Manuscript Society (2021)2021-06-10T19:23:05+00:00

Welcome to The Manuscript Society

The Mission of the Manuscript Society is to encourage the collection and preservation of manuscripts and documents; to stimulate and aid collectors in their various collecting specialties; to facilitate the exchange of information and knowledge among collectors, scholars, dealers and the general public; and to promote the highest professional and ethical standards.

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Executive Director Position – Applications accepted

Shirley J. Sands, executive director of The Manuscript Society, has announced her retirement, effective July 31, 2021.  Shirley will be hard to replace. However, a Search Committee is actively pursuing candidates to make a transition as seamless as possible. Suggestions are most welcome.

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Mel Blanc Picture

Mel Blanc: A Portrait in Manuscripts

2020 marks the 80th anniversary of the debut of Bugs Bunny which led me to reminisce about the voice behind the rabbit – Mel Blanc.  The “Man of 1000 Voices” has remained a hero of mine and I was able to acquire items from his estate at various auctions over the years. The earliest is a photo likely from the..

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Fridtjof Nansen cover and manuscript

Fridtjof Nansen – Arctic Explorer and More

Fridtjof Nansen (1861-1930) was an Arctic explorer. Also a skiing enthusiast who was a 12-time cross country champion in his native Norway. A scientist who made early discoveries in the field we now call neurobiology.

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Latest Digest

203, 2021

Digest: February/March 2021

March 2, 2021|

Manuscript Digest – February/March 2021 – 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. […]

Recent Posts

503, 2021

1795 Epidemic – A Doctor’s Diary

March 5, 2021|

  Anderson’s record of the 238 yellow fever patients admitted to Bellevue between August and October 1795; 137 of them died. (Alexander Anderson Papers / New-York Historical Society Library) Anderson's Diary Highlights Epidemic "Word of the disease in New York City came “from every quarter.” The place was [...]

403, 2021

17th Century Letterlocking Letters Unlocked

March 4, 2021|

Letterlocking Letterlocking used complicated folds to seal correspondence. (Unlocking History Research Group Archive) What do Mary Queen of Scots, Galileo, Marie Antoinette and Niccolò Machiavelli have in common? All practiced letterlocking! Letterlocking used complicated folds to seal correspondence.  Virtually hiding correspondence from prying eyes. Sometimes the recipient might [...]

2502, 2021

J.R.R. Tolkien Collection – Interview with Curator

February 25, 2021|

Collecting Conversations: An Interview with William Fliss, Archivist of Special Collections and University Archives at Marquette University. Curator, J. R. R. Tolkien collection Kevin Segall William Fliss, Archivist of Special Collections and University Archives at Marquette University. Curator, J. R. R. Tolkien collection  J.R.R. Tolkien Collection - Marquette [...]

1802, 2021

Eckert Personal Papers Now at Huntington

February 18, 2021|

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens has acquired the personal papers of Thomas T. Eckert (1825–1910). Left: “…get hold of Edison & keep him,” urged a promoter of Thomas Edison’s quadruplex telegraph to Thomas Eckert, president of the Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph Co., in 1876. Thomas T. [...]

1602, 2021

William Henry Dorsey: Preserving Black History

February 16, 2021|

William Henry Dorsey William Henry Dorsey was an African American of means who lived in 19th-century Philadelphia.  Like many others of his generations, he was bitten by the collecting and archiving bug. The son of Thomas Dorsey, an enslaved man who fled bondage in Maryland and secured his freedom in [...]

402, 2021

1774 Congressional Pamphlet – You Found it Where?

February 4, 2021|

For everyone who has every collected books, stamps, coins and certainly manuscripts you remember the moment.  You make one purchase and find an additional surprise. So it was for in William Leslie in 2014.  With time on his hands, a visit to an old bookstore.   Then a thin paper [...]

2301, 2021

1861 – Photograph of Lincoln Inauguration

January 23, 2021|

Lincoln's Inaugural Photograph - May 4, 1861 Iconic photo of Lincoln’s first inauguration. Now believed to be taken by government photographer John Wood. LOC “The avenue in front of the portico was thronged with people, the crowd extending to a great distance on either side and reaching far [...]

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