Manuscript Digest: March – April 2023 – 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 this digest
In the News
Benzie County Record Patriot | Washington Post, March 19, 2023
A brief mention in the archives led to a big find: an oversized, overlooked mural of Washington crossing the Delaware, rolled up in a New Jersey basement.
Philly Voices, February 13, 2023
A Philadelphia museum is opening a new tranche of documents from the American Revolution. All have one thing in common. They are the records of patriots of color.
Stellar Book Sale
Live Science, March 14, 2023
A rare first edition of Copernicus’s De revolutionibus orbium coelestium is up for sale. How high could the price go? In 2008 a similar copy fetched an astronomical $2.2 million.
Priceless? No …
Smithsonian Magazine, February 17, 2023
Created around 1,100 years ago. Vanished for centuries. Resurfaced in 1929. The Codex Sassoon has history. Its sale could shatter records.
Mania for Manuscripts
Forbes India, March 13, 2023
Newton, Mozart, Darwin, Picasso, Einstein — and Proust. Lots of Proust. Inside what may be the world’s largest private collection of manuscripts.
Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 2023
A New York woman spent decades collecting dictionaries, from books of slang to the Merriam brothers’ letters on snagging Noah Webster’s rights. How the Lilly Library got the last word.
Shakespeare’s First Fan Book
The Guardian, February 4, 2023
Imagine reading Shakespeare’s First Folio when it was hot off the press. One of the Bard’s fans did more than read, taking notes and jotting quotes. And not the ones we learn in school.
Genesis of Genius
Art Newspaper, March 16, 2023
Leonardo da Vinci’s father was a notable notary. His mother? A newly discovered document suggests she was an enslaved woman from the Caucuses. The evidence and what it means.
Cn U Rd Ths Manuscript?
The Guardian, March 15, 2023
The Herculaneum scrolls were charred in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Now scientists are offering $250,000 for deciphering four passages from the spirals’ inner layers.
Dust-up over Gloves
ArtDaily, March 9, 2023
The myth about white gloves in the archives just won’t die. Why it’s wrong, why it sticks, and how librarians are handling the bare-knuckle fight for “clean hands and caution.”
From Our Blog
This classic guide, now out of print, is again available, in limited numbers. The 1978 book, sponsored by the Manuscript Society, remains a valuable resource on the history and fundamentals of the field. Topics range from writing materials to the legal side of manuscript collecting to autographs of the American Civil War. It’s an essential reference for serious collectors and those just getting started.
Other Items of Interest
Last Lines Favorite posts from Fine Books & Collections’ outgoing blog editor > Read up
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