Sunday, December 15, 2013

Links & Reviews

- Your must-read article of the week (and I mean that) is Nicholas Schmidle's "A Very Rare Book" in the 16 December New Yorker. Schmidle's written an excellent summary of the forged Galileo Sidereus Nuncius (and other titles) and of de Caro's thefts from the Girolamini and other libraries. He also spent three days with de Caro and got him to confess a great deal about how the forgeries were made. The article's behind the New Yorker paywall, so if you don't subscribe you'll have to go find a copy, but trust me, it's worth it.

- Some nasty, nasty news out of Turkey this week, where reports suggest that as much as 140 tons of books and magazines were sold by the National Library of Turkey to wastepaper dealers for extremely low prices. The Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister said "We have detected some criminal and corrupted practices over many works in the National Library," and pledged a crackdown.

- An inquiry into the death of book thief Raymond Scott has concluded that he killed himself, the BBC reports. Further reporting in the Durham Times adds that Scott had been removed from suicide watch two weeks prior. Scott "suffered two wounds to the neck and razor blades were found in his right hand," the Times notes.

- The University of Pennsylvania seeks a CLIR postdoctoral fellow in data curation to work with the Penn Provenance Project and other related projects. Looks like a good gig!

- The Kelmscott/Goudy Albion iron hand press which sold at Christie's last week was purchased by Bromer Booksellers on behalf of RIT's Cary Graphic Arts Collection, with the support of the Brooks Bower family. Curator Steven Galbraith said that the press will be used as a working press at RIT, which is excellent news. See the full RIT press release.

- Alan Jacobs covers the rise of JSTOR (and its ilk) and why educators (and their students) shouldn't fall into the trap of relying on this sort of site.

- The British Library released a million images from scanned books in its collections this week, to the delight of the internet. More from Benjamin Breen at The Appendix.

- The seventeenth part of the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources was published this week, completing a project begun in 1913.

- Random House has acquired the rights to publish what is believed to be the first prison memoir of an African-American, Austin Reed's "The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict, or the Inmate of a Gloomy Prison." Julie Bosman reported on the manuscript earlier this week.

- Mitch Fraas talked with the LC blog The Signal about his use of Viewshare as a tool to visualize library book markings and other useful things.

- Richard S. Newman has been appointed the next director of the Library Company of Philadelphia. Newman will take up the reins at the LCP in June.

- The National Library of Wales has digitized the 13th-century Book of Aneirin, the last of the four Ancient Books of Wales to be presented online.

- James W.P. Campbell and Will Pryce share some photos from their new book The Library: A World History over at The Atlantic.

- In The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jen Howard reports on the status of the DPLA seven months after its official launch.


- Diane Setterfield's Bellman and Black; review by Yvonne Zipp in the WaPo.

- Bart van Es' Shakespeare in Company; review by Charles Nicholl in the TLS.

- Richard Holmes' Falling Upwards; review by Daniel Stashower in the WaPo.

- John Ferling's Jefferson and Hamilton; review by Carl Berkin in the WaPo.

- Joyce Appleby's Shores of Knowledge; review by Marcia Bartusiak in the WaPo.