The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Monthly Archives: January 2013

“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: February 2013

Something a little bit different with this month’s crocodile mystery: this is an object that I both know and don’t know what it is. At one level, it’s not hard to figure out what is being depicted. But who and why and what to do with this depiction is a bit more complex, I think, and I haven’t quite worked it all out yet.… Continue Reading

The Folger’s Mazarinades: Libraries within Libraries

A guest post by Kathryn Gucer In 1652, Gabriel Naudé argued passionately for the importance of libraries and collecting books in a brief pamphlet, Advis a nosseigneurs de Parliament. Naudé repudiates a proposal by the parliament of Paris to break up and sell off the library of Cardinal Jules Mazarin, chief adviser to Louis XIV and the parliament’s arch enemy.… Continue Reading

Capital News from the Low Countries

What from a distance may look like a pasture, perhaps with oddly shaped poppies or some other flowers on the foreground and two buildings in the background, is actually much less pleasant. (Click any image in this post to enlarge it; once it opens in a new window/tab, click again to zoom in for details.) title page woodcut (fol. A1r)… Continue Reading

Myth-busting early modern book illustration, part one

There’s a common core of misconceptions that many readers of this blog will be accustomed to dispelling thanks to their interest in Shakespeare and Early Modern Europe. “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” doesn’t mean “Where’d you go, Romeo?!” Historic window glass didn’t “flow” to become thicker at the bottom over time. The printing press didn’t destroy manuscript culture. But what about myths we propagate without knowing it?… Continue Reading

A letter from Queen Anne to Buckingham locked with silk embroidery floss

No, it’s not Lady Gaga’s hairline or the frizz on one of those creepy troll dolls. 1 Last week’s crocodile mystery is in fact a close up of silk embroidery floss that had been tightly wrapped around a folded letter, with seals placed over the floss on the front and back of the packet to secure it. When the floss was cut to open the letter, the floss frayed, and the seals remained intact. … Continue Reading