Sunday, May 23, 2010

Links & Reviews

- Laura's got a very neat post about cataloging a first edition of More's Utopia.

- There's an Australian profile of bookseller Rick Gekoski, who says he's not worried about the end of good books, but has concerns about the next generation of collectors.

- A poster at The Millions covers the Double Falsehood publication.

- Over at IHE, Scott McLemee weighs in at length on the brazen publicity campaign for Michael Bellesiles' forthcoming book 1877. Of a paragraph in the publisher's letter about the book (which he quotes), McLemee writes "These sentences have absorbed and rewarded my attention for days on end. They are a masterpiece of evasion. The paragraph is, in its way, quite impressive. Every word of it is misleading, including 'and' and 'the.'"

- Nick at Mercurius Politicus examines pelican symbology. Fascinating!

- FoggyGates has news that conservators at the Israel Museum have solved the mystery of an enigmatic forgery (or, at least, some of the mysteries about it).

- A Chronicle blog-post highlights a new study showing that the number of books in a household bears a strong correlation to a child's academic achievement. Here's the money-quote: "Thus it seems that scholarly culture, and the taste for books that it brings, flows from generation to generation largely of its own accord, little affected by education, occupational status, or other aspects of class ... Parents give their infants toy books to play with in the bath; read stories to little children at bed-time; give books as presents to older children; talk, explain, imagine, fantasize, and play with words unceasingly. Their children get a taste for all this, learn the words, master the skills, buy the books. And that pays off handsomely in schools." [h/t @librarythingtim]

- The Harry Ransom Center is digitizing its medieval and early modern manuscripts collection; you can search or browse the currently-uploaded images (more than 7,200 to date, representing just 27 of 215 documents).

- The British Library announced plans to digitize 40 million pages of its newspapers collection over the next ten years. The content will be free for BL users, and available to other users for a fee. NewsCorp's James Murdoch bashed the plan, saying that the BL shouldn't be allowed to use copyrighted materials deposited under a legal mandate for "commercial gain." [h/t @bookn3rd]

- Among the 2010 updates to the Bibliographical Society of America's BibSite is David Pearson's "English Book Owners in the Seventeenth Century" (PDF).

- Mt. Vernon has responded to the non-news that Washington apparently didn't return a book to the New York Society Library in 1789 by offering a replacement copy of the book (Vattel's Law of Nations).


- Nick Bunker's Making Haste from Babylon: review by Russell Shorto in the NYTimes.

- Daisy Hay's Young Romantics: reviews by Richard Eder in the Globe; Lesley McDowell in The Scotsman.

- Ellen Horan's 31 Bond Street: review by Clare Clark in the WaPo.