Sunday, September 16, 2012

Links & Reviews

- The big news this week comes out of Georgia, with an announcement that as of 1 November, the Georgia Archives will be closed to the public, open by appointment only. Georgia's Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, said in a statement "To my knowledge, Georgia will be the only state in the country that will not have a central location in which the public can visit to research and review the historical records of their government and state. The staff that currently works to catalog, restore, and provide reference to the state of Georgia’s permanent historical records will be reduced. The employees that will be let go through this process are assets to the state of Georgia and will be missed." Kemp has said he will urge the legislature to restore funding for the Archives in a January session.

Joe Adelman has posted at Publick Occurrences about what this closure will mean for researchers. More than 8,000 people have already signed a petition opposing the closure of the Archives. Jackie Dooley reports at Off the Record that the SAA is planning an official response to the announcement.

- As promised, more on that incredible copy of Frankenstein inscribed to Lord Byron from Peter Harrington, including a video.

- Paul Tankard writes in the TLS about Mary Fairburn's illustrations for The Lord of the Rings.

- A rare, 40-volume Song dynasty encyclopedia is currently on display at the Taipei Book Fair. A Chinese publishing house recently purchased the text for $33 million.

- Elvis Presley's Bible sold for £59,000 this week at Omega Auctions in Cheshire. The buyer has been described as an American man based in Britain.

- More than fifty documents stolen from the University of Vermont's Special Collections by convicted archives thief Barry Landau were returned this week.

- Nicholson Baker is the subject of this weekend's NYTimes "By the Book" interview.

- In Lapham's Quarterly, Michael Dirda's "Beyond the Fields We Know" is an enjoyable reminder of early 20th-century ghost stories, and calls on readers to "honor the marvelous as well as the matter of fact! It is time we paid more attention to metaphysical fiction, whether labeled fantasy, supernatural thriller, or spiritual psychodrama."

- Staff at Cardiff University highlight their copy of Hooke's Micrographia (with images).

- Goran Proot teaches us how to take bibliographic fingerprints in a Collation post.

- Houghton Library notes the acquisition of an inscribed copy of Roger E. Stoddard's new bibliography, A Bibliographical Description of Books and Pamphlets of American Verse Printed from 1610 to 1820.

- Over at ArchBook, a look at "Swift's Parodic Paratexts." [h/t John Overholt]


- Walter Stahr's Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man; review by Michael Burlingame in the WSJ.

- Jeff Greenfield's forthcoming e-book When Gore Beat Bush; review by Barton Swaim in the WSJ.

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