Sunday, March 29, 2009

Links & Reviews

- Sign of the times watch: Virginia Tech said this week it would be cutting $900,000 worth of journal subscriptions for the 2009-10 year ($500,000 to make budget cuts, and $400,000 to meet cost increases). The dean of university libraries is asking for input from VTech professors and researchers about which titles are most important to them in their work. In other academic library news, Emory University's libraries have cut $200,000 this fiscal year by not filling vacant positions and not hiring for other open jobs. Other measures may be put in place shortly.

- Much of Rolland Comstock's collection has now been acquired by Dick Rofritch of The Woodlands, TX, who opened a bookstore (Good Books in the Woods) to sell the books. The Houston Chronicle has the story of how Rofritch came to own the collection and get started with bookselling.

- Rare Book Review notes that the "Library of the Religious Society of Friends has completed the cataloguing of all its Pre-1801 printed materials, with an additional 7,400 Quaker titles now available for research purposes." The catalog is here. I tested it on on some very rare Thomas Maule titles I knew were supposed to be in the library, and there they were.

- Nick Basbanes has a piece on booking along Maine's Route 1. He's right, Maine's a wonderfully-bookish place.

- In the TLS, Thomas Keymer examines the first American edition of Samuel Johnson's Rasselas; the essay is taken from his introduction to the forthcoming Oxford World's Classics edition of the work.

- Staff for the National Trust for Scotland have found a copy of A Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs, co-edited by Robert Burns, which Burns signed and presented to a Miss Graham, the daughter of his boss. The book will be displayed in a new Burns museum in the near future.

- An utterly amazing (and disturbing) look at "essay mills" was published in the 20 March Chronicle of Higher Ed. Highly recommended. [h/t Literary Fraud & Folly]

- Laura's off on what sounds like a fantastic trip to Germany and Egypt - I know I'm looking forward to pictures and tales!

- Caleb Crain has an essay in the NYT book review about the hilarious 1857 book The Physiology of New York Boarding-Houses, available in a new reprint from Rutgers University Press or in facsmile from Cornell University Press (or digitally via the Internet Archive or Google Books).

- Literary agent Lynn Chu argues in the WSJ that the Google Books settlement is a very bad deal for authors [h/t LISNews]

- The NYT covered the results of the Bookseller/Diagram Oddest Book Title contest, the winner this year being The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-Milligram Containers of Fromage Frais (Baboon Metaphysics took second place). The beauty of the Times piece is the quotes from the runner-up authors and past winners, which are very enjoyable. More from Alison Flood at the Guardian, who points out that the author of the winning book is a professor of management science at French business school Insead who says he has "published" more than 200,000 titles (print-on-demand econometrics reports, basically).


- In the WSJ, Mark Teaford reviews Ruth Richardson's The Making of Mr. Gray's Anatomy.

- Richard Cox reviews John Ridener's From Polders to Postmodernism: A Concise History of Archival Theory, which is high on my "to read" list as well.

- At Book Patrol, Charles Seluzicki reviews Leanne Sharpton's novel-as-auction-catalog.

1 comment:

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