In the TLS, Esther Schor reviews Brenda Wineapple's White Heat and Christopher Benfey's A Summer of Hummingbirds.

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