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.
When my accountant said, "Hey, you've had another good year," my response was, "You've got to be kidding!" But then, looking back, I remembered some happy referrals, several fascinating consignments and, in general, quite a bit of successful book scouting. Ten Pound Island's invoices and check stubs (all digital!) told the story in detail. My "new business model," concocted so painfully over the past year, paid off. I dropped the California, Florida, and New York book fairs, cut expenses way back, moved from hard copy to web based catalogs, and quoted a lot more books using specially tailored, richly illustrated e-based catalogs.
The term completist, as applied to book collectors, has always struck this writer as something of a misnomer. In one sense, the term certainly is applicable: i.e., it describes the attempt to collect everything a particular author ever wrote, or everything a particular publisher ever published, or everything ever written about a particular topic. On the other hand …
The Gravell Watermark Archive (www.gravell.org) is bringing together more than 50,000 watermarks from America and Europe, including 7,500 images collected by American-watermark expert Thomas L. Gravell and about 45,000 unpublished marks documented by Charles-Moise Briquet. On the website, you can search for stags, swans, or unicorns, creatures from a medieval bestiary produced long ago by wire attached to a paper mould. (Watermarks are made by placing a design made with thin wire on a paper mould. The paper formed over the wire is thinner and translucent when held up to a light source.)
75.000 medieval manuscripts, available online: Manuscripta mediaevalia is a joint venture of the State Library Berlin (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin / Preußischer Kulturbesitz), the State Library Munich (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München) and the German Documentation Centre for the History of Arts (Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte - Bildarchiv Foto Marburg).
The Spenser Archive Finding Aid is the first bibliographical database with links to collections all over the world that house 16th and 17th century copies of works by the English poet and colonial administrator Edmund Spenser. The database is open to editors, bibliographers, scholars and students of the history of the book, curators of collections, rare book dealers and private collectors. You can browse editions and folio parts, and you can search for copies in libraries in North America, Europe and Australia. The information has been gathered and carefully checked over many years by dozens of contributors.
The archive at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (Boston, MA) includes thousands of historical papers, documents and images: irreplaceable records of the struggle for Civil Rights, the conflict with the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War, the efforts to land a man on the moon, the prevention of a nuclear catastrophe during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and American art and culture in general.
This week two spectacular book thefts have gone through the press. The World's famous Codex Calixtinus, worth millions, is missing in Santiago de Compostela. A few days later historian and author Barry H. Landau was arrested on charges of stealing historical documents, including ones signed by Abraham Lincoln, from the Maryland Historical Society. "The arrest eventually led to Landau's locker, where police found upwards of 60 documents worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Laudau's heist and the tremendous value of the stolen documents got us thinking about the other end of the literature theft spectrum: what are the most frequently stolen books from bookstores?"
An excellent bibliographical project and an important contribution to Victorian England and the history of the private presses: Bill Peterson and Sylvia Holton Peterson have launched a digital catalogue of the library of William Morris (1834-1896) who was one of the key figures of the Victorian era and founder of the Kelmscott Press in 1891. So far 958 entries from a total of approximately 2.000 have been added to the digital catalogue, all of them carefully described with provenances, references, quotations, and, if available, links to digital versions. The catalogue – to be found here http://williammorrislibrary.wordpress.com/ - can be searched in various ways: authors, titles, date of publication, key words etc. More details on this impressive work are given by the editors themselves ...
Rare Books: Still So Much to Learn and Discover is a must go to conference for anyone interested in rare books and associated materials on paper. It will particularly appeal to special collections librarians, collectors and antiquarian booksellers but is open to anyone interested. Over two days, subjects such as the building of collections of books and ephemera, research, theft and digitisation will be discussed. Well known author and entertaining speaker Nicholas Basbanes will speak from the USA on the history of paper and the State Libary of NSW will offer special behind the scenes tours of the library. The conference will address both educational and practical needs of the professionals working with special collections and in the trade, and will equip them to do their jobs with greater insight and understanding. Collectors will benefit from the opportunity to hear from the professionals and other collectors giving all three groups an update on what is going on in the world of rare books today.
On Saturday, November 8th, the Austrian antiquarian bookseller Dr. Paul Kainbacher had invited collectors and colleagues to his antiquarian bookshop in Baden (next to Vienna), Elisabethstrasse 33. The shop was the perfect location for the "Bibliophile Evening" which was dedicated to The Exploration of the South Sea. The bookshop welcomed numerous guests, among them collectors and book lovers from Germany, Austria and Finland as well as scientists and explorers from various university departments. They all had come to see the most beautiful books and to listen to highly interesting lectures by European experts of the South Sea such as Prof. Hermann Mückler (Vienna University) and Ms. Anke Oberlies (German James Cook Society). See the pictures!
Have you already registered for the ILAB Congress and / or for the succeeding ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair? Have a look at the promising programme and do not hesitate to subscribe. In a series of articles we will introduce you to the most exciting places of Budapest – libraries, museums, archives, music halls and other famous sites. Joins us on our virtual tour through the Hungarian capital. Today we will invite you to a virtual tour through the: Treasures of the National Library Széchenyi.