The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Monthly Archives: December 2013

Happy New Year’s “E”

Perpetual calendars in the early modern period relied on knowing a given year’s “dominical letter” or  “Sunday letter”—the letter corresponding to the date of the first Sunday in January where A=1, B=2, C=3, and so on. This New Year’s Eve, we’re five days away from Sunday, so 2014’s dominical letter is the fifth letter of the alphabet: E. Armed with that knowledge, a quick glance at this William Faithorne engraving tells me, for example, that May 20 is a Tuesday: William Faithorne, 1616-1691.… Continue Reading

Unbidden guests, moldy pies, and other holiday drama

As we enter the holiday season and look forward to spending time with our families and friends, it is of course always useful to take a moment to reflect upon the antics of other people’s families. Even better if those families are over four hundred years old. And even better if their antics are described in English secretary or italic hand.… Continue Reading

A look back at our 2013

Here on The Collation, it’s been a busy 2013. Today’s post will be our 68th of the year, and as of December 15th, we’d racked up 46,012 visits from 33,411 unique visitors, producing 67,361 pageviews this year. *phew* It’s gratifying that we have readers who enjoy our posts and that come to us repeatedly to learn what we have to share.… Continue Reading

Q & A: Jaime McCurry, National Digital Stewardship Resident

This year, the Folger is one of ten host institutions for the National Digital Stewardship Residencies, a nine-month grant-funded program created by the Library of Congress and the Institute of Museum and Library Studies. The NDSR program, in their own words, “offers recent master’s program graduates in specialized fields—library science, information science, museum studies, archival studies and related technology—the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience in digital preservation.” The Folger is delighted to host Jaime McCurry as our resident digital steward from September 2013 through May 2014.… Continue Reading

“Très-humblement”: Tracing the mysteries of a 1602 Dutch pamphlet

For more than a year now I have been working with volunteers on the Flemish holdings in the Folger. 1 In the course of this project, we came across a small pamphlet, an anonymous booklet printed in 1602 (Folger DH110 K1196 Cage). The text is a response to another pamphlet and it indicates neither a place of publication nor a printer.… Continue Reading

‘Tis the season for almanacs

December crocodile As our two commenters on the last post sussed out, this month’s crocodile mystery is a detail from an almanac, the black “Swallow” overprinting the red “Dove” the names of authors of two different almanacs. Below is the full title page of the work in question, Swallow 1633. An Almanack for the yeare since the nativity of our Saviour MDCXXXIII Being the first after Bissextile or Leap-yeare, and from our Saviour’s passion 1600.Continue Reading

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

Now that we’re back to our regular twice-weekly schedule of posts, it’s time to bring back our crocodile mystery series! 1 As a refresher, the series posts a mystery item at the (approximate) beginning of each month, inviting speculations in the comments about what it is and what its significance might be. The following week one of our regular authors shares the reveal and explanation.… Continue Reading

Mr. Folger’s most expensive painting

There’s a persistent rumor that “Mr. Folger never paid more than x for a painting.” The value of x depends on who’s telling the story, but it’s generally around $2,000 and is used as evidence that he wasn’t interested in paintings. The rumor probably began with Mr. Folger himself. When negotiating with dealers, he sometimes allows as how he might consider purchasing the item in question, but it’s really not the sort of thing he usually collects, and in any case, he’s never paid more than some small amount for such a thing… You get the idea.… Continue Reading