The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts By: Goran Proot

Miracles lately vvrovght: the use of “vv” for “w” in 17th-century titles

In earlier posts I surveyed the use of “v” for “u” in titles and imprints of books printed in the Southern Netherlands. In both cases, this habit clearly faded out in the course of the seventeenth century. These findings, in combination with the following title page, prompt the question what happens with the combination of “V”s representing a “W.” “VV” used for “W” on a 1606 title page (Folger STC 18746) The best known example of this usage of “VV” for “W” probably is the title page of the First Folio.… Continue Reading

An argent lion rampant: coats of arms in 17th-c. books

In recent months, the Folger Shakespeare Library added a rare emblem book to its holdings, a thin quarto bound in pasteboards holding 24 unnumbered leaves . The emblem book presents itself as a “new year’s gift” containing 13 engravings: one coat of arms and twelve emblems executed by the prolific engraver Frederik Bouttats. 1 The author of the text is a Jesuit who remains anonymous.… Continue Reading

Steady sellers

Recently, Jan van de Kamp, a scholar from the Netherlands, contacted me with the question of whether I knew a method to extract all religious steady sellers from the Short Title Catalogue, Netherlands (STCN). He would like to use that information to prepare a contribution to the Brill Companion to Dutch Protestant Piety, 1480–1820, in which Jan will discuss the production of edifying literature published in the Netherlands in the period 1570–1820.… Continue Reading

Abbreviations and signatures

As Sjoerd Levelt guessed in the comments, this month’s crocodile image featured an abbreviation, rather than a letter, in the signature mark: sig. 2[ter]2Here’s a longer look at what this character is and how it ended up being used in the signature. 1 First, the book in question is a “Book of Summer Sermons” (Santius de Porta, Sermones estiuales de tempore venerabilis Santij porta sacri ordinis predicatorum) printed in Lyon in 1513. … Continue Reading

A catchy Italian design

In 1629 Agostino Mascardi’s Italian story about the conspiracy of Count Giovanni Luigi de Fieschi was published—according to a statement on the engraved title page only suggesting an imprint—in an unspecified Antwerp printing shop. Because of that, the edition is entered into the Short Title Catalogue Flanders, but in reality it is probably not a Flemish imprint at all. In this blog post, I will not go into detail about the printing history of this text, which appeared in the same year as well in Milan and Venice, but I will limit myself to a discussion of the layout elements suggesting a non-Flemish origin.… Continue Reading

V and U in 17th-century Flemish book imprints

In my last blog post I discussed the use of “V” and “U” in titles on title pages of 17th-century books published in Flanders. For this blog post I surveyed two extra elements which often appear on title pages as well: the place of publication and the name of the printer/publisher as they appear in the imprint. I wondered whether we would see the same trends when it comes to the use of “V” substituting for “U” as we had in titles.… Continue Reading

V and U in 17th-century Flemish book titles

For many years bibliographers in Flanders have been speculating about the use of “V” in the place of “U” on title pages of early modern hand-press books. For the occasion of this blog post, I decided “TO TAKE VP THE GAVNTLET” in figuring out whether my friend Diederik Lanoye was right when he insisted that “everything happened in the sixties!” A Latin title page from 1602 (left) and one from 75 years later (right): the former has “V” representing “U” while the latter does not.… Continue Reading

The use of paragraph marks in early 16th-century Flemish editions

(UPDATE January 23: In editing this post, I inadvertently inserted an inaccurate use of “Dutch” as a modifier in the post title; I’ve now updated it to the correct “Flemish”. SW.) The Folger Shakespeare Library has very strong Continental holdings. The first time I did research in this library, I was pleased to find a number of editions printed by the first “Belgian” printer, Dirk Martens, also known as Thierry or Theodoricus Martens (c.… 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


Just like “Fernweh”—the opposite of “Heimweh” or one’s longing for distant countries—the German word “Fingerspitzengefühl” is almost impossible to translate. Literally it refers to the sensitivity of one’s fingertips and it expresses an accurate knowledge or a delicate feeling that some people have for certain things or situations. It is a conviction which you cannot precisely express, but about which you feel certain.… Continue Reading

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