Manuscript Digest – March 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

Aristophil After the Fall
New York Times, February 21, 2020
Aristophil was riding high, snapping up rare books and manuscripts and selling off shares. Then came bankruptcy and court-ordered auctions. What it means for collectors.

Signature Sale
Antiques and the Arts Weekly, February 4, 2020
In 1776 John Hancock announced the Declaration of Independence to the 13 states. One of his few surviving letters has sold for just over $1 million. And the lucky bidder is …

The Big Reveal
Reuters, February 10, 2020
Late last year the Olympic Games Manifesto sold for $8.8 million to a mystery buyer. Mystery solved! The buyer was a Russian billionaire. Why he bought it and where it is now.

The Art of the Deal
The Courier-Post, February 23, 2020
On the day the Articles of Impeachment came out, President Trump signed a copy at a rally. It’s changed hands since, and the price keeps going up. But someone’s out of the money.

In the Bag
Belfast Telegraph, February 24, 2020
Snippets of letters from Charles Dickens, Queen Victoria, Charles Lindbergh, and more are finding their way into a collection of handbags. “Cultural vandalism”?
• Medieval manuscripts in a silk purse and worse

The Dresden Job
The Conversation, February 6, 2020
A pair of medieval manuscripts spent WWII in a Dresden bank vault. After the war, one vanished. The Red Army took the other. Then two women launched a scheme to get it back.

A Taste of History
Atlas Obscura, February 10, 2020
Forbidden wine, early mole, paella variations… Centuries of Mexican cookbooks are going online. What they say about culture, conquest, and Tex-Mex cooking.
• Surprise find: the first African-American cookbook

The World of George III
Smithsonianmag.com, February 26, 2020
George III was king of the hill — Bunker Hill, for example — until he wasn’t. Maps from his personal collection trace the path to the British surrender at Yorktown.

Losing the Vote
New York Times, February 24, 2020
Women got the vote, in 1920, right? Actually, New Jersey women could vote until 1807. Scholars have found poll lists — and learned more about how women lost the ballot.

National Treasure? Puh-lease
Tufts Daily, February 13, 2020
Looks as if National Treasure 3 is in the works. A university archivist takes on the treatment the Declaration of Independence got in the first movie. White gloves? Horrors!

From Our Blog

History for Sale

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania recently auctioned off part of its extensive collections of George Washington items. Will the Freedom Box from the John Peter Zenger trial be next? It’s part of the historical society’s collection, too, and reports say it’s being shopped around. Michael Dabrishus, past president of the Manuscript Society, shares his thoughts on selling off history.

Special Looks

Make Book
New York International Antiquarian Book Fair · March 5–8 > Explore

Open Access
Nearly 3 million images from the Smithsonian > Enjoy

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