Manuscript Digest – December 2015 – This complimentary e-digest, launched in 2012, covers significant acquisitions and sales, manuscripts lost and found, rare books and ephemera, document conservation, replevin activity, and more.


2,000-Year-Old Papyrus Spotted on eBay for $99
New York Times, November 20, 2015
Deal of the day: a New Testament fragment dating from AD 250–350. And that isn’t the only surprise in store.

Lincoln Manuscript Ushers in $2.2 Million Sale
Canada Journal, November 6, 2015
Lincoln made five known manuscripts of his second inaugural address. One has been in the Usher family since 1865 … until now.

The Beinecke and the Book Breaker
Fine Books & Collections Magazine, November 16, 2015
Yale’s library has acquired a noted collection of medieval and Renaissance books and loose pages. Can it reunite the scattered leaves?

Who Wrote Anne Frank’s Diary?
Globe and Mail, November 12, 2015
With its copyright about to expire, The Diary of a Young Girl could get a coauthor — just as Mein Kampf enters the public domain.

Behind the Wall
The Telegraph, November 21, 2015
A Budapest couple renovating their apartment made a chilling discovery: 6,300 files from a census of Hungarian Jews. The date: 1944.

Between the Covers: Unpublished Charlotte Brontë Manuscripts
Culture24, November 16, 2015
An early poem and prose fragment have turned up in a family book with a history as dramatic as any Brontë novel. Seriously, a shipwreck?

Signed, Sealed, Undelivered … for 400 Years
The Guardian, November 8, 2015
They’ve languished in a Hague museum since 1926. Now a trunk of undelivered letters is opening a window on life in the 17th century.

The Mystery Meat in Vellum Texts
Washington Post, November 23, 2015
What animals went into vellum manuscripts? A new test is yielding unexpected answers. And the tool is practically on the tip of your pencil.

Time Marches On
New York Times, November 5, 2015
As Time Inc. moves its HQ, its archive is going to the New-York Historical Society. Thousands of boxes. No finding aid. Go.

A 32-Second Video Reveals a Rare Book’s Secret
The Blaze, November 25, 2015
The book looks innocent. But hold it just so and you’ll discover what it’s hiding. Bonus! A 1947 short you have to see to believe.


Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol
Original manuscript on display
Ends January 10, 2016; closed Mondays, Christmas, and New Year’s Day; open December 28
Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Ave., New York
Adults $18, students and seniors $12, under 13 and members free

Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester and the Creative Mind
Plus The Worlds of M. C. Escher
Ends January 17, 2016; closed Mondays and December 24–25
North Carolina Museum of Art, 2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh
Adults $18, seniors $15, youth $12, under 7 and members free

Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts
Ends January 31, 2016; closed Mondays, Tuesdays, and Christmas
Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St. Baltimore

Alice in Wonderland
Ends April 17, 2016; closed December 24–28, New Year’s Day
British Library, 96 Euston Road, London
Finding little Alice Liddell in Oxford