Sunday, October 28, 2012

Links & Reviews

- An incredibly cool discovery at the John Carter Brown Library: extensive marginal notations in a 1635 Mercator Atlas have been found to be those of John and Virginia Ferrar, and comprise an early version The reformed Virginian silk-worm (published in 1655). Read the full report, and check out some very good illustrations.

- If you missed it this week, be sure to read Jennifer Schuessler's report on Robin Sloan's recent visit to the Grolier Club. Sloan's new book Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is on my Hurricane Sandy reading list.

- The LA Public Library recently acquired a large collection of maps found in a cottage slated to be torn down. Kudos to the real estate agent who called the library rather than just pitching the collection into a dumpster.

- Nate Pedersen recently interviewed bookseller Garrett Scott for FB&C.

- eBay seller Allan Formhals was found guilty this week of eight counts of fraud, as well as two counts of possessing articles for use in fraud, for forging signatures in books he later sold (more than a hundred books he hadn't yet sold have been seized). Formhals will be sentenced on 21 December.

- Coming up on "60 Minutes" tonight, a segment on recent thefts from the National Archives, and the steps taken to investigate them.

- A new Kickstarter project (the first one I've backed, in fact) from Colin Dickey and the Morbid Anatomy Library has been launched: the end result will be a published volume of essays and artwork drawn from the Morbid Anatomy Presents series.

- The personal papers of Robert S. McNamara fetched more than $1 million at auction this week.

- Something of a surprise ruling in New York, where a panel of judges on the Supreme Court's Appellate Division ruled that auction houses must reveal the names of consignors. Christie's has joined the local auctioneer who was party to the original of the lawsuit in an appeal of the decision.

- From the BL, a look at some owls as portrayed in medieval manuscripts.

- In the FB&C "Bright Young Things" series, an interview with Jonathan Kearns of Adrian Harrington (and Bibliodeviancy)

- Simon Garfield, whose new book On the Map comes out soon, picks his top ten books with maps for The Guardian.

- Abby Lang has a very good post at the Rare Book Cataloging at Penn blog on a volume of manuscript and printed items related to book thief Guglielmo Libri.

- Rosalie Osman's short animated film "Bibliomania" has been making the rounds; it's well worth a watch. The main character is named Thomas Philips (and bears a passing resemblance to the original bibliomaniac Sir Thomas Phillipps himself).

- From the Washington Post, a look at the Government Printing Office as it transitions to the digital age.

- An interesting find at the Treasury Department: a previously-unknown transcript of the 1944 Bretton Woods conference was found there; additional copies were later determined to be at the National Archives and the library of the IMF.

- Lots of folks have highlighted a new report from Pew suggesting that people under 30 are "more likely than older adults to do reading of any sort ...". The findings are worth a look, but I wish they'd use some criterion other than having read a single book in the last year. See the CSM report for more.

- There's a fun excerpt from Joe Queenen's forthcoming One for the Books in the WSJ this week.

- The Roxburghe Club has announced the publication of a bicentennial history of the club, written by Nicolas Barker.

Reviews

- J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy; review by Amanda Foreman in the NYTimes.

- Timothy Egan's Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher; review by Deborah Solomon in the NYTimes.

- Kate Summerscale's Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace; review at The Little Professor.

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