Sunday, January 16, 2011

Links & Reviews

- The audio of the "To Catch a Thief" panel discussion from RBMS 2010 (starring, among others, Travis McDade and Mark Dimunation) is now available here.

- Among the books selected by the ALA's Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) as2011 Outstanding Reference Sources was the wonderful Oxford Companion to the Book. Well deserved indeed!

- After a rocky week, Borders appeared close to securing refinancing for its debt, although some publishers reacted skeptically to the plan. More from Jacket Copy.

- In the Chronicle, a profile of Timothy J. Johnson, new curator of the University of Minnesota's Sherlock Holmes collection.

- The British Library has launched an app (iPhone, iPad, Android), "Treasures," which includes more than 100 collection highlights, plus interviews. It'll be updated with information on rotating exhibits.

- There's much concern in the rare book community in Utah about a potential law change that could treat used and rare book sales like pawnshop transactions, requiring all sellers to be fingerprinted and included in a state database.

- The Boston Globe ran an update this week on the National Jewish Book Center, made famous in its found Aaron Lansky's book Outwitting History.

- An interesting new tool will show you the NYTimes bestseller lists for the week you were born: just plug in your birthday here.

- E.C. Schroeder has been named Librarian of Yale's Beinecke Library, for a five-year term.

- J.L. Bell of Boston 1775 takes Google's Ngram Viewer for a spin.

- Libraries of the rich and famous: view (and drool).

- In the New Yorker, Jill Lepore writes on "The Constitution and its worshippers."

- New digital presentations from the BL include the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Old English Hexateuch, two of the major Anglo-Saxon treasures in the Library.

- A great protest in Stony Stratford, England, where a library's users have checked out all the books to show their opposition to council plans to close the library.

- Stacy Schiff writes on Nancy Mitford's 1957 book Voltaire in Love, and why it makes for good reading.

- The very cool New Bedford Moby Dick marathon got some coverage on NPR, which is excellent to see.

- Via Jim Watts at Iconic Books, Reina del Cid's song "Library Girl" (YouTube).

- Joanne Freeman, who's working on a book about violence in Congress has a piece in the NYTimes, "When Congress was Armed and Dangerous."

- LA's Mystery Bookstore will be closing at the end of the month.

- CCSU has compiled its statistics for America's Most Literate Cities, 2010.

- A cipher sent to Thomas Jefferson in December 1801 has been cracked, apparently for the first time. A fitting message, too!

- Robert McCrum writes in the Guardian on the potential impact of ebooks on copyright.

- The NYTimes' Randy Kennedy has more on mystery-forger Mark Landis.

- A report to the European Union urges national governments to take a greater role in digitization projects, rather than leaving it up to private companies.

- From The Week, some speculation on the authorship of the forthcoming anonymous O: A Presidential Novel (my own guess: Ana-Marie Cox, although I confess I have little evidence for it).

- Some fascinating new finds: in the Library of Congress, an unpublished manuscript version of Federico García Lorca's poem "Oficina y denuncia," and in the John Carter Brown Library, a manuscript map found within the binding of a volume of the proceedings of a Massachusetts/Rhode Island boundary commission.

- The JFK Library's Digital Archive is now open.

- In the NYTimes, Penelope Green writes on new trends in the use of books in interior design, and various ways "books" are being marketed for such uses including Restoration Hardware's "book bundle" and the new Pottery Barn version.


- Jill Lepore's The Whites of Their Eyes; review by Gordon Wood in the NYRB. Lots of discussions going on about this review, including here, here, and here

- Nigel Smith's Andrew Marvell; review by Nick Laird in the Telegraph.

- Sherry Turkle's Alone Together; review by David Weinberger in the Boston Globe.

- Ann Blair's Too Much to Know; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

- Rachel Hewitt's Map of a Nation; review by Alan McNee in the TLS.

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