Saturday, December 21, 2019

Links & News

- Kurt Zimmerman found some excellent biblio-association items recently, which he recounts in "Miss Stillwell and F. Richmond: The Recording of Incunabula in America."

- Pierre de Coubertin's "Olympic Manifesto" manuscript sold for $8,806,500 this week, setting a new auction record for sports memorabilia. The buyer has not been announced.

- The copy of Audubon's Birds of America, also at Sotheby's this week, sold for $6,642,400. Barron's reports that the buyer was Graham Arader.

- Over on the Fine Books Blog, Barbara Basbanes Richter on "Books in Movies: Binding for Little Women."

- From Freya Parr in the Guardian, "Browsing the dream" about spending a week managing The Open Book in Wigtown, Scotland.

- The Vatican Library has launched Thematic Pathways on the Web, offering annotations and narratives for manuscripts from their collections.

- Mills College will sell their copy of the Shakespeare First Folio and a Mozart music manuscript to support college functions.

- Jeffrey William Grande has been charged with the trafficking of stolen property after he sold four rare books to a Scottsdale, AZ rare book shop. The books had been stolen from the home of an acquaintance. Grande will appear in court on 13 January.

- From Peter Kidd at Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "The Brölemann 'Catalogue A' has Resurfaced," noting the upcoming sale at auction of an important manuscript catalogue of the Brölemann collection (also I begin to suspect the auctioneer's estimate may be a tad under on this one).

- The AP reports on the ongoing sales at Heritage Auctions of Jim Davis' "Garfield" cartoons.

- Rebecca Rego Barry reviews the exhibition of Lisa Baskin's collection now on display at the Grolier Club, "Five Hundred Years of Women's Work."

- There's a new "missing in transit" notice from the ABAA.

- From the Washington State University "Insider," "Searching for La Belle Dame."

- In the HRC Magazine, "The Conservation Behind the Blaeu World Map."

- I was very sorry to hear of the death of bookseller Dan Siegel of M&S Rare Books on 18 December. Obituary. I can't say it any better than Garrett Scott did on Twitter: "I offer the highest praise for a bookselling colleague that I could imagine: He had a great eye for interesting material."

A quiet week in the salerooms coming up. Happy holidays, all! May your stockings be full of good books.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Links, Reviews & Auctions

Wednesday afternoon will see many of us paying close attention to the sale of an excellent, complete copy of Audubon's Birds of America at Sotheby's New York. The set is an early subscriber's copy, belonging to the Yorkshire Philosophical Society from publication until its sale at Sotheby's London in December 1946. Bookseller Charles Traylen purchased the set and sold it in turn to Joseph Verner Reed, Sr. of Greenwich, CT. In 1973 the Birds were bequeathed to Deerfield Academy, which sold them privately in 1985. Five years later the set sold again at Sotheby's London for £1,760,000 to the current consignor. Considering where prices have been recently, and the excellence of this set, the current estimate of $6–8 million seems a good benchmark. See also Selby Kiffer's "John James Audubon & The Double Elephant Folio."

- There are a few good book sales out there that may be of interest to some of you: at Johns Hopkins University Press, everything is 40% off with free media mail shipping using code HHOL; at the University of Massachusetts Press, paperbacks are 30% off with free shipping using code S754; at the University of North Carolina Press, all books are 40% off with free shipping above $75 using code 01HOLIDAY; at Harvard University Press, get 30% off all books using code HOLIDAY19. There are quite a few relevant books about books and book history at each, so ... have fun!

- Over on the Princeton Graphic Arts Collection blog, a look at a priced and annotated 1818 auction catalog of prints.

- The ABAA put out a theft alert for an inscribed copy of Churchill's My Early Life from an auction house in Derbyshire.

- The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Garden has received a gift to establish the Shapiro Center for American History and Culture, which will include programming, fellowships, a book prize, and more.

- Applications for the Justin Winsor Library History Essay Award are now available; submissions are due by 20 February 2020.

- From UVA, "The Old Card Catalog: Collaborative Effort Will Preserve Its History." Huge respect to all concerned with this great project.

- Jennifer Howard writes in a recent issue of Humanities on "The Complicated Role of the Modern Public Library."

- Over at Atlas Obscura, Sabrina Imbler on "How the Library of Congress Unrolled a 2,000-year-old Buddhist Scroll."

- From Randi Ragsdale for the HRC, "The Science Behind the Blaeu World Map."

- On the Cambridge University Library Special Collections blog, "The Polonsky Foundation Greek Manuscript Project: The Conservators' Challenge, Part I."

- The ABAA has launched a mentorship program that will match established antiquarian booksellers with those new to the trade.

- Penn has posted a finding guide to their collection of objects useful in teaching book history and material texts courses. I love this idea, and hope to be able to adapt it soon!


- Janine Barchas' The Lost Books of Jane Austen; review by John Mullan in the Guardian.

- Nicolas Barker's At First, All Went Well ... & Other Brief Lives and The Pirie Library; review by Rebecca Rego Barry on the Fine Books Blog.


- Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books at Swann Galleries on 17 December.

- History of Science and Technology at Sotheby's New York on 17 December.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including the Olympic Manifesto at Sotheby's New York on 18 December.

- John James Audubon's The Birds of America at Sotheby's New York on 18 December.

- Americana – Custeriana – Travel & Exploration – Cartography at PBA Galleries on 19 December.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Links & Auctions

- The December Sammelband post is Kate Ozment's "Teaching with Enumerative Bibliography."

- From Frankie Chappell on the Royal Society's blog, "The great plaintain debate."

- Over on the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Medieval bookbindings: from precious gems to sealskin."

- Peter Kidd has begun a series of posts on "The Manuscripts of T. O. Weigel," beginning with an examination of the catalogs of the collection.

- In the Irish Times, an exciting update on the effort to virtually recreate the records destroyed in the 1922 fire of the Public Records Office.

- The second Type Punch Matrix catalog, "Classics Pulped," is out and makes for absolutely excellent reading.

- From Christie's, "5 minutes with ... the Ireland Shakespeare Forgeries."

- Johns Hopkins University has acquired a copy of John Addington Symonds' A Problem in Greek Ethics; this is just the sixth known surviving copy of the first edition (of a total run of ten copies). See also the bookseller's description of this important volume.

- Mike Kelly is profiled in the Amherst student newspaper "Staff Spotlight."

Upcoming Auctions

- Illustration Art at Swann Galleries on 10 December.

- Max & Béatrice Cointreau Library at Artcurial on 10 December.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions (online) on 10 December.

- Rare Books & Literature at Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers on 10 December.

- English Literature, History, Children's Books & Illustrations (online) at Sotheby's ends on 10 December.

- Ansel Adams and the American West: Photographs from the Center for Creative Photography at Christie's New York on 10 December.

- Important Books, Atlases, Globes & Scientific Instruments from the Collection of Nico and Nanni Israel at Christie's London on 11 December.

- Shakespeare and Goethe: Masterpieces of European Literature from the Schøyen Collection at Christie's London on 11 December.

- Valuable Printed Books & Manuscripts at Christie's London on 11 December.

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 11 December.

- Modern Literature & First Editions, Children's, Private Press & Illustrated Books at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 12 December.

- Livres Anciens–XXe Siècle at ALDE on 12 December.

- Éditions Originales du XIXe au XXIe Siècle at ALDE on 12 December.

- Livres Anciens & Modernes at Pierre Bergé on 13 December.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Links & Auctions

Okay: lots to pass along, sorry for the long delays with some of it!

- The Brontë Society successfully acquired the Charlotte Brontë "little book" offered at auction on 18 November. More from the NYTimes.

- Leadership of the Egypt Exploration Society provided a statement at the society's general meeting indicating that at least 120 papyrus fragments have been identified as missing and that the EES is working with Oxford University and the police to investigate. More from the ARCA blog

- Sarah Werner's has posted a couple excellent installments of her newsletter, Early Printed Fun: "Too Many 12mos" and "p's and q's."

- The director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum was fired in September after he loaned a manuscript copy of the Gettysburg Address to Glenn Beck's Mercury One "museum."

- Annalisa Quinn writes for the NYTimes on the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae (T.L.L.). 

- There's an update on the Georgian Papers Programme from the Omohundro Institute.

- The Fall issue of the AAS Almanac is now available.

- From the Cambridge University Special Collections blog "The Polonsky Foundation Greek Manuscripts Project: Apart, together ...," about how catalogers work with fragments.

- Applications for the 2020 Mark Samuels Lasner Fellowship in Printing History are due to APHA by 5 December.

- New in Heritage Science, "Poisonous Books," a deep analysis of four bindings containing arsenic-filled paint.

- John-Mark Philo writes in the TLS on the recent identification of Elizabeth I as the translator of a Tacitus manuscript in Lambeth Palace Library.

- The Harry Ransom Center is hosting what looks like a great seminar this summer: "The Long Lives of Early Printed Books" (16–18 July). Applications are due before 15 February.

- Over at Early Modern Female Book Ownership, Ann Lake's copy of Richard Sibbes' The Soules Conflict (now at the Folger).

- The NYPL has acquired a collection of more than 150 Virginia Woolf-related items.

- A research team at Carnegie Mellon University has identified the printers of Milton's Areopagitica.

- The New Yorker "Double Take" column offered up a few of the magazine's pieces about forgeries and hoaxes.

- At Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "Psalter Cuttings at Princeton and Yale, II."

- James Cummins Bookseller is looking for a bookseller/cataloger.

- The Huntington Library has acquired at auction two major collections related to American slavery and abolition.

- The American Trust for the British Library and Houghton Library have announced a new joint fellowship program.

- On the APHA blog, "Ands & Ampersands."

- Stephen Grant has the second part of "Henry Clay Folger's Deltiological Profile" at The Collation.

- On the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Classics lost and found."

- At The Collation, Kathryn Vomero Santos on "A Dictionary for Don Quixote" and Elizabeth DeBold on "Stuff in Books: A Conundrum."

- The Oddest Book Title prize for 2019 has been announced.

- Vanessa Knight writes for the Royal Society's blog on "The Collector Earl" (Thomas Howard).

Upcoming Auctions

- Aristophil 28: Germanica at Aguttes on 4 December.

- History of Science and Technology at Bonhams New York on 4 December.

- Relics, Autographs, Photos & Ephemera at University Archives on 4 December.

- Fine Literature, Featuring Two Private Collections at Bonhams New York on 5 December.

- Fine Literature – Bukowski & the Beats at PBA Galleries on 5 December.

- The Collection of James Kwis Leonard at Heritage Auctions on 5 December.

- Maps and Atlases at Forum Auctions (online) on 6 December.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Status Update

Just a quick holding post. The move is made, the books have arrived, and I am unpacking. It will surprise absolutely no one to know that having piles of boxes all over my house makes me antsy, so I'm going to hold off for this weekend on catching up with links and reviews so that I can focus on getting books on shelves. But I've got a long list of saved things to share, and I will be back with them again very soon!

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Links & Reviews

Don't forget, coming up soon is the wonderful Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, and of course the "shadow show" on Saturday, 16 November, the Boston Book, Print and Ephemera Show. I'm also much looking forward to seeing the current Boston Athenaeum exhibition. I don't know that I'll get another post in here before I head up north, so there may be a period of radio silence here until I get through the next few weeks.

- From Jessica Terekhov at Notabilia, "Book Nooks and Collectors' Corners at Princeton."

- Over on the Royal Society's Repository blog, Ellen Embleton on Charles Piazzi Smith's scrapbook of an 1858 scientific expedition to Tenerife.

- At Res Obscura, "Enlightenment-era Ghosts and the History of Technology."

- The sixth volume of essays from Public Domain Review is coming soon.

- At Sammelband this month, Cait Coker on "Finding Women in the Historical Record."

- Yale News highlights a new exhibit at Sterling Library, "From East to West: The History of the Chinese Collection at Yale, 1849–2019."


- Alan Taylor's Jefferson's Education; review by Drew Gilpin Faust in the WaPo.

- Eric Foner's The Second Founding; review by John Fabian Witt in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- Manuscripts, Rare Books & Apollo Related Items at University Archives on 5 November.

- Library of a Midwestern Collector at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on 5 November.

- Printed Books, Maps & Prints at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 6 November.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including Americana at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on 6 November.

- On the Shoulders of Giants: A Brief History of Big Ideas at Christie's (online); ends on 7 November.

- Art & Illustration – Fine Books at PBA Galleries on 7 November.

- Collection Geneviève & Jean-Paul Kahn at Pierre Bergé on 7 November.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Links & Reviews

- Over on the ARCA blog, "The Gospel Truth? How the laundering of papyri washes away its provenance sins."

- A great Book of Common Prayer over on Early Modern Female Book Ownership this week.

- Video from the recent Grolier Club/CODEX Foundation symposium is now available.

- Christine Jacobson is in the "Bright Young Librarians" spotlight this week.

- The Brontë Parsonage Museum has launched a fundraising appeal to purchase one of Charlotte Brontë's "little books" (the fifth "Young Men's Magazine") at auction in Paris on 18 November (part of the Aristophil liquidation).

- From Cambridge University Special Collections, Jill Whitelock on "M. R. James and the ghosts of the old University Library."

- Alison Flood reports on Stuart Kells' forthcoming book about Shakespeare's library for the Guardian.

- From the BL, "John Bagford, bibliophile or biblioclast?"

- More from Peter Kidd on that manuscript Bible noted last week.

- John Overholt was profiled in the Harvard Crimson.


- Erin Morgenstern's The Starless Sea; review by Lyndsay Faye in the NYTimes.

- Patrick Mauriès' Cabinets of Curiosities; review by Reagan Upshaw in the WaPo.

- Jon Clinch's Marley; review by Ron Charles in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- Topographical Pictures including Selections from the Kelton Collection at Christie's London on 29 October.

- The Sporting Sale at Bonhams Edinburgh on 31 October.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions (online) on 31 October.

- Lincoln and His Times Americana & Political Signature Auction at Heritage Auctions on 2 November.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Links & Reviews

Well it's been quite a rollercoaster, these last few weeks. And things are going to continue to be a bit tumultuous for the next month-and-a-bit, so please pardon any lengthy radio silences that may result. I am delighted to say that in early December I will undertake a new adventure as a Special Collections Librarian at Binghamton University, so I'm in the midst now of packing and preparing for my move home to upstate New York. I'm very much looking forward to being at Binghamton, being closer to my family, and having snowy winters again!

Of course this change also means I'm trying to get things as buttoned up as possible for my successor at Rare Book School before I finish up there just before Thanksgiving. I'm glad to be able to have this year's Boston Antiquarian Book Fair as my sort of "last hurrah" at the RBS table, and look forward to seeing many of you there. This will, I realized the other day, be the fifteenth consecutive Boston fair I've attended ... with many more to come, I hope!

I'm sure I've missed a great deal of biblio-news over the last little while, so please don't hesitate to let me know what I haven't included here and I'll be sure to include it next time.

- ILAB has prepared a summary of its understanding of how new (and utterly ridiculous) tariffs will impact the book trade.

- Swann Galleries have posted a short video highlighting their history as an auction house for books and manuscripts.

- Two excellent writers and biblio-humans have launched newsletters that I've signed up for: Jen Howard and Sarah Werner.

- The owners of the Strand are planning to sue New York's Landmarks Preservation Commission over the agency's designation of the bookshop as a historic building.

- Stephen Grant has Part I of Henry Clay Folger's Deltiological Profile over at The Collation.

- A great story of biblio-kindness (and a fabulous association copy) from Kurt Zimmerman over at American Book Collecting.

- A book on rifles signed by John Wilkes Booth goes to auction this week.

- The story about Dirk Obbink and the sale of biblical papyrus fragments to Hobby Lobby has advanced a great deal recently. From the ARCA blog, "A Scandal of Biblical Proportions" and a followup post containing among other things a statement from Obbink. Katie Shepherd covers the story for the WaPo. See also the EES statement.

- The Chesapeake and Northern California Chapters of APHA have produced collaborative 2020 calendars for your time-keeping and typographical enjoyment.

- From Eric White at Notabilia, "Two 16th-Century Cambridge Bindings by Garrett Godfrey."

- Zoe Abrams has posted a version of her February 2019 Philobiblon Club talk, "What's New in Antiquarian Bookselling?"

- Over at Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, two posts on the Patou Bible in the collections of the Free Library of Philadelphia: Part One, Part Two.

- The course lineup and registration are now available for the 2020 Australasian Rare Books Summer School (Sydney, 3–7 February 2020).

- Christiane Gruber writes for Prospect about the continuing breakup of Islamic manuscripts for the art market. A very important piece.

- "60 Minutes" will air a segment tonight on the theft and forgery of copies of the Columbus Letter.

- Over at LitHub, "The Role of Librarians in a Historical Age of Obsession," by Mark Purcell.

- The Morgan Library & Museum has acquired Jayne Wrightsman's exceptional collection of French manuscripts and fine bindings.

- Yale has, for reasons entirely passing understanding, stopped funding for the excellent Native Northeast Research Collaborative.

- From Unbound, a look at the work being done at the Smithsonian Libraries' book conservation lab to save Caribbean materials damaged during Hurricanes Maria and Irma.


- D.W. Young's new film "The Booksellers"; review by Owen Glieberman in Variety.

Upcoming Auctions

- Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including the Dodge Family Autograph Collection, Natural History, Travel and Americana at Bonhams New York on 23 October.

- Historical Manuscripts Featuring the Bret J. Formichi American Civil War Rarities Collection at Heritage on 23 October.

- Americana – Yosemite – Travel & Exploration – World History – Cartography at PBA Galleries on 24 October.

- Early Printed, Travel, Scientific & Medical Books at Swann Galleries on 24 October.

- Estate of John and Elaine Steinbeck Manuscripts at Heritage on 24 October.

- Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana at Christie's New York on 25 October.

- The George F. Kolbe Library at Kolbe & Fanning on 26 October.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Farewell, Grams

Ten years ago I said goodbye here to my grandfather, Jerry Brooks. It is with great sadness that I must do so now to his wife of more than fifty-two years, my Grams, Lena Jane Savory Brooks. The only things assuaging that sadness are that I know that she's no longer in pain, and that they are together again. She missed him terribly.

"Front and center on the double!" That sentence, delivered at great volume if need be, would bring us kids back to the house from wherever we'd gone off to, and quick. She was a constant presence in my life from the very beginning, and her home was always the center of our family's life. Holidays, weekends, summers, afternoons, snowy days, were likely to find some or all of us there: sledding down the hill across the road from the house; swimming in the pool in the backyard; using every couch cushion, blanket, and clothespin in the house to build elaborate forts taking up half the first floor; mucking about in the barnyard or the haymow or down by the creek. Countless ears of corn were cut off the cob for freezing, hundreds of dozens of Christmas cookies were made for the family and to be delivered round to the neighbors, and many oh many an Easter egg gained its color on her kitchen table. What stories that beautiful old table could tell. She could never quite get through her pre-holiday-dinner prayer ("Be present at our table, Lord / Be here and everywhere adored / Thy creatures bless and grant that we / May feast in paradise with thee. Bless this food to our use, and to His service. Amen") without a tear, and usually I couldn't either. One Thanksgiving right before we were supposed to eat, the electricity went off. Didn't stop us: we got out all the old oil lamps and some candles and kept right on going (thankfully the turkey was out of the oven).

After a brief stint as an FBI secretary in the 1950s (as the story goes, she and her sister threw a party, boys came, and they got fired!), she lived most of her life on the Brooks family farm, raising her kids and grandkids (and now great-grandkids), and sharing fully in the hard work of dairy farming. For many years she helped supervise elections at her polling station, and she would always leave in our mailbox on her way home a copy of the precinct results for me to run down and get in the morning (I caught the political bug early). She was long active at her church, and enjoyed being able to donate blood to the Red Cross when she could; I remember once sitting and waiting with her for a long while because her blood pressure was too high when we first got there, and instead of just giving up and going home, we sat and rested until it was low enough to make the donation.

She loved animals, from her many canine companions to the occasional cat, to orphaned lambs or wildlife she raised (I found in one of her diaries the other day an entry from when I was about two: "Jeremy and I found a baby woodchuck - gonna keep him!"). She felt sure that the family of a robin she once rescued came back and nested every year in her yard, and I've no doubt they did. She called me frequently to update me on the birds in her yard, at her feeder, or in her birdhouses, and I would call when I saw red-winged blackbirds or tree swallows or bluebirds in the spring to let her know that they were on their way back to her.

Grams was also the family medical advisor (though we generally left the tooth-pulling to Gramp). When I sledded into a burdock and got a bit in my eye, she just tossed me up on the kitchen table and pulled it out with tweezers. Her preferred medicine for just about anything that ailed you was a dab of Balsam of Myrrh, which stung like hell. Most of us considered that worse that whatever injury we'd acquired - I once caught my back going under a barbed wire fence and my cousin and spent a long while trying to hide the injury from her just to avoid the Balsam of Myrrh (she eventually saw the blood coming through my shirt and administered the treatment). Of course, Balsam of Myrrh works like a charm; none of us ever denied that, but boy did we try to avoid it. Whenever I was sick or had some ailment or another, she would call nearly every day to check and see how it was.

Occasionally (though not as often as we'd have liked) we could get her to play either her piano or her organ. "Redwing" was a perennial favorite, along with some hymns and Christmas carols. As we sat with Grams in the hospital on Thursday night, my aunt pulled up an audio file of "Redwing" on her phone and we played it for her; I've had the tune in my head since, and I'm perfectly happy to have it stay there awhile. We always got cheery renditions of "Happy Birthday" on the phone every year, and I will miss that terribly next January. When you were traveling, she wanted to be called when you got wherever you were going safely: I walked into the house tonight and totally lost it for a minute when I realized that my first thought had been that I needed to call her and let her know I was home, but not right then because "Wheel of Fortune" would be on.

I was able to make two visits home during her final illness over the last month, and got to hold her hand for much of Thursday, for which I will be forever grateful. She died as she lived, with her family at her side. On Friday, an absolutely pristine day, we had a pizza picnic and picked some of the delicious apples from the tree in her backyard, and all sat around telling stories of Gramp and Grams. They'd both have loved having us all there with them on such a beautiful fall day, enjoying the view down the flat and the colors on the hillside.

It's going to be hard without her. We will muddle through, I suppose, but it won't be the same. Love you Grams, always always.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Links & Auctions

- The University of Edinburgh's fundraising campaign to keep the Charles Lyell notebooks in the UK has been successful!

- In similar news, the judge's copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover, also made subject to an export bar, has been acquired by Bristol University after a successful fundraising effort.

- A new film about antiquarian bookselling, The Booksellers, will debut tomorrow at the New York Film Festival. More from LitHub.

- Beverly Rogers, who recently established a $5 million endowment for the rare books and special collections program at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, talked to UNLV news about some of the favorite books in her collection.

- Nicola Davis writes for the Guardian on some of the recent advances made in the painstaking process being deployed in an attempt to "read" the Herculaneum scrolls.

- October's Rare Book Monthly articles include a Susan Halas interview with bookseller Simon Beattie and Michael Stillman on "Collections Moving On, But Where To?"

- Princeton's exhibition Gutenberg & After includes a number of important and interesting online components.

- The HRC's permanent exhibition of the Niépce Heliograph has been updated with new introductory material, &c.

- Commonplace has relaunched at a new URL,

- Over at Sammelband, "Teaching in the Maker Studio."

- The ABAA passed along an alert for two seventeenth-century titles missing from a San Francisco building lobby.

- From Janalyn Martinez for the Grolier Club, "A Noble Fragment."

Upcoming Auctions

- Livres Rares et Manuscrits at Christie's Paris on 7 October.

- Rare Books, Maps, Manuscripts & Photography at Lyon & Turnbull on 9 October.

- Books and Documents of the History of Mexico at Morton Subastas on 9 October.

- Fine Literature at PBA Galleries on 10 October.

- Fine Books & Manuscripts at Swann Galleries on 10 October.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Links & Auctions

- More coverage of the Milton's Shakespeare discovery from the Guardian, the WaPo, the NYTimes, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Claire Bourne has a roundup of this and other media coverage on her blog, too, and FLP curator Caitlin Goodman offers a necessary corrective to (some of the) media coverage and notes that the First Folio at FLP has hardly "languished in obscurity."

- Over at Echoes from the Vault, "Mackintosh and Glengarry –  A Highland Provenance Adventure."

- At Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, Peter Kidd explores the manuscripts shown in the 1986 movie adaptation of "The Name of the Rose," and already has supplied some additional material.

- Oak Knoll is having a 50%-off sale on low-quantity titles from their backlist.

- Emily Perdue writes for the Cambridge University Special Collections blog about "A Surprising Find Among a Librarian's Letters."

- The BBC reported on the return of a curate's notebook to a New Forest church.

- A team from the University of Birmingham is seeking crowdsourced transcription help with the Estoria de Espanna, the first vernacular history of Spain.

- More too on the recent identification of a John Locke manuscript from the WaPo and the Guardian.

Upcoming Auctions

- Charles Dickens: The Lawrence Drizen Collection at Sotheby's London on 24 September.

- Books & Works on Paper at Chiswick Auctions on 25 September.

- Editions and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 25 September.

- Rare Golf Books, Art, and Memorabilia at PBA Galleries on 26 September.

- Printed & Manuscript Americana at Swann Galleries on 26 September.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 26 September.

- Fall Auction at Arader Galleries on 28 September.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Links & Auctions

Another really excellent Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair last weekend! Up next are Rare Books LAX (5–6 October) and the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair (12–13 October), but my next fair will be Boston (15–17 November).

- From Sean Redmond for the NYPL blog, an important and useful post: "Historical Copyright Records and Transparency." See also Karl Bode's post for Vice about this project.

- Jason Scott-Warren proposes on the Cambridge Centre for Material Texts blog that the Free Library Philadelphia's copy of Shakespeare's First Folio may contain manuscript annotations by John Milton. He draws on recent analysis of the annotations by Claire M.L. Bourne in her article "Vide Supplementum: Early Modern Collation as Play-Reading in the First Folio," in Early Modern English Marginalia (Routledge, 2019). Claire has posted on this now, in "With(out) Milton: Dating the Annotations in the Free Library of Philadelphia's First Folio."

- The winners of the 2019 Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize have been announced, and they are typically impressive. Well done to all!

- Opening this week at the Boston Athenaeum, "Required Reading: Reimagining a Colonial Library."

- In the LA Review of Books, Seth Perlow asks "Who Gets Emily Dickinson?"

- The Junto has a Q&A with Joseph Adelman about his recent book Revolutionary Networks.

- Over at Echoes from the Vault, "Collecting, Curating, Assembling: New Approaches to the Archive in the Middle Ages."

- Rich Rennicks highlights Ben Kinmont's Antinomian Press on the ABAA blog.

- Rebecca Rego Barry notes on the FB&C blog that a funding drive is ongoing to keep a collection of Charles Lyell notebooks in the UK. More than £200,000 must still be raised before 15 October.

- From Stephen Grant at The Collation, "Emily Jordan Folger's Deltiological Profile."

- RBM is looking for a reviews editor: applications are due before 30 November.


- Joseph Adelman's Revolutionary Networks; review by Jordan E. Taylor at The Junto.

Upcoming Auctions

- The Air and Space Sale at Bonhams New York on 17 September.

- Cartography – Americana – Exploration – Voyages: The Warren Heckrotte and Margaret Gee Collection (with additions) at PBA Galleries on 19 September.

- The Collection of Victor Niederhoffer: Books and Autographs and Books, Maps & Manuscripts at Freeman's on 19 September.

- The David and Janice Frent Collection of Presidential & Political Americana, Part VI at Heritage Auctions on 21–22 September.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Links & Reviews

- Paula Reed Ward has an update on the legal wrangling in the case of thefts from Pittsburgh's Carnegie Library, which continues.

- Manuscript Road Trip goes to the lab this week, with "You Can't Argue with Science!"

- From Megan Constantinou for the Grolier Club blog, a note on an ownership inscription by the English Renaissance post Rachel Jevon in one of their books.

- Jim Hinck asks "Do Book Collectors Need Rules?" on the Vialibri blog.

- Laura Maiklem talks about her new book Mudlarking to Richard Lea for the Guardian.

- The ABAA passes along a theft report of books stolen from Roanoke, VA.

- The winners of the 2019 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest have been announced. Many congratulations to the winners!

- Roadtrippers visits the Book Club of California.

- Over on the BL Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Tweet, tweet," about avian debates in manuscripts.

- Alex Johnson offers some "Podcasts for Bibliophiles" on the FB&C blog - I would add Brattlecast and Behind the Bookshelves, at least. The latter had a great interview with Lisa Fagin Davis about the Voynich Manuscript recently which I recommend highly.


- Leah Price's What We Talk About When We Talk About Books; reviews by Jennifer Szalai in the NYTimes and Dan Chiasson in the New Yorker.

- Jon Day's Homing; review by Helen Macdonald in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- The Maurice Car Collection of Arts and Sciences Featuring Rare Books and Manuscripts at Heritage Auctions on 4 September.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions (online) on 5 September.

- Rare Books & Manuscripts at PBA Galleries on 5 September.

- Rare Books Signature Auction Featuring The Otto Penzler Collection of Mystery Fiction, Part II at Heritage Auctions on 5 September.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Links, Reviews & Auctions

- Don't forget to buy your tickets for the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair, 7–8 September. The preview (10 a.m.–noon on Saturday) benefits Rare Book School's Scholarship Fund.

- Lisa Fagin Davis writes about the fascination with the Voynich Manuscript in the Washington Post.

- AOTUS David Ferriero talked to the Washington City Paper about the National Archives' recent moves toward digital-only records.

- New from Oak Knoll Books, Frank Romano's History of Desktop Publishing (hardcover $75, paperback $37.50).

- "Note-worthy connections: antique shorthand in Carolingian books" over on the BL Medieval Manuscripts blog.

- On the LC Blog, a post about the recent conservation and digitization of the Gandhara Scroll. See also a longer version on their 4 Corners of the World Blog.


- Laura Maiklem's Mudlarking; review by Frances Wilson in the Guardian.

- Michael Dirda reviews recent books on books in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- Americana, Travel, Cartography, the Mexican War - with Material from the Warren Heckrotte Collection at PBA Galleries on 22 August.

- Advertising & Americana, the Collection of Mary Wells at Leland Little Auctions on 23 August.

- Historical Documents, Autographs & Books Including a Large Science Collection at University Archives on 28 August.

- Maps & Atlases at Forum Auctions (online) on 29 August.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Links & Auctions

- Less than a month now until the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair, which will feature more than 110 dealers this year plus a full weekend of exhibitions, seminars, &c. Very much looking forward to it!

- From the Swann Galleries blog, "What—exactly—is the Swann Shelf Sale?" (It's coming up on 22 August).

- Another "Missing in Transit" alert from the ABAA - if you can help, please do!

- Israel's national library has opened another tranche of Kafka's papers recently returned from Germany.

- Jamie Quatro writes for the New Yorker on "The Hidden Life of a Forgotten Sixteenth-Century Female Poet."

- A.N. Devers' The Second Shelf is highlighted in a piece by Mareesa Nicosia for Barron's.

Upcoming Auctions

- Angling & Miscellaneous Books from the Library of Arnold "Jake" Johnson (online) at Doyle New York, ending on 13 August.

- The Glynn and Suzanne Crain Science Fiction Collection at Heritage Auctions on 13–14 August.

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 14 August.

- Rare Books and Ephemera at Addison & Sarova on 17 August.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Links & Auctions

- From PRI's "The World," Rupa Shenoy reports on efforts to digitize records in Sierra Leone archives as part of the Mellon-funded Enslaved open data platform.

- New blog to watch: Print Not Print, focusing on "words and images in eighteenth century Dutch trompe l’oeil books.

- It's all about the birds and the bees over on the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog this week.

- The ABAA has issued a "lost in transit" report for an early Erasmus sammelband.

- Stuart Kells offers up his ideas for the "Top 10 Libraries in Fiction" for the Guardian.

Upcoming Auctions

- Vintage Posters at Swann Galleries on 7 August.

- Books and Works on Paper (online) at Forum Auctions on 8 August.

- Summer Miscellany – Golf Books at PBA Galleries on 8 August.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Links & Auctions

- The Ford Foundation, The J. Paul Getty Trust, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation formed a consortium to acquire the photo archive of the Johnson Publishing Company, including the Ebony and Jet archives. The collection will be donated to "Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Getty Research Institute, and other leading cultural institutions for the public benefit to ensure the broadest access for the general public and use by scholars, researchers, journalists, and other interested parties."

- New from Oak Knoll Press, Kevin Johnson's The Celluloid Paper Trail: Identification and Interpretation of Twentieth Century Film Scripts. There's a Q&A with Johnson on the Oak Knoll Biblio-Blog.

- Quaritch has published a collection of eighty obituaries written by Nicolas Barker, At First, All Went Well ... & Other Brief Lives.

- Over on the Smithsonian blog Unbound, Allie Alvis on "A Heavy Hoax: The 'Lying Stones' of Johann Beringer."

- Nick Wilding did a Reddit AMA this week to follow up the premiere of the PBS documentary "Galileo's Moon."

- The Folio Society is going to publish the Song of Ice and Fire series, starting with a two-volume illustrated edition of A Game of Thrones.

- Dot Porter has posted her recent talk "The Sacred Texts: Manuscripts in Star Wars and Star Wars Fanfiction."

- A manuscript fragment of Der Rosendorn found in the library of Melk Abbey has been dated to around 1300, moving the original composition of the poem back about two centuries.


- Tony Faber's Faber & Faber: The Untold Story; review by Jonathan Galassi in the New Yorker.


- Comics and Comic Art at Heritage Auctions on 1–3 August.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Links & Auctions

- From Rebecca Rego Barry in Lapham's Quarterly, "Rebuilding Jane Austen's Library," about a digital recreation of Austen's brother's library at Godmersham Park.

- The Salem News reports that the Massachusetts Attorney General is reviewing the Peabody Essex Museum's decision to move most of the Phillips Library collections to Rowley.

- Sean Moore talked to "New Books in History" about his Slavery and the Making of Early American Libraries.

- Lisa Fagin Davis writes on "Fragmentology in the Wild" over on Manuscript Road Trip, providing an update on efforts to digitally reconstruct manuscripts dismembered by Otto Ege. And there's more from Peter Kidd on the same topic, too.

- Over at American Book Collecting, "We Are Many."

- At Early Modern Female Book Ownership, Joanna Rozendaal on Dutch bibliophile Maria Elisabeth de Wale, whose library included more than 6,000 books when it was sold in 1755.

- The Apollo 11 Timeline Book failed to sell at Christie's this week, being brought in at $5 million.

- News this week that CABS will relocate to Minnesota beginning in 2020; will share more details as they are available.


- John Taliferro's Grinnell; review by Dennis Drabelle in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- A Mystic Collection: Early Books at Skinner, Inc. on 23 July (moved from 18 July).

- Printed Books, Documents, Maps & Caricatures at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 24 July.

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

- Art & Illustration – Fine Books at PBA Galleries on 25 July.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Links & Reviews

- New from Oxford University, the Living Libraries Podcast, "all about Oxford's libraries and the librarians who look after them."

- Powell's Books in Chicago has a great deal on John Bidwell's American Paper Mills, 1690–1832 at the moment: $23 (originally published at $150).

- Over at Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "Otto Ege's 'Chain of Psalms' Manuscript," and an update.

- Alicia Murphy posts on the AAS blog about Adeline Shepard Badger as part of their "Uncovering the Hidden Women of the AAS Catalog" series.

- The BL has acquired the Granta archive.

- The University of Liverpool is looking for two postdocs to work on the Libraries, Reading Communities and Cultural Formation in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic project (which sounds fascinating!).

- Elizabeth DeBold has a great Collation post, "'What's in a Name?' or, Going Sideways" on the vertical half-titles (or whatever they're called!) seen sometimes in seventeenth-century English books.

- From the BL medieval manuscripts blog, "Jerome and the lion."

- Michael Rosenwald has a story in the WaPo about William Safire's library, some of which is currently for sale via Washington's Capitol Hill Books.

- Another month, another proposed "solution" to the Voynich Manuscript.


- Ben Williams' The Lost Leonardo; review by John Williams in the NYTimes.

Upcoming Auctions

- One Giant Leap: Celebrating Space Exploration 50 Years after Apollo 11 at Christie's New York on 18 July.

- F.A. Hayek: The Remaining Archives (online) at Forum Auctions on 18 July.

- A Mystic Collection: Early Books at Skinner, Inc. on 20 July.

- The Estate of Philip Roth + Select Additions at Litchfield County Auctions on 20 July (several of Roth's typewriters, if that's your thing)

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Links & Reviews

- I highly recommend the "Galileo's Moon" episode of the PBS show "Secrets of the Dead," which premiered this week. It's currently available online and on the PBS app.

- New from Rebecca Romney and Brian Cassidy, Type Punch Matrix. See Rebecca's announcement.

- From the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Insular Manuscripts: Networks of Knowledge."

- Over on the Princeton Graphic Arts collection blog, "The Women of The Colophon."

- Amelia Hugill-Fontanel has a memorial post to Stephen O. Saxe on the APHA blog.

- Rachel Furnari is featured in the "Bright Young Booksellers" series on the Fine Books Blog.

- At Sammelband, Kate Ozment offers "Research Trips: A Beginner's Guide."

- Sabine Brix writes for the Australian site ArtsHub on book thefts.


- James Grant's Bagehot; review by Michael Dirda in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- English Literature, History, Children's Books and Illustrations at Sotheby's (online); ends 9 July.

- The Golden Age of Russian Literature: A Private European Collection and Important Scientific Books from the Collection of Peter and Margarethe Braune at Christie's London on 9 July.

- The History of Western Script: Important Antiquities and Manuscripts from the Schøyen Collection and Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts at Christie's London on 10 July.

- Selected 16th and 17th Century English Books from the Fox Pointe Manor Library at Forum Auctions on 10 July.

- Americana – Travel & Exploration – World History – Cartography at PBA Galleries on 11 July.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 11 July.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Links & Reviews

- Fifteen arrests were made this week in Romania and the UK in relation to the January 2017 theft of rare books from a shipping warehouse near London. The investigation also led to more than forty property searches in the UK, Romania, and Italy. None of the press releases or media reports I've found indicate whether any of the stolen books were recovered.

- A new episode of PBS' "Secrets of the Dead" focusing on the forged Sidereus Nuncius will premiere on Tuesday, 2 July at 8 p.m.

- The ABAA issued a "Missing Items Lost in Transit" alert for two manuscripts purchased at auction in July 2017 and subsequently gone missing in shipment.

- Over on the BL's Medieval Manscripts blog, "Noah's Ark and the Anglo-Saxons" and "Unexpected encounters of the fragmentary kind."

- Tim Barrett's work is featured in a recent issue of the Daily Iowan.

- The DPLA has issued a new strategic plan for 2019–22.

- The B.H. Breslauer Foundation has given $25,000 to further support the ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography, which will next be awarded in 2022.

- A major fracas is brewing over the sale of several early biblical manuscript fragments. Candida Moss has an overview for the Daily Beast, but see also the EES statement and the several posts from this week on Brent Nongbri's blog Variant Readings.

- At LitHub, M. Sophia Newman on early movable type in China and Korea.

- The National Library of Scotland has a new exhibition on the Scottish Enlightenment, which includes an excellent online component.

- A new Bodleian Library exhibition will feature maps from the library's collections.

- Allison Ebner and Ann Manser write for UD Daily about the recent "Black Bibliographia: Print/Culture/Art" symposium.

- Simon Beattie put together a good list of places to talk about rare books and the like on Facebook, if you're so inclined.


- Stuart Kells' The Library; review by Dennis Duncan in the Spectator.

- Jerry Kelly's Hermann Zapf and the World He Designed; review by Pradeep Sebastian in The Hindu.

Upcoming Auctions

- Bibliothèque Paul Destribats at Christie's Paris on 3–5 July.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions (online) on 3 July.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Links & Auctions

- A new Virtual Research Environment for the the Dutch Prize Papers has been released.

- Don Skemer has a checklist of Middle English manuscripts at Princeton.

- A long-missing volume of autobiographical writings by Alice Wandesford Thornton has been identified in the collections of Durham Cathedral.

- A Bible presented to Lincoln in 1864 and given by his widow to a Springfield minister in 1872 will soon go on display at the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum after being donated by descendants of the minister.

- From Siel Agugliaro on the Penn SCPC blog, "The 'Theatricals in Philadelphia' Scrapbooks: Or, How Yesterday's Old Stuff Became the Treasure Trove of Today."

- Another update on that dismembered Book of Hours over at Medieval Manuscripts Provenance.

- The BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog has an updated list of recently-digitized manuscripts.

- The presentation copy of Darwin's Origin sold at Bonhams last week for $500,075, setting a new auction record for the book.

- Over at the Princeton Graphic Arts blog, a post about Audubon's request of Havell to re-engrave several of the Lizars plates of his birds.

- Russ Davidson has donated his extensive collection of George Orwell to the University of New Mexico Libraries.

- In the LARB, the first chapter of Ilan Stavens' The Return of Carvajal: A Mystery, forthcoming in October from Penn State University Press. Looks like a book to watch for!

- Kurt Zimmerman has a second installment of his Book Hunter's Bibliocatechism.

Upcoming Auctions

- Dans la Bibliothèque de Jacques Attali at ALDE on 25 June.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts, Atlases & Historical Photographs at Bonhams London on 26 June.

- The Library & Picture Collection of the late Martin Woolf Orskey at Dominic Winter on 26 June.

- Autographed Documents, Manuscripts, Photos & Books at University Archives on 26 June.

- Books & Works on Paper at Chiswick Auctions on 27 June.

- Fine Literature with Mystery & Detective Fiction at PBA Galleries on 27 June.

- Livres & Manuscrits at Aguttes on 28 June.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Links & Reviews

- Many congratulations to Richard Ovenden, Bodley's Librarian, appointed OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for services to libraries and archives.

- At the MHS blog, Rakashi Chand writes about "Strawberry Fun at the MHS."

- Biblio hosted an interesting roundtable discussion at Firsts: London on "The Evolving State of Internet Bookselling" - audio and a transcript are now available.

- Over at Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "A Cryptic Book Label Identified."

- On the Royal Society's blog, "Cash in the archive," about early Chinese printed money in the Society's collections.

- Rebecca Rego Barry posts on the FB&C blog about the range of Whitman exhibitions this summer. I commented to somebody this week that collecting a poster for each of the various Whitman bicentennial exhibitions would make for a pretty interesting little project ...

- Videos from the Grolier Club's 1 June Whitman symposium are also now available on their Vimeo channel.

- New York's Strand Bookstore has been designated a historic landmark, over the objections of the owners.

- Michelle Light has been named director of the Special Collections Directorate at the Library of Congress.

- From the Princeton Graphic Arts blog, a new index to the job work of the Pynson Press (1922–40).

- Katie Wolf writes for the NYPL blog "An Introduction to Mass Digitization and the Brown Brothers Collection."

- From the University of Chicago Library News page, "Discovering Chicago's Rare Books with Elizabeth Frengel."

- The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry has been acquired by the University of Iowa.

- New from Kari Kraus and the UMD Booklab, GotSort, a Python script that will give you a character count for your letterpress printing project. Pretty nifty!


- Mark Purcell's The Country House Library; review by Jeremy Musson in The Art Newspaper.

Upcoming Auctions

- Livres Anciens et du XIXe Siècle at ALDE on 17 June.

- Travel & Sport in Africa from the Library of Arnold 'Jake' Johnson at Doyle (online), ending 18 June.

- Livres et Manuscrits at Sotheby's Paris on 18 June.

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

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents, Early Bibles & The Ladwell Collection of Fine Bird Books: Part II at Dominic Winter on 19 June.

- Modern Literature & First Editions, Children's, Fine Press & Illustrated Books at Dominic Winter on 20 June.

- The Pride Sale at Swann Galleries on 20 June.

- Books, Maps & Manuscripts at Freeman's on 20 June.