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.