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.