Manuscript Digest – April 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.


Safe at Home: Lucky 7 Ty Cobb Cards
Washington Post, March 3, 2016
Seven ultra-rare Ty Cobb baseball cards turned up in grandpa’s attic. Value? Let’s say the family fortune’s in the bag. 

Back in the (Former) USSR
NPR, March 5, 2016
In the “Wild West” of the 1990s, countless documents strayed from Russia’s archives. US agents are still herding them up. 

Tracking Irish Roots
Irish Central, March 29, 2016
Finding Irish ancestors once meant going from parish to parish for records. Now an online database has opened a new path to the past. 

• Read about the fire that torched Irish family trees. >>

A Dying Soldier’s Message, Written by Whitman
Washington Post, March 9, 2016
Poet Walt Whitman helped hospitalized Civil War soldiers write home. One of his letters just surfaced at NARA; it could be the tip of the iceberg.

Is This Shakespeare’s Hand We See Before Us …
Slate / The Vault, March 16, 2016
… in a speech on immigrant tolerance? In someone else’s play? Find out what he said and why scholars think he was playing script doctor.

Reading Shakespeare’s Writing
Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2016
Sixteenth-century “secretary hand” can be tricky to transcribe — maybe trickier than we thought. Cue the Folger library’s handwriting expert.

Transcription for a Post-Cursive Age
Boston Globe, March 18, 2016
Norfolk County, Massachusetts, is transcribing a century of old deed records. How old? Think John Adams, Paul Revere, Horace Mann … 

Isaac Newton and the Philosopher’s Stone
Chemistry World, March 17, 2016
Newton’s copy of the famous alchemy recipe just changed hands. It was supposed to guarantee immortality. Caveat emptor: Newton died in 1727.

Who Was Houdini’s Ghostwriter?
Chicago Tribune, March 31, 2016
A long-lost manuscript commissioned by magician Harry Houdini is back from the beyond. One mystery remains. Who wrote it?

Look Out, Kid, Dylan’s Secret Is Out
New York Times, March 2, 2016
Those rumors about Bob Dylan’s secret archive? All true. Six thousand pieces are getting a new home in Tulsa, next to Woody Guthrie’s papers.

• Highlights from the Dylan archive >>


New York Antiquarian Book Fair
April 7–10
Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue, New York
Preview pass $50, run of show $40, daily $25, students $10 

Warhol by the Book
Wagner’s Ring: Forging an Epic

Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street, New York
Free admission April 16–17
• See details. >>

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare
April 9–May 1, closed Mondays
The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St., Omaha, NE
Adults $12, seniors $8, children $7, under 3 and members free

• More about the Bard’s book tour >>

Traversing the Globe through Illuminated Manuscripts
Ends June 26, closed Mondays
Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles