Sunday, April 20, 2014

Links & Reviews

Sorry, I got behind there for a few weeks. Time to play some serious catchup.

- The Pforzheimer Collection at NYPL has made a remarkable acquisition: a copy of Shelley's first book of verse, Original Poetry by Victor and Cazire (1810). A total of four copies are known, and the newly-acquired NYPL copy is in original boards, with untrimmed pages. The title page is inscribed "Thos Medwin / a present from / one of the authors", there are manuscript corrections to printer's errors in the text, possibly in Shelley's hand, and pencilled notes ascribing authorship to various poems as well.

- Harvard Law School has released the results of testing done on a binding long-believed to have been made of human skin. The binding proved to be [drum roll please ...] sheepskin. That didn't stop another flurry of stories about anthropodermic binding, though.

- In The Paris Review, Graciela Mochkofsky on the theft and return of a stolen Borges first edition ... with a twist. Lots of background on some major theft cases from the last few years, as well.

- Hear Anne Blair deliver the inaugural John Rylands Research Institute Lecture, "Script, Type, and Byte - Manuscripts after Gutenberg (reflections on technological continuities)" (link at bottom to download the audio).

- In Time, Katy Steinmetz interviews lexicographer and slang historian Jonathon Green.

- Jennifer Howard reports on the first birthday of the DPLA for the Chronicle.

- The Getty Museum announced that it is returning a 12th-century Byzantine illuminated New Testament to the Holy Monastery of Dionysou in Greece, from which the manuscript was stolen before 1960.

- In the Washington Independent Review of Books, a profile of the Library Company of Philadelphia's retiring director John C. Van Horne.

- At The Collation, printer's waste as endleaves, with many good images and context from Sarah Werner.

- Tests on a papyrus fragment containing the words "Jesus said to them 'My wife...'" indicate that it can be dated to the fourth-eighth centuries, but skeptics continue to doubt its authenticity or significance.

- The OED has launched another public appeal, this time for a book quoted in Alice Morse Earle's 1902 book Sun Dials and Roses of Yesterday as "Mathematick Rules by I.N. Gentn, 1646."

- Simon Worrall has a piece in the BBC Magazine on the appeal of the Voynich Manuscript.

- Nick Basbanes is selling his collection of inscribed first editions.

- New from the FB&C "Bright Young Librarians" series, an interview with Sarah Burke Cahalan, a friend and library school class mate of mine!

- The Indiana Historical Society's copy of Audubon's Birds of America sold for a total of $3,525,000 at Sotheby's New York on 1 April. The copy of Quadrupeds made $245,000. IHS president and CEO John Herbst called it a "great day." The buyers have been identified only as a husband and wife "with the means to do the restoration needed for that set ...".

- Rebecca Rego Barry has an excellent rundown of the New York Book Fair, which was, as usual, a grand experience. It was fantastic to see so many friends and so many amazing books.

- Via Nick Basbanes on Twitter, Michael Rosenwald's 6 April WaPo article on the way online reading may change other forms of reading.

- Over at The Junto, an interview with Michael Jarvis, author of the Junto March Madness 2014 champion title In the Eye of All Trade (a book that has proven extremely useful to me in my own research, so I was delighted at its win!).

- From the Special Collections Processing at Penn blog, a look at H. Buxton Forman's bookplate, which bears an oddly apt caption.

- At Notabilia, a presentation copy from Abraham Ortelius to Francesco Soranzo, a Venetian nobleman who served as ambassador to Spain and a strong friend to Ortelius.

- The 8 April sale of Treasures from the Caren Archive: How History Unfolds on Paper realized $1.3 million. Eric Caren is still looking for a buyer for a collection of 200,000 additional items.

 - Goran Proot explores a 1629 book purportedly published in Antwerp, discussing the various layout elements which suggest that the book likely originated in Italy instead.

- A new blog to follow: Manutius in Manchester.

- There's an excellent interview with E.O. Wilson in the WSJ. Read all the way to the end.

- On 20 May, Sotheby's London will try again to sell the manuscript of Rachmaninoff's second symphony, this time with an estimate of £1-1.5 million. In 2004 a planned sale was called off after the relatives of the composer claimed ownership. The manuscript was later sold to the Tabor Foundation and deposited at the British Library.

- The 2014 update to the Directory of Institutions in the United States and Canada with Pre-1600 Manuscript Holdings has been posted.


- Rebecca Newberger Goldstein's Plato at the Googleplex; review by Anthony Gottlieb in the NYTimes.

- Svante Paabo's Neanderthal Man; review by Carl Zimmer in the NYTimes.

- Justin Cartwright's Lion Heart; review by Katherine A. Powers in the WaPo.

- Helena Attlee's The Land Where Lemons Grow; review by Helena Attlee in the TLS.

- David G. Hackett's That Religion in Which All Men Agree; review by Seth Perry in The Junto.

- Justin Roberts' Slavery and the Enlightenment in the British Atlantic; review by David Richardson at H-Albion.

- AMC's show "Turn"; review by Carolyn Eastman in Perspectives on History.

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