Sunday, September 27, 2015

Links & Reviews

- The book collection of Robert S Pirie will be sold at Sotheby's in December. David Redden calls it "the greatest private collection put together since World War II." This is going to be quite a sale to watch.

- Librarian of Congress James Billington announced this week that his retirement will take effect on 30 September, not on 1 January as previously stated. Deputy Librarian of Congress David Mao will serve as acting Librarian until Billington's successor is confirmed by the Senate.

- A federal judge ruled this week that "Happy Birthday" is in the public domain. Read the full decision. Warner/Chappell has not yet indicated whether they will appeal. For background, see Paul Collins' 2011 Slate piece on the copyright status of this song.

- APHA is developing a History of Printing Timeline and they have asked for comments and suggestions.

- Making the rounds this week, Alexandra Alter's NYTimes report "The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead."

- The National Library of Scotland has announced plans to digitize a third of its 24 million items available digitally in the next ten years.

- Literary Hub has a great feature called "Interview with a Bookstore" - this week they talked to the staff at Cambridge's Harvard Book Store.

- The Society of American Archivists has released a comment on the Copyright Office's pilot program for mass digitization projects.

- A major exhibition on the library of John Dee will be on display at the Royal College of Physicians in London from January to July 2016.

- UVA Today profiled book conservator Eliza Gilligan this week, focusing on her work with a book from Landon Carter's library.

- Daniel Crouch Rare Books has donated a 1926 embroidered map made by the Disabled Soldiers Embroidery Industry to the Bodleian Library.

- Megan Cook writes about her work at an RBS course in Philadelphia this summer, where she explored a 16th-century heraldic manuscript and "shows how open access to digital images of early books can facilitate new answers to old questions."

- The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library has received a $4 million grant from the Arcadia Fund to support HMML's cataloging, archiving, and digitization efforts. Teams from the museum have been engaged in digital preservation in Syria, Iraq, and Mali in recent years.

- Not in the least unconnected, the e-book subscription service Oyster will close early next year.

- Eve Kahn reports for the NYTimes on MIT conservator Jana Dambrogio's work on "letterlocking."

- In Smithsonian, Alexander Stille reports on the 2013 discovery of a trove of what are perhaps the oldest identified papyri, which are providing much new information about the construction of the pyramids.

- The Folger Shakespeare Library has joined the Provenance Online Project, with the first batch of images comprising more than 350 women's provenance marks identified by Georgianna Ziegler.

- Lew Jaffe posts about a few new bookplate acquisitions, including one fantastic new name label (of Gardner Winslow of Pomfret, VT) with a nice manuscript addition.

- William Blake's Felpham cottage has been saved for the British nation after a fundraising campaign: the Blake Society was able to purchase the house for £495,000.

- Claire M.L. Bourne has a guest post at The Collation about a great sammelband from the Folger collections.

- Princeton has acquired a copy of William James Stillman's 1870 photographic book The Acropolisy of Athens. Stillman's an old favorite of mine; he and I share an alma mater, Union College.

- Speaking of bookplates, some 2,000 from James Goode's collection will be sold at Heritage Auctions in New York in early November.

- Osama S.M. Amin writes about a fragment of the Epic of Gilgamesh acquired in 2011 by the Sulaymaniyah Museum in Iraq. It, along with other clay tablets, are believed to have been illegally excavated from southern Iraq - the museum purchased them as part of an initiative to intercept smuggled antiquities before they could be removed from the country.

- Houghton Library has acquired a collection of more than 3,000 items related to "major conflicts and transformative events of the 20th century" from the José María Castañé Foundation.


- Andrea Wulf's The Invention of Nature; review by Colin Thubron in the NYTimes.

- Andrea Mays' The Millionaire and the Bard; review by Nick Romeo in the Daily Beast.

- Paul Kingsnorth's The Wake; review by Laird Hunt in the LATimes.

- Elsa Hart's Jade Dragon Mountain; review by Denise Hassanzade Ajiri in the CSM.

- The Morgan Library & Museum's exhibit "Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars"; review by Charles McGrath in the NYTimes.

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