Saturday, March 28, 2020

Links & Auctions

- On the TCD blog, "A Bibliographical Alphabet."

- Via IMLS, "COVID-19 Resources for Libraries and Museums."

- From Sarah Werner, "Blanking out," on what blank pages have to tell us if we look closely enough.

- The Yale University Library's new exhibition "Trial by Media: The Queen Caroline Affair" is now online.

- Robert Oldham writes for the APHA blog on "Restoring a Coisne Stanhope Hand Press."

- Over on the Providence Public Library Special Collections blog, "Archives in the Time of COVID-19."

- Stephen Grant has the second part of his profile of Folger director William Adams Slade at The Collation.

- Over on the Manhattan Rare Book Company's blog, "Beyond the Page: Finally, the Perfect Gift."

- From Swann Galleries, a short piece on the value of manuscript journals.

- Nolin Deloisin-Baum is in the "Bright Young Collectors" spotlight.

- Over on the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, a profile of Humfrey Wanley.

- Anke Timmerman writes about book collecting on a budget, for the FB&C blog.

- The NYSL has posted video of their recent event with Sean D. Moore about his book Slavery & the Making of Early American Library.

- From the Audubon Society's blog, "The Woman Behind The Birds of America," about Juditha Dowd's new biography-in-poems of Lucy Bakewell Audubon.

- More useful things: the BPL's guide to their medieval manuscripts, and Heather Cole's guide to online instruction with primary sources from Brown.

- Released this week, Matt Kirschenbaum's Mellon-funded report "Books.Files: Preservation of Digital Assets in the Contemporary Publishing Industry."

- From the Innerpeffray Library blog, "Meet the Borrower – Thomas Stalker Part I."

Upcoming Auctions

- Books and Works on Paper including Autographs and Memorabilia at Chiswick Auctions on 31 March.

- The Alex Raymond Flash Gordon Collection at Profiles in History on 31 March.

- Spring Auction at Alexander Historical Auctions ends on 1 April.

- April Auction at Arader Galleries on 4 April.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Links & Auctions

And I thought things were looking weird last week ... gosh. As you can, please support your local independent, used, and antiquarian booksellers in any way that they need it right now (check their websites and social media for details). Support your local public and academic libraries by strongly encouraging them (if they haven't already) to close for now and carry on their missions remotely. Trust me, there is plenty we librarians can be doing, even without being in close proximity to the books in our collections.

Speaking of which, I should have thought of this sooner, too, but if it's even the tiniest bit of help to anyone (student, teacher, professor, librarian, bookseller), the list of my library is online, and if I have a book that you need to consult for reference, need a citation from, &c., just say the word and I'll be happy to get you whatever information would be useful.

- Several exhibitors at the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair (all known to many of us) have tested positive for COVID-19, according to messages sent via the ABAA and ILAB this week. Please be aware of this in case it is relevant to your personal situation, and I know all readers of this blog join me in wishing our friends a speedy recovery.

- The BSA is offering the first in a series of free webinars this week, and are calling for volunteers to help with future installments and/or to assist with other timely programming.

- From my dear friends at LibraryThing, who've been working at home for years, "Work From Home Like LibraryThing Does."

- Many university presses are offering sales on books they were planning to exhibit at conferences this spring and summer; I'm sure there are others, but here are the relevant pages for JHUP and UVA Press.

- Over on the N-YHS blog, "Martha Lamb: New-York Historical Society Pioneer."

- Rebecca Rego Barry writes for CrimeReads: "Carolyn Wells, in the Library, with a Revolver." Rebecca also has a post on the FB&C blog about "Saving the Baskerville Bible."

- From Kyle Clark for the Beyond the Reading Room blog, "Unveiling the Mystery inside a Greek Manuscript Binding."

- The Culture Minister for Wales has placed a temporary export bar on a 15th-century Lewis of Caerleon manuscript to allow a UK buyer to raise the £300,000 required to keep it in the UK.

- Megan Cook and others have been crowd-compiling a spreadsheet of Digital Repositories for Book History Teaching.

- At Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "A Dispersed Album of Illuminated Cuttings."

- A number of NYC-based philanthropic organizations have formed the "NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund to support New York City-based social services and arts and cultural organizations that have been affected by the current coronavirus public health crisis."

- More on the Dead Sea Scrolls fragments fakery from the Guardian.

- From Elizabeth DeBold and Heather Wolfe at The Collation, "A Wyncoll's Tale."

- Over on the Princeton Graphic Arts Collection blog, "Need a Project, no. 2? Chromolithography." They've also pulled together a collection of links of "Online Content for Printing History and Art History."

- More useful online resources from the Folger, too.

Upcoming Auctions

- Rare Books, Manuscripts & Relics, Forbes Collection Part I, Kerouac Estate Part II at University Archives on 25 March.

- The Birmingham Assay Office Library at Forum Auctions on 26 March.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 27 March.

- Rare Books, Manuscripts & Ephemera at Addison & Sarova on 28 March.

Courage, friends. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Links, Auctions & Courage

Well. What a time. Honestly it's sort of hard to know what to say through all this, other than to make a heartfelt offer to help in any way that I can. If there's anything you need that I might be able to help with, I'm here. I'm looking forward to trying some experimental instruction sessions with some classes I've been working with this semester, and hope to be able to continue to make progress on many fronts. This is going to be a challenging time for us all. Courage, friends. Stock up on books. Wash your hands. Wash 'em again. Take care of yourselves. 

- Rebecca Rego Barry is tracking postponed or cancelled book fairs.

- Quite a story from Michael Greshko for National Geographic: testing has reportedly proven that the Dead Sea Scroll fragments acquired for the National Museum of the Bible are all modern forgeries. Much more from Art Fraud Insights, including their full report on the findings. See also, The Lying Pen of Scribes. There are implications here for other fragments in collections around the world.

- From American Book Collecting, "In the Midst of It: A Book Hunter Down the Cataloging Rabbit Hole."

- Some great new marbled paper sample books in the Graphic Arts collection at Princeton.

- The recently-recovered 14th-century Divan of Hafez is scheduled to be sold at Sotheby's on 1 April.

- From Sarah Werner, "notes on feminist bibliography."

- Julie Stoner writes for the LC's maps blog, "Solving a Burning Question."

- Jon Munster is in the "Bright Young Booksellers" spotlight.

- The NYTimes ran an obituary for Andreas Brown of the Gotham Book Mart.

- The Philadelphia Inquirer has a feature on the arrival of the books and other materials from the David Library of the American Revolution at the American Philosophical Society.

Upcoming Auctions 

- Backal Collection and Library at Morton Subastas on 17 March.

- Art & Archaeology of Asia – Travel & Exploration – Cartography at PBA Galleries on 19 March.

- Livres Anciens et Modernes at Binoche et Giquello on 20 March.

- The Partridge Fine Arts Research Library at Forum Auctions (online) on 20 March.

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Links & Auctions

- The Library Company of Philadelphia and Penn have announced a joint symposium in honor of Michael Winship on 1–2 May.

- Christine Jacobson writes about the book trades as depicted in the new film version of Little Women.

- Over at Sammelband, "Teaching Manuscript: Lessons Learned from Quill-Cutting."

- The new Booksellers documentary opens this weekend; it is noticed in the NYTimes, NPR, the CSM, and the Guardian.

- Tony Dunnell writes for Mental Floss on "18 Surprising Things Stolen from Libraries."

- Two bibliospheric passings to note: Andreas Brown, longtime owner of the Gotham Book Mart, and Katharine Kyes Leab, editor of American Book Prices Current. Several of Kathy's excellent Rare Book School lectures are available to listen via their website, and I recommend them most highly.

- Heather O'Donnell speaks on the Biblio File podcast about the joys of buying, selling, and collecting books.

- The BL's Untold Lives blog reports on an exciting new Wynken de Worde acquisition.

- From William & Mary, some interesting work being done to identify the annotator of their copy of Newton's Principia.

Upcoming Auctions

- Livres Anciens du XVe au XIXe Siècle at ALDE on 10 March.

- Printed & Manuscript Americana at Swann Galleries on 10 March.

- Fine Books, Atlases, Manuscripts & Historical Photographs at Bonhams London on 11 March.

- The Medical & Scientific Library of W. Bruce Fye, Part III at Bonhams (online) on 11 March.

- The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing (residual part) at Forum Auctions (online) on 12 March.

Sunday, March 01, 2020

Links & Auctions

- Rare Book Week New York is here!

- The group of Romanian nationals charged with the theft of rare books from a shipping warehouse near Heathrow at the end of January 2017 went on trial this week. Quite a lot more detail than I'd previously seen about the machinations ...

- Federal and state prosecutors were in court this week urging the return of a 1780 Alexander Hamilton letter (to Lafayette) to the Massachusetts State Archives. It is believed to have been among the items stolen by a library cataloger between 1938 and 1946, but is not specifically listed among the known stolen items when a list was released in 1950. It turned up after it was consigned to a Virginia auction house in 2018.

- Jennifer Schuessler writes for the NYTimes about recently-unveiled plans for a merger of the Brooklyn Historical Society and the Brooklyn Public Library.

- Don't miss Heather O'Donnell's tweet thread about a really fascinating manuscript she acquired last year.

- From the library of the Peterhouse Perne and Ward Libraries, "Independence Day," largely about the long-ago thefts from the libraries by Mark Fitzgeorge-Parker.

- Rare Book Monthly's March articles are available today.

- A 19th-century manuscript of Inca history stolen from the National Library of Peru during the Chilean occupation of Lima in the 1880s has been returned.

- TheBookGuide will cease publication at the end of March.

Upcoming Auctions

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents, Books from the Library of Dawson Turner, and the John Lawson Reference Library at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 4 March.

- Rare Books at Heritage Auctions on 4 March.

- Maps and Atlases at Forum Auctions (online) on 5 March.

- Rare Photography: Books & Images – The Robert Enteen Collection. With Illustration & Fine Books at PBA Galleries on 5 March.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams New York on 6 March.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Links & Auctions

- David Segal writes for the NYTimes about the ongoing Aristophil scandal. This is the most in-depth account of the case I've seen so far.

- In the March Texas Monthly, "The Legend of John Holmes Jenkins" by Chris O'Connell. Michael Vinson's biography of Jenkins, Bluffing Texas Style, is scheduled for publication in March by the University of Oklahoma Press. I'm very much looking forward to this book ...

- The Chicago Sun Times has an obituary for Kenneth Nebenzahl, famed antiquarian map dealer.

- The Times (paywalled) ran a report on luxury handbags being made which each contain a fragment of a manuscript written by a well-known person (Dickens, Queen Victoria, Casanova, &c.).

- Contextual Alternate's "Drafts of History" project is calling for volunteers to send copies of their local newspapers from 10 March 2020 (in part to replicate a similar attempt made on 10 March 1888). Please join if you can!

- Antiquarian bookseller Barbara Rootenberg was honored at this year's California International Antiquarian Book Fair; an introductory speech given by her granddaughter (and third-generation bookseller) Madison Rootenberg Schwartz is up on the ABAA blog.

- Book Patrol highlights the Prismatic Jane Eyre project, which explores translations of Jane Eyre.

- From Stephen H. Grant for The Collation, "First Folger Director: William Adams Slade, Part I."

- In the "Bright Young Booksellers" spotlight, Will Baker of W. C. Baker Rare Books & Ephemera.

- The Library of Congress has acquired the archive of photographer Shawn Walker, as well as Walker's collection of the Harlem-based Kamoinge Workshop.

- Texas A&M University will host an exhibition this spring and summer, "The Eternal Passion: Nicholas A. Basbanes and the Making of A Gentle Madness." A symposium on 19 March will feature Basbanes, Rebecca Romney, Kurt Zimmerman, and curator Kevin O'Sullivan.

- Simon Beattie highlights an unrecorded variant of Goethe's edition of Ossian.

Upcoming Auctions

- Classic & Contemporary Photographs at Swann Galleries on 25 February.

- A Collection of Edward Gorey at Doyle New York (online) closes on 25 February.

- Travel & Exploration at Bonhams London on 26 February.

- Bibliothèque Georges Pompidou and Éditions Originales du XIXe au XXIe Siècle at ALDE on 26 February.

- Autographs, Books & Relics Include Kerouac Estate & Hemingway at University Archives on 26 February.

- Livres Avant Garde Surréalisme at Binoche et Giquello on 28 February.

- Magic Collection of Jim Rawlins, Part III at Potter & Potter on 29 February.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Links, Reviews & Auctions

- The Olympic Manifesto, sold at auction in December, has been donated to the museum of the International Olympic Committee by the winning bidder, Russian billionaire and president of the international fencing federation Alisher Usmanov.

- Nils Bernstein writes for Atlas Obscura about the recent digitization of the collection of Mexican and Mexican-American cookbooks at the University of Texas San Antonio.

- Stacia Friedman highlights Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts for Hidden City Philadelphia.

- Stephan Salisbury writes for the Philadelphia Inquirer about recent deaccessioning moves by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

- The folks doing wonderful work on the Letterlocking project have launched a new digital exhibition, Signed, Sealed & Undelivered.

- Over at Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "Illuminated Manuscripts from the Collection of Siegfried Laemmle (1863–1953)."

- From the BL's manuscripts blog, "Middle English manuscripts galore."

- As usual, the administration's budget called for the closure of various important cultural heritage projects. LJ Infodocket has a roundup of responses.

- From the Princeton Graphic Arts collection blog, "Vellucent bindings."

- Rebecca Nicholson writes for the Guardian, "Meet the booksellers who are fighting back against the algorithm."

- Michael Ruane reports for the WaPo on a new map collection at Mount Vernon.

- Over on the BL's Untold Lives blog, word of a new acquisition of an Italian avviso from 1589.


- Adam Sisman's The Professor and the Parson; review by Lawrence Osborne in the NYTimes.

Upcoming Auctions

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

- Biblioteca Alberto Marín at Soler y Llach on 19 February.

- Livres anciens & illustrés modernes, manuscrits & lettres autographes at Aguttes on 20 February.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions (online) on 20 February.

- Rare Americana & Cartography with the Robert M. Ebiner Zamorano 80 Collection at PBA Galleries on 20 February.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts at Swann Galleries on 20 February.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Links & Auctions

- The Mapping Manuscript Migrations portal launched this week.

- Barbara Basbanes Richter wrote for the Fine Books Blog about a Zamorano 80 collection coming up for sale next week at PBA Galleries.

- Paul Erickson did a Q&A for the Clements Library blog about his first month on the job.

- Bhavya Dore writes for Atlas Obscura about Adligat, a fascinating rare book collection in Belgrade.

Upcoming Auctions

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 12 February.

- Irish Historical Interest Books, &c. at Purcell Auctioneers on 12 February.

- Vintage Posters at Swann Galleries on 13 February.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Links & Auctions

- From Georgianna Ziegler, "What were women reading? A dive into the Folger vault."

- A look at a very cool 1663 book on metametrica from the Princeton Graphic Arts collection blog.

- Over at Sammelband, "Making the Syllabus Zine."

- Coming up in May at the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the inaugural Summer Institute in Book History & Digital Humanities, on the theme "Acting on the Book."

- The Washington Post reported this week that the Library of Congress also chose not to highlight a photo of the 2017 Women's March in an exhibit because of "anti-Trump messages" appearing in the photograph.

- Tulane University has acquired the Anne Rice archives, with support from Stuart Rose and the Stuart Rose Family Foundation.

- Things don't appear to be quite so devastating as first reports indicated for the collections of the Museum of Chinese in America—still awful, but not a total loss, at the very least. Atlas Obscura ran a report on the first round of retrievals from the building.

- Don't miss the February Rare Book Monthly articles.

Upcoming Auctions

- Paul Destribats: Bibliothèque des avant-gardes, Partie II at Christie's Paris on 4 February.

- Sporting & Travel Books from the Library of Arnold "Jake" Johnson at Doyle (online) on 4 February.

- Rare Books & Manuscripts at the Pasadena Book Fair at PBA Galleries on 6 February.

- Lettres & Manuscrits Autographes at Ader on 6 February.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Links & Auctions

- A fourth stolen Columbus Letter has been recovered and will be returned to the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana in Venice. This copy is from the Plannck I edition, and had been acquired by the Marciana in 1875. It is believed to have been stolen between 1985 and 1988, and in 2003 was sold to an American collector by an unidentified American bookseller. See the DOJ press release, or coverage in CNN, Delaware Online.

- This week's "Women in the Book Arts" symposium at the Grolier Club is available for streaming on YouTube.

- LitHub has a peek at the trailer for D.W. Young's new documentary "The Booksellers."

- From Lucy Kelsall for the Paul Mellon Centre, "Two bookbindings from the Oppé Library."

- In the Salt Lake Tribune, news that Ken Sanders' open bookshop in downtown Salt Lake City may be forced to close sometime next year due to impending redevelopment of the neighborhood.

- From Elle Hunt in the Guardian, "Dedicated followers: collectors of book inscriptions share their notes."

- An update on the "Rankin Files" over on the NLS blog.

- The collections of the Museum of Chinese in America in New York City are believed to have been destroyed in a fire this week.

- From Peter Kidd, "Unrecognised Brölemann Provenances."

- The National Archives blog has begun a series of posts on unratified constitutional amendments, starting with the very first proposed amendment (which would have changed the number of members of the House).

- David Ferriero posted on his AOTUS Blog "Accepting Responsibility, Working to Rebuild Your Trust" after last weekend's photograph controversy.

Upcoming Auctions

- Fine Manuscript and Printed Americana at Sotheby's New York on 27 January.

- Books & Works on Paper and Autographs & Memorabilia at Chiswick Auctions on 28 January.

- Printed Books, Maps, Documents, The Library of Patricia Milne-Henderson, Bookbinding Tools at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 29 January.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions (online) on 30 January.

- The Collection of Victor Niederhoffer, Part III and Books, Maps & Manuscripts at Freeman's on 30 January.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Links & Auctions

- Guilty pleas were filed this week in the Pittsburgh Carnegie Library thefts. Former archivist Greg Priore pleaded to theft and receiving stolen property, while bookseller John Schulman pleaded to receiving stolen property, theft by deception, and forgery. Prosecutors agreed to drop the remaining counts against both men. Sentencing is scheduled for 17 April. See Paula Reed Ward's report for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette for more. Coverage also from Smithsonian, CNN, the WaPo, and Book Patrol.

- And if you thought that was going to be the main archives/rare books-related news story of the week, it was until Friday night, when Joe Heim reported for the Washington Post that the National Archives had altered an image of the 2017 Women's March displayed at the entry to an exhibition on the centennial of women's suffrage, blurring signs that were critical of Donald Trump or which referenced women's anatomy. An entirely-justified torrent of criticism ensued nearly immediately, and by Saturday afternoon the Archives had reversed both course and the altered photograph. In a statement which began "We made a mistake," the Archives said they would "immediately start a thorough review of our exhibit policies and procedures so that this does not happen again." More from the NYTimes and a followup from the WaPo. Also worth reading is Joe Heim's Twitter thread on how he turned this story up.

- Registration is now open for CABS–Minnesota 2020, to be held 12–17 July at St. Olaf College.

- Oberlin College Libraries and the RBS SoFCB are hosting a symposium on Teaching and Learning with Objects for Colleges on 13–14 March. See the link for schedule and registration info.

- This month's Free to Use and Reuse collection of images from the Library of Congress focuses on Maps of Discovery and Exploration.

- James Raven did a Q&A for the British Academy about his career as a book historian.

- Stephen Marche writes in the NYTimes on his collecting obsession with Thomas Browne first editions. Yep, been there, done that.

- From The Collation, "Sizing Shakespeare's Sonnets," by Faith Acker.

- Randi Ragsdale writes for the HRC blog on "Seeing stars in the Blaeu World Map."

- "Swann in Profile" highlights Devon Eastland, the auction house's new senior specialist for early printed books.

- Aaron Pratt writes for the HRC on "Revealing an English Schoolmaster's Piers Plowman."

- From Ed Simon for The Millions, "Annotate This: On Marginalia."

- Christopher Tolkien died this week at the age of 95. See his obituary in the Guardian.

- Over on the NYPL blog, "Ben Franklin: The Ultimate Bibliophile."

- The UK has placed a temporary export bar on an early 16th-century manuscript guide for hermits and anchorites.

Upcoming Auctions

- Editions & Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 21 January.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 22 January.

- Fine Literature – Fine Press – Fine Bindings at PBA Galleries on 23 January.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Links & Auctions

- Will Noel has been appointed AUL for Special Collections at Princeton University. Congratulations to Will and to Princeton!

- Charlotte Higgins has a long report in the Guardian about the continuing scandal of the stolen papyrus fragments. Much background on Dirk Obbink and the Oxyrhynchus collection.

- In the Atlantic, Cullen Murphy: "Before Zuckerberg, Gutenberg." (This is really about the importance of Elizabeth Eisenstein.)

- Betty Schellenberg writes for The Collation on "The Eighteenth-Century Manuscript Verse Miscellany."

- For the HRC blog, a Q&A with Bruce Hunt about the background of the Blaeu World Map.

- The American Museum of Natural History has begun a three-year initiative to make the museum's archives and memorabilia collections more accessible.

- Robert Caro's papers have been acquired by the New-York Historical Society.

- Liz Adams writes for the Devil's Tale on "The Satirist and Tinkerer, Hogarth."

Book Review

- Bruce Licher and Karen Nielson Licher's Savage Impressions; review by Paul Moxon on the APHA Blog.

Upcoming Auctions

- Fine Books, Maps, and Manuscripts at Revere Auctions (online) on 13 January.

Autographs, Books, Declaration Signers, FDR & More at University Archives on 16 January.

- Hebrew & Judaic Printed Books at Kestenbaum & Company (online) on 16 January.

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Links & Auctions

- The ABAA posts a theft alert from a break-in at Passages Bookshop in Portland, Oregon, where more than 100 books were stolen from display cases.

- In the January Rare Book Monthly, Michael Stillman runs down the top 500 book and paper sales of 2019, Bruce McKinney provides some statistics on recent auction sales and reports on the recent Audubon sale. Here's the full batch of new articles.

- Get the rundown of Public Domain Day 2020 from the Center for the Study of the Public Domain.

- Princeton opened its collection of T.S. Eliot letters this month, after a long embargo. Per Eliot's wishes, Houghton Library released a 1960 letter from Eliot at the same time.

- Lisa Baskin was interviewed for the AbeBooks podcast about her collection and the current exhibition at the Grolier Club.

- The Graphic Arts Collection at Princeton has recently acquired an early-20th-century sample book from the Suffolk Engraving & Electrotyping Company of Boston.

- From Peter Kidd, "A Draft List of the Brölemann Manuscripts."

- Rebecca Romney posted her list of favorite books and objects that passed through her hands in 2019.

- From the Internet Archive blog, "Preserving the legacy of a library when a college closes."

- Karin Wulf had an op/ed in the WaPo in December about the importance of keeping historical records public and accessible.

- A man purchased several original engraving blocks for Alice in Wonderland from a clearance sale for £50, according to media reports.

- Also from Karin Wulf, at The Geyser, "How Style Informed the US Constitution."

- David Levy posted a reflection on his year in collecting.

- From Mary Sarah Bilder, "Madison's Notes Don't Mean What Everyone Says They Mean."

Upcoming Auctions

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions (online) on 9 January.

- Art & Illustration – Occult & Hermeticism at PBA Galleries on 9 January.