Saturday, October 23, 2021

Links & Auctions

- Don't forget Oak Knoll Fest (virtual), coming up on 28–30 October.

- Derrick Spires will deliver the 2021 Lieberman Lecture for APHA on 2 December, "Nineteenth-Century Black Printing and the Matter of Black Life." Register here.

- On the Columbia Rare Books blog, Celeste Brewer "On Oudated and Harmful Language in Library of Congress Subject Headings."

- Over on the Bodleian's Archives and Manuscripts blog, "The First Black Student at Oxford University."

- From the Cambridge University Special Collections blog, "The Pilgrims' Tale: The Box that Moved the Library."

- The University of Pennsylvania has received a gift of 151 interpositive glass photographic plates by Edward S. Curtis. 

- The Lazarus Project's technique for photographing books and manuscripts without opening them more than 30 degrees is highlighted in the University of Rochester news

Upcoming Auctions

- The Alexander Hamilton Collection of John E. Herzog at Freeman's on 25 October.

- The Ricky Jay Collection at Sotheby's New York on 27–28 October.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 28 October.

- Fine Books & Autographs at Swann Galleries on 28 October.

- Comic Books: Pre-Code Horror, Golden Age, Silver Age & Undergrounds at PBA Galleries on 28 October.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Links & Auctions

- The Lilly Library has acquired the marvelous dictionary collection of Madeline Kripke.

- Paul Needham's Lyell Lectures continue, and are viewable here as they are delivered.

- The ABAA's Diversity Initiative is hosting a panel, "Everyone is Welcome Here: Building Better Relationships in Book Communities" on 26 October. 

- Over at Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "Otto Ege's Armenian Lectionary Dated '1121.'"

- Heather Wolfe will be the Munby Fellow at Cambridge University Libraries for 2021–22, working on a project titled "Decoding early modern writing paper."

- On the Swann Galleries blog, Devon Eastland writes about Harvard librarian George Parker Winship.

- Carla Cevasco writes for the Collation on "Picturing Children's Food in Early Modern Europe."

- There is still time to register for the APHA conference on 22–23 October, "Impresos: Printing Across Latin American and Caribbean Cultures."

- The bat signal has gone out for a number of Mark Twain legal documents which are believed to have been acquired by the Detroit Public Library in 1966 but were not found when a researcher looked for them in 2010. Barbara Schmidt has a feature on this over on Twain Quotes.

- A First Circuit panel has ruled that a 1780 Alexander Hamilton letter to Lafayette is the clear property of the Massachusetts Archives, and the letter has now been returned. It was stolen by employee Harold Perry sometime between 1938 and 1946 and later sold. Read the full decision here.

Upcoming Auctions

- The Luzzatto High Holidays Mahzor: A Magnificent Ashkenazic Prayer Book at Sotheby's New York on 19 October.

- Travel including a single owner collection of books on mountaineering at Bloomsbury Auctions (Dreweatts) ends on 20 October.

- A third selection of 16th and 17th English Books from the Fox Pointe Manor Library at Forum Auctions on 21 October.

- Fine Literature – Bukowski, Beats & the Counterculture at PBA Galleries on 21 October.

- Literature, Social Activism, Counterculture at Second Story Books on 23 October.

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Links & Auctions

- New from AAS, "Reclaiming Heritage: Digitizing Early Nipmuc Histories from Colonial Documents."

- LC and the Copyright Office have announced a new crowdsourced transcription campaign for the Library's collection of early copyright title pages.

- The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library has launched a new open-access authority file database.

- There is a memorial post for Albert H. Small at Notes from Under Grounds.

- From Patricia Akhimie at The Collation, "Extra-Illustrating Othello."

- Elaine Treharne writes for the OUP blog on "Fragmentology: bits of books and the medieval manuscript."

- Paul Needham will deliver the 2021 Lyell Lectures beginning on 11 October, "The Genesis, Life, and Afterlife of the Gutenberg Bible."

- From Books & Borrowing, "A First Look at the Aberdeen Theological Library."

- Oak Knoll Fest (virtual) is coming up on 28–30 October.

Upcoming Auctions

- Lettres & Manuscrits Autographes – Musique at Ader on 12 October.

- Travel Books, Maps and Atlases at Forum Auctions on 14 October.

- Early Printed Books at Swann Galleries on 14 October.

- The Gary Munson Collection of Horror and Fantasy Rare Books at Heritage Auctions on 14 October.

- The Robin Satinsky Collection of Illustrated Books at Bonhams New York on 15 October.

- Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts including Americana at Christie's New York ends on 15 October.

Saturday, October 02, 2021

Links & Auctions

- Rare Books Santa Monica continues through 3 October over on Getman's Virtual.

- A number of stolen manuscripts have been returned to the National Archives of Mexico.

- Over on Medieval Manuscripts Provenance, "Manuscripts Written at Rome in 1465, now at the V&A and Houghton."

- October's Rare Book Monthly articles include Joe Fay's "The Luckiest Bookseller Alive."

- The Modern Endangered Archives Program now includes "Independence and Beyond: Ephemera from the Barbados Department of Archives."

- In the Guardian, Stephen Fry writes on the enduring appeal of Georgette Heyer.

Upcoming Auctions

- Illustration Art Signature Auction at Heritage Auctions on 4 October.

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 6 October.

- Americana – Travel & Exploration – World History – Cartography at PBA Galleries on 7 October.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Links & Auctions

- Another missing books alert from the ABAA, of some volumes currently missing in transit. See their post for a list and some images.

- Some new material from SHARP: a Special Topics Bibliography on Africa, Shef Rogers on "SHARP, BSA, BSANZ and the Place of Book History," and a new tranche of posts in the "SHARP in the Classroom" series.

- Over on the Clements Library blog, "A nesting doll of copies."

- A really fascinating provenance mystery post from the Middle Temple Library blog, featuring a 1485 volume of Arabic astronomy with what appears to be something like a bookseller's inventory bound in as front endpapers.

- The Gilgamesh Dream Tablet was formally handed back to Iraq on Thursday. And there is an update on the Dirk Obbink story in the NYTimes.

- From TEXT!, "Books annotations and loose papers."

- Registration for this year's Schoenberg Symposium, focused on "Loss," is now open; it will be held from 17–19 November.

Upcoming Auctions

- Poètes & Écrivains des XIXe–XXe Siècles at Aguttes (Aristophil 44) at Aguttes on 27 September.

Autographs & Art, from Van Gogh to Hendrix at University Archives on 29 September.

- Fine Gold Books, Clubs & Memorabilia at PBA Galleries on 29 September.

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

- Printed & Manuscript Americana at Swann Galleries on 30 September.

- Miniature Books with Books to Benefit the Miniature Book Society on 30 September.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Links & Auctions

- A major theft from the Robert M. Ervin Jr. Collection at Florida State University's Special Collections & Archives was announced this week. Some 4,996 items are believed to have been stolen between 17 March 2020 and 10 February 2021. See the ABAA post for a notice and a spreadsheet of the items known to be missing, and for relevant contact information.

- Next up on Getman's Virtual, the Virtual Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair, 23–26 September and Rare Books LA, 30 September–3 October.

- From Julie Swierczek at The Collation, "The Folger G.K. Hall Catalogs, or How to fit an entire card catalog on your bookshelf."

 - Brewster Kahle is profiled in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Upcoming Auctions

- Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs at Lyon & Turnbull on 22 September.

- The Library at Howth Castle at Fonsie Mealy's on 22–23 September.

- De Cranach à Picasso (Aristophil 43) at Aguttes on 23 September.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 23 September.

- Rare Books, Autographs & Maps at Doyle on 23 September.

- Books and Manuscripts at Freeman's on 23 September.

- September Auction at Arader Galleries on 25 September.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Links & Auctions

- Continuing through 12 September, the ABAA Virtual Book Fair: New York Edition.

- The Virtual Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair is next on Getman's Virtual, 23–26 September.

- Thanks to Anthony Tedeschi for sending along a fascinating story from Stuff about the peregrinations of the typescript of Janet Frame's Owls Do Cry.

- Over on Early Modern Female Book Ownership, V.M. Braganza looks at a copy of the Shakespeare Fourth Folio bearing the signature of Charlotte Rowe, daughter of editor Nicholas Rowe.

- From Adam Smyth at TEXT!, "Inventories."

- John Levy writes on the LC's blog, "Of Pemmican and Polariscopes: the 1860 Eclipse Expeditions."

- At The Collation, "Paper Trades," by Caroline Duroselle-Melish, and "Unsung Travelers: A History of Global Mobility from Below" by Ananya Chakravarti.

- Eric Ensley is in the "Bright Young Librarians" spotlight this week.

Upcoming Auctions

- The Exceptional Literature Collection of Theodore B. Baum: Part One at Christie's New York on 14 September.

- Travel & Exploration at Bonhams London on 14 September.

- Early Music: Rare Music Manuscripts, Printed Music and Books from the Library of Arnold Dolmetsch (1858–1940) at Sotheby's London ends on 14 September.

- Fine Books & Ephemera at New England Book Auctions ends on 14 September.

- Fine Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams London on 15 September.

- Fine Books – Fine Press – Fine Bindings – With a Taste of Golf at PBA Galleries on 16 September.

- The Exceptional Literature Collection of Theodore B. Baum: Part Two at Christie's New York ends on 17 September.

Monday, September 06, 2021

Links & Auctions

- The ABAA Virtual Book Fair: New York Edition is coming up 9–12 September.

- Oak Knoll Fest XXI will now be held virtually, 28–30 October.

- The Beinecke Library has released results of new scientific analysis of the Vinland Map, and surprise surprise, it's a fake! 

- In Apollo magazine, Michael Prodger on the new addition to the Lambeth Palace Library building.

- Alison Flood has an update in the Guardian on recent research into the Merlin manuscript fragments identified in 2019 in the Bristol central library's collections.

- Julian Harrison writes for the BL's Medieval Manuscripts blog on "Richard III: Fact and Fiction."

- Over on the Princeton Graphic Arts Collection blog, "Color separation for Scribner's Magazine 1905," "Perry's 'Narrative' and the battle between its printers," and the news that the blog is being retired.

- The University of St Andrews blog has the fourth and final installment in their series on the USTC: Gender and the Book Trades conference.

- From the Conveyor, a look at the Bodleian Bibliographical Press, and "Locating material for the material history of the book."

- Congratulations to John Y. Cole, who retires from the Library of Congress this month. The LOC blog has a Q&A with John.

Upcoming Auctions

- 19th & 20th Century Photographs at Chiswick Auctions on 7 September.

- Literature, Graphics, Ephemera at New England Auctions on 7 September.

- Original Film Posters at Sotheby's London on 7 September.

- Printed Books, Maps & Autographs, 20th Century Photography at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 8–9 September.

- Modern Illustrated Books and Private Press at Forum Auctions on 9 September.

- Rare Books, Manuscripts & Ephemera on 11 September and the Bookworm Sale on 12 September at Addison & Sarova.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Links & Auctions

- The Cotsen Children's Library has acquired a large cache of woodblocks used to illustrate books published by John Newbery and several successors. An online searchable database of the blocks is planned.

- From Keith Houston, "Interrobang Archaeology."

- Over on the Morgan Library blog, John Bidwell on "A Fine Binding for the Prince of Books."

- Adam Smyth's excellent TEXT! dispatch this week is "Paper, wasps, dandelion roots."

- Bodleian Library Publishing has made nearly 550 publications, exhibit catalogs, &c. available through HathiTrust.

- Salt Lake City bookseller Curt Bench, who some readers may recognize from the Netflix documentary "Murder Among the Mormons," has died aged 68.

- In Smithsonian, V.M. Braganza on the cipher monogram of Lady Mary Wroth.

- Steven Lubar sent along a post about a course he taught this summer at Brown, "Books, Material & Digital," which looks like it worked very well!

Upcoming Auctions

- Summer Historical Auction at Alexander Historical Auctions on 24–26 August.

- Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books at University Archives on 25 August.

- Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions on 26 August.

- 100 Items of Judaica, Rare Autographs at University Archives on 26 August.

- Books in All Fields with Fine Press Books, Americana & Maps at PBA Galleries on 26 August.

- Fine Books & Manuscripts at Potter & Potter Auctions on 28 August.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Links & Auctions

- The Virtual Ephemera Fair runs through 8 p.m. EDT today (15 August). Coming up next on 1–2 September is the New York City Virtual Book and Ephemera Fair.

- The planned in-person New York fair for September has been cancelled, with a new planned date of April 2022.

- I missed this Atlas Obscura piece last November, looks like: Jeffrey Arlo Brown on "How German Librarians Finally Caught an Elusive Book Thief."

- Over at Penn Today, a look at the Penn Libraries' participation in a multi-institution project to digitize materials documenting early medical education.

- A very happy tenth birthday to The Collation, the excellent Folger blog. They've got a neat "by the numbers" post to celebrate. And also from them this week "Book History, Manuscript Studies, and Navigating Special Collections During COVID-19."

- On the University of Glasgow archives and special collections blog, "The Foulis Brothers Book Receipts Project: how much can an invoice tell us?"

- The St Andrews special collections blog continues their series on the recent USTC conference on gender and the book trades.

- From the Columbia University rare books blog, "Two ancient papyrus fragments and their very modern reunion." 

- Madison Rootenberg Schwartz is in the "Bright Young Booksellers" spotlight this week.

- The NYPL has acquired a collection of Russian zines.

- Newly published by Quaritch, Arthur Freeman's Historical Forgery in Romanophobe Britain: Robert Ware's Irish Fictions Revisited.

- CNBC will be airing an episode of "Super Heists" this week focusing on the 2004 Transylvania University Library thefts.

Upcoming Auctions

- LGBTQ+ Art, Material Culture & History at Swann Galleries on 19 August.

- Apple and Steve Jobs at RR Auction on 19 August.

- Americana – Travel & Exploration – Space – World History – Cartography at PBA Galleries on 19 August.

- American Historical Ephemera & Photography at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on 20 August.

Saturday, August 07, 2021

Links & Auctions

- The Virtual Ephemera Fair (summer edition) will be held on 14–15 August over on Getman's Virtual.

- Karin Wulf has been appointed the new Beatrice and Julio Mario Santo Domingo Director and Librarian of the John Carter Brown Library. Congratulations!

- Cambridge University Library has acquired a new book from Gabriel Harvey's library for their collections.

- From the BL Medieval Manuscripts blog, "A mariner's handbook from the library of Sir Walter Raleigh."

- Over on the Peter Harrington blog, "Why do we use catalogues in the rare book world?"

- From Adam Smyth at TEXT!, "Book ownership, Paul McCartney and Napoleon Bonaparte."

- On the Morgan Library's blog, "Collecting Bibiena."

- From the N-YHS, "Art in Early Republic New York City."

- Over at Books and Borrowing, "Labouring-Class Borrowing at Innerpeffray Library, 1815–1833."

- On the St Andrews special collections blog, summer intern Megan Briers reports on her efforts to identify some items from the library sales of Rev. John Lee.

Upcoming Auction

- Printed Books, Maps & Documents, Vinyl Records & CDs at Dominic Winter Auctioneers on 11 August.

Sunday, August 01, 2021

Links & Auctions

- Coming up on 14–15 August, the Virtual Ephemera Fair (summer edition).

- Christie's will sell the private collection of the late and much-missed Bill Reese in a series of four sales beginning in May 2022.

- A 3,600-year-old tablet containing a portion of the Gilgamesh epic was seized from Hobby Lobby's Museum of the Bible by the Department of Justice in 2019, and a court ordered its forfeiture this week based on the tablet's illegal importation into the United States (first in 2003 and then with false provenance in 2014).

- Over on the Notre Dame Special Collections blog, "Preparing a Parchment Fragment for Posterity."

- The lineup for the 42nd Annual Conference on Book Trade History, "The Humours of Collecting," was announced this week.

Upcoming Auctions

- Modern Literature at Forum Auctions on 5 August.

- Vintage Posters at Swann Galleries on 5 August.

- Fine Literature – Beats & the Counterculture at PBA Galleries on 5 August.

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.