Manuscript Digest –June 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

Honus Wagner’s Big Score
Forbes, May 30, 2019
2005: $236,706. 2014: $657,250. 2016: $776,750. It’s a little worn, but this Honus Wagner baseball card keeps running up the score on sale prices. Last week it hit …

Hot Hamilton
CNN, May 18, 2019
In a plot out of National Treasure, an A. Hamilton letter has been delivered to the FBI, decades after it was stolen from state archives. Where’s Nic Cage when you need him?

Voynich Decoded!*
Ars Technica, May 15, 2019
*Or not. Would-be code-crackers just can’t quit the world’s most elusive manuscript. Has someone broken the code at last? Scholarly response is putting the “oy” in Voynich.

The Hidden Harper Lee
Pacific Standard, May 10, 2019
There’s more to Harper Lee than To Kill a Mockingbird. After working with Capote on In Cold Blood, she turned to another true crime book. It went nowhere. Or did it?

A Woman’s Place
Los Angeles Times, May 25, 2019
Scientist Mary Roberts. Playwright Angela W. Grimke. Name-checking? Check them out at a Pasadena rare books store with a focus — and a new catalog — on works by women.

Summer Reading
Jewish News of Northern California, May 29, 2019
Ah, libraries. The lure, the lore, the languid hours between the covers. Three new books take readers across the centuries to legendary libraries in Jerusalem, Prague, and Vilna.

Space and Time
No Camels, May 29, 2019
Israel’s first astronaut never made it back from space — but his diary did. How it was found and why it’s on display alongside part of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Aladdin in Paris
Time, May 23, 2019
Did “Aladdin” spring from the imagination of a French scholar — or the adventures of a visitor from Syria? As Disney remakes the story, it’s again an open (sesame) question.

A Marvel-ous Gift
Mental Floss, May 7, 2019
A Columbus collector has donated his gargantuan comics collection to the University of South Carolina. Value? If your mom tossed your comics, you don’t want to know. Kapow!

Bytes of Knowledge
Firstpost, May 31, 2019
When he first saw Homer in English, Keats was blown away (and got a great poem out of it). No more were Greeks just for elites. Is digitization the same kind of game changer?
From Our Blog

Encounters with Elusive Autographs
A lengthy TLS from then-Congressman Gerald Ford, entrusted to the care of a high school librarian. A copy of SCOTUS tell-all The Brethren, inscribed by Justice Blackmun for … someone else. A Manuscript Society fellow writes about the autographs that got away.

Medieval Manuscripts – DIY video guide from the British Library
> Watch

F or S? – Odd characters in old documents
> Read

 

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