Saturday, April 10, 2021

Links & Auctions

- The Spring Break for Booklovers virtual fair continues through 12 April over on Getman's Virtual.

- Many congratulations to Julie Nelson Davis, a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow!

- From Erin Blake at The Collation, "Documenting mistakes in our documentation."

- The Grolier Club is the lucky recipient of Kenneth W. Rendell and Shirley McNerney's Collection on the Detection of Forged Handwriting.

- Peter Kidd continues his series on the dispersal of the Rodolphe Kann collection with posts on the illuminated leaves and cuttings, and an illustrated list of same.

- The Connecticut State Library has added some new digitized newspapers to Chronicling America.

- From Swann Galleries, "Lies in Publishing: Collecting False Imprints."

- Over on the AAS blog, "Continuing the Conversation: Jessica Pressman Answers Your Questions on Bookishness."

- The Middle Temple Library has a new provenance mystery for us this month.

- From the University of St Andrews blog, "Benjamin Franklin as Printer."

- Over on the Getty blog, "Female Expression in a 15th-Century Manuscript."

- David Keys writes for the Independent about recent research into the written Aztec language by Gordon Whittaker, whose book Deciphering Aztec Hieroglyphs is just out from the University of California Press.

Upcoming Auctions

- The Passion of American Collectors: Property of Barbara and Ira Lipman | Highly Important Printed and Manuscript Americana at Sotheby's New York on 13 April.

- Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books at University Archives on 14 April.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 15 April.

- Printed & Manuscript Americana at Swann Galleries on 15 April.

- Fine Press – Fine Bindings – Fine Books at PBA Galleries on 15 April.

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Links, Reviews & Auctions

- Starting on Friday, 9 April, Spring Break for Booklovers, on Getman's Virtual.

- Amanda Bartlett writes for SFGATE on Brian Cassidy's recent identification of a previously unknown early typed draft of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl." See also Alison Flood's piece in the Guardian.

- From the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Easter Sunday in the Sherborne Missal" and "Alas, poor Hamlet."

- A conversation between Jason Dean and Nick Wilding about the Linda Hall Library's copy of Sidereus Nuncius is now available on Vimeo.

- Over on the Rylands Blog, "Photographing the Simon Papers," walking through the process of digitizing a collection of complex bound volumes and "A Passover Haggadah Painted by an Englishman?"

- More from Jennifer Schuessler on the recent questions about the Deuteronomy fragments in "A Biblical Mystery and a Reporting Odyssey."

- Also from the Rylands orbit, Kirat Sagoo looks back at the Guardian's San Serriffe prank.

- From the Getty, Julie Jaskol and antiquities curator Kenneth Lapatin talk through the process of confirming a forged gemstone.

- The Princeton Graphic Arts Collection blog highlights a binding by Parisian binder Madeleine Gras.

- From the OUP blog, "New discoveries about John Shakespeare."

- The Grolier Club has been given a book from FDR's library.

- Over at American Book Collecting, "Nettie Lee Benson on the Development of Special Collections."

- At Books and Borrowing, "A Painted Library Parthenon for the Athens of the North."


- Megan Rosenbloom's Dark Archives; review by Christine Jacobsen in the LARB.

- Michael Blanding's North by Shakespeare; review by Stephen Donoghue in the CSM.

I finally had a chance to sit down this weekend with Kurt Zimmerman's new collection of biblio-essays, Rare Book Hunting, and enjoyed it immensely. It is a delightful account of Kurt's adventures with books, from his time in the auction business to his visits with booksellers and of course some excellent stories about great biblio-finds. Some of his bibliographical association copies are the stuff that makes anyone who enjoys such things simultaneously so happy they exist and also so jealous that somebody else got to them first! 

Particularly valuable is Kurt's "Auction House Adventures," his memoir of working at San Francisco auction house (then) Butterfield & Butterfield. As he notes in the short introductory note, accounts about life in the book auction world are far rarer than they should be, so having his story between two covers is a very important addition to the genre. 

Kurt's tales all make clear the most important part of book collecting: the people, past and present. His "A Book I Shouldn't Have Had Yet" (another version of which is on his blog) is profoundly moving, and his stories of Texas bookselling greats Dorothy Sloan and Larry McMurtry, both of whom died in March, are timely indeed. I cannot wait to return to a time when we are able to have a great crowd of biblio-humans in a big room again: if nothing else, we need the opportunity for Kurt to find more great books and tell more great stories!

Upcoming Auctions

- Livres Anciens du XVIe au XIXe Siècle at ALDE on 7 April.

- Printed Books & Manuscripts, Autographs & Documents, Maps & Prints, The Bookbindery of Faith Shannon at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 7–8 April.

- Early Printed Books at Swann Galleries on 8 April.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Links & Auctions

- Marc Wortman writes for the April issue of Vanity Fair, "Cracking the Case of London's Elusive, Acrobatic Rare-Book Thieves."

- From the UK National Archives blog, "Playing cards captured at sea," highlighting a cool find in the Prize Papers collection.

- Over at Books and Borrowing, "Women Borrowers at Westerkirk Library."

- The Princeton University Library blog highlights Emma Sarconi's work on the Her Book project, identifying and cataloging ownership markings by women in books from the Princeton collections.

- Over on the FB&C blog, Emily Wells is in the "Bright Young Collectors" spotlight.

- A new edition of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series will include the author's own illustrations.

- Charlotte Higgins reports for the Guardian on the retraction of a chapter about the provenance of Sappho fragments announced in 2014.

- Meghan Constantinou will give a talk on 4 May, "Private Library Catalogues as Sources for Library History: An Apprecation." Free but registration is required.

- In El Pais, "Why Spain's National Library covered up the theft of a Galileo original work."

- The Boston Public Library has received a $2.1 million gift for preservation and cataloging of some 400,000 volumes. Excellent news!

- Over on the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "The colour purple."

- Stephen Durchslag has announced that he will bequeath his collection of some 4,500 Passover Haggadot to the University of Chicago. The bequest also includes support for cataloging, endowed collections funds, a curatorship, and fellowships.

Upcoming Auctions

- Autographes & Manuscrits at Aguttes on 29 March.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts Online at Bonhams ends on 30 March.

- Rare Books and Incunabula at Lark Mason Associates ends on 30 March.

- Travel & Sporting Books from the Library of Arnold "Jake" Johnson on 30 March.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams London on 31 March.

- Americana – Travel & Exploration – World History – Cartography at PBA Galleries on 1 April.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Links & Auctions

 - Starting today on Getman's Virtual, the Ephemera Society's Virtual Ephemera Fair, running through 22 March. And coming up on 9–12 April, Spring Break for Booklovers, virtually combining the Florida and Washington fairs.

- John Lancaster sends along some of the neat work being done at the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg on the library and collecting of Joseph Heller (1798–1849): digitized materials from his collections, an online exhibit, and an open-access book (in German).

- From Daria Rose Foner for the Morgan's blog, "New Light on Belle da Costa Greene."

- The ABAA blog has a memorial post for Dorothy Sloan, who died on 14 March.

- For the Swann Galleries blog, Rick Stattler shares some ephemera from Black-owned businesses offered at Swann over the years.

- Princeton University Library highlights some recent acquisitions documenting women's lives in early America.

- John Hessler writes for the LC's Worlds Revealed blog, "Of Maps, Manuscripts and Memory."

- APHA has issued a call for proposals for a virtual conference focusing on Latin American and Caribbean printing, to be held in October.

- On the University of Toronto's The New Normal podcast, Maydianne Andrade talks to Alexandra Gillespie about the origins (and origin stories) of western printing.

- Over at The Fate of Books, "To Break a Book: Bibliophiles as Book Enemies."

- Allie Alvis' Bite Sized Book History is back with an episode on marginalia.

- InfoDocket has a good rundown of coverage on the recent announcement from Israel that researchers have identified new Dead Sea Scroll fragments. More from the BBC.

- The Princeton Graphics Arts Collection blog highlights Fred Siegenthaler's wonderful Strange Papers.

- From the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Fascinating beasts (and where to find them)."


- Kurt Zimmerman's Rare Book Hunting; review by Rebecca Rego Barry for the Fine Books Blog.

Upcoming Auctions

- La bibliothèque poétique de Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller – Première partie at Christie's Paris on 23 March.

- Books & Works on Paper at Chiswick Auctions on 24 March.

- Autographs & Memorabilia at Chiswick Auctions on 24 March.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 25 March.

- Printed & Manuscript African Americana at Swann Galleries on 25 March.

- Spring Auction at Arader Galleries on 27 March.

- 20th Century Art and Art Books at Second Story Books on 27 March.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Links & Auctions

One hears of significant rumblings from within the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (FABS) and looks forward to learning more ... 

- Next up on Getman's Virtual, the Ephemera Society's Virtual Ephemera Fair, on 20–22 March.

- Catherine Sutherland at Magdalene College Cambridge has identified books in the collections annotated by Mary Astell!

- The great researchers at Letterlocking have managed to virtually read a folded, unopened letter. See their article in Nature Communications.

- From Jennifer Schuessler for the NYTimes, "Is a Long-Dismissed Forgery Actually the Oldest Known Biblical Manuscript?" See also Idan Dershowitz's article "The Valediction of Moses: New Evidence on the Shapira Deuteronomy Fragments."

- From Peter Kidd, "A Byzantine Miniature on a Leaf from the Forrer Collection" and "One More Montbaston Bible Historiale Cutting."

- Over at Book Historia, "Books Without Books: Digitally Communicating Materiality."

- Anne Bromer writes on "Easter Island and its Books."

- Jim Hinck has a viaLibri Beta update for us.

- From the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "The curious AB-script."

- New from the Internet Archive, "Search Scholarly Materials Preserved in the Internet Archive."

Upcoming Auctions

- Lettres & Autographes Manuscrits at Ader on 16 March.

- Bibliothèque Gastronomique & Oenologique de Max Cointreau at ALDE on 17 March.

- Bibliothèque Humaniste Max Cointreau at ALDE on 18 March.

- Autographes & Manuscrits at Aguttes on 18 March.

- Maps and Atlases at Forum Auctions on 18 March.

- Fine Literature with Beats, Bukowski & the Counterculture at PBA Galleries on 18 March.

- Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on 19 March.

Saturday, March 06, 2021

Links & Auctions

- The California Virtual Book Fair continues through today!

- From Caroline Duroselle-Melish for The Collation, "Marks on Bindings."

- The BL's Endangered Archives blog has announced three new tranches of digitized material, from Laos, Sri Lanka, and Bulgaria.

- Thanks to Emma Sarconi for pointing out on Twitter a neat newly digitized reading notebook from the Princeton collections, that of Countess Lydia Rostopchina.

- New on Netflix, "Murder Among the Mormons," focusing on the life, forgeries, and other crimes of Mark Hofmann. It is leading to a number of stories in the press about the events depicted in the film, among them this one from the Deseret News.

Upcoming Auctions

- Bibliothèque Maurice Houdayer, Première partie at Artcurial on 9 March.

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents, The Kenn Back Polar Library at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 10 March.

- Editions and Works on Paper, 1500–2020 at Forum Auctions on 11 March.

- Fine Photographs at Swann Galleries on 11 March.

- Fine Books & Manuscripts at Potter & Potter Auctions on 13 March.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Links & Auctions

- The California Virtual Book Fair is coming up on 4–6 March. See also their lineup of special programs for this year's fair.

- Not to be missed the online version of Mīharo Wonder: 100 Years of the Alexander Turnbull Library.

- From Mike Widener, "Printers' devices from law books," highlighting devices found in the Yale Law Library's rare book collections (more than 330 examples now up in their Flickr).

- From Adam Smyth, "Pronting Errors."

- The HRC's rescheduled Pforzheimer Lecture by Sarah Neville will now be held on 11 March.

- Over on the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Illuminated Canon Tables."

- Eve Kahn writes for the Grolier Club blog, "A Bibliophile Went Shopping, Or Maybe Not."

- From the Princeton Graphics Arts Collection blog, an "Index to Princeton's Audubon Birds."

- More from Peter Kidd this week on the dispersal of the collection of Rodolphe Kahn.

- From the Middle Temple Library's provenance mysteries series, a manuscript translation of Senault's De L'Usage des Passions by Henry Carey, Earl of Monmouth, with a list of Italian books appended.

- At Early Modern Female Book Ownership, a 1692 missal in French, with English Catholic provenance.

- The Minute Book of the United Sons of Salem Benevolent Society at the Clements Library has been transcribed!

- Brooke Palmieri will give the Charles W. Mann Lecture in the Book Arts at Penn State on 25 March. Sign up here.

- And coming up on 3 March at the Morgan, "The Women Who Made the Morgan."

- Congratulations to Jessica Camille Jordan, winner of the 2021 California Young Book Collector's Prize.


- Jonathan Senchyne's The Intimacy of Paper in Early and Nineteenth-Century American Literature; review by Tim Sommer for SHARP News.

Upcoming Auctions

- The Collectors' Sale at Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers on 3 March.

- Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books at University Archives on 3 March.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 4 March.

- Fine Art, Photography & Prints at PBA Galleries on 4 March.

- Richard Margolis International Numismatic Library at Kolbe & Fanning on 6 March.