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.

Review

- 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.

Reviews

- 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.