Manuscript Digest –October 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

Lost in Brazil
The Guardian, September 3, 2018
Last month, fire gutted Brazil’s Museu Nacional. What was lost: priceless. What remains: questions about dry fire hydrants and funding for fire prevention.
How crowdsourcing could capture a record of missing treasures

Mastering Disaster
Wicked Local Acton, September 26, 2018
A fire at a major museum makes headlines. But small institution face dangers, too. Mold, insects, heat, humidity, and yes, fire. How do local collections handle the risks?

Rush Hour
Smithsonian Magazine, September 2018
Martha Washington. Abigail Adams. Dolley Madison. They’re all household names. Now long-lost letters have sparked a rush of interest in another Founding Mother.

Honestly Abe’s?
WBEZ, September 19, 2018
Did the stovepipe hat at the Lincoln presidential museum really belong to Abe? The question looms large as the museum’s foundation struggles to repay the loan behind its purchase.

‘First Thing We Do …’, September 12, 2018
A scholar has turned up records of a lawsuit involving Shakespeare’s father. They could explain a lot about the Bard’s attitude toward kings and power. Also lawyers.

Galileo’s Gambit
Quartz, September 23, 2018
Galileo’s ideas about the solar system got him in hot water with the church. A newly discovered letter shows how he tried to get out — by working the system at the Vatican.

Shades of Gray
The Guardian, September 8, 2018
By 1889, Oscar Wilde was at risk of becoming respectable. Then came The Picture of Dorian Gray. What the handwritten manuscript reveals about Wilde and his times.

Before Kells
RTÉ, September 20, 2018
The Book of Kells is old, beautiful, and famous. Well, Kells, move over. The Book of Durrow is at least a hundred years older. And it’s getting its turn in the spotlight.
• Making a show of Montreal’s medieval miniatures

The Lines Start Here
New York Times, September 12, 2018
Nine red lines found on a stone flake in South Africa have turned back the starting point for known human drawings by 30,000 years. But the best part is how the marks were made.

Cook Like an Egyptian
Atlas Obscura, September 4, 2018
A new translation is cooking up a compendium of 14th-century Cairo cuisine. Traditional dishes, desserts, digestives … No word about Death-by-Chocolate on the Nile.

Saving manuscripts from war-torn Mali. A British Library program
> Watch

Doris Kearns Goodwin on A House Divided, October 30, 12:30 p.m. CT
> Check it out