Sunday, July 13, 2008

Links & Reviews

- An important dispatch from Travis: in the Brubaker case, he reports that the government has filed a Motion for Order of Forfeiture, and will be publishing information about how libraries who believe Brubaker stole from them can claim their missing stuff. So, if you work at one of these libraries and haven't yet done anything, the time for waiting has ended.

- In the Boston Globe today, an investigation into the business connections of the trustees of the Boston Public Library. Donovan Slack finds that three of the trustees who voted last fall to oust Bernie Margolis as president "have substantial business ties with the city, raising questions about their independence from Mayor Thomas M. Menino's administration." The trustees "also failed to disclose those ties as required by the state conflict-of-interest law." Slack adds "The outgoing library president, whose last day was June 30, said in an interview shortly after the vote that some trustees told him they could not vote to keep him for fear of jeopardizing their relationships with City Hall." The mayor's office maintains that "no one at City Hall attempted to use those financial relationships to sway library trustee votes."

- From BibliOdyssey, images from fencing master Achille Marozzo's 1536 work Opera Nova dell'Arte delle Armi, described as "the most important fencing manual of the 16th century and the first serious work to establish uniform rules for the use of weapons." Also, engravings from the "odd" Frauenzimmer Gesprechspiele (1646) by Georg Philipp Harsdörffer (including an interesting reworking of Arcimboldo's "Librarian."

- Via LISNews, a list of "100 Unbelievably Useful Reference Sites You've Never Heard Of" (you've probably heard of some of them, but it is definitely a good list).

- The Austin American-Statesman has a column on the Texfake saga, with some interesting backstory on old John Jenkins and his shenanigans. I've been meaning to write something up about Jenkins and his Union connection, which I will do upon my return from vacation. Apropos of this, another story in the A-S reports that two documents from the period of the Texas Revolution have been ordered returned to the state archives; they've been in private hands for some time after being "improperly removed" from the archives.

- This week's "Information Please" episode, from 1939, features writers Rex Stout and Moss Hart. I'm been enjoying these, they're witty and very amusing. This one includes write-in questions from Upton Sinclair and Ellery Queen, among others.

- From the new issue of College & Research Libraries News, a sampling of summer reading for various incoming college classes.

- In the LATimes, Louis Sahagun has an essay on Jefferson's Bible.

- Richard Cox comments on the recent debate over editing the papers of the 'founding fathers.' He writes "We have confusion here between scholarly historical research generated by documentary editors and access to the documents; one doesn’t necessarily require the other. Assertions about the problems of the “limited accessibility of the published volumes” (limited because of cost and residence in research libraries) still begs the question about just what degree the public wants access to such documents and confuses the needs of the public with that of scholars. ... Holding onto the continuing fiction that every American wants to read the entire correspondence of a Jefferson or Adams actually undermines the potential contributions of modern documentary editing."

- On NPR, author Edward Dolnick discusses his new book The Forger's Spell, about famed art forger Han van Meegeren.

- Paul Collins teases his new Believer article, "Bite Me: A Brief History of Dentistry and Music."


- In the Christian Science Monitor, Joseph Wheelan's Mr. Adams's Last Crusade is reviewed.

- Ted Widmer's Ark of the Liberties: America and the World is reviewed by David Oshinsky in the NYTimes.