Sunday, August 01, 2010

Links & Reviews

- Raymond Scott is to be sentenced tomorrow. BBC1 ran a documentary about his case last night, which apparently we're not allowed to view on this side of the pond.

- Word this week that John James Audubon's first published engraving of a bird has been discovered - it's a heath hen, drawn for a New Jersey bank note in 1824.

- Nick Basbanes started quite a discussion on Ex-Libris with his fascinating post on single-title book collections - folks emailed in with lots of other such collections they've known (and my own collection of Fenelon's Telemachus, which I own in some forty-odd different editions, very much paled in comparison ... I've got much work to do!).

- The National Library of Wales has purchased Dylan Thomas' last, unfinished poem.

- I enjoyed Anne Trubek's history of the Interrobang, a 1960s typographical symbol combining a question mark and an exclamation point (image here). Why this didn't catch on is totally beyond me.

- From Laura at The Cataloguer's Desk, a very cool Poe first edition plus part of a literary review manuscript.

- At Wynken de Worde, Sarah Werner writes about reading on the iPad and how it's profoundly different from reading a codex (and more like reading a scroll).

- OCLC was sued for antitrust violations this week by SkyRiver, a competitor. Read the lawsuit here. I also recommend K.G. Schneider's take. This will certainly be fascinating to watch, whatever happens.

- Dublin was named a UNESCO "City of Literature" this week, joining Edinburgh, Iowa City and Melbourne.

- Another famous library, this one of the author David Markson, has been sold off piecemeal before proper documentation could be made of its contents. Sigh. A Facebook group is trying to re-document the books, and I've offered to set up a Legacy Library for the contents.

- Check out London Lives, a new digital collection highlighting archival documents from various collections. Much background and context at AHA Today.

- From The Little Professor, a very funny blow-by-blow look at her research process.

- The National Library of Medicine has received a $360,000 grant to digitize selected titles from its collection of early medical books. All told, the $1.5 million grant will fund the digitization of 30,000 titles from five institutions (the others are the medical libraries at Yale, Harvard and Columbia, as well as the NYPL).

- Susan Orlean posted her findings after she put out a call on Twitter for #booksthatchangekidsworlds. It's a very good list indeed.

- Simon Schama is profiled in the Telegraph. I like what he says about popular history writing: "Anyone can write an academic piece directed at other academics. To write something that delivers an argument and a gripping storyline to someone’s granny or eight-year-old takes the highest quality of your powers. I am completely unrepentant. One should not feel shifty." And his comment on aging: "The older I get, the more I want to do. It beats death, decay or golf in unfortunate trousers. Peace and quiet depress me."

- The August Americana Exchange is up, here. It includes the first installment of a Bonhams video to highlight the December sale of Bruce McKinney's American Experience colllection.

- From Res Obscura, some cool early signatures ... and a dolphin.

- For some very lovely images, visit the Flickr site for the Yale Law Library's Rare Books Collection -

- A 2,500-box archive of Winston Churchill's papers will be digitized by the summer of 2012 by the Churchill Archives Centre; it will be available on a "pay-as-you-go" model.

- The White House released President Obama's vacation reading list.

- Penguin Books turned 75 this week.

- Historian Mark Valeri talks to the Globe about his new book Heavenly Merchandize, and Puritan economics.


- Nicholas Phillipson's Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life; review by Noel Malcolm in the Telegraph.

- Julie Flavell's When London was Capital of America; review by Andrea Wulf in the NYTimes.

- Beverly Jensen's The Sisters from Hardscrabble Bay; review by Richard Russo in the NYTimes.

- Richard Holmes' The Age of Wonder; review by Algis Valiunas in The New Atlantis.

- Joel Mokyr's The Enlightened Economy; review by Trevor Butterworth in the WSJ.

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