Sunday, February 27, 2011

Links & Reviews

- The Washington Post reports on the National Archives' recovery team, investigators tasked with tracking down and returning items stolen from the archives. The story also contains an update on the case of former NARA curator Leslie Waffen, whose home was raided by federal agents last October. Waffen "has not been charged in the matter, although the inspector general's office is building a case against him that will include evidence that he sold sound and film recordings on eBay." The NYTimes editorialized on archives thefts this week as well.

- HarperCollins kicked up a hornet's nest (great list of links there) this week when the publisher announced that libraries would only be allowed to lend out e-books 26 times. Authors, librarians and others have chimed in to protest this policy change (with Neil Gaiman calling it "incredibly disappointing"). HarperCollins responded and set up an email account to receive additional feedback. For all the latest on this, follow the #hcod hasthag on Twitter.

- David Rothman has a long essay in the Chronicle about his vision for a national digital public library.

- The Boston Athenaeum's new Edward Gorey exhibit opened this week. Excited to go check this out when I can.

- The GPO and Library of Congress announced this week that they're working to digitize all "public and private laws, and proposed constitutional amendments passed by Congress as published in the official Statutes at Large from 1951-2002. GPO and LOC will also work on digitizing official debates of Congress from the permanent volumes of the Congressional Record from 1873-1998."

- At Book Best, Bill Lucey interviews Nancy Bass Wyden about the Strand's continued success and the future of bookselling.

- In the Yale Daily News, an update on the recent Voynich manuscript findings.

- A wonderful post at Wynken de Worde, on an interesting find among the headlines in a seventeenth-century English book.

- If you missed any, catch up on all the great "Fraud Week" posts over on the AAS' Past is Present blog.

- Google announced this week that it was tweaking its search algorithm in an attempt to demote "low-quality" pages that had been appearing in peoples' search results. For an excellent discussion of this topic, listen to the most recent "Digital Campus" episode (released just prior to Google's changes).

- Sam Kean has an interesting essay in the January Humanities about Isaac Newton's alchemical researches.

- American University in Cairo Press will host a Tahrir Book Fair in late March.

- There's an interview with Jasper Fforde in The Scotsman (about the newest BookWorld novel, One of Our Thursdays is Missing, along with much on other topics as well).

- The NYTimes article about the future of marginalia in a digital world, while perhaps a bit less nuanced than it might have been, at least promoted the Caxton Club's 19 March symposium "Other People's Books: Collecting Association Copies" (with attendant publication published by Oak Knoll).

- Booktryst notes the digitization of the National Library of Wales' beautiful copy of The Laws of Hywel Dda, a compendium of Welsh law.


- Helen Castor's She-Wolves; review by Miranda Seymour in the NYTimes.

- Maya Jasanoff's Liberty's Exiles; reviews by Tristram Hunt in the Telegraph and Stephen Howe in the Independent.

- Andrea Wulf's The Founding Gardeners; review by Miranda Seymour in the Telegraph.

- Jed Rubenfeld's The Death Instinct; review by Seth Stern in the WaPo.

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