Sunday, November 22, 2015

Links & Reviews

Apologies for no post last week: Boston was busy, but as always being there reminded me how much I love that city and its book fair. It was a fantastic time, and the book fair seemed to be a complete success by all accounts. It was great to see so many friends, old and new, and I even came across some pretty neat finds, which I'll be writing about here in due course. But now, a backlog of news:

- Ken Gloss of the Brattle Book Shop talked to Boston Magazine about the history of the Boston Book Fair.

- Convicted artifact/book/&c. thief John Mark Matthew Tillman is being released on day parole. Tillman is serving an eight-year sentence for multiple counts of theft and possession of stolen property.

- There's a great guest post up at The Junto by a couple of the grad students involved with a project analyzing the reading practices of the Winthrop family over several generations.

- An early Shelley poem has been acquired by the Bodleian Libraries as their 12 millionth printed book. More coverage from the Guardian.

- A cache of 17th-century Dutch letters, many unopened, is now being explored by an international team.

- The Beinecke Library has acquired the Otto Ege collection of manuscripts and manuscript fragments.

- Karen Nipps writes for the Houghton blog about printing on the frozen Thames. There was a great example of one of these small handbills at the book fair last weekend.

- Tom Mashberg reports for the NYTimes on the new NYPL stacks being constructed beneath Bryant Park.

- Harvard Libraries have reduced spending by $25 million since 2009 following a massive restructuring process.

- The National Trust has warned that climate change is affecting rare books, gardens, and other properties under the Trust's care.

- Sotheby's will sell twelve selected items from the Valmadonna Trust Library on 22 December.

- The NYPL has acquired the archives of The New York Review of Books.

- Meanwhile, the archives of Time Inc. are going to the New-York Historical Society. More from the NYTimes.

- The WaPo covers this year's DPLA GIF IT UP contest.

- From Dustin Illingworth at The Millions, "Atlas of Interest: On the Hidden Life of Marginalia."

- The Brontë Society has acquired a copy of Robert Southey's Remains of Henry Kirke White containing unpublished writings of a young Charlotte Brontë. The £170,000 purchase was funded with grants various UK cultural institutions.

- The Boston Globe covered Harvard's major digitization project of colonial-period manuscripts. While I was in Boston I had the chance to see the current exhibition up at Pusey Library about the project, and it's entirely worth a visit if you can get there.

- Umberto Eco talked to the Guardian about his new novel, Numero Zero.

- Jennifer Schuessler writes for the NYTimes about an early papyrus fragment that turned up on eBay, and about the snarly ethical issues the market in such fragments can create.

- Keith Houston writes for the BBC Magazine about punctuation marks that failed.

- Writing for the APHA blog, Casey Smith notes a panel at the recent APHA conference about hands-on instruction in printing history, featuring RBS' own Amanda Nelsen, Josef Beery, and Todd Samuelson.

- Over at The Millions, there's an excerpt from Rebecca Rego Barry's new book, Rare Books Uncovered, about the 1580 Baret's Alvearie called's "Shakespeare's Dictionary" by its owners.

- There's a new exhibition about Pepys' diaries up at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

- The director of the Museum of the Aleutians (mentioned in my last) has resigned.

- The Collation got a face-lift.

- Something (perhaps) to keep a weather-eye on to see what happens with it: Stanley Gibbons Investments has launched a "rare book index," designed to "help guide investors and collectors looking to build a rare book portfolio as part of a long-term investment strategy." Hard to see how this could possibly be effective or useful, but we'll see.

Reviews

- Umberto Eco's Numero Zero; review by Tom Rachman in the NYTimes.

- Michael Broers' Napoleon; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

- Mary Beard's SPQR and Tom Holland's Dynasty; review by Ferdinand Mount in the NYTimes.

- Simon Winchester's Pacific; review by Tom Zoellner in the LATimes.

- Dan Jones' Magna Carta; review by Edmund Fawcett in the NYTimes.

- H.J. Jackson's Those Who Write for Immortality and Leo Damrosch's Eternity's Sunrise; review by Richard Holmes in the NYRB.

- Sarah Vowell's Lafayette in the Somewhat United States; reviews by Charles S. Pierce in the NYTimes and Peter Lewis in the CSM.

- David Mitchell's Slade House; review by Scarlett Thomas in the NYTimes.

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