Manuscript Digest –August 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

Carnegie Charges
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 20, 2018
A former archivist and an antiquarian bookseller are charged in what’s being called one of the largest library thefts ever. Estimated value: $8 million. More on the story.
• Purloined letters back at Princeton libes

The Enigma Mystery
The Times, July 10, 2018
A draft of Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations made a big noise on BBC1’s Antiques Roadshow. Estimated value: £100,000. The real enigma: How did the AR guest get it?

Jackie’s Packing Flap
New York Times, July 2, 2018
On November 22, the note said, the First Lady would wear a pink Chanel suit. Why Jackie’s packing list for the fateful trip to Dallas is causing a flap at the JFK library.

Hands on Dec
Popular Mechanics, July 3, 2018
Faded ink. Decades on display. And what’s with that handprint? It’s been a hard-knocks life for the Declaration of Independence. The science of America’s battered birth certificate.

Rock Legend
Insider, July 19, 2018
A desperate message, carved on a rock. The last trace of America’s lost Roanoke Colony? Scientists have been skeptical. Now they’re taking a second look at a stone-cold mystery.

Mental Floss, July 26, 2018
Next time you’re updating your apps, give a thought to Ada Lovelace. She published the first computer program back in 1843. Only six bound copies remain; one of them just sold for …

Pence and Sensibility
The Guardian, July 25, 2018
Jane Austen may be the quintessential Regency writer, but what she thought of the Prince Regent isn’t fit to print. So who turns out to be the first buyer of her first novel? Awkward.

Malcolm and Alex
New York Times, July 26, 2018
The lost chapters of Malcolm X’s autobiography have quite a history. How they went missing, where they are now, and what they say about his relationship with Alex Haley.

Auld Lang Sign?
Daily Mail, July 26, 2018
Scientists have a new way to tell fake manuscripts from the real deal. Forget the handwriting; the secret’s in the ink. Their test case: a famously forged Scottish poet.

If Books Could Kill
Live Science, July 10, 2018
Paris Green. Just the name of the color sounds lovely. Lovely but lethal. Researchers recently discovered the deadly dye in three rare books — and more could be out there.

Signature Show

New York Times reviews “The Magic of Handwriting.”
> Sign on

Play Ball

“Baseball Americana” at the Library of Congress.
> Score!