Sunday, July 05, 2015

Links & Reviews

- The British Library's conference "The Written Heritage of Mankind in Peril" conference was held last week in London. The Economist's Prospero columnist has a recap, and Emily Sharpe reported on the conference for The Art Newspaper. I hope that audio or video of the conference will be posted.

- Meanwhile, ILAB president Norbert Donhofer has put his conference talk online.

- The Economist piece referenced above includes an interesting tidbit: the purchaser of the Gutenberg Bible fragment sold at auction in June was Stephan Lowentheil of The 19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop.

- Library History Seminar XIII will be held at Simmons College from 31 July–2 August. Ann Blair and David Weinberger are the keynote speakers, and there are a great number of fascinating talks on tap. I'm particularly sorry to miss the "New Approaches to the History of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Libraries" panel, featuring presentations by Kyle Roberts, Cheryl Knott, David J. Gary, and Mitch Fraas.

- The NYTimes has added another wrinkle to the saga of this new Harper Lee novel: Serge Kovaleski and Alexandra Alter report that the manuscript was found in 2011, not just last fall as has been previously reported.

- Tim Sherrat has posted his keynote address delivered this week at DH2015, "Unremembering the forgotten."

- Many thanks to Steve Ferguson for pointing out that Nicolas Barker's Foxcroft Lecture about forgeries, delivered May 2014 at the State Library of Victoria, is available to view online.

- Lynne Farrington has a great post up at Unique at Penn, "Return of the Prodigal Book."

- Rebecca Rego Barry reports from the Library of Congress on the current exhibition of early American printing, which includes (through the end of August only) not one by two copies of the Bay Psalm Book.

- Nicola Davis reports for the Guardian on the newspaper digitization efforts at the BL's Boston Spa facility, near Leeds, as well as other advanced preservation and digitization work.

- Atlas Obscura's Andy Wright talked to yours truly for a profile of Rare Book School this week.

- Speaking of RBS, a 2012 piece on the Hinman Collator which accompanied a NYTimes article on the school made the rounds this week, and I can't remember seeing it at the time.

- The HRC announced an open-access policy this week, and simultaneously launched Project REVEAL, an effort to digitize and make available 25 major manuscript collections. More than 22,000 images are now posted and ready for use.

- Audrie Schell, a conservator at McMaster University, is profiled by Kate Taylor in the Globe and Mail. The piece focuses on Schell's work on a manuscript book of hours.

- It probably goes without saying that I am very much in favor of projects like this: new online descriptions of the early catalogues of Lambeth Palace Library (for the period 1610–1785) are being prepared and posted.

- UNC Chapel Hill has received a $986,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation to digitize rare audio, video and motion picture films from the Southern Folklife Collection.

- Scott Sherman, writing in the New York Daily News, asks just what became of the $100 million gift made to the NYPL by Stephen Schwarzman in 2008.

- Mike Cummings writes for YaleNews about Audubon's Birds of America, focusing on Yale's two copies of the elephant folio and the Audubon manuscripts at the Beinecke.

- Ending a lengthy and dare I say Kafka-esque legal battle, an Israeli court has ruled that a collection of Franz Kafka's manuscripts rightly belong to the National Library in Jerusalem and has ordered that they be transferred to the library.

- Bruce McKinney writes in the July Rare Book Monthly about trends in the book-collecting world, concluding "for the collectible book field to prosper we'll need to restore collecting a middle class prerogative," blaming current tax policies (and, I must add, the burden of student loan debt) for a decrease in the number of young, active collectors.


- Helen Castor's Joan of Arc: A History; review by Amanda Foreman in the NYTimes.

- Kathleen DuVal's Independence Lost; review by Woody Holton in the NYTimes.

- Joseph Ellis' The Quartet; reviews by Michiko Kakutani in the NYTimes and David O. Stewart in the WaPo.

- Philip and Carol Zaleskis' The Fellowship; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

- Sally Harvey's Domesday; review by Alex Burghart in the TLS.

- David Sehat's The Jefferson Rule and Andrew Burstein's Democracy's Muse; review by Fergus Bordewich in the WSJ.

- Michael Blanding's The Map Thief; review by Jim Glanville in the Roanoke Times.