Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year-End Links & Reviews

I hope you've all had lovely and restful holidays, filled with good books and good cheer. I'm back in Charlottesville now after a trip home upstate New York, and am spending the last days of 2013 tidying up and trying to close out the year on an organized note. Here are some end-of-year links and reviews for your enjoyment:

- Rachel Donado reported on the political aspects of the Girolamini thefts scandal in the NYTimes on 22 December, focusing on former Italian senator Marcello Dell'Utri.

- An American judge has ruled that Sherlock Holmes (or at least anything featured in any Holmes stories published prior to 1 January 1923) is no longer protected by U.S. copyright law. Read the full opinion.

- New in the "Bright Young Librarians" series, Colleen Theisen of the University of Iowa.

- To mark the centenary of A.N.L. Munby's birth (which occurred on 25 December), the Cambridge Incunabula Project blog noted some of the many donations of incunabula and other rare materials Munby donated to the Cambridge libraries during his lifetime.

- The Center for the Study for the Public Domain at Duke has issued the annual "What Could Have Entered the Public Domain" list for 2014.

- Photographic negatives from the 1914-17 Shackleton Antarctic expedition were recently found by a New Zealand team. See the photos.

- In The Guardian, writers comment on their favorite ghost stories.

- Art historians in China have concluded that a calligraphic scroll sold by Sotheby's as the work of Su Shi (1037-1101) is, rather, a 19th-century fake. The work sold for $8.2 million in September. Sotheby's says it stands by its attribution, but will investigate.

- Over on the Houghton blog, a look at the first book published in Antarctica, Aurora Australis.

- From October, but new to me (via Sarah Werner and John Overholt), from the MSU Provenance blog, "What Counts as Provenance Evidence?"


- William Shakespeare and Others: Collaborative Plays; review by Gary Taylor in the Washington Post.

- Kevin Peraino's Lincoln in the World; review by Stephen Budiansky in the Washington Post.

- William Seale's The Imperial Season; review by Fergus Bordewich in the WSJ.

1 comment:

J. L. Bell said...

Though the Sherlock Holmes case has been widely reported as saying the character is no longer protected by copyright in the US, it actually just confirmed the existing widespread understanding that the character has been in the public domain for years.

A Conan Doyle trust tried a novel legal claim that because some later Holmes stories are stlll under copyright, so was the character established in the early, pre-1923 stories because the author didn't fully create him until the end. That argument and the threat of legal action allowed the trust to intimidate some storytellers away from Holmes.

But the judge found no basis for the argument in law and confirmed that all texts published in America before 1923 and the character traits they establish are in the public domain.