Sunday, September 23, 2012

Links & Reviews

- Georgia governor Nathan Deal said this week (while signing a proclamation making September "Archives Month" in the state) that the Georgia Archives would remain open, but has not said how that will be accomplished. Meanwhile, seven of the ten full-time employees were laid off. The AHA weighed in this week with a strong letter opposing the closure of the archives.

- Over at The Collation, Erin Blake offers a curator's-eye view of the loan of a major piece of artwork. And Sarah Werner runs some numbers on the students who take her seminar in early modern book history, with fascinating results.

- Whitney Trettien examines the famous "black page" from Tristram Shandy in the larger context of mourning pages in seventeenth and eighteenth century print.

- From the "just go read it" department: Garret Scott's "True bookseller tales of the weird and supernatural."

- Jessamyn West offers some "guidelines for reporters" when writing about libraries. My favorite, probably not surprisingly, is #5: "There are some amazing things hidden in special collections ... and your chances of getting to see them diminish if you continually represent library archives as dusty, musty, smelly, unkempt, or populated entirely with hobbits and wizard-beings, strange and unknowable creatures unschooled in human customs. Introduce yourself and spend some time there and you’re likely to see some amazing things and learn some nifty things about your location, your neighbors or your academic institution." But all of them are important, and I hope reporters actually take the time to look at them.

- Michael Ennis talked to NPR this week about his new historical thriller, The Malice of Fortune.

- The NYPL announced that an $8 million donation will make it possible to keep more books at the Central branch rather than moving them offsite as part of a major renovation project. But critics of the overall plan say this step doesn't address the main issue

- Ted Widmer is stepping down as the director of the John Carter Brown Library; he's taken a position as special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and will also be an assistant to Brown president Christina Paxson for special projects.

- On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of The Hobbit, Thomas Shippey looks at the legacy of the book and why it's been such a success. Corey Olsen does the same in the WSJ.

- The Vancouver Sun highlights the Vancouver Book Fair, held this weekend.

- A new biography of John Keats claims that the poet was addicted to opium.

- From Book Patrol, a look at Italian artist Frederico Pietrella's artwork, made using library date stamps.

- The longlist for the Samuel Johnson Prize was announced.


- Harlow Giles Unger's John Quincy Adams; review by Sol Schindler in the Washington Times.

- Sanford Levinson's Framed; review by John Paul Stevens in the NYRB.

- Juliet Barker's The Bront√ęs; review by Carmela Ciuraru in the LATimes.

- John Bew's Castlereagh; review by William Anthony Hay in the WSJ.

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