Sunday, May 26, 2019

Links & Reviews

- An Alexander Hamilton letter stolen from the Massachusetts Archives before 1950 is now in the custody of the FBI after an auction house employee charged with researching the provenance alerted the Massachusetts Archives and law enforcement. See coverage in the AP, NYTimesSmithsonian, and the WaPo.

- From Aaron Pratt on the HRC blog, "Gutenberg Misbound."

- The National Library of Israel has received a tranche of some 5,000 Max Brod documents from Germany. These had been stolen from the apartment of Brod's secretary, Esther Hoffe, about a decade ago.

- The judge's copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover, sold at auction last year, is now subject to a temporary export ban to allow a UK buyer to match the £56,250 price. English PEN has launched a crowdfunding effort, which has raised more than £18,000 as of this morning. 

- In The Yale Globalist, Alma Bitran on "The Voynich Manuscript: Finding Meaning in Meaninglessness." And in other—completely unsurprising—Voynich news, Bristol University is now walking (running?) back claims that a researcher based there had solved the mystery of the manuscript. See the Bristol University statement as well.

- A report in the Ithaca Journal reveals that National Book Auctions is the subject of a state attorney general's investigation, which has determined that the auction house defrauded at least 115 customers of sums totaling more than $1 million.

- Liz Broadwell writes for the Penn Rare Books blog about finding some Bohemian silver coins tucked into a numismatic treatise!

- Over on the New Zealand National Library blog, Simon Grigg writes about the process of digitizing the music magazine Rip It Up.

- A manuscript diary documenting the last days of seventeenth-century Dutch statesman Johan van Oldenbarnevelt has turned up, nearly two centuries after it was last documented.

- At Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "A Dismembered Book of Hours Once Owned by Count Durrieu," "Another 'Spanish' Forger?" and "Another 'Spanish' Forger?: An Addendum."

- From Simon Newman at The Collation, "'Run away': a life in 78 words."

- On the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Cataloguing the Harley manuscripts."

- Abbie Weinberg offers a great book snakes primer at The Collation.

- Author Ian Rankin has donated his personal archive to the National Library of Scotland.


- Leo Damrosch's The Club; review by Jenny Uglow in the NYRB.

- Brenda Wineapple's The Impeachers; review by John Fabian Witt in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- Reliures Originales & Livres Illustrés Modernes at ALDE on 28 May.

- Rare Books & Works on Paper at Chiswick Auctions on 29 May.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 30 May.

- Fine Books & Manuscripts – Food & Drink at PBA Galleries on 30 May.

- Autographs & Memorabilia at Chiswick Auctions on 30 May.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Links & Reviews

- Two reports via the ABAA this week of boxes of books gone missing in shipment: medical books from Columbus, OH, and Japanese books from Salt Lake City. See the links for lists and descriptions of the missing books.

- Abbie Weinberg takes a close look at ligatures in Aldine type over at The Collation.

- Coming up on 3 June in London, "Toward Inclusive Bibliography," sponsored by The Bibliographical Society, the Bibliographical Society of America, and Maggs Bros.

- Johanna Drucker's recent talk at Smith College, "Alphabet Historiographies: A Study in Knowledge Production," is now available on YouTube.

- In the TLS, Michael Caines traces the history of a copy of the First Folio that will be on display at the Firsts book fair in London next month.

- New from the Library of Congress, the Chinese Rare Book Digital Collection, featuring scans about 1,000 rare Chinese books from before 1796.

- The LOC is also finishing up a four-year project to digitize rare material from the Persian-language collection.

- Alison Flood highlights a copy of David Copperfield read by members of the 1910 Scott expedition that is on display at London's Charles Dickens Museum as part of the exhibition Global Dickens: For Every Nation Upon Earth.


- John Boardley's Typographic Firsts; review by Simon Garfield in the Spectator.

- Bridge Collins' The Binding; review by Naomi Novik in the NYTimes.

- Ali Smith's Spring; reviews by Rebecca Makkai in the NYTimes and Ellen Akins in the WaPo.

- Brian Jay Jones' Becoming Dr. Seuss; review by David Silverberg in the WaPo.

Upcoming Auctions

- 19th & 20th Century Literature at Swann Galleries on 14 May.

- Historical Manuscripts at Heritage Auctions on 14 May.

- Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History at Sotheby's London on 14 May.

- Travel, Exploration & Natural History, Archaeology & Gastronomy at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 15 May.

- Declaration Signers, Autographs, Signed Books & Relics at University Archives on 15 May.

- Rare Golf Books and Memorabilia at PBA Galleries on 16 May.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts (online) at Skinner, Inc, ending on 16 May.

- Vintage Posters at Potter & Potter on 22 May.

- Graphic Design at Swann Galleries on 23 May.

- Books (online) at Bubb Kuyper, ending on 24 May.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Links & Reviews

It was a great pleasure to see so many friends (and so many good books) at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair last weekend. I even had the great treat of catching a glimpse of a manatee!

- A Geneva Bible stolen from the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh has been recovered; it had been purchased by the Leiden American Pilgrims Museum. More coverage from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Smithsonian. In not-unrelated news, Emily Hetzel, the wife of John Schulman, has launched Common Crow Books, according to a report in the Post-Gazette. At least as of time of writing, some items listed on the new website are also listed on an eBay account previously associated with Caliban Book Shop, "rarebookstore."

- Many, many congratulations to Vic Zoschak, Jr., whose Tavistock Books celebrated thirty years in business last month. Vic answered some questions about his time in the trade for Bruce McKinney in a Rare Book Monthly piece.

- From Rebecca Laroche for The Collation, "One page, four inscriptions, three households."

- Also over on The Collation, Caroline Duroselle-Melish on "The Location of Plates in a Book."

- Stephen O. Saxe, printing historian and APHA founder, died on 27 April, according to a short APHA post. An obituary is forthcoming.

- There is an obituary for Yorkshire bookseller George Ramsden in the Telegraph.

- The University of South Carolina has acquired a collection of more than 180,000 comic books from a collector in Ohio.


- Margaret Leslie Davis' The Lost Gutenberg; review by Meryl Gordon in the NYTimes.

- Michael Dirda revisits Robinson Crusoe on the 300th anniversary of its publication.

- Lucasta Miller's L.E.L.; review by Daisy Hay in the TLS.

Upcoming Auctions

- Prints & Multiples at Bonhams Los Angeles on 7 May.

- Fine Autographs and Artifacts at RR Auction, ending 8 May.

- Rare, Out-of-Print, and Used Books at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society on 10 May.