Champion of the Bluestockings: from Fanny Burney to Jane Austen
The largest privately owned collection of books, manuscripts and pictures associated with Samuel Johnson and the 18th-century “Bluestocking” circle of writers is to be sold in New York next week. The nearly 500 lots are estimated to fetch £1 million. But while the life and works of these writers, from Fanny Burney to Jane Austen, are well known, less is known about Paula Peyraud, the quiet librarian from Chappaqua, New York, who obsessively assembled this collection for more than 30 years.
A Scholar's Inventive Approach To Leonardo
When Baltimore's Jonathan Pevsner, the resident scholar on the Discovery Channel series "Doing da Vinci," was just out of graduate school and making about $16,000 per year, he spent $3,000 to buy a museum-quality dream. This was a 1651 edition of "Traitté de la Peinture," one of the first publications of Leonardo da Vinci's transcendental "Treatise on Painting." Pevsner, a broke-but-devoted da Vinci disciple, was so thrilled to receive the package from the antiquarian bookseller that he slit open the packaging with a razor blade -- and sliced into the ancient cover of the book.
UCR acquires collection of Thai books but it's slow progress getting them cataloged
The tale of the collection -- which also includes some books written in Burmese, Cambodian and French -- provides a behind-the-scenes look at international book buying, library cataloging and UCR's drive to become a pre-eminent center for Southeast Asian studies. It also veers into today's economic reality. A UCR employee -- who created a Thai keyboard and learned Thai numbers to catalog the books -- was reassigned to the circulation desk because of budget cuts.
Inside The Richler Vault: U of C archive offered insight into family feuds
Much of the research was done in the humidity and temperature-controlled Rare Books and Special Collections Library on the 12th floor of the University of Calgary's MacKimmie Library. It has become the centre of the universe for [Mordecai] Richler scholars -- a treasure trove of letters, manuscripts, early drafts, even correspondence with his dentist. A few years back, an unpublished manuscript entitled The Rotten People was unearthed. It's all tantalizing stuff, collected by the university since the 1970s. But perhaps most tantalizing are the boxes of personal letters that have been kept locked away from the public at U of C, revealed only at the discretion of Richler's widow, Florence.
Twain's 'Dead' is brought to life
In the years since Twain's death, there has been no shortage of literary scholars sifting through his work searching for nuggets of gold. And every so often, there is a gem out there just waiting to be discovered. Something that maybe needs just a touch of polishing to gleam. Stanford professor Shelley Fisher Fishkin believes she stumbled across such a jewel while digging through a file drawer at the Mark Twain Project at the University of California, Berkeley. There, amid a mishmash of halfhearted and half-written dramas Twain wrote for the stage, was "Is He Dead?"
Crime and Punishment printed in nine minutes at Britain's first 'book vending machine'
A freshly-bound edition of Fyodor Dostoevsky's classic – ordered by The Daily Telegraph – was one of the first tomes to drop out of the Espresso Book Machine when it opened for business for the first time yesterday. The novel is one of more than 400,000 titles including many rare and out-of-print books that can be printed on demand at Blackwell bookshop on Charing Cross Road in central London. Seeking to put the machine through its paces, the Telegraph ordered a warm copy of the 540-page book to compare to the published versions available on shelves.
The Digital Book Drive's Left-Behinds
The encumbrances blocking a single set of standards -- and the financial costs associated with forming a universal digital library -- may be solvable, according to [John] Sarnowski. He heads the ResCarta Foundation, a nonprofit organization established to encourage the development and adoption of a single set of open community standards for digital document warehousing. Northern Micrographics, partially in conjunction with the foundation, promotes an open source raster format. The company offers open source tools free to download in an effort to encourage the use of a standardized data format. The strategy includes working with metadata standards and the same standards the Library of Congress uses. "We're fighting for the long-term preservation of data. We're fighting to stop the loss of original data. It's been an uphill battle for five years to convince people at large institutions to adopt our system. We're waging a guerrilla war. We're saying, do it this way," said Sarnowski.
Gale Announces New Cross-Searchable Slavery Database
Gale (www.gale.com), a part of Cengage Learning (www.cengage.com), announced a new electronic resource to be released in late May that will offer a comprehensive archive chronicling slavery from the 16th century through the early 20th century. The company says that Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive represents the first-ever, large-scale database to make available historical books, manuscripts, newspapers, periodicals, court records, and other sources in one cross-searchable location. The new resource is part of Gale's expanding program of digital archives designed to serve the needs of academic researchers and students.
Books: Entering the Age of Glosses
Here’s the key to thinking about the future of writing, something straight out of the manuscript era: the humble gloss or “scholia,” for those who prefer the Latin. They are the notes, in margins, footnotes at the bottom of a page (the standard starting around 1700) and later in the history of books endnotes at the back of the volume or in a separate appendix, that add interpretations, background information, commentary and definitions. Creating marginalia is an art made for the era of “crowdsourcing.”
Alan Anderson: Local Website offers treasure trove of history
The remaining information, alphabetical listings of death certificates (1919-1999), published newspaper obituaries from Sumter and surrounding counties (1854-2002), and sexton's notes for Eastview and Oak Grove cemeteries for the same time period, were all compiled by my friend and fellow genealogist, William T. "Bill" Poupard, of Leslie. Bill's contribution to preserving local history is simply enormous. His latest project has been a chronology of alphabetical birth announcements in the local newspapers from 1920 through 1990. However, he is still recovering from surgery and it will be a while before he can get back to the library. When he does return to his usual post, if you see him on one of his daily visits to the Special Collections Room, give him a big thumbs-up for all of his selfless contributions.
Hendon welcomes Torah scroll saved from Holocaust
A Torah scroll rescued from Nazi persecution more than 40 years ago has been welcomed into a Hendon synagogue. The scroll, from Sobeslav in the Czech Republic, is one of 1,564 that were brought to London in 1963. It was given to the Hendon Reform Synagogue, in Danescroft Avenue, on Sunday at a ceremony attended by more than 150 synagogue members and religion school pupils.
San Francisco Fights to Protect Jolika Collection [updated]
In the ongoing saga of San Francisco's M.H. de Young Memorial Museum and the Jolika Collection of Papua New Guinea art, the city of San Francisco has now agreed to sell 76 pieces from the collection in an effort to help settle an inheritance battle that threatens its future, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The roughly 4,000-piece collection was pledged to the de Young in 2003 by New York philanthropists John and Marcia Friede, and the museum built a special wing for it in its new home, opened in 2005. But the collection has also become the subject of a number of court cases — in California, New York, and Florida — as John Friede's brother, Robert, and half-brother, Thomas Jaffe, demanded that they receive artworks in lieu of money that John owes them.
Smithsonian Affiliations, established in 1996, develops partnerships with museums and educational and cultural organizations to make the Smithsonian's resources more widely available. The program allows for long-term loans of artifacts and for alternative means of exhibiting the Smithsonian's collections. An affiliate must request a loan of a Smithsonian exhibit a year in advance. [David] Patterson said they are working on what their special exhibits will be for this time next year and will then make that request to the Smithsonian. Visitors won't see anything from the institution right away, he said. Patterson has things on his wish list.
Campaign art on display in Loop
On his 100th day in office, an exhibit of unofficial art mostly supporting the election of President Barack Obama is on display. The Chicago Tourism Center, located at 72 East Randolph, is all about art and Obama these days. The works of over 100 artists are on display. It's officially unofficial-inspired art for Obama. "Which is artwork done by graphic designers and artists primarily during the campaign to support Barack Obama's candidacy," said Nathan Mason, curator Department of Cultural Affairs. "This is primarily positive because it was done by artists who were motivated to help Obama get elected."
Everything Schoonover: Grandchildren spend decade crafting 846-page catalogue of illustrator's works
[Frank E.] Schoonover, a New Jersey native, was a student of Pyle's the same time as N.C. Wyeth. Pyle got Schoonover his first job painting four black-and-white illustrations for a book called "Jersey Boy in the Revolution" for $100. "This impressed him no end," Louise says. "He actually got paid." Her grandfather also started to record information about the paintings. "The first one he finished, he numbered number one and he started his daybooks, which is what he called them. They are wonderful little books in which he listed much information," Louise says. Through his first 1,500 paintings, Schoonover used small 6-inch by 8-inch books, then switched to ring binders. He also always marked the number of the work on the frame or back of the canvas.
What tattoos said about the sailor
Throughout American history, sailors have branded themselves and one another with permanent "markings" commemorating battles or comrades or the names of women waiting back at home. Marking that history, the Independence Seaport Museum has opened "Skin & Bones: Tattoos in the Life of the American Sailor," with the tagline: "If you have a tattoo, thank a sailor." "The whole idea behind the show is these guys are getting tattooed not because they are pretty, but because they felt strongly" about what they were honoring, said Craig Bruns, the show's curator. "You are marking your body and showing your intentions."