Manuscript Digest – June 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

The Telegraph, May 28, 2017
The stamp was the giveaway. Did the Royal Library of Turin know its book was up for sale? How a Swedish scholar — and online buyer — brought down an Italian art theft ring.

Purloined ‘Potter’
New York Times, May 12, 2017
What kind of miscreant muggle would steal JK Rowling’s handwritten prequel to Harry Potter? UK police are on the case. No word on whether there’s a hex on the text.

What Ho, Cardenio
Daily Beast, May 7, 2017
It figures. Don Quixote was a hit with the London literati. Wouldn’t Shakespeare want to get in on the act? The case for Cervantes spinoff Cardenio as one of Will’s lost plays.
A forgotten Edith Wharton play

Uncovering Caxton
BBC, May 9, 2017
Black letter typeface. Red paragraph marks. Could it be? Yes, it could: a page from England’s first printer, lost for hundreds of years. Guess where it turned up.

Between the Lines
The Guardian, May 24, 2017
For 50 years, the notebook held its secret. Then a Sylvia Plath scholar saw a sheet of carbon paper tucked inside. And there, in a tangle of type …

When in Roman
The New Yorker, May 1, 2017
When old Roman tablets surface in the UK, who’re you gonna call? Meet the man who has made a career of deciphering sketchy texts, and find out why it pays to read upside down.

Mayan Echoes, May 12, 2017
What was the Mayan language like before the Spanish came? A manuscript from 1690 tells the tale. Take a rare look at the Libro de Sermones.

The Doc Ages
Washington Post, May 9, 2017
Doctors in the Dark Ages may have been brighter than we supposed. Could the next generation of microbe killers come from a medieval medical text?

Atlas Obscura, May 9, 2017
Illuminated manuscripts may be works of art. But the real fun is in the margins. Sneak a peek these medieval doodles, but be warned: some of those scribes were no saints.
Remember when e-books were supposed to kill print? As if.

Trash or Treasure?
Parade, May 1, 2017
Old yearbooks. Autograph books. Signed mementos. Is there a treasure in the attic? A pop culture expert tells how to sort the keepers from the clutter.

From Our Blog

‘Despite the Constant Negative Press Covfefe’
Ever since Washington, US presidents have had a love-hate relationship with the media. Take a timely look at “Presidential Press(ures),” from the archives of Manuscripts.