Sunday, May 27, 2012

Links & Reviews

- The London International Antiquarian Bookfair (the "Olympia" fair) was held this weekend. On the Economist's Prospero blog, it was hailed as "An antiquarian obsession."

- On bookfairs: don't miss Garrett Scott's "A hasty and discursive meditation on the care and feeding of a book fair," or Lorne Blair's post on the recent inaugural Library of Virginia Book Fair. And definitely don't miss the first part of Lorne's new series on the importance of regional book fairs: "Six Days On the Road & I'm Gonna Make it Home Tonight." At the end of this post he asks some key questions, questions I think all of us concerned with these matters should be thinking about.

- A panel discussion was held at the NYPL this week on the much-debated renovations plan. Caleb Crain has a full rundown, with links to audio/video of the event as well. Robin Pogrebin covered the discussion for the NYT, including in a followup piece the little nugget that former employees of the library believe they've been silenced by "nondisparagement agreements."

- For the culinary codicologist: historiated initial cookies!

- Mt. Vernon's efforts to recreate George Washington's library got a writeup in the Washington Post this weekend. Unfortunately it opens with the line "Gently, gently, the librarian opens the first of the five books displayed on the large wooden table, and age seems to rise up from the pages like a wavy distortion above heated pavement." While I think the recreation is a neat idea (virtual is handy, but real is cooler), I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of Washington's books being "replicated with pages scanned from the Athenaeum's collection and put into an 18th-century-style binding with endpaper and leather and gold tooling." I certainly hope that means that the scans would be made available to all (as with the John Adams library); it just doesn't make much sense, today, to create scanned physical surrogates in bespoke bindings just for the sake of doing so. But, overall, I'm really glad to see the project going forward, and wish them great luck!

- Over at The Collation, Erin Blake examines the difference(s) between a colored print and a color print, and Heather Wolfe explores Shelton's tachygraphy, a common form of early modern shorthand.

- More on the Girolamini library thefts I mentioned last week: the former director, Mario Massimo de Caro, and four others have been arrested.

- Mike Widener notes a book in the Yale Law library's collections with the bookplate and signature of Johann Peter von Ludewig.

- Mary Norris of The New Yorker has a very amusing post about the printing of a thorn (√ĺ) in a recent issue of the magazine.

- Dan Cohen muses on the "blessay." Make sure to read the updates, too.

- Glenn Fleishman posted this week on a recent visit to the Folger Shakespeare Library, where he talked to Sarah Werner about the physicality of books.

- Mark Anderson talked to the CSM about his new book on the Transit of Venus.

- The Russian State Polytechnical Museum Library in Moscow recently discovered some 30,000 pre-Revolutionary books hidden behind a false wall.

- Booksellers Adrian Harrington and Jonathan Kearnes star in a 15-minute video, "The Story of the Book." It's beautifully done. [h/t Book Patrol]

- At Boston 1775, J.L. Bell asks "How did people pronounce 'Faneuil Hall'?"

- A great new acquisition is highlighted on the Houghton Library blog: a 1741 book with a nifty five-ribbon bookmark.

- Queen Victoria's journals have been mounted online, free to the world through the end of June (and in the UK thereafter).


- Wesley Stace's Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer; review by Miriam Burstein at The Little Professor.

- Peter Carey's The Chemistry of Tears; reviews by Andrew Miller in the NYTimes and Ron Charles in the WaPo.

- Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies; reviews by Martin Rubin in the LATimes; Charles McGrath in the NYTimes.

- E.O. Wilson's The Social Conquest of Earth; review by Thomas Maugh in the LATimes.

- Pretty much every major American birding field guide; review by Laura Jacobs in the WSJ.

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