Manuscript Digest: June – July 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 news […] […]

In the News

Hancock’s Hefty Price
Fine Books & Collections, May 6, 2022
In 1776 John Hancock rushed the Declaration of Independence to the 13 states. Georgia’s copy of his cover letter has sold for $1.9 million, nearly double its price just two years ago.

Reese Auction Action
Antiques and the Arts Weekly, June 7, 2022
The private trove of rare book dealer William Reese has sold for $16.1 million. More than $2 million of that came from one item.

Button, Button …
ArtfixDaily, June 29, 2022
Who’s got the Button Gwinnett? Dealer John Reznikoff bought the rare signature as part of a complete set of Declaration signers. Then he placed it with a client — who’s got the Button.
• A mystery about a Gwinnett signature to kill for

Bill of Rights Precursor for Sale
Artnet News, July 1, 2022
A precursor to the Bill of Rights, once owned by the late David Karpeles, is up for auction. What makes the historic document and its sale significant.

The Real Whistleblower?
Smithsonian Magazine, May 16, 2022
Legend says Sally Townsend, part of General Washington’s Culper Spy Ring, foiled a plot to surrender Fort West Point to the British. But a paper trail points to someone else.

Bill of Rights at NARA
Washington Post, May 6, 2022
The National Archives has the original Bill of Rights manuscript. But it didn’t have the printed broadside shared with the states — until collector David Rubenstein stepped in.

NARA Subpoenaed
HuffPost, May 13, 2022
A grand jury is looking into how President Trump handled secret material. That led to a subpoena for 15 boxes of documents the National Archives retrieved from Mar-a-Lago.

Enslaved, Escaped, Enlisted
New York Times, June 17, 2022
In a dramatic escape, William B. Gould fled slavery and made his way to a ship on the Union blockade. He went on to serve nearly three years in the US Navy. And kept a diary.

Rendell Lecture Series
Fine Books & Collections, June 10, 2022
Past Manuscript Society President Kenneth Rendell has endowed annual lectures at the Rare Book School. Their focus: how manuscripts and rare books affect human understanding.

A New Generation of Collectors
New York Times, May 7, 2022
A new generation is joining the rare book scene. How they got started, what they’re collecting, how they’re changing the world of old books — and where punk rocker Patti Smith fits in.

Summer Schedule: US Antiquarian Book Fairs > Road trip

Manuscript Mondays: ‘Etiquette Your Mother Never Taught You’ > Replay

From Our Blog

WEBINAR TONIGHT! ‘Dead Letter Office Photos: The Civil War’s Lost Sentiments’ | Tuesday, July 5, 8 p.m. ET

During the Civil War, throngs of soldiers wrote home. They penned letters. They enclosed photos. But many of the young men had never addressed an envelope before. No surprise, lots of their messages ended up in the Dead Letter Office. And there they stayed, until a new Postmaster General had an idea: display the photos and make it a mission to deliver them where they belonged. Join Melissa A. Winn for Manuscript Mondays (on Tuesday) as she shows Dead Letter photos from her collection and shares their touching stories. Register now