Sunday, December 22, 2013

Links & Reviews

- The Indiana Historical Society will sell its copy of Audubon's Birds of America in April at Sotheby's. Their copy of Audubon's Quadrupeds will also be sold. Waldemar Fries' census reports that this copy of Birds was originally purchased by the York Subscription Library, possibly directly from Audubon himself. By January 1896 it had been purchased by William W. Borden for his wife, Emma, and it later was in the collections of the Borden Institute, a private school in Indiana. The Indiana Historical Society purchased it in 1933 for $4,000. Plate II in this copy contains the incorrect caption "Black Billed Cuckoo - Coccyzus Erythrophthalmus." Indiana Historical Society president John Herbst said that the copies "both had a lot of use before the society purchased them," and said that the Society would use the proceeds to fund purchases of Indiana-related materials.

- The New York Court of Appeals has reversed a lower-court ruling that would have forced auction houses to disclose the identity of consignors.

- In The Economist, an account of Cobden-Sanderson's destruction of the Doves Press type, and about designer Robert Green's attempts to digitally reconstruct it (the results of which you can now download).

- I've added a new blog to the sidebar: David J. Gary's American History Librarian. I expect this will be one most of you will want to follow too.

- "Shelfie"-madness hit Twitter this week, and it was great fun. More from Jacket Copy, or check out the Twitter hashtag.

- Cambridge University plans to raise £1.1 million to purchase the Codex Zacynthius, a ~6th-century palimpsest containing the Gospel of Luke. The manuscript has been on deposit at Cambridge since 1984.

- Eric Kwakkel asks, and then tries to answer, the age-old question "What is the oldest book in the world?"

- Over at the Oak Knoll blog, Bob Fleck writes about the Kelmscott/Goudy press, which sold this month to RIT.

- The BBC Magazine covers the Girolamini thefts; the article doesn't contain much new information, but there are several new photos of the looted library and damaged books.

- Also from the BBC Magazine, a look at the ongoing effort to recover and read the burned scrolls of Herculaneum.

- From Notabilia, a copy of Ben Franklin's Experiments and observations on electricity, inscribed to his sister Jane Mecom.

- At the Incunabula Project blog, Liam Sims covers a truly curious and fascinating list found in an early Belgian incunable in the Cambridge collections.

- Lew Jaffe posted an image of a particularly interesting bookplate this week, that of silversmith James PĂ©rot, who lived for a time in Bermuda.

- Keren Levy highlighted one of my very favorite books, Watership Down, over at the Guardian this week.


- Simon Winchester's The Men Who United the States; review by Sarah Wheeler in the Telegraph.

- James MacGregor Burns' Fire and Light; review by Eric Herschtal at The Junto.

- Bob Brier's Egyptomania; review by Janet Maslin in the NYTimes.

- Beau Riffenbaugh's Pinkerton's Great Detective; review by Ben Macintyre in the NYTimes.

- The Letters of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.; review by George Packer in the NYTimes.

- Jo Baker's Longbourn; review by Diane Johnson in the NYTimes.