Manuscript Digest – June-July 2021 – This complimentary e-digest, now published bi-monthly, covers significant acquisitions and sales, manuscripts lost and found, rare books and ephemera, document conservation, and more. […]

In the News

Turning Up a Stone
Philadelphia Inquirer, July 2, 2021
In 1823 William J. Stone made 201 parchment engravings of the Declaration of Independence. Around 50 survive. Well, one more just surfaced and sold for … wow.
• Check out the webinar “The Declaration of Independence: So Many Versions, So Many Fakes” (member login)

‘Oath’ Taker
Vice, June 10, 2021
Mark Hofmann’s “Oath of a Freeman” forgery just sold at auction. Get the real story behind famous fake. To find out who bought it, read the next Manuscript Society News.

On the Paper Trail
WTVB | Reuters, May 13, 2021
Last fall sleuthing scholars stopped the sale of a Cortés manuscript that seemed a lot like one from Mexico’s national archives. As the detectives dig deeper, the plot thickens.

Larceny in the Library
Daily Beast, May 30, 2021
The commotion around Cortés is just the latest. Libraries have a history of vanishing acts. The Carnegie in Pittsburgh. The Sackler at Oxford. Smiley’s whole hit list. Shall we go on?

Manuscrito de Glasgow
GlasgowLive, June 16, 2021
The Codex Tlaxcala was made in Mexico in the 1500s. So how did it end up in Glasgow? How did it slip by Aztec experts for so long? And what was that about pirates?

Brontë Bonanza
New York Times, May 25, 2021
The Honresfield Library has a wealth of Brontë manuscripts largely unseen since the 1930s. When the library went up for sale, Brontë buffs started beating a path to the auction house.
• Not so fast, says a group of big-name British institutions

Principia Payday
ArtfixDaily, June 2, 2021
Isaac Newton was a paper hoarder. But hanging onto this bit was a stretch. Good call, though. It just sold for $118,750. Why so much for slim two-pager? One word: Principia.
• Hawking joins Newton and Darwin at Cambridge

Coming Home
Washington Post, June 28, 2021
The man was about 20, smart, and on the run. And his enslaver wanted him back. That wanted poster was part of a trove found in a Maryland attic. Now it’s found a new home.

A Searing Account
KRMG, May 10, 2021
In 1921 B. C. Franklin’s law office burned when a mob torched Tulsa’s Greenwood District. Franklin told the story in a manuscript now at the Smithsonian’s African American Museum.
• Volunteers transcribe a ream of Tulsa records in 24 hours

Rewriting the Book
Washington Post, June 28, 2021
Not long ago, the Library of Congress lagged in digital access. No more. Today it’s surging ahead with new tools so information, like government, can be of, by, and for the people.

From Our Blog

Collecting the Presidents — of Haiti

The United States isn’t the only country in the Americas to fight for its freedom. Haiti won its independence from France in 1804. Manuscript Society board member Stuart Embury collects material of Haiti’s presidents. In this post, he shares the history behind his collection and his wish list for future finds.

Genius – Da Vinci notebooks free online – Where to find them > Browse

Mission – Behind Enemy Lines: WWII Escape and Evasion Reports > Transcribe