Das Deutsche Literaturarchiv Marbach hat kürzlich eine Frankfurter Privatsammlung zu Eduard Mörike erworben. Der Sammler Klaus Berge, verdientes Mitglied der Deutschen Schillergesellschaft und langjähriger Freund des Hauses, hat über mehr als drei Jahrzehnte hinweg sachkundig Handschriften, Erstausgaben, Widmungsexemplare, Grafiken und Gegenständliches von und zu Eduard Mörike sowie seinem Umkreis zusammengetragen.
105 years ago, from 6th to 8th August, 1908, a famous 19th century autograph collection was auctioned by J. A. Stargardt in Berlin. The owner of the collection was Fritz Donebauer, born in 1849 as a son of a Bohemian innkeeper who became a banker and insurance agent in Prague, and most of all: a collector. In his lifetime he owned hundreds of autographs and manuscripts of mostly Bohemian theatre artists and musicians as well as rare documents from the history of Bohemia and the Thirty Years War. Little is known about Fritz Donebauer, whose collection came to auction in Berlin in April 1908, and even less is known about the private collectors, dealers and institutions who bought the documents, manuscripts and handwritten letters. Eberhard Köstler tries to reconstruct Fritz Donebauer's life and the fate of his famous collection.
This (or a variant of it) is probably the most often asked question I hear. What I'm talking about is, of course, whether it is better to buy a book (or get it autographed by the author) with just a signature alone or whether it is better to have it with a personalized inscription.
The British Library has acquired the personal archive of Sir Alec Guinness. The archive includes more than 900 of his letters to family and friends and over 100 volumes of diaries from the late 1930s to his death in the year 2000. The letters and diaries of the award winning British actor enrich the British Library's collection of archives of great 20th century artists along with those of Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson.
How much is it worth? This question is most often asked by book collectors. And most often, there is not a precise answer. Although it is quite common nowadays to discuss rare books "as investments", the value of a book can hardly be counted in Dollars and Euros. It is even more difficult to measure the "worth" of dedication copies. Is the book inscribed by the author? Is this author famous and important, dead or alive? To whom is the book inscribed? Which words did the author choose to express his gratitude or sympathy? Eberhard Köstler, autograph specialist, gives examples of dedications by George Bernard Shaw, George Orwell, Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann and many other authors, and he shows that nothing is binding when it comes to the "real worth" of dedications.
In detective fiction and on the cop shows it's called "chain of evidence." Book collectors call it provenance. Unless you plan to build your private library solely with "hot off the press" titles, you need to understand provenance. The concept is important for all kinds of collectibles, from works of art to books to archaeological artifacts. Basically, it means: "to confirm or gather evidence as to the time, place, and if appropriate, the person responsible, for the creation, production or discovery of [an] object."
Great news: The Guardian and Associated Press report that the Hebrew University of Jerusalem puts online 2,000 documents from the Albert Einstein archives including unseen letters, postcards and research notes.
The 2017 Paris Salon du Livre has joined up with the French C.N.E.S. (Chambre Nationale des Experts Specialises en Objets d'Art et de Collection), the French network of valuers and specialists of works of art and collections.
Travis McDade is Curator of Law Rare Books at the University of Illinois College of Law and author of the upcoming Thieves of Book Row: New York's Most Notorious Rare Book Ring and the Man Who Stopped It. The book will published by Oxford University Press in May 2013. In this article Travis McDade, who also teaches a class called "Rare Books, Crime & Punishment", writes about how stolen books can be identified and what book thieves do to prevent this.
In a series of catalogues the German antiquarian bookseller Sabine Keune offers the most beautiful copies from the Martin Kaiser Collection of Pictorial Literature. Martin Kaiser collected children's books, fairy tales which are more than books for children: They are, in Roger Duvoisin's words, "pictorial literature", pieces of art, designed and illustrated by famous 20th century artists like V. Preissig, V. Lebedev, Walter Trier and Walt Disney. The illustrations in these pictorial books are influenced by the predominant artistic trends of the 20th century: from Art Nouveau to Expressionism to Avantgarde. Friedrich C. Heller's review of Sabine Keune's catalogue is as worth reading as the catalogue itself.
For the small group of Mimeo Revolution obsessives, nothing is more hyped and spoken of in hushed tones than Sinking Bear. And what a special form of hype. What an appropriate form of hype!! It is the hype of word of mouth, of rumor. Of gossip. Like a band that nobody has actually seen play live, Sinking Bear for decades had never been read cover to cover. Nobody had even seen it. The hype stems in part from reading Reva Wolf's book on Warhol. She actually read an issue or two of Sinking Bear and was one of the few to consider the mag seriously. Except for maybe Diane Di Prima who wrote about Sinking Bear in her Recollections, which only added to the legend.
May 23 is the birthday of writer Margaret Fuller (1810), who is considered the first American feminist. She wrote Women in the Nineteenth Century (1845), which is regarded as the first major feminist work published in the country. It was first published in The Dial Magazine, for which Fuller had served as founding editor before turning those duties over to co-founder Ralph Waldo Emerson. In the book, Fuller argued that mankind would evolve to understand divine love and that women alongside men would share in divine love. Fuller was a favorite in the New England Transcendentalist community. Among her friends were Bronson Alcott (Louisa May's father), Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and Horace Greeley, for whom she worked as first literary critic of the New York Tribune. She served as foreign correspondent for the Tribune, touring Europe and setting in Rome, where she married. She was returning to the United States in 1850 but drowned, along with her husband and young son, when her ship hit a sandbar and sank off New York. She was 40 years old.