The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts Categorized: Exhibitions

Constructing volvelles

As Elizabeth Bruxer correctly identified within a few short hours of its posting, this month’s crocodile mystery showed the inner disc of an unconstructed volvelle from a copy of the 1591 edition of Giambattista della Porta’s De furtivis literarum  notis (STC 20118). The key to her identification lay in recognizing the image as being part of a… Continue Reading »

William Dethick and the Shakespeare Grants of Arms

A guest post by Nigel Ramsay For many visitors to the Folger’s Heraldry exhibit, “Symbols of Honor,” the stars will be the three original draft grants on paper of Shakespeare’s coats of arms. These belong to the English heralds’ long-established institution, the College of Arms in London, and they have never before been out of… Continue Reading »

A peek into the Conservation Lab

Ever wonder what the conservators are up to on our third floor? Here’s a peek into what’s happening in the Werner Gundersheimer Conservation Laboratory this month: The team is in full treatment mode for the Library’s upcoming exhibition, “Symbols of Honor: Heraldry and Family History in Shakespeare’s England,” opening this summer. Before every exhibition, of course, the conservation… Continue Reading »

Can you spot the differences?

Have a look at the coat of arms worn by Edwin Booth (1833–1893) in the title role of Shakespeare’s King Richard III. Notice something wrong? Hint: The conventions Victorian aesthetics aren’t the same as the conventions of medieval heraldry. Give up? Aesthetic rules call for heavier design elements below lighter ones (hence a pyramid of… Continue Reading »

What’s that smell? Getting personal with historic costumes

The Folger’s current exhibition, Here Is a Play Fitted, takes a broad look at how Shakespeare on the stage has changed over the past 400 years. For a full look at that topic, you have until January 12, 2014 to see the exhibition—and you should! But for this blog post, I’d like to focus in… Continue Reading »

Folger Exhibition Hall, circa 1935

With the Exhibition Hall closed for needed repairs this summer, I got to thinking about the various displays it has held over the years. It’s almost impossible to pick out any specific books or manuscripts in this photo from around 1935, but many of the objects and paintings are recognizable. The case in the center of… Continue Reading »

Elizabeth goes to New York

On September 5, two professional art handlers from Artex Fine Art Services loaded a great big wooden crate onto their climate-controlled box truck, strapped it securely into the rear cargo area, then strapped my little suitcase next to it. The three of us climbed into the cab and hit the road: the Folger’s “Sieve” portrait of… Continue Reading »

Pew-hopping in St. Margaret’s Church

Manuscripts of unusual shapes and sizes are always fun to investigate, and we recently had the opportunity to reevaluate a particularly large and interesting one, a ca. 1600 “pew plan” written on a piece of parchment (Folger MS X.d.395), in preparation for the current exhibition, Open City: London, 1500-1700.

Spotlight on a calligrapher

In an era when many schools don’t even teach cursive handwriting anymore because everyone taps out their messages on screens, it may seem quaint to focus on a woman known for her handwriting. But that’s exactly why we’re attracted to Esther Inglis, featured in the Folger’s current exhibition, “Shakespeare’s Sisters: Voices of English and European… Continue Reading »

Women marking the text

“I beegan, to ourloke this Booke . . . .”  These words are written by Lady Anne Clifford on the title page of her copy of John Selden’s Titles of Honor (1631), which is featured in the first case of our new exhibition Shakespeare’s Sisters: Voices of English and European Women Writers, 1500-1700 , opening… Continue Reading »

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