Sunday, January 05, 2014

Links & Reviews

- Sarah Werner, writing at Snarkmarket about the ongoing "death of the book" silliness, highlights one of my favorite books of recent years, A Dodo at Oxford, and argues that "any opposition between print and digital is, today, ridiculous." Read the whole post.

- The Al Sa'eh library in Tripoli, Lebanon, which housed some 80,000 books and manuscripts, was destroyed by fire this week, after false rumors that the owner, a Greek Orthodox priest, had written an article insulting Islam.

- Some nasty news out of Canada this week, where it has been revealed that important archival materials held at various environmental libraries around the country ordered closed by the government are being haphazardly destroyed or dispersed.

- In this month's Smithsonian, Joshua Hammer writes on "The Race to Save Mali's Priceless Artifacts."

- The Authors Guild will appeal Judge Denny Chin's ruling in the Google Books case, Publishers Weekly reports.

- The January AE Monthly is out, containing their annual list of the top 500 auction prices for 2013, among a selection of other interesting pieces.

- The Higgins Armory Museum of Worcester, MA has closed after 82 years.

- A cache of some 20,000 Japanese books, including some by woodblock master Hokusai has been authenticated at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts after research by a scholarly team from 2010 through 2012. The collection was donated by Ernest Fenollosa in the early 20th century.

- Lucy Hughes-Hallett's Telegraph piece "Why Villette is better than Jane Eyre" will likely be of interest to many readers.

- A draft of a 1775 plea for reconciliation to the British people written by Robert R. Livington was found last summer in the attic of New York's Morris-Jumel Mansion museum. The museum will sell the document at Keno Auctions on 26 January.

- The Free Library of Philadelphia's acquisition of the Rosenbach Museum and Library is now complete.

- From Marina Warner in the NYRB, "Maps and Monsters," a short essay and gallery.

- A Celtic brooch dating from the 8th or 9th century has been found in British Museum storage; it had been hidden in a "lump of organic material" excavated from a Viking burial site in Norway and acquired by the BM in 1891.

Reviews

- Nick Basbanes' On Paper; review by Christine Rosen in the Wilson Quarterly.

- Brian Dillon's Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing; review by James Delbourgo in the Chronicle Review.

- Catherine Bailey's The Secret Rooms; review by Kirk David Swinehart in the NYTimes.

- Jane Ridley's The Playboy Prince; review by Joanna Scutts in the WaPo.

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