Sunday, May 20, 2012

Links & Reviews

- The biggest splash in the biblioblogosphere this week was a joint effort by Brooke Palmieri of 8vo and Daryl Green of Echoes from the Vault): "Bloggers of the World Unite: Rare Book Bloggers and the Links They Build." It's as excellent a discussion on the topic as any of us are likely to see, and I'm absolutely thrilled to see that it circulated so widely! Rebecca Rosen used the post as a jumping-off point for an Atlantic piece, Jennifer Schaffner added additional thoughts at, and there was much good discussion on Twitter as well. Fantastic stuff.

- Rare Book School has posted some plans and images of their big renovation project, part of which will be ready for this summer's sessions!

- Mills Kelly's George Mason University Lying About the Past course finished up this week, and he revealed the two hoaxes unleashed by his students this time around. Yoni Applebaum wrote up the story for the Atlantic, and that led to some incredibly nasty comments (plus a remarkable discussion on Wikipedia's admin forums about the site's response). Kelly noted Applebaum's piece (and its comments) on 15 May, and responded to some of the comments he was receiving the following day. Frankly I think Kelly's class is a tremendously useful one for both his students and for the world at large, and I hope he's able to teach it again in the future. Mark Sample weighed in on this as well, in "Scholarly Lies and the Deformative Humanities."

- Robert Darnton penned a defense of the NYPL's renovation plans in the NYRB. Jennifer Maloney covered the controversy over the plans for the WSJ.

- Cullen Nutt writes on the Wilson Quarterly blog about the current Smithsonian exhibit highlighting "Jefferson's Bible."

- The Folger announced this week that its Folger Shakespeare Editions texts of Shakespeare's plays will be released for free ("minus glosses, notes and interpretive material").

- From Jen Howard at the Chronicle, updates on plans to create a "central clearinghouse" for archival collections. Such a beast would be terribly useful!

- A watercolor painting believed to be of the Bronte sisters will be up for auction this week, with an estimate of £20,000-30,000.

- A new Tumblr launched this week: "Really Long Titles of Really Old Books."

- AbeBooks UK has launched a blog of their own, Pages & Proofs. I've added a link on the sidebar.

- Jen also filed a story early this week on the GSU copyright case which I mentioned in last weekend's Links. Hers is an excellent overview of the ruling and its implications. She followed up later in the week as responses rolled in. The ARL released an "issue brief" [PDF] on the case on 15 May.

- The Sunday Sun reports today that investigators from the office of the Prison and Probation Ombudsman have asked the newspaper to hand over letters written to the paper by Raymond Scott from prison prior to his suicide on 14 March.

- Brewster Kahle and Rick Prelinger argue in Technology Review for a de-centralized digital library, created by "lots of publishers, booksellers, authors and readers - and lots of libraries." They write "If many actors work together, we can have a robust, distributed publishing and library system, possibly resembling the World Wide Web."

- There's quite a storm brewing around Naples' historic Girolamini Library. In March an art professor, Tomaso Montanari, charged in an Il Fatto op/ed that the library's manager, Mariano Massimo De Caro, wasn't academically fit for the job. A petition to the Minister of Culture, Lorenzo Ornaghi, asked how the government could entrust the management of the Girolamini to "a man bereft of even the minimum academic qualifications or professional competence to honour the role." It had been signed by more than 2,000 academics by mid-April, when De Caro suddenly showed up at a prosecutor's office to report more than 1,500 books "missing" from the library. Gian Antonio Stella's 17 April Corriere della Sera article takes us that far. By 20 April the library had been seized, De Caro suspended on suspicion of embezzlement, and a caretaker head appointed. This week reports indicated that some 240 books with Girolamini library stamps had been found at a storage facility in Verona, where De Caro lives, and that police believe many others had already been sold abroad.

De Caro is described as a "former partner" in the Buenos Aires bookshop Imago Mundi. That shop is owned by Daniel Guido Pastore, who was reportedly involved in the 2007 theft of maps from Spain's national library by César Gómez Rivero. Jennifer Lowe of the RBMS Security Committee has been doing a great job posting updates to this case on Ex-Libris, so keep an eye out there; I'm sure there are more shoes yet to drop.


- Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies; reviews by Catherine Taylor in the Telegraph and Martin Rubin in the LATimes.

- Richard Fortey's Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms; review by Constance Casey in the NYTimes.

- Katherine Frank's Crusoe; review by Joanna Scutts in the WaPo.

- Andrea Wulf's Chasing Venus; review by JoAnn C. Gutin in the NYTimes.

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