Manuscript Digest – November 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

Top Billing
CNN, October 15, 2020
A copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, one of five in private hands, just fetched a record $10 million. The seller was Mills College. The buyer … Did we mention private hands?
• Is this college book sale bad medicine?

The Price
Dawn, October 4, 2020
The Codex Leicester is the world’s most expensive book. Or is it? Adding up the leaves and folios sold piecemeal, another book could be pricier. Its history and its story.
Forget expensive. These books are just plain strange.

Poe’s Pay
Fine Books & Collections, October 12, 2020
About those articles … A letter from Edgar Allan Poe seeking payment from Graham’s Magazine just sold for — a lot more than the $40 he was asking for his stories.

Harry Situation
Daily Mail, October 18, 2020
Two decades ago a first edition of the first Harry Potter book vanished from a UK library. Now, like magic, it’s turned up at auction. In another first, the library wants it back.

Embattled Lines
El Paso Times, October 2, 2020
One sale was stopped, but more letters from a Spanish conquistador recently went under the hammer. Still to be hammered out: whether they belong to Mexico’s national archives.
• Mexico asks the Vatican for a book loan. And an apology.

Book Return
The Guardian, October 28, 2020
After nearly 400 years in British hands, the Book of Lismore is home in County Cork. What’s in this medieval masterpiece, where it’s been, and why it matters.

Banner Occasion
New York Times, October 8, 2020
The National Women’s Party fought for suffrage — really fought. Shut out of Smithsonian shows a century ago, the NWP has finally found a home for its remaining artifacts.

Promised Land, October 15, 2020
In July SCOTUS ruled that much of eastern Oklahoma is in Native American territory. How so? Old treaties. Now hundreds of those historical documents are up online.
• A 1666 fishing charter has its hooks in Brexit.

American Heritage, October 2020
In a rare move for a US president, Ike left his fingerprints, literally, on his administration’s amicus curiae brief in Brown v. Board of Education. See what he wrote.
• Get American Heritage gratis.

Off the Wall
New York Times, October 21, 2020
A Met visitor just found a long-lost painting — hanging on a neighbor’s wall. Enjoy this tale of collecting and serendipity, with ties to Shays’s Rebellion and a Washington letter.
• Found in lockdown: a Newton first edition. Time to tidy the shelves!

From Our Blog

Collecting Conversations: An Interview with Alfred Lemmon

He’s director of the Williams Research Center of The Historic New Orleans Collection. He’s working with the French National Library on a portal of French materials about America. He’s the mastermind behind the Manuscript Society’s trips to France, Spain, and the Netherlands. Plus he plays the organ at NOLA’s  St. Louis Cathedral. A talk with trustee Alfred Lemmon.

The Bostonians – Virtual Boston Book Fair – Hosted by the ABAA First ever! – November 12–14 > Check in

The Indies – Independent Online Booksellers Association – 2nd Virtual Book Fair November 20–22 > Check it out

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