Sunday, June 24, 2012

Links & Reviews

- Your must-read of the week is Bethany Nowviskie's opening plenary from this week's RBMS conference in San Diego, "Reality Bytes." Go. Read it (right after you finish this post, of course).

- Another key read from this week is an NYRB Exchange: Joan W. Scott, Caleb Crain, and Charles Petersen reply to Robert Darnton's "In Defense of the New York Public Library," and Darnton responds to their comments.

- The Boston Public Library is reportedly considering a plan to add "retail space" and possibly a restaurant to the main Copley Square branch. Sigh.

- Another Washington book made the headlines this week, but if you want some to see some important marginalia he wrote, look to Harvard's Houghton Library. They've got a copy of James Monroe's 1797 screed A view of the conduct of the executive, in the foreign affairs of the United States, connected with the mission to the French Republic, during the years 1794, 5, & 6 filled with Washington's marginal notations. John Overholt highlights the volume. Or see the LT record about this book.

- News broke this week that the Massachusetts Historical Society is selling a medieval Welsh manuscript that's been in the Society's collections since before 1830; the 14th-century manuscript will go under the hammer at Sotheby's London on 10 June, with a £500,000-700,000 estimate. It'll be the first manuscript in medieval Welsh to come up at public auction since 1923, and ArtDaily suggests this is "most probably the last appearance of a medieval manuscript in Welsh on the market," as most of the other known examples are already in instutitonal collections.

- Over on the Fine Books Blog, Justin Pedersen talks to bookbinder Tim Yancey, one of the founders of the Lost Gutenbergs project.

- More than $5 million worth of artifacts and documents have been returned to Chicago's Polish Museum; they'd been stolen decades ago, and were found the basement of a building owned by the mother of a former museum curator.

- The Library of Congress has launched a new exhibit, "Books That Shaped America." Coverage in the Washington Post, or see the press release (which includes the list and short descriptions of each).

- Stephen Gertz poses some of the "troubling questions" still lingering about the stolen Book of Mormon and the media's treatment of the case.

- Author Dawn Powell's diaries are currently up for auction. Report from the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

- Some really excellent courses are on tap for the 8th Australian and New Zealand Rare Book School session, running 28 January - 1 February 2013 at the Universtity of Otago. James Raven will be teaching "The Business of Books in Britain," Heather Wolfe will teach "English Paleography, 1500-1700" (which I took last summer at RBS and loved), and Donald Kerr and Richard Overell are going to teach "Exhibitions: The Art and Practicality."

- Sarah Werner hosts a new Carnivalesque, early modern edition!


- Andrea Wulf's Chasing Venus; review by Tom Payne in the Telegraph.

- Fergus Bordewich's America's Great Debate; review by Donald E. Graham in the WaPo.

- Thomas Desjardins' Joshua L. Chamberlain: A Life in Letters; review by Michael Burlingame in the WSJ.

- Ray Raphael's Mr. President; review by David O. Stewart in the WaPo.

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