Manuscript Digest – January 2020 – 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

What Madison Wrote
The Atlantic, December 22, 2019
What did the Founders really say about the big “I”? We’ve heard a lot of talk, but one Boston College law prof has dug into Madison’s notes. And she’s raising a caution flag.

Olympic Record
Penta, December 19, 2019
When the manifesto for the modern Olympic games hit the auction block, a bidding war sent the hammer price soaring. At nearly nine times the estimate, it hit a new world record.

The Bard on the Block
KQED, December 11, 2019
The budget or the Bard? To dig out of a deficit, Mills College reportedly put its Shakespeare First Folio up for sale. Projected price: into the millions.

A Deed Goes to Brooklyn
New York Times, December 3, 2019
The seller thought the old deed was valuable for its 1643 date and Peter Stuyvesant’s signature. But the parchment told a bigger story about New York and the New World.

Recipes, Records, and Roots
NPR, December 22, 2019
A Cuban American writer came across some old family recipes. Really old. How they led her to Lisbon, to records from the Spanish Inquisition, and to her family’s hidden roots.

Atlas Obscura, December 12, 2019
Conservators at the Library of Congress recall how they unrolled a 2,000-year-old Buddhist scroll so fragile a breath or a breeze — let alone a sneeze — would have shattered it.

Saving Humanities
America, December 27, 2019
Much has been said of how medieval monks saved civilization. Today monks are still at work, rescuing texts from devastation and disaster. From a lecture by Columba Stewart.
• Gathering Ireland’s lost records

‘Women’s Work’
Fine Books & Collections, December 19, 2019
“How a nice girl from Brooklyn fell hard for books and amassed a collection spanning nine centuries.” That’s how Lisa Unger Baskin described her collecting passion. See it at work.
• Taking the gloves off at Philly’s Free Library

RIP, Huck Finn’s Finder
Los Angeles Times, December 23, 2019
Most people rooting around in grandpa’s attic are lucky to find a few love letters. The late Barbara Testa found half of the Huck Finn manuscript. Then the fun started.

Greetings from the Bots
ABC15, December 23, 2019
If that holiday letter looks too perfect to be real, you may be right. As handwriting fades, people are using robots to write their season’s greetings. Happy New Year!

From Our Blog

The New Shapiro Center for American History and Culture

A gift from a longtime Manuscript Society member has established a new center at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. The gift, from L. Dennis and Susan R. Shapiro, brings the Huntington a collection of 340 rare documents. The Shapiros also are funding two new fellowships and a book prize.

A Little Extra

Rome Trip – Manuscript Society exclusive – October 3–11, 2020  > Join in

Mini Bards – Six tiny tomes at the Folger Shakespeare Library > Peek