Sunday, July 25, 2021

Links & Auctions

- Anne Bromley has a writeup of an extensive Mormon studies collection recently acquired by UVA.

- A digital version of the tenth-century Exeter Book is now available. 

- Over on the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Murder most foul in the Cotswolds" and "The lost miracles of Wulfsige of Evesham."

- Alicia Petersen writes for The Collation on "Decoding Early Modern Gossip."

- Scott Ellwood has a post on the Grolier Club blog on "Tuskegee's Printing Office."

- The French government has acquired the manuscript of the Marquis de Sade's 120 Days of Sodom for €4.55 million.

- A copy of Roger L'Estrange's edition of Seneca is featured on Early Modern Female Book Ownership, as is a 1676 Book of Common Prayer.

- Over on the JHI Blog, Alexandra Montgomery on "Imagining Nova Scotia: The Limits of an Eighteenth-Century Imperial Fantasy."

- At Books & Borrowing, "Robert Chambers' Circulating Library Borrowing Register, 1828–1829" and "In Memoriam William St Clair."

- Adam Dalva writes for the New Yorker, "On the Trail of a Mysterious, Pseudonymous Author."

- The St Andrews special collections blog has begun a four-part series highlighting the recent USTC conference on gender and the book trades.

- From the Princeton Graphic Arts Collection blog, a look at the largest Government Printing Office job undertaken in the nineteenth century.

- Peter Steinberg has a rundown of the Plath sale at Sotheby's.

Upcoming Auctions

- Early Printing, Americana, Science, Prints & Ephemera at New England Book Auctions on 27 July.

- Books, Maps & Manuscripts at Tennants Auctioneers on 28 July.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 29 July.

- Disneyana and Pop Culture at Potter & Potter Auctions on 30 July.

Saturday, July 03, 2021

Links, Reviews & Auctions

- More than 1,600 pieces of metal moveable type preliminarily dated to the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries have been found during an excavation in Seoul; the sorts contain both Chinese and Hangeul characters.

- One of Charles Carroll's copies of the Stone facsimile Declaration of Independence sold at Freeman's this week for $4.42 million, setting a new record for a Stone facsimile and for an American nineteenth-century printed document.

- Jesse R. Erickson and Sarah Werner have been announced as the new editors of PBSA. Congratulations and best wishes to the new team!

- Over at Books and Borrowing, "Return from Orkney," by Katie Halsey about her trip to Orkney to photograph early library records.

- The Royal Horticultural Society is seeking help finding more information about an Isabella A. Allen who annotated a copy of The English Flora (1830).

- From the Mondays at Beinecke video series available on YouTube, Kristen Herdman on "Ethiopic Manuscripts and Global Books."

- Among the Rare Book Monthly articles for July, Michael Stillman's report on the sale of the Hofmann forged Oath of a Freeman, and Bruce McKinney on "Shifting Gears." And Susan Halas has an update on how Sotheran's has fared during Pandemic Times.

- Scott Ellwood writes for the Grolier Club blog on "Sir Thomas Phillipps's Earliest Catalogue."

- The UK government has placed a temporary export ban on two volumes of process drawings, watercolors, and proofs by John and Elizabeth Gould and Henry Constantine Richter. More from Rebecca Rego Barry on the Fine Books Blog. The albums are valued at £1,287,500.

- Keith Houston has a new "field trip" for Shady Characters, "Roman all over the place."

- Now also available on YouTube, an event from May to mark the 700th anniversary of Dante's death, in which seventeen copies of the 1481 Florence Landino edition of the Divina Commedia were compared in a "large-scale, live, online comparative bibliography" session. Fascinating! There will be a followup discussion on 6 July, for which you can register here. See also the Bodleian's Conveyor blog for more info and background on this project.

- Zubairul Islam is in the "Bright Young Booksellers" spotlight.

- The Middle Temple Library's provenance mystery for June features some very extensive notes in their copy of an early printed history of Scandinavia.

- From me, a new post in the "Changing Hands" provenance blog series, this time about some volumes from Longfellow's library newly transferred to Special Collections from the stacks.


- Jewish Treasures from Oxford Libraries, edited by Rebecca Abrams and César Merchán-Hamann; review by Philip Getz for the Jewish Review of Books.

- The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray; review by Heller McAlpin in the CSM.

Upcoming Auctions

- The Roger Martin Collection of Western Manuscripts and Miniatures and other properties at Bloomsbury Auctions on 6 July. 

- Autographs & Memorabilia at Chiswick Auctions on 7 July.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 8 July.

- The Exceptional Sale at Christie's London on 8 July.

- Elite Americana & Rare Cartography at PBA Galleries on 8 July.

- Valuable Books and Manuscripts at Christie's London on 14 July.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 15 July.

- Focus on Women at Swann Galleries on 15 July.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts at Sotheby's New York on 16 July.

- Americana Rare Books, Maps, Prints and Photos at Donald Heald Auctions on 17 July.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Links & Auctions

- The American Philosophical Society has identified a paper copy of the Stone Declaration of Independence facsimile among their holdings.

- Nick Dall writes for the Guardian with more about losses at the University of Cape Town in the April fires, including a collection of rare historical photographs housed in the Department of Biological Sciences. 

- Over at Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "The St. Albans Bible," with a brief followup post.

- And from the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Prefacing the Psalms," and a caption competition!

- On the Peter Harrington blog, "Behind the Books: Collecting Chinese books with Matt Wills."

- If ever wondered how the Daily Mail would cover the T.J. Wise forgeries, wonder no more.

- Rare Book School's summer lecture series is underway.

Upcoming Auctions

- Books and Decorative Graphics at Dorotheum on 28 June.

- American Historical Ephemera and Photography at Cowan's Auctions ends on 28 June.

- Lettres et Manuscrits Autographes (1-288) at Ader on 29 June.

- Lettres et Manuscrits & Bibliothèque Victor Segalen at ALDE on 29 June.

- Highlights from the Medical Library of the late James Tait Goodrich, Part III at Bonhams New York ends on 29 June.

- Fine Books & Ephemera at New England Book Auctions on 29 June.

- Lettres et Manuscrits Autographes (289-494) at Ader on 30 June.

- Fine Books & Works on Paper at Chiswick Auctions on 30 June.

- Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books at University Archives on 30 June.

- The Curtis Studio at Bonhams Los Angeles on 30 June.

- Céline, 1961-2021 at ALDE on 1 July.

- Charles Carroll's copy of the Stone facsimile Declaration of Independence at Freeman's on 1 July.

- Manuscrits & Livres Anciens et Modernes at Ader on 2 July.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Links & Auctions

- The forged Oath of a Freeman sold at Heritage Auctions last week was acquired by Kenneth and Shirley Rendell for donation to the Grolier Club as part of the Collection on the Detection of Forged Handwriting. Excellent news for the future study and research potential of this piece.

- A UK consortium of libraries and museums will try to raise £15 million to keep the Honresfield Library from auction, and the first sale at Sotheby's scheduled for next month has already been postponed. See Alison Flood's report in the Guardian, and Jennifer Schuessler's in the NYTimes.

- The Letterlocking research group gets a nicely-illustrated writeup in BBC Future by Richard Fisher.

- Anna Burgess writes for the Harvard Gazette on the recently-completed Colonial North America at Harvard Library digitization project, which now includes more than 700,000 pages of material.

- On the digitization front, the Clements Library has recently digitized three collections relating to slavery and abolition.

- Over on the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Medieval Killer Rabbits: When Bunnies Strike Back."

- Coming up next month, "500 Years of Mexican Books: Colonial Book Bibliography in Indigenous Languages."

- Anna Willi's Manual of Roman Everyday Writing: Writing Equipment is available open-access via LatinNow. There's also a PDF.

- Elaine Treharne's recent talk "Uncertainty in Manuscript Technologies and the Potential of Computational Tools" is now available on YouTube, as is Alex Hidalgo's RBS lecture "The Book as Archive."

Upcoming Auctions

- Fine Literature at Doyle on 22 June.

- Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs at Lyon & Turnbull on 23 June.

- Éditions Originales Littéraires du XIXe au XXIe Siècle at ALDE on 24 June.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts and Photographs at Bonhams London on 24 June.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 24 June.

 - Illustration Art at Swann Galleries on 24 June.

- Antiquarian Books with Manuscripts and Food & Drink at PBA Galleries on 24 June.

- Livres et Manuscrits de Cervantès à Houllebecq at Sotheby's Paris ends on 25 June.

- American Historical Ephemera & Photography at Cowan's on 25 June.

- The Gentleman's Library & Bindery at Addison & Sarova on 26 June.

- Rare Books, Antiquarian Maps, and Manuscripts at Second Story Books on 26 June.

- Bookworm Auction at Addison & Sarova on 27 June.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Links & Auctions (and an Update)

Update, of particular relevance to the many of you who get these posts via email: Feedburner, which has managed the email subscriptions for this blog for I don't know how long, is going away next month (don't get me started, I'm still mad that Google Reader went away and that happened in 2013). Anyway, I've transitioned the email subscriptions over to, so you should just keep getting emails as usual (though they may start looking slightly different). You can also set up different bells and whistles, if you prefer. With any luck at all, the transition will be relatively seamless.

-Coming up on 22 June, the Bookplate Society hosts a Zoom talk by Anthony Pincott, "Ex-Libris Art & Provenance: The Fascination of Bookplates." Register at the link.

- Over at Bijzondere Collecties, "Gauffering the Edges," an excellent look at gauffering.

- Heritage Auctions had a very interesting roundtable discussion prior to the sale of the forged Oath of a Freeman last week. I learned some things about the Hofmann forgeries I hadn't known before. The forged oath sold for $52,500 last week (and I'd be very interested to know the buyer if they wish to reveal themselves!).

- From Swann Galleries, the first part of "For Love of the King: the Wild Story of a Forged Wilde Story."

- Rebecca Rego Barry has the summer 2021 books on books roundup over at the Fine Books Blog.

Upcoming Auctions

- Guerre de 1870–1871 (Aristophil 41) at Aguttes on 14 June.

- Antiquarian Books and Manuscripts at Sotheby's London ends on 15 June.

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 16 June.

- Private Press, Children's & Illustrated Books and Modern First Editions at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 17 June.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams New York on 17 June.

- Fine Books & Autographs at Swann Galleries on 17 June.

- Books in All Fields – Americana – Maps at PBA Galleries on 17 June.

- Rare Antiquarian and Illustrated Books at Donald Heald Auctions on 19 June.

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Links & Auctions

- Mary Hamilton French writes for the NEDCC blog about her recent work to conserve a fifteenth-century manuscript Vitae Augustini from the BPL collections. A really excellent and beautifully illustrated walk through the process.

- News that the Honresfield Library will be sold at Sotheby's across three auctions (see the introduction to the first part, scheduled to be sold in July) prompted much coverage: see Alison Flood's piece in the Guardian and Jennifer Schuessler's in the NYT. A followup piece by Alison Flood for the Guardian reports on the immediate calls from the Brontë Society and others for the collection to be kept intact and made publicly available for research. See also Francesca Collins' post for the Museums Association.

- Stephen Hawking's Cambridge papers and personal memorabilia have been acquired for the British nation, and will be housed at the Cambridge University Library and the Science Museum.

- Hobby Lobby has sued Dirk Obbink to recover some of the $7 million reportedly paid for ancient gospel fragments which Obbink allegedly had stolen. See also the official complaint.

- The National Library of Scotland has acquired a sixteenth-century Perthshire manuscript, the "Chronicle of Foringall."

- Candida Moss has a roundup of some recent book thefts from libraries in the Daily Beast.

- Chiara Betti writes for the St John's College blog about the collection of some 750 copper plates given by Richard Rawlinson to the Bodleian Library. This is an introductory post about a new project to really study this collection for the first time, which promises to be extremely useful!

- From Aaron Pratt, "Paper Pitfalls."

- Notre Dame's Hesburgh Library has acquired a rare early Civil War lithograph of Jefferson Davis metamorphosed into a donkey.

- The Princeton Graphic Arts Collection blog has a roundup of their Pandemic-Times webinars, and also a new post on "Typographic Necrology."

- From Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "A New Leaf from the Pontigny Copy of Florus & Didymus" and "Otto Ege's 12th-Century Italian Gospel Lectionary."

- Heather Wolfe writes for The Collation, "Malicious Teaseling: Or, how a simple reference question got complicated."

- Over on the Bodleian blog, "A Pirate's Life?"

- The Franz Kafka collection held by the National Library of Israel is now online in digital form.

- From Adam Smyth at TEXT!, "Family Bibles."

- The Middle Temple Library has another provenance mystery for this month.

Upcoming Auctions

- Music: Books & Manuscripts at Sotheby's London ends on 8 June.

- Early Printing, Americana (Printed and Manuscript) at New England Book Auctions on 8 June.

- TCM Presents ... Mavericks at Bonhams Los Angeles on 8 June.

- Travel Books, Maps & Atlases at Forum Auctions on 9 June.

- Rare Books Signature Auction at Heritage Auctions on 9–10 June.

Americana – Zamorano 80 – Travel – World History – Cartography at PBA Galleries on 10 June.

- Bibliothèque Théâtrale du Comte Emmanuel D'André – Livres at Manuscrits at Binoche et Giquello on 11 June.

- Summer Auction at Arader Galleries on 12 June.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Links & Auctions

- Heritage Auctions will sell Mark Hofmann's forgery of the Freeman's Oath in their 9–10 June Rare Books Signature Auction.

- Some good coverage this week of Kate McCaffrey's recent research on Anne Boleyn's prayerbook: see the Hever Castle announcement, McCaffrey's research overview, and stories in artnet and Smithsonian.

- From Peter Kidd at Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "Otto Ege's Copy of Thomas Aquinas on Peter Lombard's Sentences."

- Over on Books and Borrowing, "A First Look at the University of Edinburgh Library Borrowers' Receipt Books."

- On the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Thomas Becket: Manuscripts Showing the Making of a Saint."

- Oliver B. Pollak writes for the Oak Knoll blog on "Becoming a Bibliophile, 1950–1970."

- Sarah Lindenbaum has a look at a 1633 copy of Henry Isaacson's Saturni Ephemerides for Early Modern Female Book Ownership.

- Jim Green will be on the History of Libraries seminar on 1 June to discuss "Memory, Reason, Imagination: Subject Classification in the 1789 Catalogue of the Library Company of Philadelphia." Free registration here.

- Alex Shepard writes for the New Republic about the ongoing controversy over Philip Roth's literary estate and personal papers.

Upcoming Auctions

- Science: Books & Manuscripts at Sotheby's London ends on 25 May.

- Historic Manuscripts & Rare Books at Skinner ends on 25 May.

- Bibliothèque Cynégétique Jean-Pierre Lemanissier at ALDE ends on 26–27 May.

- Rare Autographs, Manuscripts, Artwork, Comic Art at University Archives on 26 May.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 27 May.

- Fine Photographs at Swann Galleries on 27 May.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Links & Auctions

- There will be a 24 Hour Book and Paper Fair on Getman's Virtual beginning at noon EDT on Wednesday, 19 May. 

- The Grolier Club's new exhibition "100 Books Famous in Typography" has opened for in-person viewing and with an online version.

- Over on the State Library of Victoria blog, "King George's Donation."

- From Mark Dimunation for the LC blog, "Not Gutenberg's Book: Wild Innovations in Handcrafted and Art Books."

- Lucy Kelsall writes on "A Sombre Binding" for the Paul Mellon Centre magazine.

- Coming up from UCLA, a three-part webinar series on "The History of the Chinese Book."

Upcoming Auctions

- Bibliothèque J.-L. et C. Pierron at Binoche et Giquello ends on 18 May.

- 19th & 20th Century Photography, Cameras and Accessories at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 19 May.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 19 May.

- Manuscripts at Heritage Auctions on 19 May.

- Books and Manuscripts at Freeman's on 20 May.

- The Einstein Archives of Ludwik Silberstein at RR Auctions on 20 May.

- Rare Pulps and Collectibles at Heritage Auctions on 20 May.

- Important Numismatic Books at Kolbe & Fanning ends on 22 May.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Links & Auctions

 - Some nice "Parting Words" from Mike Widener on the occasion of his retirement. Best wishes always, Mike!

- Coming up on Tuesday, 11 May, Rebecca Romney, Heather O'Donnell, and all former winners of the Honey & Wax Prize will be on a roundtable as part of the Swann Salon Series, "Owning It: A Roundtable for Young Collectors."

- I recommend keeping an eye on Adam Smyth's Text! newsletter: among his recent posts are "Directions to the binder" and "Bookshelves."

- On the N-YHS blog, "A Pioneering Woman, and a Bibliographic Mystery."

- From the Ransom Center magazine, Eric Colleary on ephemera associated with Henry "Box" Brown.

- Over on the Peter Harrington blog, "How to Handle and Store Rare Books."

- From Seth Kimmel, "What's in a Bookstore?"

- Now freely available, Lisa Fagin Davis' "How Many Glyphs and How Many Scribes? Digital Paleography and the Voynich Manuscript."

Upcoming Auctions

- Livres Rares et Manuscrits at Christie's Paris ends on 10 May. 

- Bibliothèque Littéraire Hubert Heilbronn at Sotheby's Paris on 11 May.

- Fine Books & Manuscripts, Including Americana at Leslie Hindman on 12 May.

- Selections from the Letterform Archive at Swann Galleries on 12 May.

Printed Books, Maps & Documents, Numismatics: The Patricia Milne-Henderson Collection at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 12–13 May.

- Graphic Design at Swann Galleries on 13 May. 

- Fine Press Books at Leslie Hindman on 13 May.

- Fine Golf Books and Memorabilia at PBA Galleries on 13 May.

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Links & Auctions

- May's Rare Book Monthly articles include Bruce McKinney's note on plans for an ABAA book fair in New York in September, Michael Stillman on rare books and NFTs.

- The London Library has posted some recent research into their mid-nineteenth-century charging records, revealing some titles borrowed by Charles Darwin.

- The Middle Temple Library has a new provenance mystery for us this month.

- Two pieces about the UCT fire: Shamil Jeppie's "Fire and the Sword" and Janine Dunlop's "'Hopefully, it's all been digitised ...'"

- On the Princeton Graphic Arts Collection blog, "Macy's Sells Birds of America."

- From Byrony Pillath on the NLS blog, "Bookplates in the National Library: Who owned books in 18th and 19th century Scotland?"

- Also on the NLS blog, "Henry Mackenzie and The Man of Feeling."

- On the Oak Knoll blog, a Q&A with Reid Byers about his new book The Private Library.

- From Keith Houston, a deep dive into the $*&#)$ grawlix.

- The trading app rally is going to try and sell 80,000 "shares" of a 1776 broadside Declaration of Independence for $25 each.


The Women's Print History Project; review by Leah Orr in SHARP News.

- Susan Stewart's The Ruins Lesson and Jessica Maier's The Eternal City; review by Anthony Grafton in the LRB.

Upcoming Auctions

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 6 May. 

- From the Curious to the Extraordinary at Chiswick Auctions on 6 May.

- K2 Judaica Sale: Rare Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Graphic & Ceremonial Arts at Kestenbaum & Company on 6 May.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Links & Auctions

- Reminder that the Western States Book & Paper Fair is coming up 29 April–1 May.

- Entries for the 2021 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest are now being accepted, and entries for the 2021 Honey & Wax Prize are due on 1 June.

- The BBC reports on new research which attempts to identify scribal hands in the Great Isaiah Scroll. See also the original paper in PLoS ONE.

- There was terrible news from Cape Town this week, where a wildfire destroyed the University of Cape Town's Jagger Reading Room. The full extent of the damage to collections is not yet confirmed, but some rare and unique materials are known to have been lost. 

- An excerpt from Ross King's The Bookseller of Florence was in LitHub this week.

- Now online at Lost Manuscripts, Neil Ker's catalogue of pastedowns found in Oxford bindings (PoxBo).

- From Roger Wieck on the Morgan blog, "Master of Catherine of Cleves: Acquisition of a Previously Unknown Illumination."

- APHA has launched a YouTube channel.

- Rebecca Rego Barry notes a copy of Wharton's Ethan Frome inscribed by the author to her butler, Alfred White, currently offered for sale by Carpe Librum. The description reports that no other signed copies of this book are known.

- Lauren Hewes reports a very neat AAS acquisition: an 1858 set of foldable brass bookmarks!

- Swann Galleries will offer a selection of deaccessioned duplicates from the Letterform Archive on 12 May.

- Doyle has some books from William Safire's library in several of their upcoming sales. Rebecca Rego Barry notes some highlights.

- From Giuseppe Bruno-Chomin for the JHIBlog, "Italian 'Secrets,' Forgery(?), and a Pearly Obsession."

- A copy of Eikon Basilike is in the Early Modern Female Book Ownership spotlight this week.

Upcoming Auctions

- Collection of a Connoisseur: History in Manuscript, Part 2 at Sotheby's London ends on 27 April.

- Books, Manuscripts, Photographs: From the Middle Ages to the Moon at Christie's London ends on 28 April.

- Two Autograph Collections at Lion Heart Autographs on 28 April. 

- Atlas, Cartes & Livres de Voyage at ALDE on 29 April.

- Antiquarian and Modern Literature and Illustrated Books at Forum Auctions on 29 April.

- Rare Books, Autographs & Maps at Doyle on 29 April.

- California and the West. With Americana – Travel – Maps at PBA Galleries on 29 April.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Links & Auctions

- Coming up 29 April–1 May, the Western States Book & Paper Fair.

- The Columbus Dispatch is looking for a new home for a 1920 Linotype machine. Can you help?

- New exhibition from the Cambridge University Library: Ghost Words: Reading the Past, about palimpsests.

- Over at Early Modern Female Book Ownership, a copy of the 1615 Faerie Queene.

- Lisa Fagin Davis has an excellent Twitter thread on "So you think you've solved the Voynich manuscript. What next?"

- From the University of St Andrews special collections blog, a two-part "Anatomy of an Enquiry" series on answering remote reference questions: Unlocking Answers in the Archive and Historical Firsts.

- Over on the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "A newly discovered manuscript from Byland Abbey."

- From Kurt Zimmerman at American Book Collecting, "McMurtry, Pass By."

- On the Princeton Graphic Arts Collection blog, "Anatomy for Painters."

- Vartan Gregorian died this week at the age of 87. See his NYTimes obituary.

- I was also terribly saddened to hear of the death of Cornell librarian Lance Heidig, whose obituary is in the Morning Times. Lance's infectious enthusiasm and bright smile will be much missed.


- Pip Williams' Dictionary of Lost Words; review by Helen Sullivan in the Guardian.

Upcoming Auctions

- Fine Printed and Manuscript Americana at Christie's ends on 22 April.

- Comic Books at PBA Galleries on 22 April.

- Illuminated Manuscripts and Early Printed Books from the Collection of Elaine and Alexandre Rosenberg at Christie's on 23 April.

Shelf Sale of Books including Several Lots from Madeleine L'Engle's Library at New England Book Auctions ends on 24 April.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Links & Auctions

- The Spring Break for Booklovers virtual fair continues through 12 April over on Getman's Virtual.

- Many congratulations to Julie Nelson Davis, a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow!

- From Erin Blake at The Collation, "Documenting mistakes in our documentation."

- The Grolier Club is the lucky recipient of Kenneth W. Rendell and Shirley McNerney's Collection on the Detection of Forged Handwriting.

- Peter Kidd continues his series on the dispersal of the Rodolphe Kann collection with posts on the illuminated leaves and cuttings, and an illustrated list of same.

- The Connecticut State Library has added some new digitized newspapers to Chronicling America.

- From Swann Galleries, "Lies in Publishing: Collecting False Imprints."

- Over on the AAS blog, "Continuing the Conversation: Jessica Pressman Answers Your Questions on Bookishness."

- The Middle Temple Library has a new provenance mystery for us this month.

- From the University of St Andrews blog, "Benjamin Franklin as Printer."

- Over on the Getty blog, "Female Expression in a 15th-Century Manuscript."

- David Keys writes for the Independent about recent research into the written Aztec language by Gordon Whittaker, whose book Deciphering Aztec Hieroglyphs is just out from the University of California Press.

Upcoming Auctions

- The Passion of American Collectors: Property of Barbara and Ira Lipman | Highly Important Printed and Manuscript Americana at Sotheby's New York on 13 April.

- Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books at University Archives on 14 April.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 15 April.

- Printed & Manuscript Americana at Swann Galleries on 15 April.

- Fine Press – Fine Bindings – Fine Books at PBA Galleries on 15 April.

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Links, Reviews & Auctions

- Starting on Friday, 9 April, Spring Break for Booklovers, on Getman's Virtual.

- Amanda Bartlett writes for SFGATE on Brian Cassidy's recent identification of a previously unknown early typed draft of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl." See also Alison Flood's piece in the Guardian.

- From the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Easter Sunday in the Sherborne Missal" and "Alas, poor Hamlet."

- A conversation between Jason Dean and Nick Wilding about the Linda Hall Library's copy of Sidereus Nuncius is now available on Vimeo.

- Over on the Rylands Blog, "Photographing the Simon Papers," walking through the process of digitizing a collection of complex bound volumes and "A Passover Haggadah Painted by an Englishman?"

- More from Jennifer Schuessler on the recent questions about the Deuteronomy fragments in "A Biblical Mystery and a Reporting Odyssey."

- Also from the Rylands orbit, Kirat Sagoo looks back at the Guardian's San Serriffe prank.

- From the Getty, Julie Jaskol and antiquities curator Kenneth Lapatin talk through the process of confirming a forged gemstone.

- The Princeton Graphic Arts Collection blog highlights a binding by Parisian binder Madeleine Gras.

- From the OUP blog, "New discoveries about John Shakespeare."

- The Grolier Club has been given a book from FDR's library.

- Over at American Book Collecting, "Nettie Lee Benson on the Development of Special Collections."

- At Books and Borrowing, "A Painted Library Parthenon for the Athens of the North."


- Megan Rosenbloom's Dark Archives; review by Christine Jacobsen in the LARB.

- Michael Blanding's North by Shakespeare; review by Stephen Donoghue in the CSM.

I finally had a chance to sit down this weekend with Kurt Zimmerman's new collection of biblio-essays, Rare Book Hunting, and enjoyed it immensely. It is a delightful account of Kurt's adventures with books, from his time in the auction business to his visits with booksellers and of course some excellent stories about great biblio-finds. Some of his bibliographical association copies are the stuff that makes anyone who enjoys such things simultaneously so happy they exist and also so jealous that somebody else got to them first! 

Particularly valuable is Kurt's "Auction House Adventures," his memoir of working at San Francisco auction house (then) Butterfield & Butterfield. As he notes in the short introductory note, accounts about life in the book auction world are far rarer than they should be, so having his story between two covers is a very important addition to the genre. 

Kurt's tales all make clear the most important part of book collecting: the people, past and present. His "A Book I Shouldn't Have Had Yet" (another version of which is on his blog) is profoundly moving, and his stories of Texas bookselling greats Dorothy Sloan and Larry McMurtry, both of whom died in March, are timely indeed. I cannot wait to return to a time when we are able to have a great crowd of biblio-humans in a big room again: if nothing else, we need the opportunity for Kurt to find more great books and tell more great stories!

Upcoming Auctions

- Livres Anciens du XVIe au XIXe Siècle at ALDE on 7 April.

- Printed Books & Manuscripts, Autographs & Documents, Maps & Prints, The Bookbindery of Faith Shannon at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 7–8 April.

- Early Printed Books at Swann Galleries on 8 April.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Links & Auctions

- Marc Wortman writes for the April issue of Vanity Fair, "Cracking the Case of London's Elusive, Acrobatic Rare-Book Thieves."

- From the UK National Archives blog, "Playing cards captured at sea," highlighting a cool find in the Prize Papers collection.

- Over at Books and Borrowing, "Women Borrowers at Westerkirk Library."

- The Princeton University Library blog highlights Emma Sarconi's work on the Her Book project, identifying and cataloging ownership markings by women in books from the Princeton collections.

- Over on the FB&C blog, Emily Wells is in the "Bright Young Collectors" spotlight.

- A new edition of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series will include the author's own illustrations.

- Charlotte Higgins reports for the Guardian on the retraction of a chapter about the provenance of Sappho fragments announced in 2014.

- Meghan Constantinou will give a talk on 4 May, "Private Library Catalogues as Sources for Library History: An Apprecation." Free but registration is required.

- In El Pais, "Why Spain's National Library covered up the theft of a Galileo original work."

- The Boston Public Library has received a $2.1 million gift for preservation and cataloging of some 400,000 volumes. Excellent news!

- Over on the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "The colour purple."

- Stephen Durchslag has announced that he will bequeath his collection of some 4,500 Passover Haggadot to the University of Chicago. The bequest also includes support for cataloging, endowed collections funds, a curatorship, and fellowships.

Upcoming Auctions

- Autographes & Manuscrits at Aguttes on 29 March.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts Online at Bonhams ends on 30 March.

- Rare Books and Incunabula at Lark Mason Associates ends on 30 March.

- Travel & Sporting Books from the Library of Arnold "Jake" Johnson on 30 March.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams London on 31 March.

- Americana – Travel & Exploration – World History – Cartography at PBA Galleries on 1 April.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Links & Auctions

 - Starting today on Getman's Virtual, the Ephemera Society's Virtual Ephemera Fair, running through 22 March. And coming up on 9–12 April, Spring Break for Booklovers, virtually combining the Florida and Washington fairs.

- John Lancaster sends along some of the neat work being done at the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg on the library and collecting of Joseph Heller (1798–1849): digitized materials from his collections, an online exhibit, and an open-access book (in German).

- From Daria Rose Foner for the Morgan's blog, "New Light on Belle da Costa Greene."

- The ABAA blog has a memorial post for Dorothy Sloan, who died on 14 March.

- For the Swann Galleries blog, Rick Stattler shares some ephemera from Black-owned businesses offered at Swann over the years.

- Princeton University Library highlights some recent acquisitions documenting women's lives in early America.

- John Hessler writes for the LC's Worlds Revealed blog, "Of Maps, Manuscripts and Memory."

- APHA has issued a call for proposals for a virtual conference focusing on Latin American and Caribbean printing, to be held in October.

- On the University of Toronto's The New Normal podcast, Maydianne Andrade talks to Alexandra Gillespie about the origins (and origin stories) of western printing.

- Over at The Fate of Books, "To Break a Book: Bibliophiles as Book Enemies."

- Allie Alvis' Bite Sized Book History is back with an episode on marginalia.

- InfoDocket has a good rundown of coverage on the recent announcement from Israel that researchers have identified new Dead Sea Scroll fragments. More from the BBC.

- The Princeton Graphics Arts Collection blog highlights Fred Siegenthaler's wonderful Strange Papers.

- From the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Fascinating beasts (and where to find them)."


- Kurt Zimmerman's Rare Book Hunting; review by Rebecca Rego Barry for the Fine Books Blog.

Upcoming Auctions

- La bibliothèque poétique de Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller – Première partie at Christie's Paris on 23 March.

- Books & Works on Paper at Chiswick Auctions on 24 March.

- Autographs & Memorabilia at Chiswick Auctions on 24 March.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 25 March.

- Printed & Manuscript African Americana at Swann Galleries on 25 March.

- Spring Auction at Arader Galleries on 27 March.

- 20th Century Art and Art Books at Second Story Books on 27 March.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Links & Auctions

One hears of significant rumblings from within the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (FABS) and looks forward to learning more ... 

- Next up on Getman's Virtual, the Ephemera Society's Virtual Ephemera Fair, on 20–22 March.

- Catherine Sutherland at Magdalene College Cambridge has identified books in the collections annotated by Mary Astell!

- The great researchers at Letterlocking have managed to virtually read a folded, unopened letter. See their article in Nature Communications.

- From Jennifer Schuessler for the NYTimes, "Is a Long-Dismissed Forgery Actually the Oldest Known Biblical Manuscript?" See also Idan Dershowitz's article "The Valediction of Moses: New Evidence on the Shapira Deuteronomy Fragments."

- From Peter Kidd, "A Byzantine Miniature on a Leaf from the Forrer Collection" and "One More Montbaston Bible Historiale Cutting."

- Over at Book Historia, "Books Without Books: Digitally Communicating Materiality."

- Anne Bromer writes on "Easter Island and its Books."

- Jim Hinck has a viaLibri Beta update for us.

- From the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "The curious AB-script."

- New from the Internet Archive, "Search Scholarly Materials Preserved in the Internet Archive."

Upcoming Auctions

- Lettres & Autographes Manuscrits at Ader on 16 March.

- Bibliothèque Gastronomique & Oenologique de Max Cointreau at ALDE on 17 March.

- Bibliothèque Humaniste Max Cointreau at ALDE on 18 March.

- Autographes & Manuscrits at Aguttes on 18 March.

- Maps and Atlases at Forum Auctions on 18 March.

- Fine Literature with Beats, Bukowski & the Counterculture at PBA Galleries on 18 March.

- Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on 19 March.

Saturday, March 06, 2021

Links & Auctions

- The California Virtual Book Fair continues through today!

- From Caroline Duroselle-Melish for The Collation, "Marks on Bindings."

- The BL's Endangered Archives blog has announced three new tranches of digitized material, from Laos, Sri Lanka, and Bulgaria.

- Thanks to Emma Sarconi for pointing out on Twitter a neat newly digitized reading notebook from the Princeton collections, that of Countess Lydia Rostopchina.

- New on Netflix, "Murder Among the Mormons," focusing on the life, forgeries, and other crimes of Mark Hofmann. It is leading to a number of stories in the press about the events depicted in the film, among them this one from the Deseret News.

Upcoming Auctions

- Bibliothèque Maurice Houdayer, Première partie at Artcurial on 9 March.

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents, The Kenn Back Polar Library at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 10 March.

- Editions and Works on Paper, 1500–2020 at Forum Auctions on 11 March.

- Fine Photographs at Swann Galleries on 11 March.

- Fine Books & Manuscripts at Potter & Potter Auctions on 13 March.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Links & Auctions

- The California Virtual Book Fair is coming up on 4–6 March. See also their lineup of special programs for this year's fair.

- Not to be missed the online version of Mīharo Wonder: 100 Years of the Alexander Turnbull Library.

- From Mike Widener, "Printers' devices from law books," highlighting devices found in the Yale Law Library's rare book collections (more than 330 examples now up in their Flickr).

- From Adam Smyth, "Pronting Errors."

- The HRC's rescheduled Pforzheimer Lecture by Sarah Neville will now be held on 11 March.

- Over on the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Illuminated Canon Tables."

- Eve Kahn writes for the Grolier Club blog, "A Bibliophile Went Shopping, Or Maybe Not."

- From the Princeton Graphics Arts Collection blog, an "Index to Princeton's Audubon Birds."

- More from Peter Kidd this week on the dispersal of the collection of Rodolphe Kahn.

- From the Middle Temple Library's provenance mysteries series, a manuscript translation of Senault's De L'Usage des Passions by Henry Carey, Earl of Monmouth, with a list of Italian books appended.

- At Early Modern Female Book Ownership, a 1692 missal in French, with English Catholic provenance.

- The Minute Book of the United Sons of Salem Benevolent Society at the Clements Library has been transcribed!

- Brooke Palmieri will give the Charles W. Mann Lecture in the Book Arts at Penn State on 25 March. Sign up here.

- And coming up on 3 March at the Morgan, "The Women Who Made the Morgan."

- Congratulations to Jessica Camille Jordan, winner of the 2021 California Young Book Collector's Prize.


- Jonathan Senchyne's The Intimacy of Paper in Early and Nineteenth-Century American Literature; review by Tim Sommer for SHARP News.

Upcoming Auctions

- The Collectors' Sale at Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers on 3 March.

- Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books at University Archives on 3 March.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 4 March.

- Fine Art, Photography & Prints at PBA Galleries on 4 March.

- Richard Margolis International Numismatic Library at Kolbe & Fanning on 6 March.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Links & Auctions

- The fifth annual Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize is now open for applications (due 1 June). See the post for all details.

- Over at Early Modern Female Book Ownership, a copy of Sandys' Paraphrase Upon the Divine Poems.

- From Emily Spunaugle at SHARP News, "Introducing Early Editions: Conversations with Emerging Researchers."

- Erin Blake writes for The Collation about the 24,000 new "preliminary records" recently added to the Folger's online catalog, what they are, and how to use them.

- CLIR has received a $4.4 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives: Amplifying Unheard Voices program, which "will invite proposals to digitize materials that deepen public understanding of the histories of people of color and other communities and populations whose work, experiences, and perspectives have been insufficiently recognized or unattended."

- From the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog, "Lady Jane Grey's Letters from the Tower of London."

- The Library of Congress has acquired the Aramont Library, along with a $1 million endowment for programming.

- Over at Book Historia, Alexandra Alvis on "No Mere Foppery: A Defense of Rainbow Bookshelves."

- Rebecca Rego Barry has a Q&A with the Biblio File's Nigel Beale for the FB&C blog.

- More than 500 volumes from the Johns Hopkins University Library's Women of the Book collection have now been made available via the Internet Archive. See this article for background about the collection.

Upcoming Auctions

- The Gentleman's Library Sale at Bonhams on 23–24 February.

- Highlights from the Medical Library of the Late James Tait Goodrich, Part II at Bonhams on 24 February.

- Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs at Lyon & Turnbull on 24–25 February.

- Fine Books & Autographs at Swann Galleries on 25 February.

- Comics at PBA Galleries ends on 25 February.

- Select Secrets: Rare & Important Magicana at Potter & Potter on 27 February.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Links & Auctions

 - The Greenwich Village Antiquarian Book & Ephemera Fair is running through Monday over on Getman's Virtual.

- From Peter Kidd at Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "The Dispersal of the Collection of Rodolphe Kann."

- A beta version of the new viaLibri design is now available.

- From Rebecca Rego Barry on the FB&C blog, news that the Horsham Museum & Art Gallery has acquired a copy of the rare 1750 pamphlet The Life of Thomas Munn.

- Over at Boston 1775, J. L. Bell takes up the question of early English editions of the Bible printed in the American colonies.

- From Gerard McKeever at Books and Borrowing, "Books for Borrowing: Walter Scott."

- Coming up on 25–26 February, "'Resistance in the Materials': A Gathering of Printers Pressing for Change." Free, but registration is required.

- Rebecca Romney has started a #rarebookwords explainer thread over at @typepunchmatrix - will certainly be worth watching!

Upcoming Auctions

- Printed Books & Documents, Maps, Decorative Prints & Watercolours, Military & Aviation History at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 17 February.

- Modern Literature, Private Press & Illustrated Books at Forum Auctions on 18 February.

- Books & Manuscripts at Freeman's on 18 February.

- Vintage Posters at Swann Galleries on 18 February.

- PBA Platinum – Rare Books & Manuscripts at PBA Galleries on 18 February.

Saturday, February 06, 2021

Links & Auctions

- The Firsts Canada virtual book fair is happening this weekend (5–7 February) and the Greenwich Village Antiquarian Book Fair will be held next weekend, 12–15 February.

- The Book/Print Artist/Scholar of Color Collective has a new website with a gallery and links to their events.

- The Free Library of Philadelphia's First Folio, with annotations believed to be those of John Milton, is now available in hi-res digital form.

- From Jill O'Neill at Scholarly Kitchen, "Revisiting Nicholson Baker and the Retention of Print."

- The Middle Temple Library blog has another provenance mystery for us this month.

- Over at Early Modern Female Book Ownership, a colorful 1699 Book of Common Prayer.

- The British Library will loan the Lindisfarne Gospels to the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle for an exhibition scheduled to open in 2022.

- From Lisa Fagin Davis at Manuscript Road Trip, "Reverse-Engineering the Codex."

- Emma Sibbald writes for the University of St Andrews special collections blog on "Miss Elizabeth Foulis, an Invisible Borrower."

- The Italian culture ministry has acquired the library and archives of Umberto Eco.

- From Erin McGuirl for the HRC's "What is Research?" series, "The women who made Selznick's screenplays."

- The Brotherton Library at the University of Leeds has acquired Charles II's copy of the 1647 Beaumont and Fletcher Comedies and Tragedies.

Upcoming Auctions

- Travel & Exploration at Bonhams London on 10 February.

- The Frank Graff Collection of Rare Valentines from the Victorian Age at PBA Galleries on 11 February.

- Niagara Falls Guinness World Record Museum Displays at Ripley Auctions on 12 February.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Links & Auctions

- If you missed any of the great programming as part of the BSA's Bibliography Week events, videos will be posted on their YouTube Channel this week.

- Over on the Smithsonian Libraries' Unbound blog, "The Staple of Libraries Past," which takes a close look at a library card catalog catalog.

- The first issue of SHARP in the Classroom launched this week.

- From William Hogeland for TNR, "Against the Consensus Approach to History."

- Madeline McMahon writes for Not Even Past on "An Archbishop's Lost Library Catalog."

- Over at Edmond Hoyle, Gent., David Levy asks "Who printed Piquet for Francis Cogan? Thank you Compositor!"

- The ABA will host three virtual "Firsts" book fairs in February and March.

- Information: A Historical Companion is now out from Princeton University Press, and the accompanying website is well worth a look.

Upcoming Auctions

- The Gaon of Vilna and his Disciples - Books and Manuscripts from the Yeshayahu Vinograd Collection at Kedem Auctions on 2 February.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 4 February.

- The Artists of the WPA at Swann Galleries on 4 February.

- Detective Fiction Including the Alexis Galanos Collection at Sotheby's London ends on 4 February.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Links & Auctions

- The Rocky Mountain Book & Paper Fair is happening this weekend over on Getman's Virtual.

- The ABAA's Bibliography Week showcase will be held 27–28 January - watch the ABAA website for the link.

- The Jan/Feb issue of the Library of Congress magazine is devoted to "The Art of the Book."

- From Beth DeBold for the AHA's Perspectives, "Reconciling Professional Rifts."

- Submissions are open for the prestigious 18th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography, to be awarded in May 2022 for new bibliographical publications printed between 2018–2021. The prize winner will receive $10,000 and an additional second and third prize of $5,000 and $3,000 will be awarded. Any aspect of bibliography (enumerative, textual, history of the book, design, binding, the book trade, etc.) is considered and only certain categories are not eligible, notably catalogues of books intended for sale and translations of works appearing in another language. Submissions are made by sending a copy of the publication to Fabrizio Govi, ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography Chair, Libreria Govi, via Bononcini 24, I-41124 Modena, Italy. The deadline is December 2021. For rules, past submissions and winners see: and to discuss an entry, please contact

- A "Book of the Dead" scroll more than thirteen feet long is among the artifacts recently discovered in a tomb in the Saqqara necropolis, south of Cairo.

- An initial batch of Rhode Island newspapers from the collections of the Providence Public Library and the Rhode Island Historical Society are now available via the LC's Chronicling America site.

- If you missed Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff's visit to the Library of Congress, it's worth a watch!

- The BPL has uploaded more than 8,000 public domain images to Wikimedia Commons to mark the 20th anniversary of Wikipedia.

Upcoming Auctions

- Books and Manuscripts at Il Ponte Auctions on 26 January.

- Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 28 January.

- Livres Anciens et Modernes at Aguttes on 28 January.

- Manuscrits et Autographes at Aguttes on 28 January.

- Illustration Art at Swann Galleries on 28 January.

- Some (important!) books are included in various sales from the collection of Mr. & Mrs. John H. Gutfreund of 834 Fifth Avenue at Christie's New York: The Collection (ends 27 January) and Selections from the Library (ends 29 January).