Manuscript Digest – February 2016 – 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.


You Say You Want a Revolution?
USA Today, January 26, 2016
In 1777 a New Jersey church said it did — and put it in writing. After a two-year search, its bold words are back for all to see.

A Borderline Case
New York Times, January 1, 2016
New York. New Jersey. Where do you draw the line? The answer may have been curled up in a corner at Houghton Library. Keyword: Ratzer.

A Call to Save Mali’s Manuscripts
Washington Post, January 21, 2016
Extremists have targeted a millennium’s worth of Islamic manuscripts. Read about heroic rescues and UNESCO’s calls for “emergency action.”
• Learn about the trade in looted antiquities. 

An Ancient Lens on Modern Astronomy
NPR, January 28, 2016
Modern astronomy may be older than we imagined. A new look at old clay tablets shows that Babylonians were centuries ahead of the curve.

Da Vinci and the Smear Campaign
News Corp Australia Network, January 20, 2016
Did da Vinci doodle Michelangelo’s David? Multispectral imaging reveals an erased sketch that looks a lot like — well, you decide.

The £7.3 Million Wallpaper Project
The Telegraph, January 27, 2016
Lady Hertford had an eye. So when she redecorated in the 1820s, she picked up a book of Audubon’s birds and … Are you sure you want to know?

NYPL Puts Up 180,000 Images for Download
Open Culture, January 7, 2016
Papers from the Founding Fathers. Letters from literary luminaries. Medieval manuscripts. Maps and more maps. No strings, no cost, no kidding.
• Search the collections.

LBJ’s Condolences to MLK’s Widow Go Public
KVUE, January 15, 2016
His letter to Coretta Scott King is now at the LBJ Presidential Library. How it got there is a twisted tale of gifts and sales.

Awaiting an Offer It Can’t Refuse
Rolling Stone, January 29, 2016
Mario Puzo’s archive is up for auction. On the block: his drafts of The Godfather, novel and screenplay. It’s like taking the script and the cannoli.

The Force Awakens to Fight Forgeries
Los Angeles Times, January 16, 2016
Star Wars actor Mark Hamill has joined forces with a California assemblywoman to crack down on fake autographs. Call it clone wars.


49th California International Antiquarian Book Fair
February 12–14
Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St.
Three days $25, two days $20, student discounts

Semi-Annual Main Reading Room Open House
February 15, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE, Washington
• While you’re there, see “Out of the Ashes.”

The World in Play: Luxury Cards, 1430–1540
Ends April 17
The Cloisters, 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, New York
Adults $25, seniors $17, students $12, under 12 and members free
• Read the New York Times review. 

Shakespeare in Print and Performance
Ends May 29
Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin,
21st and Guadalupe Streets
• Tour the Folger collection with NPR’s Susan Stamberg.