Manuscript Digest –May 2018– 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

O Rare Ben Franklin
The Inquirer, April 17, 2018
Eight thousand manuscripts from Philly’s favorite Founding Father are going online. We’ve seen the transcriptions already. So why the excitement? Doodles. Lots of doodles.
• Take a look

Sutra Karma
Barron’s, April 3, 2018
Patience has its rewards. Ming Dynasty Buddhist sutra manuscripts, out of view for almost a century, just made a record sale at auction. What did the Ming bling bring?

Give Me Rewrite
The Times, April 26, 2018
Talk about cross culture. Between the lines of an eighth-century Koran, an even older Coptic Bible lay unseen. Then a sharp-eyed scholar picked up an auction catalog, and …

The Missing
NPR, April 29, 2018
In 1995, a Torah and a codex vanished from the West Bank. The hunt for the missing manuscripts has led to Jerusalem, London, Tel Aviv, DC, and back. It hasn’t led to answers.

Trace Evidence
Chemical & Engineering News, April 9, 2018
What can the molecules in manuscripts reveal about their writers? Plenty! Chasing clues about Chekhov’s death and the lives of scribes in the great Milanese plague of 1630.

The Godfather Files
Chicago Sun-Times, April 4, 2018
When Mario Puzo’s papers sold at auction, the buyer stayed under wraps. No more. Turns out the offer they couldn’t refuse came from a sitting governor. How the story came out.

Boss on the Block
Fast Company, April 20, 2018
Springsteen fans, this one’s for you. An original handwritten manuscript of “Born to Run” is back on the block. Five years ago, it went for $197,000. Let’s see if the price has run up.

Broadway Revival
CBC Radio, April 13, 2018
A New York museum is reviving a collection of old theater playbills. Old? Going back to 1785. Once they’re restored and digitized, they’ll be ready to go on show. Encore!

Cn U Rd Ths?
Christian Science Monitor, April 6, 2018
Can you read cursive? Sure! Historical cursive? An archive may be looking for you. Learn about the many hands making light(er) work at the Huntington, Smithsonian, and more.

Sign of Extinction
New York Times, April 8, 2018
Handwritten letters are fading away. Personal checks now grow rarer each day. Credit card signatures? Next, so we’ve heard, going the way of the old dodo bird.