Saturday, March 21, 2009

Links & Reviews

- Laura has a fantastic list of books you need to read if you're interested in book history. I've used almost all of these in one way or another, but there are still a few of them I need to sit and read cover to cover.

- Columbia has announced the winners of the 2009 Bancroft Prize: Thomas G. Andrews for Killing for Coal: America’s Deadliest Labor War (Cambridge: Harvard University Press); Drew Gilpin Faust for This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf); and Pekka Hämäläinen for The Comanche Empire (New Haven: Yale University Press).

- In the Times, a piece on the woman who stalked Charles Dickens during his 1867-8 American tour.

- Ian notes a cool new Flickr set from the National Museum of Health and Medicine. More at Wired. Not, I think for the squeamish.

- The State reported early this week that the University of South Carolina will receive a first edition of Mark Catesby's Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (1731-43). The donor, 93-year old Susan Gibbes Robinson, said of the volumes "I’ve had a good time with Catesby. I’ve spent more time with him than with some of my family. He’s my buddy." In the agreement with the library, Robinson made clear that the books should be available for public use, and the library has agreed that when they are on display, a new page will be shown each day. [h/t RBN]

- At Princeton's Mudd Manuscript Library, digital copies of some documents from a collection of the papers of John Maclean, Princeton's tenth president have been made available.

- From Library Journal, a report on a 13 March conference on the Google Books Settlement.

- The Telegraph profiles a bizarre book of home remedies to be sold at Bonhams this week.

- Over in the (Dublin) Independent, Kevin Myers asks some tough questions about public libraries; I don't know the stats but I'd be interested to see if Irish libraries are seeing the same jump in usage that American libraries are. Seems like answer enough to his questions. And in the Guardian, Rachel Cooke calls for those who care about British libraries to man the barricades: "Make no mistake, this is a crucial time. If those of us who love books, and libraries, and believe they are a vital, beautiful and cherishable part of our cultural and social heritage, take our eye off the ball now, we will regret it. We must make a fuss, and we must name and shame those who are set on destruction."

- The BBC reported this week that a joint US-Cuban effort to preserve an archive of Hemingway papers at his Finca Vigia home. The effort began in 2002, and thus far has resulted in the conservation and digitization of nearly 3,200 documents, with another thousand items to go. Digital and microfilm copies of the material will be available at the Hemingway Archive of the JFK Library later this year. [h/t CSM Books]

-'s Scott Laming has a top ten list of books on bookselling. Not the ten I'd have picked, but nonetheless, I pass it along.

- Meredith passes along some cool new resources from Reed College, including a neat Early American Handwriting site.

- Richard J. Cox has more on the politics of NARA.


- In the WaPo, Mary Beth Norton reviews Richard Beeman's new book on the Constitutional Convention, Plain, Honest Men.

- Katherine Powers reviews Drood and The Last Dickens in the Boston Globe.

- For the NYRB, Ingrid Rowland reviews a new exhibit of Maria Sibylla Merian's works, plus a biography of the artist, Chrysalis.

- Rick Ring passes along a 1945 review of scholar-librarian Margaret Bingham Stillwell's The Pageant of Benefit Street Down Through the Years.

- Richard Cox reviews Kitty Burns Florey's, Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting.

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