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The New York Times today (Jan. 16) relates how items from La Jolla's now-for-sale James S. Copley Library, 1134 Kline Street, will be on display at Sotheby's in New York City until next Saturday. Beginning April 2011, there will be a series of eight auctions to sell the artifacts. Included are such gems as a note from Mark Twain to his publisher: "Charley, your proof-reader is an idiot; & not only an idiot, but blind; & not only blind, but partly dead." There is a message that Abraham Lincoln wrote to his procrastinating Civil War General George B. McClellan; a handwritten manuscript of a 1932 lecture by Albert Einstein, and many more items from the collection, that the Times calls "astonishing." Copley Press put the building up for sale last fall, as reported on this blog.

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 16, 2010 @ 11:20 a.m.

Sad, that a big part of a families history is going to be sold off piecemeal.


Don Bauder Jan. 16, 2010 @ 11:52 a.m.

Response to post #1: Some of that wonderful material belongs in museums and other public institutions. It looks like David Copley wants to wring maximum cash out of the collection. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh Jan. 16, 2010 @ 12:03 p.m.

Is David so hard up for cash that he's selling his entire birthright (well, sort of) in a down economy? Even if he wants to liquidate all the artifacts and ephemera in the collection, now doesn't appear to be the time. It might also be better to trickle them into the collectibles market a little at a time.

But in a larger sense, his father and mother had some pride in having that library, and now he's just scattering the collection around the world. What will he be leaving to remember about the Copleys? His mother's name on Symphony Hall and a YMCA? That's about all it will be. This library and its collection could and should remain in San Diego. They could be given to one of our local universities to manage and expand in perpetuity. (A bequest of a similar nature was made of the W A Clark Memorial Library in Los Angeles. W A Clark, Jr assembled a trove of rare books and had a wonderful building to house it constructed in the West Adams district of LA. Upon his death the library and an endowment were given to UCLA, which operates the facility to this day. Very few people know if its existence, and it isn't on the Westwood campus. It is a real jewel in the UC "crown." David could have done something much like that instead of selling it off piecemeal.)

What a sad episode in the Copley family saga!


Don Bauder Jan. 16, 2010 @ 12:50 p.m.

Response to post #3: I agree with you: that priceless James S. Copley Library collection belongs in San Diego with a university, with a historical society -- somewhere that the public has access to. I have seen many of those documents. They are amazing. I am wondering if David Copley is worse off financially than we realize. He got only $50 million from sale of the paper. He should still get something from sale of the corporate headquarters. The family had a pile of money separately, although I believe that too much of it was invested in tech stocks at the time of the 2000-2001 crash. The company got cash -- not stock in GateHouse -- for the Ohio and Illinois papers, at least according to official records. (Stock in GateHouse plunged and hasn't recovered.) But this deal to sell off the library materials is very, very disturbing. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Jan. 16, 2010 @ 9:21 p.m.

NOTE: I erred in one place. The eight auctions of the Copley library materials END in April of 2011, not begin. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 Jan. 17, 2010 @ 10:21 a.m.

Don, I dont have any comment about the auctions, but was curious to know if Copley Press was ever successfully sued for libel?

I know there must have been lawsuits, as I am sure all papers have libel lawsuits, but were any successful???

What type of policy and procedures did the Copley press have for dealing with stories that could possibly lead to libel claims???

Did Copley have any review-by the editior in chief or whoever- that would make risk assessments for libel???

I would like to hear your comments....In fact I would be curious if you personally ever ran into any problems.


Anon92107 Jan. 18, 2010 @ 3:59 a.m.

The ongoing sale of artifacts from the crashing and burning of the Copley empire appears to run parallel to the decline and fall of the San Diego.

Seems to be something Greco-Roman and/or Wagnerian about all this.

Don, this is an opportunity for you and your colleagues to write an Old Globe play or Symphony Hall musical to immortalize the 20th century history of the Rise and Fall of Copley San Diego.


Don Bauder Jan. 18, 2010 @ 7:25 a.m.

Response to post #6: By the time I left in 2003, there were three lawyers devoted primarily to handling possible libel actions. Most of my scam stories went through a lawyer before going into print. Did Copley ever lose a libel suit? I don't know the answer to that. It may have settled charges in some case, but I am not aware of that. Former mayor Roger Hedgecock was unsatisfied with a retraction, made threats, and got a second one, but I don't think Copley shelled out money in that one. I could be wrong. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Jan. 18, 2010 @ 7:30 a.m.

Response to post #7: Gotterdammerung has already been written. Best, Don Bauder


SurfPuppy619 Jan. 18, 2010 @ 8:09 a.m.

By the time I left in 2003, there were three lawyers devoted primarily to handling possible libel actions. Most of my scam stories went through a lawyer before going into print

Thanks for the response. I doubt if any lawsuits were successful if you had three attorneys reviewing the product before print.


Anon92107 Jan. 19, 2010 @ 12:26 p.m.

Response to post #9: "Gotterdammerung has already been written."

Good point Don, but it needs updating and no one can do that better than you and your former U-T colleagues like Goldsborough who were betrayed by the San Diego Republican Party's control over the U-T.

When we were kids American Heroes and Patriots fought Nazis to protect American Democracy,

while we were growing up we had to protect American Democracy from communism,

only to have the GOP sell out American jobs, opportunities, manufacturing and the Wealth of America to Communist China,

so now we have to fight the GOP to protect America from a GOP Gotterdammerung that is destroying American Democracy today.


Don Bauder Jan. 19, 2010 @ 6:44 p.m.

Response to post #11: Roger Hedgecock, who threatened to sue twice, got one retraction, and later a stronger one. But the case never got to court and I am quite sure Hedgecock didn't get any money. But he got satisfaction in the second retraction. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Jan. 19, 2010 @ 6:47 p.m.

Response to post #12: Like me, Goldsborough was not fired. He left on his own, and wasn't pushed out. Best, Don Bauder


Anon92107 Jan. 20, 2010 @ 4:16 a.m.

Response to post #13:

Never mind Don, it no longer matters whether the GOP/U-T betrayed you, Goldsborough and other great San Diego journalists or not after yesterdays Massachusetts Gotterdammerung.

It appears that Republican voters in Massachusetts think of GOP as a new spelling for GOD, and we have a whole new political reality in America today.

The culture of Corruption and Greed triumphed because the democrats proved that they are too incompetent to lead one too many times.


Don Bauder Jan. 20, 2010 @ 7:24 a.m.

Response to post #14: As I said in response to another post, Obama should immediately fire the head of the Democratic National Committee and name Howard Dean to the post. It was Dean's 50-state strategy that put Obama in the White House. Rahm Emanuel, who was completely wrong in denouncing Dean's strategy, hates Dean. If Emanuel puts up a squeak, he should be fired. In fact, he should be fired anyway. Emanuel, along with Summers and Geithner, are among the reasons that Wall Street is leading Obama around by the nose. Best, Don Bauder


Anon92107 Jan. 20, 2010 @ 12:44 p.m.

Response to post #15:

After yesterday one must wonder if Independent voters are now beginning to upset the political equation at last by fighting back against the cultures of corruption and incompetence that have dominated the republican and democratic parties, resulting in decades of betrayals of We The People by both parties.

But it is hard to tell yet if Massachusetts really represents a national wave of political change because Massachusetts has a dominant culture which allowed pedophilia to destroy the lives of 10s of 1000s of helpless children for far too many decades. The people of Massachusetts have watched and done nothing to stop Mortal Sins, and political betrayals are much easier in comparison regardless of how they are registered politically.

The best we can hope for is that Republican and Democrat political cultures will be overthrown, restoring American Democracy and enfranchising We The People once again.


Don Bauder Jan. 20, 2010 @ 6:13 p.m.

Response to post #16: There were a lot of factors in Massachusetts. Democratic overconfidence and incompetence were two of them. That state may not like the healthcare bill because it has its own program. Best, Don Bauder


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