Sunday, June 19, 2016

Links & Reviews

I realized this week (in the midst of an excellent but all-consuming Rare Book School session) that I made my first post on this blog ten years ago Friday. Hard to believe it's been that long – thank you for reading!

- An 1835 prayerbook owned by William Wordsworth has been stolen from a display case in a Cumbrian church. If anyone has additional identifying details about the volume that would help in securing its return, please let me know.

- Gordon College has abandoned plans to sell off books from the Edward Payson Vining collection.

- Ariel Sabar's Atlantic piece on the "Jesus' Wife" papyrus is a spectacular read.

- The 16 June Books & Manuscripts sale at Christie's realized nearly $2.5 million, but two of the expected high-sellers didn't meet their reserve (the first edition of Alice in Wonderland and the Neal Cassady letter to Kerouac). The top lot proved to be Constitutional Convention delegate James McHenry's manuscript notes from the 30 and 31 May 1787 sessions of the convention ($389,000).

- Author Dan Brown has donated €300,000 to Amsterdam's Ritman Library to help fund the digitization of the library's collections.

- A second selection of books from the library of Pierre BergĂ© will be sold on 8–9 November at Sotheby's Paris.

- Culture24 highlights ten of the new Roman writing tablets recently discovered in London.

- There's a new beta version of the Universal Short-Title Catalogue (USTC).

- A first edition presentation copy of Das Kapital sold for £218,500 this week.

- Convicted book thief Andrew Shannon received a one-year prison sentence for the theft of 57 rare books from Carton House; he was already serving time for other crimes.

- Not to be missed: "Assertive Cataloguing" at The Bookhunter on Safari.

- From Publisher's Weekly, "As E-book Sales Decline, Digital Fatigue Grows."

- David Leonard has accepted the BPL presidency; may he meet with every success.

- John V. Fleming's "Finding a Good Book" is a useful reminder that there are a whole lot more books out there than those on the current bestseller lists.

- The American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA has permanently closed; its collections, including a large library, will reportedly be transferred to other institutions.

- Caroline Duroselle-Melish posts at The Collation on "Investigating a Bull's Head Watermark."

- An archive of William Steig illustrations sold for $187,500 at Sotheby's this week.


- Neil Hayward's Lost Among the Birds; review by Peter Lewis in the CSM.

- Denis Boyles' Everything Explained that is Explainable; review by Joseph Epstein in the WSJ.

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