Google Codex Project?

Found while reading James O'Donnell's Avatars of the Word: From Papyrus to Cyberspace. This from Nicholas of Tyre, writing in the 14th C. on those blasted printed books that were starting to be in vogue:

They have chopped up the text into so many small parts, and brought forth so many concordant passages to suit their own purpose that to some degree they confuse both the mind and the memory of the reader and distract it from understanding the literal meaning of text.

The irony is that I wanted to copy this quote and went to Google Books to highlight it and copy it but was blocked and could only see a small part of the text, so I had to pull my dead tree copy out as well to make sure I had the whole passage.

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Extra Extra

As to not interfere with news of amputation, I'm adding this personal note from the March 9, 1889 issue of Publishers Weekly as it's own post:


CHARLES W. BURROWS, President and Harris B. Burrows, General Manager of the Burrows Brothers Co., Cleveland, are in the city for a few days, making the Murray Hill Hotel their headquarters.



The questionable characters news from long ago

it's Monday and that means time for some news from long ago.

Today's entry was part of Publishers Weekly #1620, the Valentine's Day edition from 1903.


ALL printing establishments in Turkey according to a new law just passed, may have only one door, and that opening on to the street. Windows must be covered with close-meshed wire netting, so that no papers can be handed through. A statement must be made a year in advance of the amount of ink required, which will be supplied by the state. A specimen of everything printed is to be kept, and must be shown at any time to a police inspector on pain of a fine.


"ANGUS McNEILL," whose nationality and identity have been questioned, is said to come of a hunting family and lives near Evesham, in Worcestershire. He is said to be a sportsman himself, and to have been for a number of years a resident of England.


THE order of arrest obtained by David Belasco for Mrs. Bertram Babcock ("Onoto Watanna") was vacated on the 6th inst. by Justice Leventritt, in the Supreme Court, because of proof of affidavit that a sufficient cause of action existed was defective.

E.P. DUTTON & Co. have just published "The Truth and Error of Christian Science," by M. Carta Sturge, a Cambridge graduate, with a preface by Canon Scott Holland. Some of the conclusions are not altogether flattering to the cause of Christian Science, but they are of undoubted significance as they author has given the matter very serious study.


THE impression is certainly bound to grow that there exists some wag in the remote regions of the undefined West who amuses himself by sending in unconscionable orders to staid publishers in the East. The latest instance is the receipt by Harper & Bros. of an order for "Napoleon, the Last Faze of Rosenberg," and :Heroine of Affection," by Howls.



Back to simpler times . . .

It's Monday and that means time to look at some breaking stories from the 19th Century, courtesy of Publishers Weekly.

This week's news comes from issue 1358, February 5, 1898.

LAIRD & LEE, Chicago, have issued a useful "Combination Memorandum Book" for the vest-pocket. It contains a calendar for 1898 and 1899, identification card, reminders for daily use, help in accidents, weather signals, poison antidotes, postal rates, interest laws and tables, population of States and cities, value of foreign coins, electoral votes, presidents, States and territories, wars of the United States, weights and measures, cash book, etc.

A MAN who gives himself all sorts of famous names and represents himself as the son of any number of distinguished men, but who has lately appeared as Edward Epps, and has described himself as the brother-in-law of Alma Tadema, has been swindling New Yorkers prominent in literature or art out of all sorts of commodities, ranging from a good square meal to considerable sums of money. Mr. Epps is a young man, slight in build, with a pale complexion and blond hair and moustache. Sometimes a consumptive cough forms part of his stock in trade.

FRANCIS P. HARPER, New York, has in press an illustrated work of considerable interest to book-lovers, librarians, and naturalists, entitled "Facts about Bookworms, their history in literature and work in libraries," by rev. J.F. O'Conor, S.J., former librarian of Georgetown College. The author has gathered a vast amount of curious information about these destructive little creatures and skillfully interwoven them with anecdotes and quotations from ancient and modern writers. No less that 72 specimens of various kinds of bookworms have been discovered and studied under the microscope. The appendix consists of entomological notes. The entire edition is limited to 750 numbered copies.

SCRANTON, PA.- W.H. Anderson, bookseller, is selling out.



Publishing notes from the Turn of the Century

This week's PW news comes from issue 1460, Jan 20, 1900:

NEW YORK CITY- the sheriff last week received an execution against the Club Woman's magazine Publishing Co., of 384 Fifth Avenue, for $824, in favor of William T. Payton, and he levied upon the office furniture. Mr. Payton applied for an injunction to restrain the sheriff.

TRUSLOVE, HANSON, and COMBA, New York, have published a neat edition of "Saunterings in Bookland with Gleanings by the Way," selected and edited by Joseph Shaylor, cmpiler of 'The Pleasures of Literature," and "The Solace of Books."

So much has been said about Tolstoi's "Resurrection," the novel on which he is now at work, that we are glad to learn from the publishers, Dodd, Mead, & co., that it will probably see light before next autumn. Tolstoi (although he has not fully regained his health) is at work completing the story. Much criticism will doubtless be heard concerning the morals of the characters in the story, but those who have read it as far as written pronounce it a terrible arraignment of European morals, and say that it should exert a tremendous influence for good.

A second revised edition, in two volumes, is ready of O.N. Nelson's "History of the Scandinavian in the United States," of which the first volume appeared in 1893, and has now been brought down to 1900, with much new material and several articles entirely rewritten. The bibliography has been increased by 125 titles. The second volume was of such recent issue that the required changes are not so noteworthy. A very important chapter in this work relates to the nationality of criminal and insane persons in the United States. It has been thoroughly approved by experts.

The fact that there were literally several millions of signatures to the protest against admitting Congressman-elect Roberts, of Utah, to a seat in the House of Representatives, shows how keen an interest there still is in the "Morman (sic) question." Believing it to be yet unsolved, and thus vital and timely, Fords, Howard and Hubert are reprinting Mrs. A.S. Paddock's graphic story, "The Fate of Madame La Tour." Already in its tenth thousand, this strange romance of thinly veiled fact depicts the origin, ideas, principles, and methods of Mormon life from the inside in an alluring narrative, but with reasonable accuracy. It should lay hold on a new and larger public.



110 years ago today

Some news from the distant past:

JOAQUIN MILLER is now on a little steamer Weare on the Yukon, frozen in and cannot reach home until the ice thaws next July.

EATON & MAINS have just issued "How to Make Sunday-School Go," by A.T. Brewer, superintendent of the Epworth Memorial Sunday School, Cleveland, Ohio. The little practical volume consists of contributions by various successful Sunday-school workers who cover thirty-nine problems of successful Sunday-school work.

~Publishers Weekly, No. 1356, January 22, 1898

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Publishing News, January 4, 1890

Some highlights of the publishing trade from the week of January 4, 1890 as reported by PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.


The POPE MFG. CO. have issues a useful desk calendar as an advertisement of their Columbia bicycles.

SAMPSON LOW & CO. have published a second revised edition of P.H. Emerson's charming "English Idyls," a series of prose poems on various subjects.

We are pleased to note that Burrows Brothers Company's handsome edition of "Lorna Doone" has met with a sale far beyond the anticipation of the publishers.

METHUEN & CO., London, will publish shortly a new book by Baring Gould, entitled "old Country Life," treating od the country customs of the last century, old houses, old roads, old country parsons, and old musicians. The book will be fully illustrated.

THE AUTHORS COOPERATIVE PUBLISHING CO., London, have recently published a neat and artistic volume entitled "A book of Vagrom Men and Vagrant Thoughts," by Alfred T. Story. The author in a pleasing and entertaining manner treats of tramp musicians, peddlers, ballad-singers, tinkers, sparrows, and a host of other vagrants. the volume reflects creditably upon publisher and author.

The book trade of Atlanta, Ga., is enjoying a little fun caused by a "tug-of-war" in progress between the dry-goods bazaar and a book and stationery concern. It would seem, according to the American stationer, "that last winter Thornton & Grubb, of Atlanta, were able to handle a very good line of books at the phenomenally low price of twenty-five cents per volume, and consequently they made so good a drive on them that the greed of one of the big big dry-goods houses was aroused to the extent of making heavy purchases of the books in New York, and a short time ago it displayed them on its counters at nineteen cents a volume. Having a pretty good supply on hand, Thornton & Grubb announced the next day the same book at eighteen cents. The next morning the bazaar dropped a cent below that, to be followed by Thornton & Grubb posting the books at sixteen cents. The bazaar saw them one better, at which point the sinews of war gave out and, at last report, both belligerents were resting on their oars awaiting a large consignment of books, on receipt of which the contest will undoubtedly be resumed. Other booksellers, with one exception, have remained simply spectators of the fray, as they do not handle the books. The exception is W.B. Burke, the 'Old Bookstore Man,' who on the 4th inst. hung up a lot of handkerchiefs, striped hosiery, etc., in front of his store, and announced 'cut rates in dry-goods.' What other lines of feminine apparel Mr. Burke will add to his display is not known, but no doubt the ladies of Atlanta, purses in hand, are keeping a sharp eye on his movements, and stand ready to crowd the store the moment he spreads out a genuine bargain counter of hooks and eyes, whalebones, dress braids, gloves, tapes, laces, embroidery, and other things dear to the female heart. We hope he will sail in courageously. Meanwhile the legitimate book trade is getting another punch in the ribs.

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