Manuscript Digest –May 2019– 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

Book Return
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 25, 2019
A 1615 “Breeches Bible” is back in the saddle at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. One down. How many to go? At last count, 321 rare items had gone missing from the libes.

Good Book, Dark History
New York Times, April 24, 2019
Fewer than 50 Gutenberg Bibles survive. The Lost Gutenberg traces No. 45 through years of owners, opulence, and outrageous (mis)fortunes. Read the New York Times book review.

Old WorldCat
Windsor Star, April 12, 2019
What were people reading in the 16th-century? We just found a clue, in a book catalog commissioned by Columbus’s son. Next mystery: how did it end up in Copenhagen?

The Brothers Banū Mūsā
Atlas Obscura, April 2, 2019
A gas mask. A crankshaft. A programmable machine. A trio of Baghdad brothers drew up plans for all of them, all in the ninth century. How their magnum opus was lost … and saved.

Archivist Action Heroes
New York Times, April 2, 2019
The records of New York’s shuttered Bowery Bank were bound for the shredder — until archivists jumped into action. Find out what was saved and why it matters.

Guardians of History
Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 13, 2019
When does today’s filing cabinet overflow turn into tomorrow’s treasure? We’ll never know if we don’t save the history in our hands. A must-read editorial for manuscript lovers.
“Bless this mess” at two DC archives

Where There’s a Will
Washingtonian, April 25, 2019
Shhh! Shakespeare may be resting between the sheets at Folger Library. Project Dustbunny is sweeping up the bio bits in old manuscripts. Are some of them Will’s?

Birthday Song of Myself
Fine Books & Collections, April 27, 2019
The Library of Congress is pulling out all the stops for the big 200th of poet and force of nature Walt Whitman. See what’s on the books for the Whitman bicentennial.
• Byron’s Don Juan goes on show at 200

Man of Letters
Datebook, April 1, 2019
The Letterform Archive is one man’s labor of love for type fonts. When his collection overran his house, he did the only thing he could. And that was …
• The case for cursive

Post-Print POTUS
The Atlantic, April 9, 2019
The Obama Presidential Library — make that Center — has drawn some brickbats for going digital-first. But are the naysayers missing an inflection point?