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.
- 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.
- 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.