Alice Goes To The Morgan

Tenniel, John, 1820-1914, Shower of Cards [print], 19th century, 1 print, 2005.203
John Tenniel (1820-1914), “Nothing but a pack of cards! “1885
Everyone has Alice fever this year, and with good reason; the precocious title character of Lewis Carroll’s (1832-1898) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland turns 150, and museums and libraries around the world are hosting exhibitions and lectures dedicated to exploring the enduring fascination with what many consider one of the greatest stories ever told.

From June 26 through October 11, New York’s Morgan Library & Museum will celebrate Alice with original correspondence, drawings and photographs from the Morgan’s own vast holdings. The centerpiece of the show is on loan from the British Library – Carroll’s original 1864 manuscript, complete with his own pen and ink drawings, that the author had presented to Alice Liddell, the inspiration for the Alice in his book.

Hoover Presidency Autograph Book

85_1 (Medium)Who keeps a good autograph book these days?

For decades, these handy blank books cherished by celebrity seekers and schoolchildren were employed in the collecting of notable signatures. The ornate–almost outlandish–one seen here, bound in quarter leather and highly decorative boards, served Paul N. Peck, a White House staff administrator during the presidency of Herbert Hoover, 1929-1933. Peck assembled an impressive roster of political autographs, including those of President Hoover, Vice-President Charles Curtis, Secretary of State Henry L. Stinson, Secretary of the Treasury Andrew W. Mellon, and Army Chief of Staff Douglas MacArthur, among others.

The keepsake is going to auction early August 2015 at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago and is estimated to make $3,000-5,000.

Browse related collectible books:

Autograph Books

Presidential Ephemera

Reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections, Rebecca Rego Barry author

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Two Bay Psalm Books on Exhibit at the Library of Congress

Bay Psalm copy
Image: Credit Brett Barry. Used by permission.

Sightseers in Washington, D.C., have endless opportunities to be awestruck. This summer, the Library of Congress provides yet another option with its excellent new exhibit, First Among Many: The Bay Psalm Book and Early Moments in American Printing.

The first thing visitors behold upon entering the exhibit space is a case containing two copies of the Bay Psalm Book (1640), the first book printed in colonial America, of which only eleven survive. On the left sits the Library of Congress copy–worn and incomplete, but in its original binding. On the right (pictured above) is David M. Rubenstein’s copy–rebound, but complete, even with the original title page. Rubenstein purchased the book at auction in November 2013 for $14.2 million, the current auction record for any printed book. It is a remarkable pairing, and any bibliophile might be pleased to make the trip for it alone. (more…)

Rare Kafka Manuscripts Awarded to National Library of Israel

An Israeli court has awarded a unique collection of Franz Kafka manuscripts to the National Library of Israel, ending a legal dispute that lasted for several decades. The court ordered Eva Hoffe, a resident of Tel Aviv, to remit all of the Kafka manuscripts in her possession to the National Library of Israel. Hoffe currently owns the Kafka manuscripts because of a complicated provenance line.  When Kafka died in 1924, with much of his work still unpublished, he willed his … Continued

Google censorship: Good Intentions Gone Wrong?

Rolls and Historical Sketch of the Tenth Regiment, So. Ca. Volunteers, in the Army of the Confederate States by Cornelius Irvine Walker

From the article on by Brendan Sherar entitled “Google Suppresses Books Mentioning the Confederacy“:

In response to the recent tragedy in Charleston and subsequent (and just) calls to remove the confederate flag from public buildings and monuments, Google last week announced it was jumping on the growing bandwagon of corporations that are pulling merchandise featuring the confederate flag from their shelves. For Google, this means automatically disapproving these “product listing ads” that are uploaded to its popular shopping portal by individual online retailers.

It isn’t just items that bear the flag, either. Any book with “confederate” in the title or description is being removed from the Google product feed.

While we support the removal of that particular symbol from an exalted place in public spaces, this heavy-handed response from Google (and other large companies) is a bit much. We don’t want to rewrite history, just change the future.

You can read the full article (and see lovely examples of “prohibited books”) here:



Eight Pages of the Gutenberg Bible for Sale

Book of Esther - GutenbergA Gutenberg Bible for sale? Well, not entirely. What Sotheby’s New York will offer next week is an eight-page fragment of the book printed by Johann Gutenberg and Johann Fust in 1455. Single leaves of the famous 42-line Bible occasionally turn up at auction–one recently sold at Swann Galleries for $55,000–but a complete copy hasn’t been seen at auction since 1978, so this sizable section is estimated to make at least $500,000 for its consignor, the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in New York City.

The eight consecutive leaves comprise the Book of Esther from the first book printed in the West with movable type, of which only 48 (or 49, according to Sotheby’s) exist in complete or substantially complete condition. This particular set of pages was extracted from an incomplete Gutenberg Bible in 1921 by New York book dealer Gabriel Wells, who sold leaves ($150 each) and sections separately, accompanied by an essay by author and book collector A. Edward Newton, as A Noble Fragment. Banker and book collector Mortimer Schiff purchased this one and donated it to JTS in 1922. (more…)

Flannery O’Connor Honored

Flannery O'Connor stampShort story writer and novelist Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964) will be honored by the United States Postal Service (USPS) with this beautiful 93¢, three-ounce stamp to be issued on Friday. The Savannah-born author is perhaps best known for her 1955 collection, A Good Man Is Hard to Find, though she also posthumously won the National Book Award for her Complete Stories in 1972. Her novels include Wise Blood (1952) and The Violent Bear It Away (1960), and her writing is associated with Southern Gothic style, heavy on regional settings and dark humor. (more…)

2015 Don Dario Scholarship Winner

August 10, 2012 CABS Janine Moodhe
August 10, 2012 CABS
Janine Moodhe

Books Renewed has been awarded the 2015 Don Dario Scholarship!

Biblio would like to thank to each and every applicant for the 2015 Don Dario scholarship for the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar.

We receive quite a few applications for the Don Dario scholarship every year from our worthy booksellers and it is always difficult to choose only one of them to win! After much deliberation, the selection committee has chosen Christopher Korczak of Books Renewed to be the recipient of the tuition scholarship for 2015. Congratulations, Christopher!

Christopher will receive the full cost of tuition for attendance, $250 toward travel and accommodations, and have all monthly fees rebated for one year of Biblio’s lowest commission billing option.  There is also a $250 donation heading to Little Free Libraries to help us to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.

We wish Christopher a safe journey and a wonderful time in Colorado! We hope that he returns to Books Renewed in Massachusetts with a new wealth of knowledge about rare and antiquarian books.

To the many booksellers that were not choose this year, we hope that you will apply again next year! offers an annual scholarship to the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar – The Don Dario Honorary Scholarship is offered in keeping with Biblio’s stated commitment to Environment, Independence and Community.

First Edition of Peter Pan Flies to London Book Fair

Among the 180 dealers who attended The London International Antiquarian Book Fair last week was David Brass (of David Brass Rare Books), who brought a first edition of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1906), inscribed to none other than Mary Hodgson. Hodgson (1876-1962) was nurse and nanny to George and Jack Llewelyn Davies, the brothers who inspired the “lost boys” of Barrie’s classic tale. What’s more astounding is that there is even an inscription … Continued

Kahlo’s Garden


Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, who died in 1954, is a hot topic of late. First, a group of 25 unpublished love letters written not to her husband, Diego Rivera, but to her lover, Spanish artist Jose Bartoli, sold at auction for $137,000 back in April. Then, earlier this month, a London gallery put on exhibit her colorful wardrobe, apparently secreted away in the bathroom of the Mexico City home she shared with Rivera. And over the past weekend, the New York Botanical Garden in New York City opened Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life, a re-imagination of her Casa Azul home and studio. The NYBG’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is transformed into Kahlo’s garden, with folkart and native plants, while the gallery features 14 of her paintings and works on paper, including Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940), Flower of Life (1944), and Still Life with Parrot and Flag (1951). This exhibit is the first to focus on the artist’s engagement with nature. It is on view through November 1.

Image: An evocation of Frida Kahlo’s studio overlooking her garden at the NYBG’s Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life. Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen.

Browse related collectible books:

Books and art about Frida Kahlo

Books and art about Diego Rivera


Reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections, Rebecca Rego Barry author

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