The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts By: Kathleen Lynch

Folger copy 54: From family library to research library

Folger First Folio number 54 traveled over 10,000 miles from Washington D.C., to San Diego California and Honolulu, Hawaii, during our First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare tour, and is on view in our Great Hall through January 22, 2017. But its journey was already in progress long before this traveling exhibit. It had been moved from the Hutchinson family library, at the estate in Owthorpe, in Nottinghamshire, England, where it was since at least the late seventeenth century, to a “very large, apparently foreign made, Chest” by the time Captain Charles Hutchinson inherited it in the nineteenth century, after the estate had been sold out of the family.… Continue Reading

What to do about the Macro manuscripts?

We thought we had the right question. Renate Mesmer (Head of Conservation), Heather Wolfe (Curator of Manuscripts), and I invited several scholars to the Folger for a lab-based discussion on “V.a.354: What to do about the Macro Manuscripts?” Specifically, the question was whether to rebind the items, and if so, together or separately, and if together, in what order. Left to Right: Kathleen Lynch, Kellie Robertson, Theresa Coletti, Gail McMurray Gibson, Heather Wolfe, Mike Kuczynski Some history will be helpful here: three late-medieval morality plays, Wisdom, Mankind, and The Castle of Perseverance, known collectively as the Macro manuscripts, are in the Folger collection.… Continue Reading

Ohel or Dod? Ideal copies and messy print

When is a repair to a title page more like a clue to a bibliographical puzzle? detail of an altered title page This question has intrigued me since, some years ago, I first consulted a Folger copy of John Rogers’s 1653 Ohel or Beth-shemesh. A Tabernacle for the Sun: Or Irenicum Evangelicum. An Idea of Church-Discipline, in the Theorick and Practick Parts (135- 312q).… Continue Reading

Peeking behind the locked door

Another sede vacante has come and gone. With the wall-to-wall coverage of contemporary media, this one made witnesses of us all. Or at least, the coverage let us witness the events outside the conclave and to share our speculation about what was happening behind the locked doors. For the Folger Institute, the recent happenings in St. Peter’s Square in Rome also sparked fond memories of our NEH Institute on Ritual and Ceremony, Late-Medieval Europe to Early America, directed by Claire Sponsler in 2010.  … Continue Reading

Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November

photo by flickr user wearethe99% Last week, while flipping through a magazine (sorry, I don’t recall which one, but you probably all read the same stuff I do), my attention was caught by a photo of two people wearing what I immediately recognized as Guy Fawkes masks. Now, how Guy Fawkes would be instantly recognizable in twenty-first-century popular culture is one of the things that gave me pause.… Continue Reading