Sunday, December 30, 2018

Links & Reviews

Here's a last roundup of bookish things for 2018:

- A trove of books and other works will actually enter the public domain on 1 January(!). See the Center for the Public Domain's post, Alexandra Alter's NYT piece, as well as the Public Domain Review's "Class of 2019."

- Penn Libraries have acquired the Geoffrey Day collection of Sterneiana. Rebecca Rego Barry has a bit more on why bibliophiles love Tristram Shandy, too.

- Over on the APHA blog, a recap of one of the panel discussions at their conference this fall, on reconsidering the definitions of "watermark" and "paper."

- Just a couple "year in review" posts: Peter Steinberg recaps his Year of Plath, and Sarah Werner writes about her year in "reading when you are crumbling."

- Beth Jarret from AAS is highlighted in the FB&C "Bright Young Librarians" series.


- Victorian Fairy Tales, edited by Michael Newton; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

Quiet on the auction front this week.

Happy New Year, all!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Rebecca Romney highlights a few of the favorite books sold through Honey & Wax this year.

- The debut issue of a new open-access journal, Fragmentology, is out.

- Yale's Beinecke Library has acquired the archive of David Sedaris.

- Penn will return two ninth-century manuscripts from the Schoenberg Collection to the Badia di Cava, a Benedictine abbey near Salerno from which the two documents were stolen, apparently at some point in the 1990s.

- Jen & Brad Johnson's work with the Thomas Mann House to recreate Mann's library is featured on the ABAA blog.

- Erika Jenns is in the Bright Young Librarians spotlight this week over at FB&C.

- At The Junto, a Q&A with Nick Bunker about his new book Young Ben Franklin.

- The Eastern Orthodox Church is suing Princeton University over several manuscripts they argue were looted from a Bulgarian monastery in 1917.

- From the Salt Lake Tribune, "Stolen Mormon memorabilia spotlight Latter-day Saint devotion to church artifacts."


- Diarmaid MacCulloch's Thomas Cromwell; review by Rory Rapple in the WaPo.

- Margaret Willes' The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn and John Dixon Hunt's John Evelyn; review by Ruth Scurr in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- Prints and Multiples at Bonhams London on 18 December.

- Important Judaica, including a Distinguished Private Collection at Sotheby's New York on 19 December.

- Mid-Winter Miscellany at PBA Galleries on 20 December.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Interesting new blog to watch: Early Modern Female Book Ownership.

- From Louis Menand in the New Yorker, "Literary Hoaxes and the Ethics of Authorship."

- Also from the New Yorker, Sam Knight asks "Do Proteins Hold the Key to the Past?"

- Edward O'Reilly has an excellent post on the N-YHS blog, "John Winthrop's Sermon and an 'Erasure of Collective Memory.'"

- Heather O'Donnell and Rebecca Romney of Honey & Wax are featured on the Curious Objects podcast.

- From Alison Hudson on the BL's medieval manuscripts blog, "Women and books in Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms."

- On the 175th anniversary of the publication of A Christmas Carol, Tina Jordan looks back at the NYTimes' coverage of the story over the years.

- Not to be missed: Erin Blake on "The key to removing a card catalog rod (literally)."

- John Paul Floyd talked to Rebecca Rego Barry for the Fine Books Blog about his new book A Sorry Saga: Theft, Forgery, Scholarship, and the Vinland Map.

- In the Columbia Journalism Review, "What's behind a recent rise in books coverage?"

- From Michael Dirda in the WaPo, "The '90s are having a literary moment. That is, the 1890s ..."

- New York's Strand Bookstore is asking that the city not assign landmark status to its building.

- Einstein's "God Letter" sold at Christie's this week for $2,892,500, and a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone set a new auction record at $162,500.


- Nathaniel Philbrick's In the Hurricane's Eye; review by Carol Berkin in the WaPo.

- Thomas Reinerstsen Berg's Theater of the World: The Maps that Made History; review by Lorraine Berry in the WaPo.

- Diane Setterfield's Once Upon a River; review by Ellen Morton in the WaPo.


- Lettres & Manuscrits Autographes at Ader on 10–11 December.

- Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams London on 11 December.

- Books & Manuscripts at Artcurial on 11 December.

- Printed Books & Maps; Children's & Illustrated Books; 20th Century Literature at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 12–13 December.

- Valuable Books and Manuscripts at Christie's London on 12 December.

- Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books at Swann Galleries on 13 December.

- Americana – Travel & Exploration – Hunting & Sporting – World History – Cartography at PBA Galleries on 13 December.

- Fine Autograph Letters and Manuscripts from a Distinguished Private Collection: Part II | Music, Americana, English and Continental Literature at Sotheby's New York on 13 December.

- La bibliothèque de Pierre Bergé at Sotheby's Paris on 14 December.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Links & Auctions

- The Ticknor Society has announced the George and Anna Eliot Ticknor Book Collecting Prize. See the page for full details; the deadline is 15 April 2019.

- Alison Flood writes for the Guardian about the National Trust project to preserve and catalog the Chute family library at The Vyne (with a side of schoolboy marginalia).

- Also from Alison Flood in the Guardian, a previously-unknown manuscript collection of John Donne's poetry has been identified at Melford Hall in Suffolk.

- In Rare Book Monthly for December, Michael Stillman writes on the AbeBooks Revolt, Susan Halas considers what to do with books that don't sell, and Bruce McKinney reports that David Hall of National Book Auctions has been charged with second-degree grand larceny after allegedly failing to pay a consignor.

- In Smithsonian, Zita Cristina Nunes on Howard University librarian Dorothy Porter.

- Manfred Heiting's extensive collection of photobooks was destroyed in the California wildfires; the library had recently been donated to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, but had not yet been transferred.

- The recently-discovered copy of Poe's Tales in wrappers sold at Skinner for $315,000.

- Over on the APHA blog, "A Linotyper for Life."

- In the HRC magazine, an interview with Alan Gribben about his extensive work on Mark Twain's library.

- Susan Orlean talked about her new book The Library Book for the NYPL podcast.

- Annie Rowlenson is featured in "Bright Young Booksellers."

- On the JHIBlog, Molly Nebiolo on "John Parkinson and the Rise of Botany in the 17th Century."

- A warm welcome to several new ABAA members.

- From Simon Beattie's blog, "Inscribed to Amelia Opie."

- Also on the ABAA blog, a notice of censure, a short announcement about forged LDS material, and a report about a book misdelivered and now missing in London.

- More on the LDS thefts/forgeries from GephardtDaily and the Standard-Examiner.

- J.L. Bell has some notes on the pronunciation of several 18th-century printers' names.

- Elena Weissmann writes about the new Penguin Mini editions of several John Green books for the CSM.

- Former Librarian of Congress James Billington died; see coverage in the NYTimes and on the Fine Books Blog.

Upcoming Auctions

- Music, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts and Continental Books at Sotheby's London on 4 December.

- Albert Einstein: The God Letter and Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana at Christie's New York on 4 December.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts including the World of Hilary Knight and History of Science and Technology, including Space Technology at Bonhams New York on 5 December.

- Rare Autographs, Books, and Relics at University Archives on 5 December.

- Illustration Art at Swann Galleries on 6 December.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Links & Auctions

Coming up this week, the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (16–18 November), accompanied of course by the Boston Book, Print, and Ephemera Fair on Saturday, 17 November.

- The concerted action of more than 600 booksellers around the world forced AbeBooks to back down from their plan to withdraw service from certain countries. See coverage in the NYTimes, the Guardian, Antiques Trade Gazette. Well done to all who helped bring about this result!

- David Pearson writes for the Cambridge University Library Special Collections blog about his current work on Cambridge bookbindings from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries. He's interested in feedback and/or more information about Cambridge bindings, so feel free to contact him (info at the end of the blog post) if you can help.

- Over at Echoes from the Vault, Farshad Sonboldel highlights his recent work on updating catalog records for the Arabic and Persian manuscripts in the St Andrews collections.

- Jessica Bigelow writes about the incunabula in the collections of the American Antiquarian Society.

- On the N-YHS blog, "Lab Notes: The Florence Flood and the emergence of library conservation."

- Mary Fissell writes for the Huntington Library's blog on "A History of the Medical Book," a conference coming up there this week.

- Some drafts of the screenplay for The Wizard of Oz will be sold at auction next month.

- Abigail Cain writes about letterlocking for Atlas Obscura.

- Over on the Fine Books Blog, Barbara Basbanes Richter reports on big changes in the New Haven antiquarian bookselling scene.

Upcoming Auctions

- The Fine Cartographic and Printed Americana Collection of Evelyn and Eric Newman at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on 12 November.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on 13 November.

- Rare Books, Autographs & Maps at Doyle New York on 13 November.

- 19th & 20th Century Literature at Swann Galleries on 13 November.

- Travel, Atlases, Maps & Natural History at Sotheby's London on 13 November.

- Fine & Rare Books at PBA Galleries on 15 November.

- Aristophil 11: Livres Illustres et Éditions Originales, Manuscrits et Lettres Autographes des XIXe et XXe Siècles at Ader on 15 November.

- Fine Books & Manuscripts at Skinner on 18 November.

- Livres Rare et Manuscrits at Christie's Paris on 20 November.

- Books and Manuscripts at Sotheby's Paris on 21 November.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts, Atlases and Historical Photographs at Bonhams London on 27 November.

- Russian Literary First Editions & Manuscripts: Highlights from the R. Eden Martin Collection at Christie's London on 28 November.

- The Craig Noble Collection of L. Frank Baum & the Wizard of Oz at PBA Galleries on 29 November.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 29 November.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Links & Reviews

- An announcement from AbeBooks that they would no longer be supporting booksellers based in certain countries as of 30 November (including Czechia, Hungary, Russia, and South Korea) has sent major ripples through the bookselling community. It prompted the ABA to decline AbeBooks' sponsorship offer for the 2019 Firsts summer book fair. ILAB president Sally Burdon noted that "The ILAB Committee applaud the action taken by the ABA in deciding to decline ABE's sponsorship of Firsts next year. This sacrificial action on their behalf, will of course make their fair more difficult to stage and thus sends a clear message to ABE that booksellers around the world stand together and will not ignore blows to the businesses of others."

- In solidarity with their colleagues in the affected countries, more than one hundred ILAB booksellers from around the world have announced that they will withdraw their stock from AbeBooks. I can't take that same step, obviously, but as a frequent buyer of books, I can support the movement in my own tiny way: I will not be purchasing books through ABE's platform while this continues, but will instead buy directly from the booksellers or through another purchasing platform. As an alternative search site, viaLibri is much better anyway, since it includes many additional listings. As I get more information on this, I will be sure to pass it along.

[Update, at 5:50 p.m. on 4 November: see this new article from the NYTimes.]

- Sarah Werner will deliver APHA's Lieberman Lecture on Thursday, 13 December at the Library of Congress: "Working towards a feminist history of printing."

- Proposed new EU license regulations "would require art, antiques and antiquities that are more than 250 years old (regardless of their value) to have import licences in order to enter an EU country," according to a report in the Art Newspaper. ILAB president Sally Burdon says "as it was originally written, the proposed legislation is not workable for antiquarian booksellers, European librarians, private collectors or the many others involved for business or pleasure with old books or manuscripts." ILAB has proposed that the regulations set a higher age and include a value threshold.

- The copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover used by the judge during the obscenity trial sold for £56,000 at auction.

- Marc Harrison writes for the Fine Books Blog about the fall iteration of Bibliomania in Paris.

- Nick Aretakis will be returning to manage the Americana department at the William Reese Company.

- Alexander Alter covers the new Penguin Minis flipbacks for the NYTimes. I ordered these and found them even better than the ones Hodder & Stoughton issued a few years ago: the typeface is much improved, for one thing. I hope Dutton/Penguin will issue a bunch more of them.

- From R. B. Bartgis at Sammelband, "Teaching Bibliographic Format."

- The London Library reported this week on recent research into books on the library's shelves which have been identified as those used by Bram Stoker while he was researching and writing Dracula.

- Rebecca Romney offers some excellent bookish podcast recommendations in her "Book Curious" newsletter this week. I'll add one that dropped after her email arrived: Rebecca Baumann is on this week's "Behind the Bookshelves" podcast talking about her collection.

- Over at Notabilia, "Rare Book Working Group Examines 'Her Book'."


- Nancy Campbell's The Library of Ice; review by Gavin Francis in the Guardian.

- David Grann's The White Darkness; review by Colin Dickey in the NYTimes.

Upcoming Auctions

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 7 November.

- Autographs at Swann Galleries on 8 November.

- Food & Drink at PBA Galleries on 8 November.

- Rare & Used Books at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society on 9 November.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Links, Reviews & Auctions

- The Library of Congress launched a new crowd-sourced transcription tool.

- A man was arrested this week after attempting to steal a copy of Magna Carta from a display case at Salisbury Cathedral.

- A. N. Devers writes for the Fine Books Blog about Elizabeth Young's new Brooklyn bookshop.

- Sam Lemley, a doctoral student at UVA, won this year's National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest.

- Ken Sanders talked to France 24 in a short interview about his many years of tracking down book thieves, and about material he's handled relating to disappeared poet Everett Ruess.

- Over at Res Obscura, Ben Breen highlights isochronic maps.

- On the American Scholar's "Smarty Pants" podcast, "The Future is Feminist Book Collecting."

- The Washington Papers editorial project celebrates its fiftieth birthday.

- An unpublished Sylvia Plath story will be published in January by Faber, the Guardian reports.


- Benjamin Balint's Kafka's Last Trial; review by Lev Mendes in the NYTimes.

Upcoming Auctions

- Bibliothèque de François Mitterand: Livres Modernes de 1900 à nos jours - Première partie at PIASA on 29 October.

- Bibliothèque de François Mitterand: Livres Modernes de 1900 à nos jours - Seconde partie at PIASA on 30 October.

- Travel Literature and Sporting Books from the Library of Arnold 'Jake' Johnson at Doyle New York on 30 October.

- Sotheby's single-item sale of one of just three known copies of a 1932 poster for The Mummy starring Boris Karloff ends on 31 October.

- The Adventure & Exploration Library of Steve Fossett, Part I at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on 31 October.

- Autographed Documents, Manuscripts, Photos, Books & Relics at University Archives on 31 October.

- The Joel Harris Collection of Original Illustration Art and Illustrated Books (with additions) at PBA Galleries on 1 November.

- Rare Books & the Harrison Forman Archive at Addison & Sarova on 3 November.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Links & Reviews

Back in the saddle this week with lots of backlogged news to pass along. It was great to be back at the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair last weekend (and the city provided a few days of absolutely stunningly lovely weather, too). Coming up next is the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (16–18 November), accompanied of course by the Boston Book, Print, and Ephemera Fair on Saturday, 17 November.

- There was an update in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on 12 October on the Pittsburgh Carnegie Library thefts case; the story includes some embedded documents. Other reports indicate that both Priore and Schulman will be going to trial, and that arraignment has been scheduled for 29 November.

- Sarah Lindebaum writes on the Houghton Library blog about "Looking Beyond the Text in Frances Wolfreston's Books."

- Video of the recent conference at the American Philosophical Society, "Past, Present, and Future of Libraries," is now available.

- An article I've been watching for for a while is now up: "Passing the Book: Cultures of Reading in the Winthrop Family, 1580–1730."

- Over at Notabilia, a great new Princeton acquisition is highlighted: a textbook signed by several Revolutionary-era students.

- Coming up on 6 November, Heather O'Donnell will deliver the Van Sinderen lecture at Yale's Beinecke Library: "Scouts, Spies, and Surveyors: Collectors of the Future."

- The Adams Papers team at MHS have released transcriptions of John Quincy Adams' diaries from 1821 through February 1825.

- The Library of Congress has digitized its collection of Theodore Roosevelt's papers.

- Book collector and philanthropist Jay Kislak died on 3 October; see his obituary in the Miami Herald or Rebecca Rego Barry's post on the Fine Books Blog.

- William Helfand also passed away earlier this month: Neil Genzlinger wrote the NYTimes obituary.

- Reading Copy has a good background post on forger Lee Israel, as the new movie based on her book Can You Ever Forgive Me? (starring Melissa McCarthy) hits theaters.

- Police in Stranraer, Scotland are looking for information about the June theft of a 1549 "Treacle Bible" from the Old Kirk, outside Drummore village.

- A great highlight from Edward O'Reilly on the N-YHS blog: a manuscript facsimile of a rare 1725 Benjamin Franklin imprint.

- The Lilly Library is featured in the IU Magazine.

- Margaret Atwood writes for the Guardian about Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book.

- On the JHI Blog, "Norse Fantasies and American Foundings," by Derek Kane O'Leary.

- "The Importance of Language in Rare Books" at Rare Books Digest.

- Susan Orlean's new book The Library Book was featured on NPR's "Weekend Edition" last weekend.

- Trinity College Dublin has launched a digital version of its Oscar Wilde collection.

- Also newly digitized, from the BL, more than two hundred Anglo-Saxon manuscripts from before 1100.

- The Guardian reports on the return of the Behemoth Bible (Codex Amiatinus) to the BL from Italy for the library's exhibition on things Anglo-Saxon.

- A complete Egyptian Book of the Dead on papyrus sold for more than 1.3 million Euros at auction in Monaco.


- Susan Orlean's The Library Book; reviews by Michael Lewis in the NYTimes, Ron Charles in the WaPo, and by Jennifer Szilai in the NYTimes.

- David Blight's Frederick Douglass; review by Jennifer Szilai in the NYTimes.

- Maryanne Wolf's Reader, Come Home; review by Jennifer Howard in the WaPo.

- Jill Lepore's These Truths; review by Alex Carp in the NYRB.

Upcoming Auctions

Libros y Documentos at Morton Subastas in Mexico City on 23 October.

- Lettres et Manuscrits Autographes at Ader on 23 October.

- Some books and manuscripts in the Arts of the Islamic World sale at Sotheby's London on 24 October.

- The Sporting Sale at Bonhams Edinburgh on 24 October.

- Rare and Important Travel Posters at Swann Galleries on 25 October.

- Books and Works on Paper (online) at Forum Auctions on 25 October.

- Historical Manuscripts at Heritage Auctions on 25 October.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Links & Auctions

Pardon an abbreviated post this week: just back from Oak Knoll Fest (wonderful, as usual) and I'm tired. And there won't be a post next weekend, as I'll be at the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair.

- Over on the ABAA blog, meet this year's winners of the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest.

- From Aaron Pratt for the Ransom Center blog, "Printing Manuscripts."

- Sian Cain calls bookselling "the most over-romanticized job in the world" in the Guardian.

- Rebecca Rego Barry highlights the recent sale of the lavish illuminated manuscript known as the "Wedding Hours."

- Elizabeth DeBold examines "hex marks" in books from the Folger's collections.

- From Kate Ozment at Sammelband, "Teaching Book History Alongside Literary Theory."

- Video of the recent symposium "The Vinland Map Rediscovered" is now available on YouTube.

Upcoming Auctions

Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, XIXe siècle (1840–1898)First editions – Reviews – Autograph Letters and Manuscripts at Sotheby's Paris on 9 October.

- Autographs & Memorabilia at Chiswick Auctions on 10 October.

- Rare Golf Books & Memorabilia at PBA Galleries on 11 October.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Links & Reviews

Just back from the Washington Antiquarian Book Fair, which went very nicely indeed. Coming up next, it's Oak Knoll Fest!

- The copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover used by the judge in the British obscenity trial concerning the book will be sold at auction next month.

- From Lindsay Ann Reid over on the OUP blog, "Imagining lost books in the age of Cambridge Analytica."

- Looks like there's a pretty neat photography exhibition, "Bibliophile," up now (through 28 October) at Boston's Panopticon Gallery. I'm sorry to miss it, but if you're in the area, might be worth a visit.

- Coming this month from the University of Pennsylvania Press, Lindsay DiCuirci's Colonial Revivals: The Nineteenth-Century Lives of Early American Books.

- The Atlantic has a new books section landing page.

- A grant will allow for the digitization of a large tranche of Church of Ireland records, the Irish Times reports.


- Diarmaid MacCulloch's Thomas Cromwell; review by Robert McCrum in the Guardian.

- Christopher Skaife's The Ravenmaster; review by Helen Macdonald in the Atlantic.

- Kate Atkinson's Transcription; reviews by Jennifer Egan in the NYTimes and David Treuer in the LATimes.

- Joanne Freeman's Field of Blood; review by David S. Reynolds in the NYTimes.

- Adrian Tinniswood's Behind the Throne; review by Anna Mundow in the WaPo.

- James Raven's What is the History of the Book?; review by Eve Houghton in the TLS.

- Daniel Donoghue's How the Anglo-Saxons Read Their Poems; review by Susan Irvine in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs at Lyon & Turnbull on 2 October.

- Printed Books, Maps & Prints, Travel & Exploration at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 3 October.

- Americana - Travel & Exploration - World History - Cartography at PBA Galleries on 4 October.

- There are a few books among the sale of the Collection of Marsha and Robin Williams at Sotheby's New York on 4 October.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Coming up next weekend in D.C., the Washington Antiquarian Book Fair!

- Video from last weekend's memorial service for Bill Reese is available on YouTube.

- From Kimberly Alexander at The Junto, "Priscilla Mullins Alden and the Search for a Dress in Pieces."

- Printing History 24 is mailing this week; sounds like another great issue!

- Over on the Beehive, Sara Georgini explores the Adams family's interest in genealogy.

- At Echoes from the Vault, Thomas Murrie writes about his work with an alchemical manuscript in the St. Andrews collections.

- From Sarah Hovde at The Collation, "The mystery of the Shakespearian cartoons."


- Jill Lepore's These Truths; review by H.W. Brands in the WaPo.

- Richard Powers' The Overstory; review by Paul Quinn in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana at Bonhams New York on 25 September.

- O'Connor's Americana Collection (Documents) at James D. Julia on 26 September.

- Autographed Documents, Manuscripts, Books & Relics at University Archives on 26 September.

- Printed & Manuscript Americana Featuring the Holzer Collection of Lincolniana at Swann Galleries on 27 September.

- Books & Manuscripts at Freeman's on 27 September.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Coming up on 28–29 September, it's the Washington Antiquarian Book Fair!

- At The Collation, Abbie Weinberg explores the books in the Folger collections printed 500 years ago.

- Many congratulations to the winners of this year's Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize - what a great group of collections!

- Via Rebecca Romney's excellent Book Curious newsletter, there's quite an opportunity for the aspiring bookstore owner in Florence ...

- Over at Past is Present, an update on the Isaiah Thomas Broadside Ballads Project.

- Lucretia Baskin writes for the N-YHS blog about some of the different methods used to correct mistakes in books after printing.

- In the Guardian, Alison Flood reports on recent finds in the UK National Archives which shed light on the legal troubles of John Shakespeare.

- Ryan Moore writes for the LC blog about his recent identification of the signature of botanist David Fairchild (in part responsible for bringing the famous cherry trees to D.C.) on a 1901 map of Japan in the LC's collections.


- Jill Lepore's These Truths; review by Andrew Sullivan in the NYTimes.

- Walter Besant's The Revolt of Man; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing at Sotheby's London on 18–19 September.

- Rare Books & Manuscripts from the Library of James "Ted" Watkins at PBA Galleries on 20 September.

- Livres de Photographies at Ader on 20 September.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Johanna Drucker will be the Beinecke Library's inaugural Beinecke Distinguished Fellow in the Humanities. See the full announcement.

- From John Dugdale for the Guardian, "After American Animals," about library thefts which haven't yet made the big screen.

- A first printing of Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables has been stolen ... from the House of the Seven Gables in Salem, MA.

- Kate Atkinson's "By the Book" column in the in NYTimes is excellent.

- From Heather Wolfe at The Collation, "About that frontispiece of Hannah Woolley ..."

- The National Library of New Zealand and the Alexander Turnbull Library have launched the Turnbull Library Record online, with digitized copies of the publication since 1940.

- Don't miss Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell's illustrated essay on why we need libraries.

- Readers may be interested in the call for papers for a conference to be held at Saint Louis University, "Celebrating Belle da Costa Greene: An Examination of Medievalists of Color within the Field."


- Sjón's CoDex 1962; review by Parul Sehgal in the NYTimes.

- Sarah Weinman's The Real Lolita; review by Maureen Corrigan in the WaPo.

- Travis McDade's Torn From Their Bindings; review by Pradeep Sebastian in The Hindu.

Upcoming Auctions

- Fine Books & Manuscripts: 30th Anniversary Sale at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 12 September.

- Rare Books & Maps at Heritage Auctions on 13 September.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Next weekend: Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair!

- Sarah Mervosh has a report on the Pittsburgh Carnegie Library thefts for the NYTimes. The ABAA has posted an updated list of stolen materials being sought for return.

- From Cait Coker at Sammelband, "Teaching with Letterpress."

- In the London Review of Books, Mary Wellesley on making parchment.

- A great look at Louis Piette's Die Fabrikation des Papieres aus Stroh und vielen andern Substanzen (1838) from the Princeton Graphic Arts Collection blog.

- Over on the Grolier Club blog, a close look at a lovely seventeenth-century embroidered binding.

- September Rare Book Monthly articles include Bruce McKinney's remembrance of Michael R. Thompson and a Michael Stillman report on a Texas comic book theft.

- Conrad Edick Wright writes for the MHS Beehive blog about the history and future of Sibley's Harvard Graduates.


- Nell Stevens' The Victorian and the Romantic; review by Anne Boyd Rioux in the WaPo.

- The Paston Treasure; review by Roderick Conway Morris in the TLS.

Upcoming Auction

- Literature with Books in All Fields at PBA Galleries on 6 September.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Travis McDade has two recent pieces on Medium about rare book theft: "The Most Perfect Rare Book Crime" and "Prosecuting the Pittsburgh Rare Book Theft." See also his Atlas Obscura piece from this week on Robert Kindred's library thefts.

- Ryan Gilbey writes in the Guardian about "American Animals" as a mix of fact and fiction.

- Over on the ABAA blog, a post about bookseller Owen Kubik's recent assistance in returning some books to Yale University which had been stolen from the Sterling Library stacks in the 1970s.

- Don't forget the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair, coming up 8–9 September! Looking forward to being there for the books and for the great series of talks lined up.

- Over at Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "Mapping MMBL [Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries]," a handy guide to manuscripts in the UK.

- has released their list of the most-searched out-of-print books for 2017.

- The University of Washington's Sandra Kroupa is profiled in the Seattle Times.

- The BL has recently added some spectacular manuscripts to their digital collection.

- Over on the Center for the History of Physics blog, "A Life in Books," about the library of Dr. Silvan Schweber.


- Jenny Uglow's Mr. Lear; review by David Orr in the NYTimes.

- Anne Boyd Rioux's Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy; review by Charlotte Gordon in the WaPo.

- Claire Tomalin's A Life of My Own; review by Heller McAlpin in the WaPo.

- Susan Carlile's Charlotte Lennox; review by Min Wild in the TLS.


- A Bibliophile's Bibliophilic Library Part II at Forum Auctions (online) on 29 August.

Books and Ephemera at Keys Fine Art Auctioneers on 30–31 August.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Links & Auctions

- From the ABAA, another request for information on items stolen from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, with contact information for the relevant law enforcement officials involved with trying to recover the stolen material.

- Coming up on 5 March 2019 at the Grolier Club, a symposium presented by ILAB, ABAA, and the Grolier Club: "Who Owned This? Libraries and the Rare Book Trade Consider Issues Surrounding Provenance, Theft and Forgery." Free registration is now open.

- New on JSTOR, Biblia and the Princeton University Library Chronicle.

- From Emily Isakson at Past is Present, "An AAS Curiosity: The Puzzle of the Mayan Mural Drawings."

- Alex Johnson in the Independent highlights the faux-titles Dickens used to decorate his bookshelves.

- New from Princeton, the Scott Husby Database of Bindings on Incunables. For background, see the PUL announcement.

- On the Leiden University Special Collections blog, "Mundus Inversus in a Chained Library."

Upcoming Auctions

- Summer Books at Chiswick Auctions on 22 August.

- Autographed Documents, Manuscripts, Books & Relics at University Archives on 22 August.

- Americana & the Mexican-American War - Travel & Exploration - Cartography at PBA Galleries on 23 August.

- Summer Magic Auction at Potter & Potter on 25 August.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Links & Reviews

- The four Transylvania University book thieves talked to Ben Machell of the Times.

- Jessica Leigh Hester writes for Atlas Obscura about "The Crack Squad of Librarians Who Track Down Half-Forgotten Books."

- From Mary Beard in the TLS, "Where do the books belong?"

- Over at Exeter Working Papers in Book History, "Sir Thomas Bodley: Commemorating a Great Exonian."

- Princeton University Library hosted students from several HBCUs in July for the first installment of an Archives Research and Collaborative History program, designed "to introduce students to the archival field, the importance of diversity in archival collections, how to use primary-source documents and potential career opportunities. The program also encouraged students to make connections between historical narratives and present-day social justice issues."

- Alison Flood reports for the Guardian on recent work to identify and create a database of poems written in response to the Lancashire Cotton Famine.

- A 14th-century manuscript has been returned to the Egyptian national library after it was identified in the catalog for a Bonhams sale in April. The manuscript had disappeared from the library in the 1970s.


- Philippe Costamagna's The Eye; review by Alexander C. Kafka in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- Hunting Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake" Johnson at Doyle on 14 August (online only).

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 15 August.

- Rare Books & Ephemera at Addison & Sarova on 18 August.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Paula Reed Ward has a followup report this week on the court proceedings related to the Pittsburgh Carnegie Library thefts: the judge handling the case has allowed access to the Caliban Book Shop accounts so that the store's expenses and employee salaries can be paid. Ward's report also notes that a preliminary hearing in the case has been scheduled for 12 October.

Flipbacks are coming! I was really intrigued by these little books when a few were published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2011, so I'm very pleased to see the format being tried out in the U.S. (as Penguin Minis). I really enjoy having a couple of these when I travel, since they very handily tuck into a jacket pocket, so I hope a good selection will be published. And yes, I've already preordered the first four.

- Over at, "Mass spectrometry technique helps identify forged Robert Burns manuscripts." See also the full paper in Scientific Reports.

- The Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair is coming up on 8–9 September. You can buy tickets for the "Bagels and Books" opening preview now, and check out the lineup of talks throughout the weekend.

- From Alison Flood at the Guardian, a report on the recent discovery of a second-century building in Cologne which is believed to have housed as many as 20,000 scrolls.

- Also from Alison Flood, news that the Schomburg Center successfully acquired the "lost chapters" of Malcolm X's autobiography at a New York auction last month. See also Jennifer Schuessler's report in the NYTimes.

- From PennToday, a writeup of the three-year BiblioPhilly project to catalog and digitize manuscripts from 15 Philadelphia-area institutions.

- On the ABAA Blog, "Building the Gilder-Lehrman Collection."

- The thirteenth-century Lyghfield Bible has been returned to the collections of Canterbury Cathedral after being removed during the Reformation.

- In LitHub, "Breaking Up the Boys Club: On Women in Rare Books," by Joanna Demkiewicz, and on the Fine Books Blog, A.N. Devers on "Who are the Women in the Book Trade?"

- Not to be missed: Alberto Manguel talking about his library and his bibliomania.


- Fiona Sampson's In Search of Mary Shelley; review by Dinitia Smith in the NYTimes.

- A quintet of recent Emily Brontë books; review by Jacqueline Banerjee in the TLS.


- Fine & Rare Books - Art & Illustration - Asian & Asian-American Material at PBA Galleries on 9 August.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Isaac Stanley-Becker has a 26 July report on the Carnegie Library thefts for the Washington Post. The 54-page criminal complaint against Priore and Schulman was also made available this week, and Schulman resigned from the ABAA. Defense attorneys for Schulman are attempting to fight prosecution attempts to freeze several bank accounts, according to media reports.

- Curtis Small, Jr. is featured in the "Bright Young Librarians" series on the Fine Books Blog.

- The Isabella Stewart Gardner museum heist will be the subject of a WBUR/Boston Globe podcast series, "Last Seen," premiering in September.

- From the OUPBlog, "Remembering Joseph Johnson," by John Bugg.

- Barbara Basbanes Richter highlights the current Library Company of Philadelphia exhibition on the painter William Birch.

- An excerpt from Charlotte Higgins' Red Thread: On Mazes and Labyrinths is featured in the Guardian.

- Also in the Guardian this week, Alison Flood reports on a recent find in the Royal Archives by Penn doctoral student Nicholas Foretek: that the Prince Regent bought a copy of Sense & Sensibility two days before it was first publicly advertised.

- New research into Audubon's research methods by E. Bennett Jones is featured on the Beinecke blog. She is looking at "how ... naturalists cited, interpreted, and valued information obtained from Native Americans as well as how they may have falsified and exaggerated these same sources." Will look forward to reading more about this!


- Travis McDade's Torn From Their Bindings; review by Rebecca Rego Barry for the Fine Books Blog.

Upcoming Auctions

- Vintage Posters at Swann Galleries on 1 August.

- Comics & Comic Art at Heritage Auctions on 2–4 August.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Links & Auctions

- On Friday morning we got word that charges have now been filed in relation to the theft of materials from Pittsburgh's Carnegie Library. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Greg Priore, who managed the library's rare book collection from 1992 through 2017, was charged with theft, receiving stolen property, conspiracy, retail theft, library theft, criminal mischief, and forgery. John Schulman, co-owner of Caliban Book Shop, was charged with theft, receiving stolen property, dealing in proceeds of illegal activity, conspiracy, retail theft, theft by deception, forgery, and deceptive business practices. Paula Reed Ward's main report is accompanied by profiles of Priore and Schulman by Marylynne Pitz. See also Megan Guza's report for TribLive, Sarah Mervosh's NYTimes piece, and Marc Levy's Associated Press report.

ABAA President Vic Zoschak released a statement on behalf of of the organization: "This morning, the ABAA leadership learned that Greg Priore, former Carnegie Library Archivist, and ABAA member John Schulman of Caliban Books, have been charged with theft from the library. This is a truly regrettable situation for the larger book community, and one in which the Association shares the public’s dismay that such a theft took place. At this point in time, to comment further would be premature, as we support the legal process currently being pursued and will await its outcome. During this period we will continue to closely monitor the developments concerning this serious matter."

A thoroughly sickening state of affairs, to say the least; it's probably needless to say that I'll be keeping a close eye on where things go from here with this very disturbing case.

- Medieval Manuscripts Provenance has begun a series of posts on a 14th-century Italian manuscript, dubbed the "Goodspeed Bible."

- From Elizabeth DeBold at The Collation, "Under Cover: Forged Bindings on Display at the Folger."

- Dan Cohen writes "In Praise of Email."

- Absolutely love the joint post from the AAS blog by Doris O'Keefe and Elizabeth Watts Pope (which draw on a previous Facebook post by Brenna Bychowski) about some sample books for twentieth-century facsimile reprints.

- From the LC blog, an interview with Ahmed Johnson, a local history and genealogy reference librarian in the Library’s Main Reading Room and a specialist in African-American history.

- UVA has announced a crowdsourced-transcription project for the Julian Bond papers.

- Brill has made its "Library of the Written Word" volume Lost Books available as an open-access text to mark the tenth anniversary (and seventieth volume!) of the series.

- Travis McDade talked to the Daily Illini about his new book, Torn from Their Bindings, about Robert Kindred's widespread thefts from university libraries in the 1980s.

Upcoming Auctions

- Books & Works on Paper at William Bunch Auctions on 23 July.

- Angling Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake" Johnson at Doyle New York on 24 July.

- Modern Literature at PBA Galleries on 26 July.

- Fine Books & Manuscripts at Potter and Potter on 28 July.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Links & Reviews

- E. H. Shepard's manuscript map of the Hundred Acre Wood set a new world record for a book illustration at auction, fetching £430,000 at Sotheby's this week.

- An Elgar manuscript brought for valuation on "Antiques Roadshow" in the UK has been identified as missing from the Elgar Foundation since 1994.

- Yeats letters stolen from Princeton University in the 1970s were recently returned, anonymously.

- Richard J. Wolfe's Marbled Paper is now back in print from Oak Knoll Press.

- An archaeological dig in southern Greece has turned up a clay tablet containing thirteen verses of The Odyssey; it may be the earliest written evidence of Homer's poem discovered in Greece.


- Joyce Lee Malcolm's The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold; review by Alexis Coe in the WaPo.

- Margalit Fox's Conan Doyle for the Defense; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams London on 18 July.

- Early English Books: A Single-Owner Sale at Skinner, Inc. on 20 July.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Over on Medium, Travis McDade on "Of Rich Kids and Rare Book Theft: American Animals and the Various 'Nonfictions' of a True Crime."

- Diane Mehta writes for the Paris Review on "The Rare Women in the Rare-Book Trade."

- From Cait Coker over on Sammelband, the second post in a series on setting up a print shop.

- Among the books from West Horsley Place being sold at Sotheby's tomorrow is a copy of the Faerie Queen believed to have been among the books Charles I read during his pre-execution imprisonment; see Alison Flood's report in the Guardian.

- Meaghan Brown writes for The Collation on the Lost Plays Database.

- Alex Johnson takes a look at the books on the secure e-readers developed for the Navy.

- Peter Steinberg explores the story behind a Sylvia Plath association copy.

- Margaret Gamm has been appointed Head of Special Collections at the University of Iowa.

- An important collection of British suffragette material was sold at auction in Derbyshire for £16,000.

- James Pickford reports for the Financial Times on "Triumph of the trophy hunters at rare books auctions."


- John R. Payne's Great Catalogues by Master Booksellers; review by Don Lindgren for the ABAA blog.

- Edmund White's The Unpunished Vice: A Life in Reading; review by Rachel Cooke in the Guardian.


- English Literature, History, Science, Children's Books and Illustrations at Sotheby's London on 9–10 July.

- The Library of an English Bibliophile Part VIII at Sotheby's London on 10 July.

- The Rothamsted Collection: Rarities from the Lawes Agricultural Library (Part I | Part II) at Forum Auctions on 10–11 July.

- Valuable Books and Manuscripts at Christie's London on 11 July.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 12 July.

- Fine Americana – Travel & Exploration – World History – Cartography at PBA Galleries on 12 July.

- Autographs & Memorabilia and The Library of Giancarlo Beltrame Part III and other Fine Antiquarian Books at Chiswick Auctions on 12 July.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Paula Reed Ward has a long report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about recently unsealed court documents in relation to thefts from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Definitely one to keep watching, given the serious implications hinted at in the report.

- Roland Arkell writes for Antiques Trade Gazette about the recent round of Aristophil auctions, highlighting particularly pre-emptions taken by several French institutions.

- July's Rare Book Monthly articles include Michael Stillman's report on the return of the Vatican Columbus Letter, Susan Halas on bibliomania, and Bruce McKinney writing about John R. Payne's Great Catalogues by Master Booksellers.

- The July Crocodile mystery post is up at The Collation.

- On the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Networks of Knowledge: Insular manuscripts and digital potential."

- Ian Kahn highlights a recent—and most wonderful—book placement he was able to help make: finding a new home for a full set of Doves Press publications.

- From Aaron Pratt, "The Trouble with Translation (w/Errata)."


- Victoria Johnson's American Eden; review by Marta McDowell in the NYTimes.

Upcoming Auction - may just be one this week, but it's a big one!

- Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts and Continental and Russian Books at Sotheby's London on 3 July.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Links & Reviews

- Over at JHIBlog, Fiore Sireci on "Reading (with) Wollstonecraft."

- Brittney Washington writes for The Collation on "A Pamphlet War in England, 1641–1643."

- Also on The Collation, Sarah Lindenbaum reports on her recent identification of two more Frances Wolfreston books in the Folger's collections.

- On the LARB blog, Andy Fitch interviews Amaranth Borsuk about her new book The Book, published as part of the MIT Press "Essential Knowledge" series.

- The University of Southern Maine has formally received the map collection of Harold Osher.

- "Pressing On: The Letterpress Film" was released on DVD/streaming this week.

- In the CHE, Geoffrey Pullum on "Strunk at 100: A Centennial Not to Celebrate."

- Barbara Basbanes Richter writes for the FB&C blog about a 4 July 1776 document currently up for sale.

- The Plantin-Moretus Museum and Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library have announced a new scholarly fellowship program to support research in the early printed books in Antwerp.

- A collection of rare agricultural books known as the Rothamsted Collection will be sold at auction next month.

- Pradeep Sebastian writes about book-heist movies for The Hindu.


- Jean-Louis Brunaux's Vercingétorix; review by Peter Thonemann in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- Books and Decorative Prints at Dorotheum on 27 June.

- Libros Antiguos y Contemporáneos de la Colección de un Bibliófilo at Morton Subastas on 27 June.

- Art & Illustration, with Asian & Asian-American Material at PBA Galleries on 28 June.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Links & Reviews

- An obituary for Bill Reese ran in the 15 June NYTimes. The Beinecke Library has also posted a tribute page, as well as a podcast of Bill talking about Audubon's Birds of America which I recommend most highly.

- The Portland Audubon sold at Christie's on Thursday for $9.65 million, the second-highest auction price for a copy of Birds of America.

- In other Audubon news, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported this week that the copy of Birds of America owned by the city's Carnegie Museum of Natural History was sold last fall to a California buyer for $6 million. The sale was facilitated by ... Bill Reese.

- Elizabeth Povoledo reports for the NYTimes on the return to the Vatican of a stolen Columbus Letter. See also the press release from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware. This is the third such restitution in two years (and the second this month).

- The ABAA has posted a "Missing in Transit" notice for a number of autograph letters and a book from Stalin's library.

- The Petau Book of Hours sold at Drouot on Saturday for the equivalent of $5 million.

- Jessica Lester Hester writes for Atlas Obscura on the use of manuscript and printed waste in bookbindings.

- As the film about the 2004 Transylvania University special collections theft arrives in theaters, BJ Gooch, the librarian the thieves assaulted, has spoken about her experience to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

- If you can, be sure to stop by the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at UVA to see the new exhibition "Eminent Miniatures."

- Another week, another Voynich Manuscript theory.

- Alex Johnson writes for the Independent about the library brought along on Scott's Discovery expedition from 1901–1904.

- Really enjoyed the news that the Massachusetts Historical Society has installed a "little free library" on the front steps.

- New from the AAS, an illustrated inventory of the Society's collection of ribbon badges.

- From Caroline Duroselle-Melish at The Collation, "Engraved to Sell."

- David McKitterick has a short post on the Cambridge University Press blog about his new book The Invention of Rare Books.

- Fleur Macdonald reports for the BBC on the ongoing analysis of the manuscripts in the library of St. Catherine's monastery in the Sinai.

- Corey Kilgannon profiles Carolyn Waters, head librarian at the New York Society Library.


- Giorgio van Straten's In Search of Lost Books; review by Alberto Manguel in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- Five Aristophil sales this week: Beaux-arts, œuvres et correspondances (4) at Aguttes on 18 June; Littérature, écrivains et poètes du XIXe-XXe (5) at Drouot on 19 June; Littérature, écrivains et poètes du XIXe-XXe (6) at Aguttes on 19 June; Musique, de Jean-Sébastien Bach à Boulez (7) at Ader on 20 June; Musique, de Lully à Stravinsky (8) at Aguttes on 20 June.

- Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs at Lyon & Turnbull on 19 June.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts, Atlases & Historical Photographs at Bonhams London on 20 June.

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 20 June.

- Autographed Documents, Manuscripts, Books & Relics at University Archives on 20 June.

- Revolutionary & Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III at Swann Galleries on 21 June.

- Modern Literature & First Editions at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 21 June.