Sunday, April 26, 2015

Links & Reviews

- Going to have to dig into this one and try to find some more information: there are reports in the New York Daily News and the Wall Street Journal that federal authorities are looking into the theft of seven rare books and a Benjamin Franklin manuscript from the New York Public Library. According to the report, Margaret Tanchuk took the books to Doyle auction house for appraisal last May and Doyle contacted the library after noting library markings; she maintains that she is the legal owner after finding the materials when cleaning out her late father's jewelry store. The Franklin manuscript, known as "Work Book No. 2" and containing the accounts of the Franklin & Hall partnership from 1759 through 1766, is believed to have been stolen sometime between 1988 and 1991. According to a newspaper clipping [found via Google Books] the manuscript turned up in 1924 in an attic in Mount Holly, N.J. There is a photocopy [noted as "from the original at the New York Public Library"] in the David Hall Papers at the American Philosophical Society. [Update: adding a link to this article from 7 April, which comes at this case from the opposite side.]

- Duke University has acquired the truly amazing collection of books and other materials related to women's history (broadly defined) assembled by Lisa Unger Baskin over more than four decades.

- Erik Kwakkel has a fascinating post up about rare medieval name tags, kept in the archives of a Leiden orphanage.

- A collection of Herman Hesse manuscripts will be sold at auction in May by Ketterer Kunst Hamburg.

- Laura Aydelotte writes about a William Henry Ireland "Shakespeare" signature in a quarto Hamlet.

- Nora Krug reports on the ongoing publishing juggernaut that the annotated autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder has become.

- A book stolen from a private library in Rome last year has been located at a Buenos Aires bookstore after it was listed for sale online, according to Italian media reports. The reports do not indicate whether other books from the same theft were also found.

- Indiana may build a $25 million state archives building in downtown Indianapolis.

- The NYTimes covers a recent report by public library officials in New York City warning of a "staggering infrastructure crisis" in the branch library facilities.

- The ABAA blog reports that three items were discovered missing after the New York Antiquarian Book Fair. If you have any information, please contact ABAA Security Chair Garrett Scott.

- The Harvard Gazette reports on several events leading up to the centennial of Harvard's Widener Library, coming up this June.

- The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum has acquired a large collection of the papers of Arthur C. Clarke.

- Missed this last week: the NYTimes obituary of T. H. Tsien, who died on 9 April at the age of 105, is very much worth a read.

- In TNR, William Giraldi writes on "Why we need physical books."

Reviews

- Bruce Holsinger's The Invention of Fire; review by Rebecca Rego Barry at the Fine Books Blog.

- Michael Pye's The Edge of the World; review by Michael Dirda in the Washington Post.

- Charlotte Gordon's Romantic Outlaws; review by Anna Russell in the WSJ (there's also a Q&A with the author).

- Alberto Manguel's Curiosity; review by Iain Reid in the Globe and Mail.

- John Palfrey's Biblio Tech; review by Carlos Lozada in the Washington Post.

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