Sunday, July 12, 2015

Links & Reviews

- According to a Daily Sabah report, two manuscripts stolen from a library in Turkey in 2000 were returned after a doctoral student determined that the manuscripts had made their way to the Schoenberg collection at Penn.

- In The Atlantic, Henry Grabar covers the Smithsonian's use of 3-d printing technology to replicate artifacts.

- The New York Public Library has posted an update on the status of the Rose Main Reading Room: continuing asbestos removal and work on the reading room ceiling will keep the room closed until early 2017. They say they hope to be able to open the Bill Blass Public Catalog Room by the fall of 2016.

- From Eric Kwakkel, an overview of medieval book-theft-prevention techniques.

- A copy of the 1599 Oxford edition of Richard de Bury's Philobiblon will go on the block Tuesday at Sotheby's London. Presale estimates are £5,000–7,000.

- Over at the New Yorker's Culture Desk, Brown professor Elias Muhanna writes about "Hacking the Humanities."

- The New Mexico Commission of Public Records has issued a "warning" that the sale of state public records online is illegal, though they say they know of no recent cases of such sales.

- A German court has ruled that the descendants of Joseph Goebbels are to be paid royalties for quotations from Goebbels' diaries published in a biography by Peter Longerich. The publishers say they will appeal the ruling.

- MHS Librarian Peter Drummey is profiled by Bloomberg News' Tom Moroney.

- John Fea talks to Carla Mulford about her new book Benjamin Franklin and the Ends of Empire.

- Simon Beattie highlights the first edition of the first library classification system published in Russia, devised for the Imperial Public Library in St. Petersburg and published in 1809.

- It's a little simplistic, but Michael Rosenwald has a piece in the Washington Post about the "prints to digital" shift in public libraries.

- Andrew Albanese, writing for Publishers Weekly, asks whether the nomination of the next Librarian of Congress could spark a political battle.

- E.B. White's Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan have been released as e-books by HarperCollins, and the publisher has launched a trailer for the e-version of Charlotte's Web. It's a cute trailer, mostly, though I was struck by the taglines at the end: "A timeless classic for the digital generation" and "Rediscover the magic with your kids." The trailer rather undercuts that second message, showing a young girl sitting alone (well, nearly; her dog is present) on her bed, staring at her tablet, while her mom stands silently in the doorway before walking away with a smile on her face. I'm not sure why this bothered me as much as it did: maybe it's just because I grew up hearing and then reading Charlotte's Web myself (and later reading it out loud to two cousins over a vacation week), but I found that shot profoundly sad: go, read with her, mom! (Not to mention the fact that I've always found the book itself perfectly magical enough, without any bells or whistles.)
- As a good antidote to the above, may I suggest Meghan Cox Gurdon's "The Great Gift of Reading Aloud"?


- Leona Francombe's The Sage of Waterloo; review by Laline Paull in the NYTimes.

- Hugh Aldersey-Williams' In Search of Sir Thomas Browne; review by Spencer Lenfield in Slate.

- Noah Charney's The Art of Forgery; review by Adrian Higgins in the WaPo.

- Natasha Pulley's The Watchmaker of Filigree Street; review by Amal El-Mohtar in the LATimes.

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