Manuscript Digest – December 2021 – January 2022 – 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 Digest News

On the Block: the Goldman Constitution
Crain’s Chicago Business, November 19, 2021
In 1988 the Manuscript Society’s Howard Goldman bought a rare copy of the US Constitution for $165,000. Citadel’s Ken Griffin just paid $43.2 million for it. What’s next.

Crypto Collective Comes Up Short
New York Times, November 17, 2021
A “financial flash mob” tried to raise enough money to keep the Constitution copy out of private hands. If they’d pulled it off, how would that have worked?

Einstein Manuscript Smashes Record
Live Science, November 24, 2021
Einstein didn’t usually hang onto his manuscripts. Good thing his collaborator Michele Besso did. Their draft of the theory of relativity auctioned for $13 million.
• Who is the buyer? Sources say …

Honresfield Library Stays in the UK
The Guardian, December 16, 2021
A five-month campaign raised £15 million — half from Britain’s richest man — to keep a private library from being auctioned off. In the trove: manuscripts by the Brontës, Austen …

Vaccine Letter Goes on the Block
Washington Post, December 1, 2021
Catherine the Great was the first in Russia immunized against smallpox. In 1787 she wrote a letter urging inoculation in the provinces. Sold with her portrait, it fetched £951,000.
• The best medicine, 17th-century style

Out of the Shoebox, into Six Figures
Sports Collectors Daily, November 21, 2021
There are only 50 copies of the 2008 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor Kobe Bryant card. For years, one of them languished in a shoebox. When it came out, it went big. How big?

Why the Rise in Auction Prices?
Digital Journal | AFP, November 25, 2021
From a Constitution copy to an Einstein manuscript, auction sales are going through the roof. How online auctions and new buyers are shattering norms — and making valuations tricky.
• A look back at top sales of 2021

A Donation of Dickinson Doubles
New York Times, December 10, 2021
Houghton Library holds a host of Dickinson manuscripts, many too fragile to handle. Enter Dickinson. The TV series is donating its replicas — so scholars can not just look but touch.

Date-Checking a Lincoln Document
Ars Technica, December 25, 2021
Lincoln’s pardon of a Civil War soldier might have been among his last acts in office. But was the date fudged? Finally, x-ray analysis brings a verdict. And some bad news.

Readers’ Picks
Fine Books & Collections, December 2021
A remembrance of a longtime antiquarian bookseller. A memoir by a Texas book collector. Both Manuscript Society members. Both featured in Fine Books’ most popular posts of 2021.

From Our Blog

How to Weed Your Attic

Maybe it’s a New Year’s resolution. Or maybe you’ve read another story about a priceless find in a forgotten corner. Whatever the motivation, it’s time to weed the attic! But how do you sift the history from the miscellany? What’s a keeper, and what can you toss? Manuscript Society trustee Elizabeth H. Dow offers ideas from her book How to Weed Your Attic.

Other Interesting Items

Wider Horizons
“Imagining the World: Unexplored Global Collections at Columbia,” an online exhibition > Explore

Deeper History
Searchable Museum, new from Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture > Interact