There are some interesting buried comments in a Mar 22, 2019 Artsy article by Karen Chernick on the collection of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg (now on display at the Barnes Foundation), which briefly describing a few modern methods of detecting 19th and early 20th C photographic fakes and reprints. The two collectors developed the… Continue reading Modern techniques for detecting photographic fakes and reprints (Artsy)
Sarah Zang writes briefly about using DNA in old books and parchment to study the past, “The Lab Discovering DNA in Old Books” in The Atlantic. It’s frustratingly short, but interesting: The team has since sampled 5,000 animals from parchment…. They’ve found that a type of ultrafine parchment, sometimes purported to come from squirrels or… Continue reading DNA on parchment
In the cultural world we don’t always consider the living artisans and artists whose livelihood is undermined by fakes. World’s Largest Native American Art Forgery Ring Distributed $12M of Fakes US government attorney supports 18-month sentences and fines for the accused, but in many ways the damage is done, casting both real and fake Native… Continue reading Contemporary fakes and native American artists (hyperallergic)
This article on the NYRB website by Ian Johnson, one of the first I’ve seen, describes the rescue and piecing together of these ancient bamboo manuscripts (like the Vindalia bark manuscripts from the UK), called the Tsinghua slips, the understanding Chinese culture as well as early literacy and recording of texts in ancient China. If… Continue reading A Revolutionary Discovery in China (NYRB)
“Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don’t rule out malice.” I’ve heard this aphorism called “Heinlein’s Razor,” but Wikipedia calls it Hanlon’s razor.
The New York Public Library has released an online biographical resources for photographers. Way to go! Here’s NYPL’s announcement:
Photographers’ Identities Catalog (PIC), a collection of biographical data for over 115,000 photographers, studios, manufacturers, dealers, and others involved in the production of photographs. PIC is world-wide in scope and spans the entire history of photography. So if you’re a historian, student, archivist, cataloger or genealogist, we hope you’ll make it a first stop for your research. And if you’re into data and maps, you’re in luck, too: all of the data and code are free to take and use as you wish.
Judith Weingarten at her blog writes about a student learning to write at Palmyra with some wax tablets surviving from the 3rd C CE, now in the Netherlands: All seven Tabulae ceratae Assendelftianae were written by a single schoolboy who lived in the city in the early third century CE (as can be determined from… Continue reading Learning to write on Wax Tablets, 3rd C CE
Exciting news from Johns Hopkins’s Sheridan Library in cooperation with Princeton University Library and University College London’s Centre for Editing Lives and Letters (CELL) in this press release about a database of early reading, to be called “Exploring the Archeology of Reading.” This project is potentially big: By treating marginal annotations as large sets of… Continue reading Early Reading Database announced at Johns Hopkins
There’s a thoughtful essay by Julian Baggini in the June 20, 2014 Financial Times on current research comparing reading and comprehension using eBooks vs. paper. Baggini cites a lot of different research on reading speed, comprehension, learning and other issues relating to how we process information which we read. The essay summarizes a very wide-range… Continue reading Reading eBooks and Paper (Julian Baggini in FT)
The New York Public Library renovation plan has generated a number of articles in the media and online. The plan, which was subsequently modified and partly withdrawn by the Library’s board, involved selling the Mid Manhattan and SIBL branches and using the sale proceeds to renovate the Schwarzman building at 42nd Street. The renovation for… Continue reading Updates on the NYPL Renovation Plan (updated)