Manuscript Digest –December 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

Battle of the Amazon
The Guardian, November 8, 2018
It looked like a shutout: Amazon’s AbeBooks was cutting off bookshops from a handful of countries. Then 600 dealers got together and … remember when David met Goliath?

The Collecting Gene?, November 28, 2018
He got his first Teddy Roosevelt pieces in eighth grade. Now his collection is, well, bully. Born to collect? Could be. His parents were both Manuscript Society founders.

For What It’s Worth
Daily Beast, November 8, 2018
Einstein items. Newton notes. Darwin documents. Which commanded top dollar at auction? None of the above. The top hammer price went to — an old PhD thesis. And a chair.

It’s a Lock
Atlas Obscura, November 9, 2018
Before envelopes, way before cyber encryption, letterlocking kept messages secure. How did it work? And why did the queen’s spymaster and John Donne use the same trick?

Well Donne
BBC, November 30, 2018
Old houses keep their secrets, and Melford Hall was really holding out on us. Then a Sotheby’s rep came calling. You could wait a whole career for a find like this.
• Charlotte Brontë’s dark doings in Angria

Diary of a Young Girl
Smithsonian Magazine, November 2018
She was a teenage girl who died in World War II. She was found hiding in an attic. She kept a diary that survived her. Her name: Renia Spiegel.
• Notes from musicians in Auschwitz

Trace Evidence
The New Yorker, November 26, 2018
Did the Marco Polo Bible really belong to Marco Polo? That’s just one of the riddles proteomics is out to solve, at the intersection of proteins and old paper.

About Face
Slate, November 15, 2018
They gaze out of the frame and out of the past. But putting names to the faces of the Civil War? Good luck — until now. A new website is making the photo IDs.

Hello, Louis
New York Times, November 16, 2018
The celebrity spotlight fell on Louis Armstrong for a long time. Now his archive is online, and we can finally see how he looked at a world that was looking at him.

Guinness Records
Independent, November 1, 2018
Crack open the Guinness archives, and what’s inside? Secret recipes. A rare signature. And the remnants of a mid-century “message in a bottle” campaign that keeps bobbing up.

Closing Chapter
Remembering James Billington, 13th Librarian of Congress
> See his legacy

Open Call
Accepting applications for 2019’s Maass Research Grant
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