Manuscript Digest: January – February 2024 – 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

Lincoln Logs In at NYPL
ArtDaily | New York Times, January 24, 2024
The Lincoln collection of the late Jonathan Mann, a longtime member of the Manuscript Society, has a new home at the New York Public Library. And what a collection it is.

New Docs Reexamine McKinley Death
Washington Post, January 31, 2024
Was President McKinley felled by a poisoned bullet? After his death, rumors flew. A physician present at the autopsy knew the truth. Do his newly discovered notes put the rumors to rest?

Stamp Act Placard Hammers Out
Fine Books & Collections, January 18, 2024
In 1765 the Sons of Liberty pushed to stamp out the Stamp Act. Their defiant placard marked the first open threat of revolt against Britain. Two copies survive. One just sold at auction.

Penny-Black Mail Hits the Block
Smithsonian Magazine, January 18, 2024
The first known piece of mail sent with a prepaid, adhesive stamp — a Penny Black — just hit the auction block, with an estimate up to $2.5 million. Did it deliver?

Texas Map Goes Big
Texas Monthly, December 4, 2023
A rare 1879 map of the Lone Star State has sold for a Texas-size price. How rare? Of three known copies, this is the only one in private hands. And the price? Yup, big.

Analyst Cracks the Dress Code
Ars Technica, January 30, 2024
“Bismark omit leafage buck bank.” Ten years ago those cryptic words were found on a slip of paper tucked inside a dress from the mid-1880s. What do they mean? We finally know.

Opera Scholars Search for Utopia
BBC, January 5, 2024
The original score of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Utopia Limited was sold in 1915. Then it vanished. But scholars believe the wand’ring opera score is out there. Join the search!

Chaucer Show Tells the Author’s Tale
The Week, January 19, 2024
Up for a road trip? Head for Chaucer Here and Now at the Bodleian Libraries. The show goes on until “Aprille with his shoures soote, The droghte of March hath perced to the roote.”

Why Celebs Ban Blank and Blue
HuffPost, December 27, 2023
When asked for autographs, many A-list celebrities say they “don’t do blue” and “no thanks to blanks.” It isn’t just a cavil, they argue; it’s self-preservation. Find out why.

Take Note: Handwriting Rules!
NBC News, January 27, 2024
Keystrokes may be faster, but handwriting activates more of the brain — and may increase learning and memory. What a recent study reveals.

From Our Blog

Collecting Conversations: Jerry Cimino of the Beat Museum

In 2003 Jerry Cimino took his personal collection and opened the Beat Museum in San Francisco. Two decades later, the museum is still going strong, showcasing highlights of the Beat generation. A typewriter that belonged to Allen Ginsberg. A jacket that Jack Kerouac often wore. The 1949 Hudson auto used in the film On the Road. Last fall Cimino sat down for an interview in Manuscripts. Learn how a degree in history, a career in corporate sales, and a near-death experience led him to start his museum — and why the Beat goes on.

Interesting Happenings

100 Years – Morgan Library & Museum centennial programming > Check it out

24 Shows – Smithsonian exhibitions on the calendar in 2024 > See what’s on