Sunday, August 30, 2015

Links & Reviews

- The Times (UK, subscription required) reported this week that newly-released phone taps "have exposed how Marcello Dell'Utri, a senator and old friend of Berlusconi, received books from Marino Massimo De Caro. ... In one phone conversation with De Caro in 2012, Dell'Utri says one book he wants is so valuable, it will come with 'truffles on it'." Dell'Utri was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2014 for ties to the Sicilian mafia; he has maintained that he did not know the books he was receiving from De Caro were stolen. The texts of the phone taps were originally reported in La repubblica.

- The British Library has turned down an archive of material related to the Taliban, with librarians saying that housing the collection could violate anti-terrorism statutes, which prohibit the collection "of material which could be used by a person committing or preparing for an act of terrorism" as well as the "circulation of terrorist publications."

- This year's National Book Festival commemorates the 200th anniversary of the sale of Jefferson's books to the nation to rebuild the destroyed Library of Congress. In the Washington Post, Mark Dimunation presents a few of Jefferson's favorite titles.

- As part of the processing of Toni Morrison's literary archive, staff at Princeton have been working to recover files from 5.25" floppy disks. Elena Colon-Marrero outlines the process used.

- From Damian Fleming, a list of free digitized manuscripts containing Old English.

- Kazuo Ishiguro's literary archive has been acquired by the Harry Ransom Center for just over $1 million.

- At The Collation, Erin Blake shows how Hamnet is one big data set, and offers some advice on parsing exported MARC data.

- Rare Book School is now accepting applications for scholarships and the IMLS-RBS Fellowships.

- Michael Beckerman reports for the NYTimes about the discovery of missing parts of Adam Michna's 1653 musical work "The Czech Lute," found in a Franciscan library in Slany, near Prague.

- Alison Flood reports for the Guardian on the sale of two James Joyce letters, which fetched more than $24,000 at RR Auction in Boston.

- At Early Modern Online Bibliography, Eleanor Shevlin discusses and reviews ArchBook, an open-access collection of essays "about specific design features in the history of the book."

- Jessamyn West has posted about her discussions with the White House personnel office about what the next Librarian of Congress should be able to bring to the table.

- Tim Cassedy writes in the LA Review of Books about the new app OMBY, "a game that you win by unscrambling Moby Dick, a few words at a time."

- The Library of Congress and Levenger Press are publishing Mapping the West with Lewis and Clark, examining "the critical role that maps played in Jefferson's vision of a formidable republic that would no longer be eclipsed by European empires."

- Items from the Kerry Stokes Collection, including the Rothschild Prayerbook, will be on display at the University of Melbourne's Ian Potter Museum until 15 November. A lecture series accompanies the exhibition.

- In Humanities, Steve Moyer reports on the use of spectral imaging and reflectance transformation imaging on the Jubliees palimpsest.

- and Gannett Newspapers are collaborating to digitize the full archives of some 80 daily newspapers.

- Elizabeth Ott highlights an utterly fantastic new acquisition at UNC Chapel Hill: an 18th-century perspective "peep show" of a printer's shop at work.

- The British Library will loan the Codex Sinaiticus to the British Museum for an exhibition exploring religion in Egypt after the pharaohs.

- In the Deccan Herald, Pradeep Sebastian explores the fascination with biblio-theft, highlighting a few recent cases.

- Michelle Tay writes for Blouin Artinfo about Sotheby's auction of selections from Pierre Bergé's collection of rare books, which will begin with a sale in December.

- A long-sought Nazi "gold train" may have been located in southwestern Poland after a death-bed confession. The armored train is believed to have been carrying weapons, gold, art, and possibly Nazi archives. Authorities are urging treasure-hunters to stay away, as they fear that the hidden train may be booby-trapped.

- Satellite images reveal the extent of the destruction being wrought on the ancient city of Palmyra by ISIS.


- The Butterflies of North America: Titian Peale's Lost Manuscript; review by Dana Jennings in the NYTimes. The manuscript, left unfinished when Peale died in 1885, is being published by the American Museum of Natural History.

- Rosemarie Ostler's Founding Grammars; review by Barbara Spindel in the CSM.

- Paul Kingsnorth's The Wake; review by Jennifer Maloney in the WSJ. This one sounds fascinating ...

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