"After a sobering tour and inspection of the interior of the Mackintosh along with Professor Tom Inns with two expert colleagues today we have a much clearer idea of what the situation is. Bad news first is that we have lost the iconic and unique Mackintosh library. This is an enormous blow and we are understandably devastated."
— The Glasgow School of Art Media Centre: Statement from Muriel Gray on the state of the Mackintosh Building
"As for the concern about institutional control: I have little sympathy for it. While it’s possible that providing free online access to the books in these houses would reduce visitation levels, it seems highly unlikely: the books’ content is inaccessible to visitors now, so access to it can hardly be attracting visitors. And unless the Trust has plans to digitize the books itself and somehow generate revenue from the digital images, there is little or no opportunity cost to letting someone else create the images and potentially profit from their public availability. There may well be other barriers to the Trust engaging in a project like this. I hope they can be overcome. As of now, the public-domain books housed in these historic properties are a public treasure to which the public that owns them has effectively no access."
— Public Access to Public Books: The Case of the National Trust | The Scholarly Kitchen
"ABA members should be aware that books bearing the stamp of the Stralsund Gymnasium Bibliothek, with release stamp, may not be quite what they seem. In 2012, several thousand volumes from the Stralsund city archives were sold to an antiques dealer, and subsequently dispersed in the trade. Some of the more notable books, such as a Kepler volume, appeared at auction. It appears that the sale of these books was not legal under the terms of the library’s charter but that title was legally transferred in subsequent sales. The library has been buying back some of the books sold. Anyone who has a book bearing the Stralsund library stamp should contact: Dr. Burkhard Kunkel at: email@example.com"
— Stralsund Library Stamp
"More books from the Mendham Collection will be sold at Sotheby’s on 20 May as part of their Music & Continental Books & Manuscripts sale. These will include the first edition of Wyclif’s works (Worms, 1525), as well as a unique Venetian incunable. As Clive Field remarked in a listserv post this week, “This year is therefore likely to see the complete dismemberment by the Law Society of one of the country’s most important religious libraries formed in the nineteenth century, the cataloguing of which the British Library funded.”"
— PhiloBiblos: Links & Reviews
The New York dealer Jonathan Hill is selling three pretious printed books (including a Kepler book - price at a Reiss auction in 2012 144,000 Euro, now more than 181,000 Euro) from the Stralsund grammar school library. See my article on the Causa Stralsund at http://kulturgut.hypotheses.org/334. He has provided the EXLIBRIS list moderator with the following notice which has been posted in the list:
While it is always sad when libraries sell their books and then have regrets, it is important to remember that the Stralsund library sold their books by their own choice, officially and with a legal contract between the library and the purchaser. I, in turn, acquired three books from the Stralsund library at a public German auction at which the Stralsund library had every chance to participate.
If the Stralsund library wants these three books back, I would be happy to sell them at my purchase prices.
I have answered the following:
[I apologize that in an earlyer version and in the EXLIBRIS list I have used not appropriate words.]
The Mecklenburg-Vorpommern supervisory authority has declared that the contract was unlawful, null and void:
"Seitens des für Archivrecht zuständigen Ministeriums für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Kultur verstößt die Veräußerung des besagten Buchbestandes gegen § 12 Landesarchivgesetz i.V.m. § 6 Abs. 1 der Satzung für das Stadtarchiv der Hansestadt Stralsund, was zur Nichtigkeit des Vertrages gem. § 134 BGB führt."
Until November 20, 2012 nobody of the Stralsund officials could know that books from the illegaly dispersed grammar school library have been auctioned in the Reiss autumn auctions around October 30, 2012. On November 18, 2012 I got an anonymous tip and could publish on November 20 in my blog the fact (previously unknown) that estimated 190+ books from the Stralsund library had been sold at Reiss. The Stralsund provenance had been deliberately concealed.
According German law Mr. Hill is legally owner of the auctioned volumes. […] illegal activities which have seriously damaged an important historical library collection. Public prosecutors investigate against the former director of the Stralsund archives from which the library never should have been removed.
"The practice of taking apart medieval manuscripts and selling the pages individually has a long history – and in some cases their are items from the Middle Ages where we only have a page or less remaining from the original. However, one should be cautious about buying medieval manuscripts in that way, as it can lead to the destruction of the item. As one commentator puts it: “Would you cut a Picasso in small pieces because you can get more money by selling individual pieces over the whole painting?”"
— Medieval Manuscripts for Sale
"The Ukrainian Center for Museum Development reported today that the Kiev History Museum’s collections have been ransacked in Ukrainsky Dom, as the situation in Kiev continues to escalate into brutal violence. Security forces had seized the government building from protesters yesterday. The looting appears to have been done overnight after protesters and staff had left."
— City collection ‘ransacked’ as Kiev erupts in violence - The Art Newspaper
"No, not that “Breaking Bad”! In fact, this writer confesses to having never seen the television series. Rather, this post concerns the practice of “breaking,” that is, disbinding a book or manuscript and dispersing the individual leaves, plates, or sections. The breaker believes that, at least in some instances, a book or manuscript is worth more broken up than intact. Breaking up a book or manuscript may increase its monetary value, enhance its pedagogical utility, result in irreparable harm to the cultural record, or paradoxically, all of the above."
— This Just In: Breaking Bad | Notes from Under Grounds
"Books giving accounts of some of the sensational trials of the 18th century are to be sold at Bonhams on 5 March as part of the sale of rare and historic European law books from the collection of the Los Angeles County Law Library."
— Witchcraft, Murder, Slavery: 18th-Century Trial Accounts at Bonhams - In The News