Sunday, February 20, 2011

Links & Reviews

- Don't miss Rick Gekoski's Guardian column "Reading is Overrated." Hear, hear.

- Borders' bankruptcy filing this week prompted Edward Champion to put together a list of local indie alternatives for all 200 of the closing Borders stores.

- The ABAA documentary "Bibliomania" is now on YouTube. Good stuff.

- Jennifer Howard reported this week that the AAAS has formed a new Commission on the Humanities & Social Sciences, charged with developing an answer to this question: "What are the top ten actions that Congress, state governments, universities, foundations, educators, individual benefactors, and others should take now to maintain national excellence in Humanities and social scientific scholarship and education, and to achieve long-term national goals for our intellectual and economic well-being; for a stronger, more vibrant civil society; and for the success of cultural diplomacy in the 21st century?" It's quite a cast list, and I'll be very interested to see what they come up with.

- Also from Jennifer Howard (by far the best humanities reporter on the beat), a behind-the-scenes look at the Autobiography of Mark Twain, the University of California Press' surprise bestseller.

- The family of civil rights leader James Forman has donated his papers and book collection to the Queens College Civil Rights Archive.

- From the BBC this week, an interesting video on the discovery of Button Gwinnett's autograph in a Wolverhampton church record.

- A New Rochelle, NY man has been arrested after Long Island librarians realized he'd been stealing from libraries and selling the books on eBay for 11 years. Rudolph Cecera, Jr. is due in court on 25 February.

- At Library Sphere, "Why understanding the Digital Humanities is key for libraries."

- Glasgow University's Robert Burns Centre has been awarded a £1 million grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to publish a scholarly edition of Burns' works through Oxford University Press.

- A new exhibit at Stanford, "The American Enlightenment: Treasures from the Stanford University Libraries," will run through 15 May.

- Melville's manuscript of Billy Budd, three books from Emily Dickinson's library, and a Maine account book of British prize goods captured in the War of 1812 are among the newly-digitized items from Harvard's Houghton Library.

- From BibliOdyssey, Buffon's illustrations of quadrupeds.

- An interesting essay by Mark Bernstein on how Internet bookselling and short-run printing are creating a "second reading revolution."

- Typographers Matthew Carter and Scott-Martin Kosofsky have digitally revived a (lovely) Hebrew typeface from the sixteenth century (Le Bé).

- Voting for this year's Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title has opened at The Bookseller; the winner will be announced on 25 March. Read more about the shortlist here.


- Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches; review by Nick Owchar in the LATimes.

- A new edition of William Godwin's plays, and a companion volume by the editor, David O'Shaughnessy; review by Jennifer Breen in the TLS.

- Bettany Hughes' The Hemlock Cup; review by Walter Isaacson in the NYTimes.

- Edward Lengel's Inventing Washington; review by J.L. Bell at Boston1775.

- Stephen Hebron and Elizabeth Denlinger's Shelley's Ghost; review by Duncan Wu in Times Higher Education.

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