Manuscript Digest: April – May 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 News

Remembering Christopher Coover
New York Times, April 15, 2022
Christie’s rare book and manuscript expert Chris Coover was a past president and fellow of the Manuscript Society. Career highlight: sale of the Hammer Codex to Bill Gates.

Hamilton and Replevin
MassLive, March 8, 2022
During WWII an Alexander Hamilton letter was stolen. In 1945 a collector bought it. When the family later tried to sell it, red flags went up — all the way to the Supreme Court.

Missing Darwin Journals Reappear
The Guardian, April 5, 2022
Two Darwin manuscripts not seen since at least 2001 are back at Cambridge University Library. They were returned anonymously. In a pink gift bag. With a note…

Hancock on the Block
ArtfixDaily, April 5, 2022
On July 8, 1776, John Hancock sent the Declaration of Independence to the legislatures of the 13 states. Only five of his cover letters are known to survive. One of them is up for auction.

Brontë Book Returns
BBC, April 25, 2022
A miniature book of poems by a young Charlotte Brontë has sold for $1.25 million. The buyer plans to send the tiny tome, last at auction in 1916, to her childhood home.

Poetry in Motion
Reveille, March 27, 2022
Manuscript Society member Wyatt Houston Day built a collection of African American poetry, Phillis Wheatley to Gwendolyn Brooks. Today the trove is on the move to LSU.

Archiving ‘Dick-and-Doris’
New York Times, April 7, 2022
Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin has spent her share of time in archives. Now her papers, and those of her husband, speechwriter Richard Goodwin, are joining the files at UT Austin.
• A salute to Harry Ransom Center’s longtime director

Neil Simon Enters LC
Washingtonian, April 25, 2022
The manuscripts and papers of playwright Neil Simon have a new venue: the Library of Congress. The collection showcases the creative process behind his bevy of Broadway hits.

A Fresh Look at Rare Opticks
Fine Books & Collections, Spring 2022
The copy of Newton’s Opticks had been on the collector’s shelf for years. But the pandemic gave him time for a closer look — and a clue to a surprising provenance.
• More rare books uncovered

Pricing ‘Priceless’ Treasures
National Geographic, April 2, 2022
What drives the price of rare books and documents? And how high do they go? A look at major sales, with links to key manuscripts and repositories.

From Our Blog

Archaeology Never Stops at Colonial Williamsburg

Neither rain, hail, sleet, heat, nor bugs keep the archaeologists at Colonial Williamsburg from their work. They dig into Custis Square, an early 18th-century garden site planted by John Custis IV. Excavate the site of the First Baptist Church of Williamsburg, among the earliest African American churches in the colonies. They probe the Powder Magazine, an arsenal dating from 1715. See what they’ve turned up.

Surprising Survivors – Mali manuscripts and more > Explore

Columbia Collections – The RBML director’s picks > Enjoy


Six times a year the Digest brings news from the world of manuscript and autograph collecting, compliments of the Manuscript Society. Join our mailing list to subscribe.