Manuscript Digest – May 2017 – This complimentary e-digest, launched in 2012, covers significant acquisitions and sales, manuscripts lost and found, rare books and ephemera, document conservation, and more.
In the News
Something to Declare
Smithsonian.com, April 25, 2017
Researchers have turned up a forgotten copy of the Declaration of Independence. A parchment copy, no less. In England, of all places. And that may not be the big reveal.
Time, April 3, 2017
Found in a Connecticut attic: a letter penned by not one but two suffrage icons. Nearly 150 years later, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s P.S. still resonates.
Lost and Found
Boston Globe, April 20, 2017
For decades, a missing 14th-century Italian manuscript hid in plain sight at the Boston Public Library. How its rightful owners found it and what happened next.
Los Angeles Times, April 23, 2017
Marlowe. Middleton. Nashe. Beaumont. In their day, they had as much marquee value as Shakespeare. Now they’re getting a digital reprise. But where’s rare Ben Johnson?
The Telegraph, April 2, 2017
The appraiser did a u-turn when he saw the tiny notebook. Did “Antiques Roadshow” find Shakespeare’s first scholar?
Want to Write Wuthering Heights?
BBC, April 6, 2017
The original manuscript of Emily Brontë’s chick-lit classic is long gone. No worries. The Brontë Parsonage Museum has a plan — and a passel of pencils.
Proust’s Noisy Neighbors
The Guardian, April 19, 2017
When he wasn’t munching madeleines, Marcel Proust had other, um, distractions. His letter complaining to his landlord recently went up for sale, and it’s a hoot.
• Le Figaro reports the auction results (in French).
Man of Letters, Revealed*
New York Times, April 12, 2017
Thirty years after his death, writer James Baldwin’s papers have finally come to light, in their new home at the New York Public Library. *Some restrictions apply.
New York Times, April 24, 2017
Orson Welles had more ideas than he, or Hollywood, knew what to do with. The University of Michigan just acquired his archive. Is there a “Rosebud” moment in the trove?
The Deal With Card Catalogs
Hyperallergic, April 4, 2017
From 2,000 BC until the digital age, card catalogs ruled. A new book from the Library of Congress captures a history writ large and very neatly.
• Take a trip to the morgue.