Sunday, July 04, 2010

Links & Reviews

- Ed Pettit launched the George Lippard Society this week, "a literary organization dedicated to the life and works of George Lippard and other writers of Philadelphia Gothic." Sign up or find out more at his post.

- Big congratulations to Princeton's rare books and special collections team - their exhibition catalog Liberty and the American Revolution: Selections from the Collection of Sid Lapidus won the RBMS' Leab award this year. I reviewed the catalog (here), and agree entirely that this award is well deserved.

- Sotheby's has a preview video up of their 15 July Literature sale (previewed here).

- The University of Alabama will acquire a large collection of rare books and photographs relating to Southern history, including Confederate imprints. UA alumnus Steve Williams' library contains more than 20,000 books and 12,000 images, and will be partially donated to the university (plus a $3.5 million payment).

- From Smithsonian, a look at major archival collections that will open to researchers in the next forty-five years.

- The winners of the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton contest for worst first line have been announced. Prepare to groan.

- The commissioner for the Chicago Public Library has issued a strong rebuttal to a local Fox News piece questioning investment in public libraries.

- Malcolm Jones writes in Newsweek about the "slow reading" movement.

- Pratt Libraries have mounted their bookplate collection on flickr - more than 1,200 images of personal and institutional bookplates!

- Fore-edge painting gets the Booktryst treatment this week.

- An interesting project from got some good press in the Wall Street Journal this week - they've announced some borrowing options, including 70,000 ebooks through OverDrive, plus 200 scanned books from participating libraries (including the BPL); these use the Adobe Digital Editions platform for digital rights management. The money quote from the WSJ article comes from author Stewart Brand, who granted permission for his book The Media Lab to be lent as an ebook: "I figure libraries are one of the major pillars of civilization, and in almost every case what librarians want is what they should get."

- It's now been three years since the murder of book collector Rolland Comstock, and Missouri police say they're still building a case. In a longer piece in the News-Leader, Comstock friend Becky Frakes discusses the case, and there is word that the civil suit filed against Comstock's ex-wife Alberta by her daughter Faith Stocker was supposed to go to trial this month, but has been delayed.

- A fascinating and absorbing new site launched this week: Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) offers core documents related to the history of copyright in Italy, Germany, France, Britain, and the United States.

- The June Fine Books Notes is out (and rumor has it that the summer issue is in the mail!)

- Another new biblio-blog to announce: Non Solus, from the University of Illinois. I've added a link, and subscribed.

- Bruce McKinney announced in the July Americana Exchange that he's organizing another sale of materials from his collection: The American Experience, 1626-1850. Bonhams New York will host the auction, which will be be modeled after McKinney's De Orbe Novo sale at Bloomsbury last December (lot descriptions will include purchase dates and prices paid).

- Over at the SEA site, a list of new and forthcoming books on early American topics.


- Martha Miller's Betsy Ross and the Making of America; reviews by Marjoleine Kars in the WaPo, Ruth Graham in Slate.

- Andrew Graham-Dixon's Caravaggio; review by Christopher Bray in the Independent.

- Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; review by Rosamund Unwin in the Scotsman.

- Gary Nash's The Liberty Bell; review by Jack Rakove in TNR.

- Adrian Johns' Piracy; review by Jeffrey Rosen in the WaPo.

- Nathaniel Philbrick's The Last Stand; review by Clive Sinclair in the Independent.

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