Kerouac’s Mother’s Will Is a Fake, Judge Rules
In a ruling that could have implications for the literary estate of Jack Kerouac (above right, in 1967), a Florida judge has ruled that the will of Kerouac’s mother, Gabrielle Kerouac, was a forgery, The Associated Press reported. When he died in 1969, Kerouac, the Beat Generation author, left his estate to his mother, who in turn left it to Kerouac’s third wife, Stella Sampas.
Back to font: medieval alphabet book stays in Britain after appeal
A unique alphabet book, offering a selection of spectacular and bizarre fonts to the luxury medieval manuscript illuminator stuck for inspiration, has been bought by the British Library after a £600,000 appeal. The importance of the small manuscript, dating from 1500 but concealed within an 18th-century binding, had been missed for the centuries as it sat unrecognised in the Earl of Macclesfield's library. The British Library mounted a public appeal to keep the alphabet book and finally bought it with help from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, and the Art Fund charity.
Anonymous No More
"Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages" is the most original museum show in this country since 2002's "Tapestry in the Renaissance: Art and Magnificence." These audacious exhibitions turn scholarly probity into artistic revelation; it speaks volumes about the curatorial esprit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that this great institution has been responsible for both events. "Tapestry in the Renaissance," which made a definitive case for the centrality of woven images in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century European art, was the defining moment in the career of Thomas Campbell, a relatively untested curator who is now the director of the Metropolitan. It is anyone's guess where the curator Melanie Holcomb will be in seven years, but there is no doubt that with this new, gorgeously focused show, she has reframed the place of drawing in the history of European art.
Collecting books is awesome, part two: a Q&A with Vanessa Brown
Meet Vanessa Brown, who finished in second place in Canada’s first national book-collecting contest. Last Wednesday, Brown was presented with a $1,000 cheque for her collection The L.M. Montgomery Collection in the Forest City . The contest, which was seeking Canada's best book collectors under the age of 30, was sponsored by The Bibliographical Society of Canada (BSC), the Antiquarian Booksellers of Association of Canada (ABAC) and the Alcuin Society.
Universities putting state archives about migration online
A yellowed brochure for one Cross Triangle Ranch seems, at first, like it could be for any Arizona getaway: The pamphlet touts the ranch's fresh air, abundant sunshine and wealth of outdoor activities. It also advertises the resort's low rates - $25 per week, $30 with horse - and warns: "POSITIVELY NO TUBERCULARS ACCEPTED," a nod to the tuberculosis scare at the time it was printed, nearly 100 years ago. This, along with hundreds of other items, is one of the first pieces of history to be archived in a project called "Why Arizona?," a collaborative effort among the three state universities to digitally archive migration-related materials in time for the Arizona centennial in 2012.
New York Harbor Quadricentennial Saluted with Extensive Exhibition Featuring Rarely Seen Treasures
The New York Public Library celebrates Henry Hudson and Dutch acumen with Mapping New York's Shoreline, 1609-2009, a comprehensive exhibition featuring rare and extraordinary maps, atlases, books, journals, broadsides, manuscripts, prints, and an animation superimposing historical maps on a three-dimensional Google Earth model drawn primarily from the Library’s Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, and from other New York Public Library collections. Mapping New York’s Shoreline will be on view at The New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street from September 25, 2009 to June 26, 2010.
Video: Sen. George McGovern Visits Special Collections
Former Sen. George McGovern, D-S.D., was on campus July 22, 2009, visiting the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives. McGovern viewed the papers of Gordon Lee Weil '58, executive assistant to the senator during his unsuccessful 1972 presidential campaign and author of The Long Shot: George McGovern Runs for President (1973). Also on display for his review were correspondence between McGovern and Sen. George Mitchell '54, and a hand-print of Abraham Lincoln, the subject of McGovern's new biography.
Clarence Darrow's love letters revealed
Jordan Luttrell, the president of Meyer Boswell Books in San Francisco, had previously managed an acquisition of 340 letters written by Darrow. Many were addressed to Darrow's son, Paul, and more than 100 letters were written to Darrow from people such as Helen Keller, Sinclair Lewis and Upton Sinclair. The Clarence Darrow Archive was purchased by the University of Minnesota Law Library in 2004. [Elva Hamerstrom] Paulson was referred to Luttrell, who, with Minneapolis attorney Randy Tietjen, spent a weekend at Paulson and her husband Dale's home in Roseburg examining the collection. According to Paulson, a pile of gold on the table would have excited them less.
Booksellers' Alley a little-known literary hub
Local book buffs have been enjoying a little-known downtown browsing treat on recent weekends. They've been gathering outdoors, at a convivial strip just beside Montreal's indoor mecca for book lovers, the Grande Bibliothèque, near Berri-UQÀM métro. Now, their destination just got better. The fledgling Booksellers' Alley has added a third day, Sunday, on a trial basis. Since May 15, the outdoor strip has been bringing the joys of rare and used books, calligraphy, rare maps, postcards, engravings, the art of book-binding and other variations of the print revolution wrought by Gutenberg to Montrealers and tourists.
History By The Book: Moe's Books, the Well-Known Local Vendor of Used Volumes, Commemorates a Half Century of Business
A native of Queens, New York, Moe Moskowitz and his wife Barbara opened the first Moe's Books on Shattuck Avenue in 1959 but soon moved the store to its present neighborhood. A true eccentric, Moskowitz became a legendary figure in Berkeley. He could often be found behind the counter, smoking his characteristic cigar, loudly singing his favorite songs or examining the books that a potential seller had brought in for inspection, according to John Wong, an antiquarian expert who has worked at the store for 30 years.
Will bookshops be left on the shelf?
[Alan] Warnock has put his finger on the great advantage of online book-buying: that it's speedy but, more important, that you can get your hands on out-of-print, specialist, hard-to-find titles that retail bookshops no longer stock. At the same time, second-hand and antiquarian books are a profitable area for retailers who would find it hard to compete with the heavily discounted prices offered by Amazon for many popular titles. Indeed, the antiquarian area is where bookselling first developed an online presence, as ABE press and publicity manager Richard Davies explains. When ABE co-founder Cathy Waters tried to track down books for her customers in the Dark Ages, ie 1995, she "would put an advertisement in a book listings magazine and other booksellers would write back weeks later and say they had one. It was a terrible process. So her husband who was working in IT for the government in British Columbia said: "Well, why not put the two together?" And the rest is history. "Who would have thought that old books would be the perfect match for the internet?" Davies enthuses. Indeed.