Sunday, February 21, 2016

Links & Reviews

- A bookseller's van containing 400 rare books worth some $350,000 was stolen from Oakland, CA following last weekend's California Book Fair. Alerts went out very quickly via the ABAA and other groups, and one man was quickly arrested after trying to sell several of the books at Moe's Books of Berkeley, CA. There's a lengthy report in Berkeleyside about the case. The van (2008 silver Ford Econoline with Illinois license plate E-914968) and most of the books are still missing, as is another man who got away from Moe's. The Oakland Tribune also has a report. Here's hoping the rest of the books can be recovered safely and soon.

- A large collection of material culled from John Updike's trash was up for sale at Boston's RR Auctions, but it appears not to have sold (see this Atlantic piece from August 2014 for more on the collection). At the same sale, a Mario Puzo archive fetched $625,000.

- The Scottish National Library has purchased a 14th-century breviary traced to Sweetheart Abbey (in Dumfriesshire). The manuscript's location had been unknown since it appeared in the 1715 catalog of Ralph Thoresby; it was sold at auction last year in Vienna to an American dealer, but subsequently offered to the National Library, which managed to raise £70,000 to make the acquisition.

- The Redwood Library and Athenaeum has acquired a collection of British architecture books and building manuals from antiquarian bookseller Charles Wood.

- There's a new group blog about humanities research, written by Ph.D. students at the University of Edinburgh: Inciting Sparks. Adding this to my reading list.

- Some books from the collection of Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire, will be sold at Sotheby's London on 2 March.

- A large contingent of scholars have signed a letter to the NYRB protesting the decision of Boston University to admit no new doctoral students to BU's Editorial Institute.

- Abby Smith Rumsey talked to Arielle Pardes for Vice about her new book When We Are No More: How Digital Memory is Shaping our Future.

- The Bolton Library, a collection of some 12,000 early printed books, manuscripts, maps, and prints, will be transferred to the University of Limerick, where the material can be properly conserved, stored, and researched.

- Registration is now open for a conference this June at King's College, Cambridge: "Mania and Imagination: Perils and pleasures of the private collector, present and future." Looks like a great lineup of speakers!

- Whitney Trettien has announced the creation of a new hybrid print/digital zine, Pounce, as well as a collaborative digital journal, thresholds.

- Via John Overholt on Twitter: the Joel Barlow papers at Houghton Library have now been digitized.

- A paperback copy of William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience donated to Oxfam by Radiohead's Thom Yorke (and found to contain Yorke's handwritten lyrics for the song "Airbag") will be sold at auction, with proceeds going to the Syrian relief effort.

- Quite a lot of coverage this week of the "discovery" of two J.R.R. Tolkien poems in a 1936 school annual. See the NYTimes and the Guardian.

- Umberto Eco died on Friday at the age of 84. See the NYTimes obituary.


- The Essential Goethe, edited by Matthew Bell; review by Steve Donoghue in the CSM.

- Jack Lynch's You Could Look It Up; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

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