This story on the BBC web site is about the British Library’s digitization of the famous MS of Alice’s Adventures Underground as part of its remarkable “Turn the Page” program.
They don’t mention the facts that seem so pertinent to us–that the manuscript was not so important to the British Library in 1928 when Dr. Rosenbach bought it! The purchase of the Alice manuscript was one of the most important events in Dr. Rosenbach’s career, garnering him press all over the world, as well as criticism from many in Britain and the United States.
The manuscript was eventually given to the British Library by the Library of Congress in a deal set up by Lessing Rosenwald and Arthur Houghton, as well as Dr. Rosenbach, who got to buy the MS back from the estate of the man he first sold it to–Eldridge Johnson.
Here’s an image of a page from a scrapbook kept by Alice herself, documenting the media coverage of the sale. This scrapbook is part of a small collection of documents recently purchased by the museum that document the Alice sale…