Sunday, June 01, 2008

Links & Reviews

- Materials from the library of Technical University Delft, thought destroyed in a 16 May fire, have been recovered safely, Dutch papers reported this weekend. "A spokesperson of the University informed newspapers that thousands of historical books, prints, maps and drawings were salvaged. Everything seems to be intact, although they still have to be checked by specialists to make sure. The salvage took some time because the remainder of the building was about to collapse. Friday, specialized workers started salvaging the library collection." More here.

- PCWorld has an article on how the British Library's digitization projects will continue without support from Microsoft. Scanning of 40,000 more books as envisioned in the November 2005 plan with Microsoft will continue, as will 15 additional digitization projects which did not fall under the Microsoft umbrella.

- Everett Wilkie noted this story [link currently down] from Canada, where an antiques dealer has been acquitted of possession of stolen property charges after he tried to sell provincial records to the "Maritime History Archive at Memorial University in St. John's." Gary Murrin had bought the records (200 boxes of them) from a shredding company where they had been sent for destruction by the provincial archives. Provincial archivists claimed the materials were in poor condition and posed a health theft, while staff of the Maritime History Archive said they were interested in the materials, which they described as being in "good condition." This story looks to warrant a bit more investigation, so I may have more on it soon.

- Paul Collins offers an amusing Henry James moment (there's a sentence I didn't think I'd ever have cause to write ...).

- In the Globe today, Matthew Battles compares Harvard to Hogwarts.

- Murdered book collector Roland Comstock's (non-book) personal property was auctioned yesterday, MO news outlets report.

- Rick Ring notes an 1870 counterfeit detection manual (Heath's Infallible Counterfeit Detector), which was described as "the only infallible method of detecting counterfeit, spurious, and altered bank notes, and applicable to all banks in the United States and Canadas, as now in circulation, or that may be issued."

- Rare Books Review notes the results of an Oxfam charity auction at Bonham's last week. A copy of the first Sherlock Holmes story (A Study in Scarlet) made
£18,600 at the sale.


- A review of Scott Douglas' Quiet Please appeared this week in The Telegraph (mine here).

- For the Washington Post, Nora Krug reviews Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon's Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet.

- In the NYTimes, Bryan Miller reviews several new books on wine, one of which (Benjamin Wallace's The Billionaire's Vinegar, about a bottle of wine believed to have once belonged to Thomas Jefferson), I'm quite excited to read.

- Also in the Times, the indomitable Mary Roach examines Adam Leith Gollner's The Fruit Hunters, another one I've been looking forward to. Keeping with this time, Andrea Wulf reviews Philip Pauly's Fruits and Plains: The Horticultural Transformation of America for the TLS.