Barbara Basbanes Richter

On June 12, New York’s Lion Heart Autographs, Inc. will offer at auction the prison diary kept by a British Royal Air Force Officer imprisoned by the Nazis during World War II.

As part of a 175-piece sale, this diary belonged to Joseph Gueuffen (1914-2009), a POW held at the Luftwaffe’s Stalag Luft III camp. The Belgian-born Gueffen was shot down by the Germans three months after he joined the RAF.  He spent the remainder of the war at Stalag Luft III until being returned to England in May 1945.

After the 2013 publication of Nick Basbanes’ On Paper, book artist Tim Ely called the author and requested the unbound sheets of the book, just as they appeared off the press. Basbanes’ editor kindly obliged, and off On Paper went to Washington State to Ely's art studio where he forges one-of-a-kind, handmade books that have been compared to illuminated manuscripts for their impeccable detail and expression.

Literary forgers have plied their trade as long as there's been something worth copying, "creating" purely for financial reasons or simply being able to get away with it. Throughout history, some forgers have been content to "gild the lily," so to speak, while others attempted to rewrite history. Some fakes were so good they did alter history.

Each semester, the Houghton Library at Harvard University hosts a series of workshops on letterpress printing. The last one for the spring term happens today from 3 to 5 p.m.


Participants (Harvard affiliates only) experience just how printing got done from the fifteenth century until hot metal typesetting in the nineteenth century rendered movable type commercially obsolete.

  

On February 28, highlights from Lisa Unger Baskin's nearly 9,000-piece collection of rare books, ephemera, and other artifacts created and produced by women over the course of five hundred years went on display at Duke University, which acquired the collection in 2015 and incorporated it into its Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture at the David M. Rubenstein Library.