Saturday, September 22, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Coming up next weekend in D.C., the Washington Antiquarian Book Fair!

- Video from last weekend's memorial service for Bill Reese is available on YouTube.

- From Kimberly Alexander at The Junto, "Priscilla Mullins Alden and the Search for a Dress in Pieces."

- Printing History 24 is mailing this week; sounds like another great issue!

- Over on the Beehive, Sara Georgini explores the Adams family's interest in genealogy.

- At Echoes from the Vault, Thomas Murrie writes about his work with an alchemical manuscript in the St. Andrews collections.

- From Sarah Hovde at The Collation, "The mystery of the Shakespearian cartoons."


- Jill Lepore's These Truths; review by H.W. Brands in the WaPo.

- Richard Powers' The Overstory; review by Paul Quinn in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana at Bonhams New York on 25 September.

- O'Connor's Americana Collection (Documents) at James D. Julia on 26 September.

- Autographed Documents, Manuscripts, Books & Relics at University Archives on 26 September.

- Printed & Manuscript Americana Featuring the Holzer Collection of Lincolniana at Swann Galleries on 27 September.

- Books & Manuscripts at Freeman's on 27 September.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Coming up on 28–29 September, it's the Washington Antiquarian Book Fair!

- At The Collation, Abbie Weinberg explores the books in the Folger collections printed 500 years ago.

- Many congratulations to the winners of this year's Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize - what a great group of collections!

- Via Rebecca Romney's excellent Book Curious newsletter, there's quite an opportunity for the aspiring bookstore owner in Florence ...

- Over at Past is Present, an update on the Isaiah Thomas Broadside Ballads Project.

- Lucretia Baskin writes for the N-YHS blog about some of the different methods used to correct mistakes in books after printing.

- In the Guardian, Alison Flood reports on recent finds in the UK National Archives which shed light on the legal troubles of John Shakespeare.

- Ryan Moore writes for the LC blog about his recent identification of the signature of botanist David Fairchild (in part responsible for bringing the famous cherry trees to D.C.) on a 1901 map of Japan in the LC's collections.


- Jill Lepore's These Truths; review by Andrew Sullivan in the NYTimes.

- Walter Besant's The Revolt of Man; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing at Sotheby's London on 18–19 September.

- Rare Books & Manuscripts from the Library of James "Ted" Watkins at PBA Galleries on 20 September.

- Livres de Photographies at Ader on 20 September.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Johanna Drucker will be the Beinecke Library's inaugural Beinecke Distinguished Fellow in the Humanities. See the full announcement.

- From John Dugdale for the Guardian, "After American Animals," about library thefts which haven't yet made the big screen.

- A first printing of Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables has been stolen ... from the House of the Seven Gables in Salem, MA.

- Kate Atkinson's "By the Book" column in the in NYTimes is excellent.

- From Heather Wolfe at The Collation, "About that frontispiece of Hannah Woolley ..."

- The National Library of New Zealand and the Alexander Turnbull Library have launched the Turnbull Library Record online, with digitized copies of the publication since 1940.

- Don't miss Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell's illustrated essay on why we need libraries.

- Readers may be interested in the call for papers for a conference to be held at Saint Louis University, "Celebrating Belle da Costa Greene: An Examination of Medievalists of Color within the Field."


- Sjón's CoDex 1962; review by Parul Sehgal in the NYTimes.

- Sarah Weinman's The Real Lolita; review by Maureen Corrigan in the WaPo.

- Travis McDade's Torn From Their Bindings; review by Pradeep Sebastian in The Hindu.

Upcoming Auctions

- Fine Books & Manuscripts: 30th Anniversary Sale at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 12 September.

- Rare Books & Maps at Heritage Auctions on 13 September.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Next weekend: Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair!

- Sarah Mervosh has a report on the Pittsburgh Carnegie Library thefts for the NYTimes. The ABAA has posted an updated list of stolen materials being sought for return.

- From Cait Coker at Sammelband, "Teaching with Letterpress."

- In the London Review of Books, Mary Wellesley on making parchment.

- A great look at Louis Piette's Die Fabrikation des Papieres aus Stroh und vielen andern Substanzen (1838) from the Princeton Graphic Arts Collection blog.

- Over on the Grolier Club blog, a close look at a lovely seventeenth-century embroidered binding.

- September Rare Book Monthly articles include Bruce McKinney's remembrance of Michael R. Thompson and a Michael Stillman report on a Texas comic book theft.

- Conrad Edick Wright writes for the MHS Beehive blog about the history and future of Sibley's Harvard Graduates.


- Nell Stevens' The Victorian and the Romantic; review by Anne Boyd Rioux in the WaPo.

- The Paston Treasure; review by Roderick Conway Morris in the TLS.

Upcoming Auction

- Literature with Books in All Fields at PBA Galleries on 6 September.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Travis McDade has two recent pieces on Medium about rare book theft: "The Most Perfect Rare Book Crime" and "Prosecuting the Pittsburgh Rare Book Theft." See also his Atlas Obscura piece from this week on Robert Kindred's library thefts.

- Ryan Gilbey writes in the Guardian about "American Animals" as a mix of fact and fiction.

- Over on the ABAA blog, a post about bookseller Owen Kubik's recent assistance in returning some books to Yale University which had been stolen from the Sterling Library stacks in the 1970s.

- Don't forget the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair, coming up 8–9 September! Looking forward to being there for the books and for the great series of talks lined up.

- Over at Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "Mapping MMBL [Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries]," a handy guide to manuscripts in the UK.

- has released their list of the most-searched out-of-print books for 2017.

- The University of Washington's Sandra Kroupa is profiled in the Seattle Times.

- The BL has recently added some spectacular manuscripts to their digital collection.

- Over on the Center for the History of Physics blog, "A Life in Books," about the library of Dr. Silvan Schweber.


- Jenny Uglow's Mr. Lear; review by David Orr in the NYTimes.

- Anne Boyd Rioux's Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy; review by Charlotte Gordon in the WaPo.

- Claire Tomalin's A Life of My Own; review by Heller McAlpin in the WaPo.

- Susan Carlile's Charlotte Lennox; review by Min Wild in the TLS.


- A Bibliophile's Bibliophilic Library Part II at Forum Auctions (online) on 29 August.

Books and Ephemera at Keys Fine Art Auctioneers on 30–31 August.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Links & Auctions

- From the ABAA, another request for information on items stolen from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, with contact information for the relevant law enforcement officials involved with trying to recover the stolen material.

- Coming up on 5 March 2019 at the Grolier Club, a symposium presented by ILAB, ABAA, and the Grolier Club: "Who Owned This? Libraries and the Rare Book Trade Consider Issues Surrounding Provenance, Theft and Forgery." Free registration is now open.

- New on JSTOR, Biblia and the Princeton University Library Chronicle.

- From Emily Isakson at Past is Present, "An AAS Curiosity: The Puzzle of the Mayan Mural Drawings."

- Alex Johnson in the Independent highlights the faux-titles Dickens used to decorate his bookshelves.

- New from Princeton, the Scott Husby Database of Bindings on Incunables. For background, see the PUL announcement.

- On the Leiden University Special Collections blog, "Mundus Inversus in a Chained Library."

Upcoming Auctions

- Summer Books at Chiswick Auctions on 22 August.

- Autographed Documents, Manuscripts, Books & Relics at University Archives on 22 August.

- Americana & the Mexican-American War - Travel & Exploration - Cartography at PBA Galleries on 23 August.

- Summer Magic Auction at Potter & Potter on 25 August.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Links & Reviews

- The four Transylvania University book thieves talked to Ben Machell of the Times.

- Jessica Leigh Hester writes for Atlas Obscura about "The Crack Squad of Librarians Who Track Down Half-Forgotten Books."

- From Mary Beard in the TLS, "Where do the books belong?"

- Over at Exeter Working Papers in Book History, "Sir Thomas Bodley: Commemorating a Great Exonian."

- Princeton University Library hosted students from several HBCUs in July for the first installment of an Archives Research and Collaborative History program, designed "to introduce students to the archival field, the importance of diversity in archival collections, how to use primary-source documents and potential career opportunities. The program also encouraged students to make connections between historical narratives and present-day social justice issues."

- Alison Flood reports for the Guardian on recent work to identify and create a database of poems written in response to the Lancashire Cotton Famine.

- A 14th-century manuscript has been returned to the Egyptian national library after it was identified in the catalog for a Bonhams sale in April. The manuscript had disappeared from the library in the 1970s.


- Philippe Costamagna's The Eye; review by Alexander C. Kafka in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- Hunting Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake" Johnson at Doyle on 14 August (online only).

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 15 August.

- Rare Books & Ephemera at Addison & Sarova on 18 August.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Paula Reed Ward has a followup report this week on the court proceedings related to the Pittsburgh Carnegie Library thefts: the judge handling the case has allowed access to the Caliban Book Shop accounts so that the store's expenses and employee salaries can be paid. Ward's report also notes that a preliminary hearing in the case has been scheduled for 12 October.

Flipbacks are coming! I was really intrigued by these little books when a few were published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2011, so I'm very pleased to see the format being tried out in the U.S. (as Penguin Minis). I really enjoy having a couple of these when I travel, since they very handily tuck into a jacket pocket, so I hope a good selection will be published. And yes, I've already preordered the first four.

- Over at, "Mass spectrometry technique helps identify forged Robert Burns manuscripts." See also the full paper in Scientific Reports.

- The Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair is coming up on 8–9 September. You can buy tickets for the "Bagels and Books" opening preview now, and check out the lineup of talks throughout the weekend.

- From Alison Flood at the Guardian, a report on the recent discovery of a second-century building in Cologne which is believed to have housed as many as 20,000 scrolls.

- Also from Alison Flood, news that the Schomburg Center successfully acquired the "lost chapters" of Malcolm X's autobiography at a New York auction last month. See also Jennifer Schuessler's report in the NYTimes.

- From PennToday, a writeup of the three-year BiblioPhilly project to catalog and digitize manuscripts from 15 Philadelphia-area institutions.

- On the ABAA Blog, "Building the Gilder-Lehrman Collection."

- The thirteenth-century Lyghfield Bible has been returned to the collections of Canterbury Cathedral after being removed during the Reformation.

- In LitHub, "Breaking Up the Boys Club: On Women in Rare Books," by Joanna Demkiewicz, and on the Fine Books Blog, A.N. Devers on "Who are the Women in the Book Trade?"

- Not to be missed: Alberto Manguel talking about his library and his bibliomania.


- Fiona Sampson's In Search of Mary Shelley; review by Dinitia Smith in the NYTimes.

- A quintet of recent Emily Brontë books; review by Jacqueline Banerjee in the TLS.


- Fine & Rare Books - Art & Illustration - Asian & Asian-American Material at PBA Galleries on 9 August.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Isaac Stanley-Becker has a 26 July report on the Carnegie Library thefts for the Washington Post. The 54-page criminal complaint against Priore and Schulman was also made available this week, and Schulman resigned from the ABAA. Defense attorneys for Schulman are attempting to fight prosecution attempts to freeze several bank accounts, according to media reports.

- Curtis Small, Jr. is featured in the "Bright Young Librarians" series on the Fine Books Blog.

- The Isabella Stewart Gardner museum heist will be the subject of a WBUR/Boston Globe podcast series, "Last Seen," premiering in September.

- From the OUPBlog, "Remembering Joseph Johnson," by John Bugg.

- Barbara Basbanes Richter highlights the current Library Company of Philadelphia exhibition on the painter William Birch.

- An excerpt from Charlotte Higgins' Red Thread: On Mazes and Labyrinths is featured in the Guardian.

- Also in the Guardian this week, Alison Flood reports on a recent find in the Royal Archives by Penn doctoral student Nicholas Foretek: that the Prince Regent bought a copy of Sense & Sensibility two days before it was first publicly advertised.

- New research into Audubon's research methods by E. Bennett Jones is featured on the Beinecke blog. She is looking at "how ... naturalists cited, interpreted, and valued information obtained from Native Americans as well as how they may have falsified and exaggerated these same sources." Will look forward to reading more about this!


- Travis McDade's Torn From Their Bindings; review by Rebecca Rego Barry for the Fine Books Blog.

Upcoming Auctions

- Vintage Posters at Swann Galleries on 1 August.

- Comics & Comic Art at Heritage Auctions on 2–4 August.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Links & Auctions

- On Friday morning we got word that charges have now been filed in relation to the theft of materials from Pittsburgh's Carnegie Library. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Greg Priore, who managed the library's rare book collection from 1992 through 2017, was charged with theft, receiving stolen property, conspiracy, retail theft, library theft, criminal mischief, and forgery. John Schulman, co-owner of Caliban Book Shop, was charged with theft, receiving stolen property, dealing in proceeds of illegal activity, conspiracy, retail theft, theft by deception, forgery, and deceptive business practices. Paula Reed Ward's main report is accompanied by profiles of Priore and Schulman by Marylynne Pitz. See also Megan Guza's report for TribLive, Sarah Mervosh's NYTimes piece, and Marc Levy's Associated Press report.

ABAA President Vic Zoschak released a statement on behalf of of the organization: "This morning, the ABAA leadership learned that Greg Priore, former Carnegie Library Archivist, and ABAA member John Schulman of Caliban Books, have been charged with theft from the library. This is a truly regrettable situation for the larger book community, and one in which the Association shares the public’s dismay that such a theft took place. At this point in time, to comment further would be premature, as we support the legal process currently being pursued and will await its outcome. During this period we will continue to closely monitor the developments concerning this serious matter."

A thoroughly sickening state of affairs, to say the least; it's probably needless to say that I'll be keeping a close eye on where things go from here with this very disturbing case.

- Medieval Manuscripts Provenance has begun a series of posts on a 14th-century Italian manuscript, dubbed the "Goodspeed Bible."

- From Elizabeth DeBold at The Collation, "Under Cover: Forged Bindings on Display at the Folger."

- Dan Cohen writes "In Praise of Email."

- Absolutely love the joint post from the AAS blog by Doris O'Keefe and Elizabeth Watts Pope (which draw on a previous Facebook post by Brenna Bychowski) about some sample books for twentieth-century facsimile reprints.

- From the LC blog, an interview with Ahmed Johnson, a local history and genealogy reference librarian in the Library’s Main Reading Room and a specialist in African-American history.

- UVA has announced a crowdsourced-transcription project for the Julian Bond papers.

- Brill has made its "Library of the Written Word" volume Lost Books available as an open-access text to mark the tenth anniversary (and seventieth volume!) of the series.

- Travis McDade talked to the Daily Illini about his new book, Torn from Their Bindings, about Robert Kindred's widespread thefts from university libraries in the 1980s.

Upcoming Auctions

- Books & Works on Paper at William Bunch Auctions on 23 July.

- Angling Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake" Johnson at Doyle New York on 24 July.

- Modern Literature at PBA Galleries on 26 July.

- Fine Books & Manuscripts at Potter and Potter on 28 July.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Links & Reviews

- E. H. Shepard's manuscript map of the Hundred Acre Wood set a new world record for a book illustration at auction, fetching £430,000 at Sotheby's this week.

- An Elgar manuscript brought for valuation on "Antiques Roadshow" in the UK has been identified as missing from the Elgar Foundation since 1994.

- Yeats letters stolen from Princeton University in the 1970s were recently returned, anonymously.

- Richard J. Wolfe's Marbled Paper is now back in print from Oak Knoll Press.

- An archaeological dig in southern Greece has turned up a clay tablet containing thirteen verses of The Odyssey; it may be the earliest written evidence of Homer's poem discovered in Greece.


- Joyce Lee Malcolm's The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold; review by Alexis Coe in the WaPo.

- Margalit Fox's Conan Doyle for the Defense; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams London on 18 July.

- Early English Books: A Single-Owner Sale at Skinner, Inc. on 20 July.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Over on Medium, Travis McDade on "Of Rich Kids and Rare Book Theft: American Animals and the Various 'Nonfictions' of a True Crime."

- Diane Mehta writes for the Paris Review on "The Rare Women in the Rare-Book Trade."

- From Cait Coker over on Sammelband, the second post in a series on setting up a print shop.

- Among the books from West Horsley Place being sold at Sotheby's tomorrow is a copy of the Faerie Queen believed to have been among the books Charles I read during his pre-execution imprisonment; see Alison Flood's report in the Guardian.

- Meaghan Brown writes for The Collation on the Lost Plays Database.

- Alex Johnson takes a look at the books on the secure e-readers developed for the Navy.

- Peter Steinberg explores the story behind a Sylvia Plath association copy.

- Margaret Gamm has been appointed Head of Special Collections at the University of Iowa.

- An important collection of British suffragette material was sold at auction in Derbyshire for £16,000.

- James Pickford reports for the Financial Times on "Triumph of the trophy hunters at rare books auctions."


- John R. Payne's Great Catalogues by Master Booksellers; review by Don Lindgren for the ABAA blog.

- Edmund White's The Unpunished Vice: A Life in Reading; review by Rachel Cooke in the Guardian.


- English Literature, History, Science, Children's Books and Illustrations at Sotheby's London on 9–10 July.

- The Library of an English Bibliophile Part VIII at Sotheby's London on 10 July.

- The Rothamsted Collection: Rarities from the Lawes Agricultural Library (Part I | Part II) at Forum Auctions on 10–11 July.

- Valuable Books and Manuscripts at Christie's London on 11 July.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 12 July.

- Fine Americana – Travel & Exploration – World History – Cartography at PBA Galleries on 12 July.

- Autographs & Memorabilia and The Library of Giancarlo Beltrame Part III and other Fine Antiquarian Books at Chiswick Auctions on 12 July.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Paula Reed Ward has a long report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about recently unsealed court documents in relation to thefts from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Definitely one to keep watching, given the serious implications hinted at in the report.

- Roland Arkell writes for Antiques Trade Gazette about the recent round of Aristophil auctions, highlighting particularly pre-emptions taken by several French institutions.

- July's Rare Book Monthly articles include Michael Stillman's report on the return of the Vatican Columbus Letter, Susan Halas on bibliomania, and Bruce McKinney writing about John R. Payne's Great Catalogues by Master Booksellers.

- The July Crocodile mystery post is up at The Collation.

- On the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Networks of Knowledge: Insular manuscripts and digital potential."

- Ian Kahn highlights a recent—and most wonderful—book placement he was able to help make: finding a new home for a full set of Doves Press publications.

- From Aaron Pratt, "The Trouble with Translation (w/Errata)."


- Victoria Johnson's American Eden; review by Marta McDowell in the NYTimes.

Upcoming Auction - may just be one this week, but it's a big one!

- Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts and Continental and Russian Books at Sotheby's London on 3 July.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Over at JHIBlog, Fiore Sireci on "Reading (with) Wollstonecraft."

- Brittney Washington writes for The Collation on "A Pamphlet War in England, 1641–1643."

- Also on The Collation, Sarah Lindenbaum reports on her recent identification of two more Frances Wolfreston books in the Folger's collections.

- On the LARB blog, Andy Fitch interviews Amaranth Borsuk about her new book The Book, published as part of the MIT Press "Essential Knowledge" series.

- The University of Southern Maine has formally received the map collection of Harold Osher.

- "Pressing On: The Letterpress Film" was released on DVD/streaming this week.

- In the CHE, Geoffrey Pullum on "Strunk at 100: A Centennial Not to Celebrate."

- Barbara Basbanes Richter writes for the FB&C blog about a 4 July 1776 document currently up for sale.

- The Plantin-Moretus Museum and Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library have announced a new scholarly fellowship program to support research in the early printed books in Antwerp.

- A collection of rare agricultural books known as the Rothamsted Collection will be sold at auction next month.

- Pradeep Sebastian writes about book-heist movies for The Hindu.


- Jean-Louis Brunaux's Vercingétorix; review by Peter Thonemann in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- Books and Decorative Prints at Dorotheum on 27 June.

- Libros Antiguos y Contemporáneos de la Colección de un Bibliófilo at Morton Subastas on 27 June.

- Art & Illustration, with Asian & Asian-American Material at PBA Galleries on 28 June.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Links & Reviews

- An obituary for Bill Reese ran in the 15 June NYTimes. The Beinecke Library has also posted a tribute page, as well as a podcast of Bill talking about Audubon's Birds of America which I recommend most highly.

- The Portland Audubon sold at Christie's on Thursday for $9.65 million, the second-highest auction price for a copy of Birds of America.

- In other Audubon news, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported this week that the copy of Birds of America owned by the city's Carnegie Museum of Natural History was sold last fall to a California buyer for $6 million. The sale was facilitated by ... Bill Reese.

- Elizabeth Povoledo reports for the NYTimes on the return to the Vatican of a stolen Columbus Letter. See also the press release from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware. This is the third such restitution in two years (and the second this month).

- The ABAA has posted a "Missing in Transit" notice for a number of autograph letters and a book from Stalin's library.

- The Petau Book of Hours sold at Drouot on Saturday for the equivalent of $5 million.

- Jessica Lester Hester writes for Atlas Obscura on the use of manuscript and printed waste in bookbindings.

- As the film about the 2004 Transylvania University special collections theft arrives in theaters, BJ Gooch, the librarian the thieves assaulted, has spoken about her experience to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

- If you can, be sure to stop by the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at UVA to see the new exhibition "Eminent Miniatures."

- Another week, another Voynich Manuscript theory.

- Alex Johnson writes for the Independent about the library brought along on Scott's Discovery expedition from 1901–1904.

- Really enjoyed the news that the Massachusetts Historical Society has installed a "little free library" on the front steps.

- New from the AAS, an illustrated inventory of the Society's collection of ribbon badges.

- From Caroline Duroselle-Melish at The Collation, "Engraved to Sell."

- David McKitterick has a short post on the Cambridge University Press blog about his new book The Invention of Rare Books.

- Fleur Macdonald reports for the BBC on the ongoing analysis of the manuscripts in the library of St. Catherine's monastery in the Sinai.

- Corey Kilgannon profiles Carolyn Waters, head librarian at the New York Society Library.


- Giorgio van Straten's In Search of Lost Books; review by Alberto Manguel in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- Five Aristophil sales this week: Beaux-arts, œuvres et correspondances (4) at Aguttes on 18 June; Littérature, écrivains et poètes du XIXe-XXe (5) at Drouot on 19 June; Littérature, écrivains et poètes du XIXe-XXe (6) at Aguttes on 19 June; Musique, de Jean-Sébastien Bach à Boulez (7) at Ader on 20 June; Musique, de Lully à Stravinsky (8) at Aguttes on 20 June.

- Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs at Lyon & Turnbull on 19 June.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts, Atlases & Historical Photographs at Bonhams London on 20 June.

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 20 June.

- Autographed Documents, Manuscripts, Books & Relics at University Archives on 20 June.

- Revolutionary & Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III at Swann Galleries on 21 June.

- Modern Literature & First Editions at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 21 June.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Links & Reviews

We lost one of the greats this week. Bill Reese was not just an extraordinary bookman and bookseller, but also an indefatigable supporter of biblio-institutions and causes. I had long been a great admirer and somewhat voracious collector of his catalogs, but I first went up and introduced myself at the 2010 Boston Book Fair, to thank him for his support of the Reese Fellowships at Rare Book School (I had been the recipient that year). Frequently thereafter we were able to chat briefly at various book fairs, something I always looked forward to (usually he shared some very funny anecdote about past book fairs). In 2016 he came and gave a wonderful Rare Book School talk, "Starting Out: My Early Days as a Rare Book Dealer." The next day he joined an RBS class, "Reference Sources for Researching Printed Americana," and talked to the students about his favorite reference sources. I had the great pleasure of sitting in on that session, and will remember it very fondly. Nobody wanted to go to coffee break at the end of that one. My deepest condolences to Bill's family and colleagues, and here's to many more years of great books and great catalogs to come from Temple Street.

There will certainly be more posts to come, but for now, see the ABAA's In Memoriam, Kurt Zimmerman's post at American Book Collecting, and Rare Book School's news post, which contains a list of his other RBS lectures.

- Along with the Portland Audubon coming up this week, Christie's will also offer a proof copy on wove paper (one of just six known) of the Stone facsimile of the Declaration of Independence.

- The National Library of Scotland's collection of early Scottish Gaelic manuscripts has been added to UNESCO's UK Memory of the World register. Sir Robert Cotton's manuscripts at the BL have also been added.

- Erin Blake writes for The Collation about a proof print from the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery.

- Mary Yacovone posts on "The Joy of Bookplates" over on the MHS blog. Also on the Beehive this week, Kate Viens explores the history and origins of the Massachusetts Historical Review.

- The BBC reports on a fascinating "hidden diary" from 1880–1 discovered written on the underside of a parquet floor of a French chateau.

Book Reviews

- Carys Davies' West; review by David Vann in the NYTimes.

- Fiona Sampson's In Search of Mary Shelley; review by Charlotte Gordon in the WaPo.

- Stuart Kells' The Library; review by Steve Donoghue in The National.

Upcoming Auctions

- Fine Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams New York on 12 June.

- Rare Books & Manuscripts at PBA Galleries on 14 June.

- The Portland Audubon, followed by Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts, Including Americana at Christie's New York on 14 June.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Some modern first editions have gone missing from the Portland, OR area; see the ABAA theft report.

- Live Science follows up on the investigation into the theft of books from a London shipping warehouse in January 2017.

- Dennis Duncan joined David Attenborough at the ABA Rare Books Fair last weekend and reported on it for the TLS. Scott Reyburn also reported on the fair for the NYTimes.

- Sarah Thomas will retire as Harvard University Librarian at the end of the year.

- June's selection of Rare Book Monthly articles is posted.

- Posted on Exlibris, a letter of thanks from the BnF to ILAB for assistance in recovering some stolen books and prints.

- Not new, but passed along to me this week and very interesting, a 2012 Bookhunter on Safari post about the book catalogs of P. M. Barnard.

- "The paper that poisoned its printers" in the Economist.

- The manuscript of the Two Ronnies "Four Candles" sketch (watch on YouTube) sold for £28,000 this week at East Bristol Auctions.

- Weird bookmarks in the Guardian.


- The Bodleian's new Tolkien exhibition; reviews by Samantha Shannon in the Guardian and John Garth in the Telegraph.

- Kirk Wallace Johnson's The Feather Thief; review by Joshua Hammer in the NYTimes.

- Matthew Pearl's The Dante Chamber; review by Patrick Anderson in the WaPo.

- C. D. Rose's Who's Who When Everyone is Someone Else; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

- Stuart Kells' The Library; review by John Glassie in the NYTimes.

Upcoming Auctions

- Autographs, Manuscripts, and Certificates at Dorotheum on 4 June.

- Illustration Art at Swann Galleries on 5 June.

- Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books at Swann Galleries on 7 June.

- Fine Books & Manuscripts at Skinner (online) continues through 8 June.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Links & Auctions

- In the Guardian, AN Devers explains what inspired her Second Shelf project, which now includes a Kickstarter campaign.

- Daniel Elkind writes for PDR about the "lost art of intarsia."

- Heather Wolfe has an update on the next phase of the Shakespeare's World project, Before Farm to Table: Early Modern Foodways and Cultures.

- Wendi Maloney posts a Q&A with Kenneth Breisch on the LC's Inquiring Minds blog about Breisch's new book about American library architecture.

- Over at Books @ Bromer, "Finding Something Never Lost: A 'Ghost' Edition of Ovid."

- Simon Beattie highlights a really interesting book he will be offering at this week's London Rare Book Fair.

- Heather Wacha's work on book stains is featured in the Wisconsin State Journal.

- In Pacific Standard, Sophie Yeo writes about the effects of climate change on collections of rare books and manuscripts.

- From Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "An Effaced Ink Stamp Deciphered."

- Aïda Amer writes for Atlas Obscura about "How a Hole Punch Shaped Public Perception of the Great Depression."

- Michael Dirda offers up his summer reading list in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- Fine Autograph Music: the Property of Helmut Nanz and Family and Musical Manuscripts at Sotheby's London on 22 May.

- Fine Prints at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on 23 May.

- Livres et Manuscrits at Sotheby's Paris on 24 May.

- Books & Prints at Arenberg Auctions on 25 May.

- Livres rares et Manuscrits at Christie's Paris on 29 May.

- Wassenaar Zoo: A Dutch Private Library at Bonhams London on 30 May.

- Modern First Editions, Illustrated Books & Limited Editions at Chiswick Auctions on 30 May.

- Americana with Manuscript Material - Travel & Exploration - Cartography at PBA Galleries on 31 May.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Mark Godburn has a guest post at The Bookhunter on Safari about what appears to be a contemporary "dust-jacket" on a 1559 book.

- From Shakespeare's World, a new report on some important new OED examples discovered during the transcription process.

- Over at The Collation, "Hinman, Redux," by Andrew J. Walkling.

- Now available for searching, the Scottish Book Trade Index.

- Reminder: the deadline for the 2018 Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize is 1 June.


- Sara Milstein's Tracking the Master Scribe; review by Michael Hundley at Marginalia.

- Tom Feiling's The Island That Disappeared; review by Michael Pye in the NYTimes.

- James E. Lewis Jr.'s The Burr Conspiracy; review by Edward G. Gray in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- 19th & 20th Century Literature at Swann Galleries on 15 May.

- Antiquarian and Collectors' Books at Toovey's on 15 May.

- Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History Including the Library of Colin and Joan Deacon at Sotheby's London on 15 May.

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 16 May.

- Spring Miscellany at PBA Galleries on 17 May.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Links & Reviews

- May's Rare Book Monthly articles include Bruce McKinney's "Inhumanity in New York," Michael Stillman running down an upcoming Supreme Court ruling which will affect the collection of out-of-state sales tax and on recidivist Irish book and art thief Andrew Shannon heading back to jail, Thibault Ehrengardt on that Mont-Saint-Michel manuscript mentioned last week, and Susan Halas on "Women in the Antiquarian Book Trade."

- Over at Notabilia, "Vestiges of a Lost Carolingian Bible Discovered at Princeton."

- Many congratulations to Kevin J. Hayes, awarded the 2018 George Washington Book Prize for George Washington: A Life in Books.

- Kare Ozment posts at Sammelband about "Teaching Manuscripts: Commonplace Books."

- Cambridge University Librarian Jessica Gardner writes for the Independent about a new exhibition, Tall Tales: Secrets of the Tower.

- Alison Flood reports for the Guardian about some recent scholarship on the sources used during the drafting of the King James Bible.

- The University of Illinois has acquired Isaac Newton's manuscript translation of the alchemical tract "Opus Galli Anonymi."

- Nadine Zimmerli writes for Uncommon Sense: "Atomic Bonds," about a library book borrowed by J. Robert Oppenheimer.

- Dan Cohen has a good writeup of the newly-launched Boston Resource Center.

- Meghan Brody posts for the Clements Library Chronicle about working with the John Louis Ligonier letter books.

- A "Jack the Ripper warning postcard" was hammered down for £22,000 at a Kent auction house.

- More notes on the "Provenance of the NYPL-Duke Bible" at Medieval Manuscripts Provenance.

- Michael Caines writes for the TLS on "Acquiring Kapital" - Marx's works on the antiquarian book market.


- Kirk Wallace Johnson's The Feather Thief; review by Maureen Corrigan for NPR.

- Patricia O'Toole's The Moralist; review by Jennifer Szalai in the NYTimes.

- Christopher Buckley's The Judge Hunter; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- Autographed Documents, Manuscripts, Photos, Books & Relics at University Archives on 8 May.

- Comics & Comic Art at Heritage Auctions from 10–12 May.

- Rare, Out-of-Print, and Used Books at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society on 11 May.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Links & Reviews

My goodness, you all have been very busy. Missed a week (I was at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair last weekend) and just look at all the links that piled up!

- Two missing/theft reports: one 1734 cookbook that has gone missing in transit, and two works by Poe and Dickens reported stolen through credit card fraud.

- Missed this from when I was traveling: a judge blocked the sale of a volume of Rhode Island colonial court records on eBay.

- Ben Breen writes about one of my favorite characters for Public Domain Review: good old George Psalmanazar, the "False Formosan."

- Robert Darnton talked to Publishers Weekly about his new book A Literary Tour de France and the current state of the publishing industry.

- You can now submit paper proposals for the APS' "Past, Present, and Future of Libraries" conference, coming up in late September. Deadline is 15 May.

- Now on display at the BL, while the Lindisfarne Gospels has gone off public display for a rest until the autumn, "A Bible fit for a king."

- At Connexion, a report on the French government's blocking the sale of a 12th-century Mont-Saint-Michel manuscript.

- The Library of Congress has released a digital version of its collection of Benjamin Franklin's papers.

- Also from LC, the Japanese Censorship Collection, comprising more than a thousand "marked-up copies of monographs and galley proofs censored by the Japanese government in the 1920s and 1930s."

- Over at Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, a bit more on a Cistercian Missal once owned by Otto Ege.

- A New Zealand bookseller has inherited a collection of some 6,000 mountaineering adventure books from a Massachusetts collector; Bill Nye of Adventure Books plans to build an exhibition and research area for the collection in his shop.

- Richard Ovenden writes for the Financial Times: "The Windrush scandal reminds us of the value of archives."

- Simon Beattie highlights what certainly seems to be an 18th-century dust-wrapper (and possibly the earliest documented example?), used to protect a set of unbound plates.

- Alison Flood writes for the Guardian about the discovery of the first known example of a palimpsest text in which a Coptic text of Deuteronomy appears beneath a Qur'an text. It sold at Christie's on Thursday for £596,750.

- For Penn Today, Peter Stallybrass talks about five books that shaped his teaching.

- Richard Davies from AbeBooks has launched a podcast, "Behind the Bookshelves."

- Over on the Trinity College Dublin blog, "The Fascination of Fore-Edges," by Helen McGinley.

- Kate Bolick writes for the NYTimes Material Culture column on "Who Bought Sylvia Plath's Stuff?" See also Peter Steinberg's post on his experience with the Plath sale.

- There's an update on the very fascinating Prize Papers Project on the National Archives (UK) blog.

- Andrew Keener writes for the HRC magazine about his work there as a research fellow working on bilingual and multilingual works printed in England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

- Sarah Hovde surveys a few of the items in the Folger's collection attributed to Shakespeare's spirit.

- From the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, a look at what may be the oldest English writing in the BL's collections.

- The Providence Athenaeum has received a $100,000 anonymous gift to develop the library's special collections.

- Ina Kok has been awarded the 17th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography.

- Rebecca Rego Barry notes the 25 April sale at Doyle of items from the estate of Dr. Leo Hershkowitz, well known as an "archival scavenger." The Ratzer Map sold for $150,000.

- From Laura Kolb at The Collation, "The itemized life: John Kay's notebook."

- Stephen Mielke writes for the HRC magazine on "The archivist's archive: Visions of the future past."

- Barron's previews the 14 June Birds of America sale at Christie's.

- Pradeep Sebastian writes about bibliomysteries in The Hindu.

- A. N. Devers notes on the Fine Books Blog the acquisition by London bookshop Any Amount of Books a large number of file copies from Orion Books.

- Two men have pleaded guilty in Moscow to carrying out a series of rare book thefts from 2001 to 2008.

- Hester Blum quibbles about AMC's "The Terror" for Avidly.


- The Multigraph Collective's Interacting with Print; review by Abigail Williams in THE.

- Alex Johnson's Book of Book Lists, Stuart Kells' The Library, and Alberto Manguel's Packing my Library; review by Sarah Laskow at Atlas Obscura.

- Margit J. Smith's The Medieval Girdle Book; review by Nicholas Yeager in The Bonefolder.

- Benjamin Park's American Nationalisms; review by Skye Montgomery at The Junto.

- Alexander Bevilacqua's The Arabic Republic of Letters; review by Jacob Soll in TNR.

- Lynne Murphy's The Prodigal Tongue; review by Lionel Shriver in the TLS.

- Michael Dirda surveys some classic and contemporary creepy tales. This one definitely added a few to my reading list.

Upcoming Auctions

- Fine Books and Manuscripts at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on 1 May.

- Rare Book & Collectors' Sale at Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers on 2 May.

- Graphic Design at Swann Galleries on 3 May.

- Fine Literature: The Fred Bennett Collection (with additions) at PBA Galleries on 3 May.

- The Original Working Manuscript for the Alcoholics Anonymous 'Big Book' at Profiles in History on 5 May.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Links & Reviews

- The Morgan Library & Museum has acquired a manuscript leaf by the Master of Catherine of Cleves.

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge's coffin was recently identified in a crypt at St. Michael's Church in Highgate.

- Meaghan Brown highlights some free (and very handy) digital resources for early modern historical and literary research.

- Megan Hahn Fraser interviews Tom Knoles for Past is Present. The March 2018 AAS Almanac is also available.

- Rebecca Rego Barry rounds up some recently-published books on books.

- Kate Ozment has been compiling a Google Spreadsheet of women bibliographers, and continues to welcome contributions.

- Francis Wahlgren has joined Leslie Hindman Auctioneers as an exclusive consultant for its fine books and manuscripts department.

- Honglan Huang writes for the Yale Book History blog about Mary Serjant's seventeenth-century copybook.

- Sarah Laskow profiles "book towns" for Atlas Obscura.

- New from Oak Knoll and the Clements Library, The Pioneer Americanists: Early Collectors, Dealers, and Bibliographers.

- David Levy reports for the HRC blog about a T.J. Wise "sophistication" he found while researching Hoyle at the Ransom Center.

- The Chicago Botanic Garden has received an NEH grant to conserve and digitize its collection of rare books and manuscripts.

- Over on the Houghton Library blog, they've posted a few unidentified film stills; if you can help puzzle out the subjects, please do!

- Radio New Zealand reports on worries that the University of Auckland may literally incinerate thousands of books as it closes several libraries.

- David Whitesell writes for Notes from Under Grounds about the winners of the 52nd UVA student book collecting contest.

- A movie based on a 2004 Transylvania University special collections theft, "American Animals," opens in theaters on 1 June. Troubling, frankly, that anybody will be profiting off this attack, which left a librarian injured.


- Jack Hartnell's Medieval Bodies; review by PD Smith in the Guardian.

- Alberto Manguel's Packing my Library; review by Claire Armitstead in the Guardian.

- Richard Powers' The Overstory; review by Barbara Kingsolver in the NYTimes.

- Jenny Uglow's Mr. Lear; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- The Knowing Eye: Photographs & Photobooks at Swann Galleries on 19 April.

- Livres Anciens & Manuscrits at Aguttes on 19 April.

- Illustrated & Children's Books - Fine Printing - Art & Photography - Books about Books at PBA Galleries on 19 April.

Books and Documents at Australian Book Auctions on 23 April.

Rare Books, Autographs & Maps at Doyle New York on 25 April.

Fine Illustrated Books & Graphics at Swann Galleries on 26 April.

Spring Magic Auction at Potter & Potter on 28 April.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Links & Reviews

Another Virginia Antiquarian Book Fair is "in the books," and most of the booksellers seemed very pleased with the results. It was very nice to catch up with many friends there over the course of the weekend.

- Heritage Auctions will sell Conan Doyle's manuscript for "The Adventure of the Dancing Men" on 18 April.

- The Economist's Prospero column focuses on the typesetting competitions of the late nineteenth century.

- Erin Blake explains this month's Collation Crocodile mystery in "Drawing for photographic reproduction."

- Paul Lewis and Sandra Hughes have an update on their efforts to turn the Old Corner Bookstore into a museum, in the New England Review of Books.

- The UNC Libraries have launched a Mellon-funded "Archivist in a Backpack" project to promote community-driven archives.

- The Society of Antiquaries has launched a crowdsourced transcription project for the card index to their collection of seal casts and matrices.

- Rudolf Schonegger, convicted of stealing a signed Harry Potter book, avoided jail time, receiving a 26-week suspended sentence.

- Nate Pedersen profiles Ryan Place for the "Bright Young Collectors" series.

- Michael Dirda writes for the WaPo on "Why the literature of antiquity still matters."

- More from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the thefts recently announced from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.


- Carlos Magdalena's The Plant Messiah; review by Willy Blackmore in the LATimes.

- Anne Trubek's The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting and Patricia Lovett's The Art and History of Calligraphy; review by David Rundle in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- Autographed Documents, Manuscripts, Photos, Books & Relics at University Archives on 10 April.

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 11 April.

- Printed & Manuscript Americana at Swann Galleries on 12 April.

- Rare Golf Books & Memorabilia From the Collection of John Burns and the Library of Ron Muszalski, with additions at PBA Galleries on 12 April.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Links & Reviews

Back, after a wonderful trip to Scotland and Iceland followed immediately by a move. I'm taking a break from unpacking (so, so much unpacking) to get caught up here, though I'm sure there are many things I completely lost track of while I was gone. Feel free to let me know what I missed!

- Next Friday and Saturday (6–7 April) will be the Virginia Antiquarian Book Fair, in Richmond. Do visit if you can!

- One of the bookshops I visited in Edinburgh, Golden Hare Books, is featured in the Guardian's "Browse a bookshop" column.

- Pittsburgh-area police are investigating thefts from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and request any assistance. See a PDF list of some items believed stolen. More from Michael Stillman for Rare Books Monthly and from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

- Video of the panel discussion at the New York Book Fair on women and collecting is now available via the ABAA blog.

- Quite a garage find, highlighted in the Fine Books Blog.

- From Francis Morrone in The Hopkins Review, "Bookshop Memories."

- Over at Reading Copy, an interview with Heather O'Donnell and Rebecca Romney. As a reminder, the second Honey & Wax Book Collecting Contest (open to women collectors under 30) is now accepting applications!

- The National Library of New Zealand has received a collection of twenty important books printed between 1472 and 1512.

- From the Princeton Graphic Arts collection blog, "How much did a wood engraving cost in 1862?"

- The Library of Congress is running a webinar series highlighting the Mesoamerican manuscripts in their collections.

- A bookseller has been convicted of stealing a signed copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire from Hatchards in December. He was recognized by staff since he had sold items to the shop in the past.

- The University of Edinburgh has acquired a much-annotated copy of Ben Jonson's works, after the UK government instituted an export ban.

- From the University of Rochester, "The myth—and memorabilia—of Seward's Folly."

- Blake Morrison asks in the Guardian, "should an author's dying wishes be obeyed?"

- From the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Cracking a medieval code."

- At The Binder's Ticket, "Bookplates or book labels?"

- Daniel Richter posts for the Huntington Library blog on "John Ogilby's English Restoration Fantasy."

- A bit on Isaiah Thomas' library (now on LibraryThing) from yours truly as Past is Present.

- Isabel Planton is featured in the FB&C "Bright Young Librarians" series. Ditto Rebecca Baumann.

- Katarzyna Lecky writes for The Collation on "The Strange and Practical Beauty of Small-Format Herbals."

- Rich Rennicks has posted a number of links to coverage of this year's New York Antiquarian Book Fair. The NYTimes focused on fashion.

- Rebecca Romney covers book curses for Mental Floss.

- Kurt Zimmerman notes the publication of John R. Payne's Great Catalogues by Master Booksellers.

- The Guardian reported on the sale of various Sylvia Plath items at Bonhams last month. Peter Steinberg has a full rundown of the auction, and some additional analysis.

- The April Rare Book Monthly includes Bruce McKinney's "Enigma, Seeking a Eureka," about a tantalizing French manuscript (do help with that if you can!).

- At Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, another fascinating provenance hunt, this time with some cuttings from the collection of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

- From Adam Schachter, "Adventures of an Absent-Minded Treasure Hunter."

- The Guardian highlights some of the great Tolkien material on show as part of the major Bodleian exhibition.

- I missed the Clements Library post about "Battle Estrays" in February, so I'm grateful to J.L. Bell for noting it as he digs into one of the examples cited.


- Lucy Mangan's Bookworm; review by Kathryn Hughes in the Guardian.

- Julia Miller's Meeting by Accident; review by Barbara Adams Hebard for BookArtsWeb.

- Jo Nesbø's Hogarth Shakespeare Macbeth; review by Alexander Larman in the Guardian.

- Daniel Kalder's The Infernal Library; review by Ernest Hilbert is in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- Antique Scientific Instruments, Globes and Cameras at Dorotheum on 4 April.

- Fine & Rare Books at PBA Galleries on 5 April.

- Entertainment Memorabilia at Potter & Potter on 7 April.