Sunday, February 22, 2015

Links & Reviews

- It was made official this week: the Scheide Library will stay at Princeton, and with an appraised value of $300 million, it is the largest gift in the university's history. NPR's Audie Cornish talked to Scheide Librarian Paul Needham.

- An employee at Russia's Hermitage Museum has been arrested for the theft of books and illustrations from the museum's collections. AFP reported that Russian police had found stolen items at the man's home, in the possession of a friend, and at a St. Petersburg antique shop.

- Anthony Grafton writes for the NYRB on marginalia's moment, noting particularly the current exhibit at the New York Society Library.

- The New-York Historical Society will mount the third in a series of Audubon exhibitions this spring.

- A Bible once owned by Francis Daniel Pastorius has been acquired by the University of Pennsylvania.

- José Manuel Fernández Castineiras has received a ten-year prison sentence for the theft of the Codex Calixtinus and more than €2.4 million from the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral.

- Manchester Central Library has "withdrawn" more than 240,000 volumes, mostly non-fiction, from its circulating shelves. The books are believed to have been sold to local firm Rival Books.

- Neely Tucker has an excellent piece in the Washington Post about the "new" Harper Lee novel scheduled to be published in July.

- In case you missed the fun this week, the media picked up this week on a pretty funny little story: in a scene in the new Jennifer Lopez movie "The Boy Next Door," a character receives a copy of the "first edition" of The Iliad. This reportedly caused searches for "first editions" of The Iliad to skyrocket on AbeBooks. The story about this in The Telegraph sent me to the covers page at LibraryThing, where I pretty quickly found a strong candidate for the correct edition (in a variant color binding), and then ended up as an update on the news story. Silly fun. A few copies were listed on AbeBooks when I figured out what it was; I bought the cheapest on a whim, but wasn't surprised to find when it arrived that it was yet another variant binding!

- John Schulman has collected a roundup of bookseller responses to the recent ABAA fair in Oakland.

- British media reported this week that a previously-unknown Sherlock Holmes story has been found, part of a collection of short stories written to help fund the construction of a new bridge in the small Scottish town of Selkirk in 1904. Vulture posted the full text of the story. Mattias Bostrom at I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere makes a very good case that the story is very unlikely to have been written by Conan Doyle himself.

- Over at Alembic Rare Books, a very nice inscribed presentation copy of John Herschel's Results of Astronomical Observations (1847).

- In a post for the NYTimes Artsbeat blog, Roslyn Sulcas highlights the British Library's Endangered Archives Program, which has now mounted more than 4 million images.

- The Watkinson Library at Trinity College is raising funds to conserve and rebind the Shakespeare Second Folio they acquired in 2012.

- Conor Friedersdorf reports for The Atlantic on the absolutely ridiculous crackdown on Little Free Libraries.

- The four finalists for this year's George Washington Book Prize have been announced.

- Houghton Library highlights a very neat new acquisition: a 1474 book printed at the Benedictine monastery of SS. Ulrich and Afra in Augsburg.

- Simon Beattie's found a 1792 novel in German by Friedrich Eberhard Rambach (Die eiserne Maske. Eine schottische Geshichte [The Iron Mask. A Scottish Story], much-inspired by the Ossian tradition.

- A new website on the Martin Marprelate Press has launched.

- Alix Christie talked to The Library Cafe about her book Gutenberg's Appentice.


- Bernard Bailyn's Sometimes an Art; review by Gordon Wood in the Weekly Standard. This one has sparked some heated discussions and rebuttals, including a critique by William R. Black at The Junto and another (in tweet form) by Jonathan W. Wilson. John Fea offers a semi-defense of Wood, to which L.D. Burnett responded.

- Reif Larsen's I Am Radar; review by Janet Maslin in the NYTimes.

- David O. Stewart's Madison's Gift; review by Carol Berkin in the WaPo.

- Mary Pilon's The Monopolists; review by Carlos Lozada in the WaPo.

- Two new editions of Jane Austen's juvenile writings; review by Paula Byrne in the TLS.

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