“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: April 2014

We’re a few days before the beginning of April still, but who doesn’t want to push this season ahead and get on with spring already? So here is our new crocodile mystery. Some of you will recognize immediately what category of object this is, and if that’s true for you, feel free to push on to try to work out the specifics. Click on the image to enlarge it, share your thoughts in the comments, and come back next week (in April!) to see the answer.


Author: The Collation

The Collation is the author used for "crocodile mystery" posts, Q&A's with Folger staff, and other general posts.


  1. Does this show a piece of printer’s waste used as a lining for the inside cover of a book or, an endpaper ( The page on the left ends with a “Finis” , indicating it comes at the end of a book, so logically, the next page would either be the endpaper or inside cover)

  2. It’s the last page of Folger STC 863 copy 3 (John Asser, Aelfredi Regis res gestae, 1574), facing the printed waste (A3r.A6v) of STC 16481 (C. of E., A fourme of prayer with thankes giuing, [1580?]) used in the binding (not so noted in the Hamnet record, but easy to determine from the images in EEBO – no doubt the cataloguing was done before EEBO was available). Folger does not appear to have a copy of STC 16481.

  3. Looks like binder’s waste to me. A waste sheet comprising two pages printed in quarto format being used as an endpaper in the binding of a book printed in folio format.

  4. Yes, to all three answers! I’ll say more about the book itself, cataloging, and wastepaper in my post next week. In the meantime, if you want to take a look at the rest of the back endpaper or at the front endpapers, you can see them in Luna: http://luna.folger.edu/luna/servlet/s/760h48.

  5. Well, now that I’ve recovered from the flu, I’ve managed to put together a coherent explanation of what this crocodile mystery is—and I tossed in a little extra mystery just for fun!

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