Shelf:Life - Links to what's new in the world of old, rare, and collectable books, insights into book collecting, the news stories that matter, and occasional comments by TheBookGuide.  Archived Stories.

August 2015

Pierre Berg's Cache of Rare Books to be Auctioned
A literature buff, Berge was known to seek out the works of his favorite authors in their original languages. As a young man, the couture boss, now 85, worked as an antiquarian book dealer, and gradually developed a passion for collecting. Initially guided by writers who were both mentors and friends, including Pierre Mac Orlan, Jean Cocteau and Jean Giono, he developed a keen interest in both texts and the quality of the books - fine- and large-paper copies, contemporary bindings, inscribed or annotated copies ... more  Add a comment

British Library declines Taliban archive
 The British Library has declined to store a large collection of Taliban-related documents because of concerns regarding terrorism laws. The collection, related to the Afghan Taliban, includes official newspapers, maps and radio broadcasts. Academics have criticised the decision saying it would be a valuable resource to understand the ongoing insurgency in Afghanistan ... more  Add a comment

British Library will lend world's oldest bible
The British Library is to lend one of its greatest treasures, the world's oldest bible, to the British Museum for an ambitious and groundbreaking exhibition exploring 1,200 years of Christian, Islamic and Jewish faith in Egypt after the pharaohs ... more  Add a comment

Jesus was married? Brainiacs back ancient manuscript
A mysterious ancient manuscript called the Gospel of Jesus' wife, which suggests Christ could have been married, might possibly be authentic according to a new research. A team of scientists from Columbia University tested the ink used to write the manuscript to refute last year's claims by German scientist Christian Askeland that the artifact was a fake ... more  Add a comment

2015-2016 monthly Seminars on Book Collecting
The ABA's Lawrence Worms previews the 'Second Tuesday' Seminars on Book Collecting which they put on in collaboration with the Institute of English Studies (IES) at London University ... more  Add a comment

Oldest known Sunderland programme up for auction
Sunderland fans are being given the chance to pick up what is believed to be the club's oldest match programme when it comes under the hammer. The programme, which is from the Sunderland v Sunderland Albion friendly game on December 1, 1888, is expected to fetch more than £4,000 when it appears in an auction next month ... more  Add a comment

MI5 spied on Doris Lessing for 20 years
MI5 targeted the Nobel prize-winning author Doris Lessing for 20 years, listening to her phone conversations, opening her mail and closely monitoring her movements, previously top secret files reveal. The files show the extent to which MI5, helped by the Met police special branch, spied on the writer, her friends and associates, long after she abandoned communism, disgusted by the crushing of the Hungarian uprising in 1956 ... more  Add a comment

Daniel Day-Lewis prevents auction of personal mementos
Sir Daniel Day-Lewis has successfully prevented an auction of his personal mementos, including scrapbooks used to prepare for film roles. Bloomsbury Auctions was selling the items and said they had come from a private collector who obtained them in a house clearance ... more  Add a comment

Beatles first record contract up for auction
The first recording contract ever signed by The Beatles - during their early days in Hamburg, Germany - is expected to fetch about $150,000 when it goes up for auction in New York next month, the company handing the sale said on Tuesday ... more  Add a comment

'The Drinkable Book'
A book with special pages has been developed by scientists to help people in third world countries drink clean, safe water. All people need to do is tear out a page from the book and pour unsafe water through the paper ... more  Add a comment

20,000 comic book fans to descend on Leeds
Thousands of comic book fans will descend on the city for the Thought Bubble Festival, which was set up by Lisa back in 2007. Since its modest start with 500 visitors, it now has a huge following, with 20,000 people attending the event last year ... more  Add a comment

17 things only real book lovers will understand
All readers feel that buzz, but it's something special when you have a real book in your hands, smooth down the page and crack the spine for the first time ... more  Add a comment

'We're protecting our children from people like you'
The Mayor of Venice has been taunting Elton John on Twitter after the singer sparked a social-media row by attacking his decision to ban children's books featuring same-sex couples ... more  Add a comment

Cookbooks' key ingredient now design not recipes
Sales remain buoyant but Prue Leith says many books are bought for coffee tables while home cooks get recipes online ... more  Add a comment

Burger King challenges the Book of Kells' global trademark
The Book of Kells is officially registered as a global trademark owned by Trinity College Dublin, despite complaints made by worldwide fast-food chain Burger King that the new trademark infringed on their own trademark in the US ... more  Add a comment

New Pooh Manuscript Found!
Word of a new manuscript's existence set off a firestorm of debate. Literary experts and others with too much time on their hands believe that Edward Bear: Despot of the Wood (its believed title) will be a stand-alone addition to Milne's collection, much like the new Dr. Seuss book, What Pet Should I Get. Others claim it will be more akin to Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman, likely a rough draft of a later, more impressive work ... more  Add a comment

Books from Bristol Central Library to be sold off
Books being sold off will include books and periodicals no longer needed including duplicate holdings of bound newspapers; national newspapers given to the library service many decades ago; duplicate and under-used books and music sets; runs of bound periodicals which can now be accessed on line and books and periodicals donated to the library service, but never used. This surplus stock will either be sold, by the Library Service or by Better World Books from Monday, August 17th ... more  Add a comment

Did technology kill the book or give it new life?
Digital technology has certainly had a profound effect on the traditional book publishing and retailing industries, but has it also given the book a new lease of life? ... more  Add a comment

Duke of Wellington dubbed 'genius'
A hand-written manuscript of the Battle of Waterloo that describes the Duke of Wellington as a 'genius of the storm' is to be sold for £35,000 ... more  Add a comment

Word on the Water remains afloat
The owners of a floating bookshop that has become a much-loved feature of London’s waterways have smashed their fundraising target of £4,000 - allowing them to take up permanent residence in King’s Cross ... more  Add a comment

The Sun Also Rises author was sometimes raised as a 'twin' girl
Ernest Hemingway may have been a man's man, but his mother, Grace, seems to have sometimes raised him and his older sister as twin girls, new pictures show ... more  Add a comment

Russian region bans British historians' books
A Russian region has called on schools to remove the works of two British historians from their library shelves, saying they promote Nazi stereotypes ... more  Add a comment

Major cutbacks for St Bride Foundation Library
The St Bride Foundation Library, which dates from 1895 and has a historic collection of printing trade and typographical materials, will open on a limited, paid-for basis only from now on, instead of having weekly opening days for visitors ... more  Add a comment

British Library's new show Animal Tales
On Friday, a major show about animals in literature opens at the British Library. Here, Boyd Tonkin selects his pet subjects: the most vividly imagined beasts to have lingered in readers' minds through centuries - and even millennia ... more  Add a comment

Dr Livingstone book bought for 99p sells for 3,000
The book on the African adventures of explorer Dr David Livingstone was bought by Eddie Davies, 67, at a car boot sale seven years ago. The 1857 volume, Livingstone's Missionary Travels in South Africa, was once owned by the explorer and medic ... more  Add a comment

Jack the Ripper identity: mystery 'solved' in new book
The body of Jack the Ripper's final victim is set to be exhumed as a new book claims the world's most famous serial killer was her estranged husband ... more  Add a comment

Rare Pre-Civil War Baseball Card Fetches $179,250
A rare pre-Civil War baseball card that was handed down as an heirloom within the family of a ballplayer for more than 150 years fetched $179,250 at an auction in Chicago on Thursday ... more  Add a comment

Historic Royal Nazi salute photographs fail to sell
Historic photographs of King Edward VIII making Nazi salutes have failed to sell at an auction in Anglesey ... more  Add a comment

British Library awarded Grade I-listed building status
Structure once called'one of the ugliest buildings in the world' in parliament and denounced by Prince Charles now 'one of England's finest modern buildings' ... more  Add a comment

Library of Birmingham partnerships are 'amazing'
The landmark Library of Birmingham has moved from 'difficult' cuts earlier this year to achieving'amazing things' following the announcement of two major partnership deals the city's culture chief has claimed ... more  Add a comment