The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts Categorized: Manuscripts

Shakespeare the player: a new discovery sheds light on two Folger manuscripts

The reference to a coat of arms belonging to “Shakespeare the Player by Garter” in a manuscript at the Folger, V.a.350, has garnered much attention over the years. Folger MS V.a.350 is currently on loan to the British Library for their exhibition Shakespeare in Ten Acts, and Zoe Wilcox, one of the curators, recently highlighted it in “Shakespeare: Gentleman or Player?,” her post on the British Library’s English and Drama blog.… Continue Reading

Music Manuscripts

Recently, I have found myself answering a number of reference questions concerning our musical holdings (a reference librarian manifestation of the frequency illusion perhaps?). Whatever the reason, it has been a nice reminder that some of our manuscript holdings contain more than traditional text. The Folger holds a great deal of music in manuscript form. The most complete source for the manuscript music is An Annotated Catalogue of the Music Manuscripts in the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington D.C.Continue Reading

A Pictorial Table of Contents

Last week’s Crocodile was a jumble of household instruments with numbers next to them. As our first commenter, Katie Will, correctly guessed, the detail was from the table of contents of a type of heraldic manuscript known as an Ordinary. An Ordinary is a collection of heraldic charges—geometric patterns, or depictions of animals, objects, or people—that can appear inside an escutcheon, or heraldic shield.… Continue Reading


Musae Faciles; or, an Oxford Study Guide

A guest post by Nicholas Tyacke Back in 2008, on the eve of directing a Faculty Weekend Seminar at the Folger, on “The University Cultures of Early-Modern Oxford and Cambridge,” I took the opportunity to consult the card catalog of manuscripts. As a result, and by a nice piece of serendipity, my eye lighted on Folger MS. V.a. 236, Musae Faciles or an Easy Ascent to Parnassus, written by John Crowther and dedicated to Ralph Verney.… Continue Reading

A monument more lasting than bronze

exegi monumentum aere perennius regalique situ pyramidum altius, quod non imber edax, non Aquilo inpotens possit diruere… (Odes III: XXX, lines 1-4, published 23BC)  I have built a monument more lasting than bronze, higher than the Pyramids’ regal structures, that no consuming rain, nor wild north wind can destroy… So wrote Horace in his Odes III, predicting the far reaching influence of his (and his contemporaries’) work on the coming centuries.… Continue Reading

Textual variants in Shakespeare’s love letter to Anne Hathaway

When Shakespeare was young and in love, he wrote a gushing letter to his bride-to-be, enclosing with it a lock of his hair and five verses. Or that’s what an audacious teenager in the 1790s would have us all believe. The supposed love letter is the handiwork of forger William Henry Ireland. For those of you new to him, see Arthur Freeman’s account of his identification of the original Ireland forgeries at Harvard, and the Collation post on William Henry Ireland’s forged Shakespeare library by Arnold Hunt and me.… Continue Reading

Chacolet

a Guest Post by Marissa Nicosia and Alyssa Connell Since we launched Cooking in the Archives in 2014 we’ve been looking for chocolate. We love chocolate, our friends and family who taste our recipes love chocolate, and we were pretty sure that the readers of our historical food website would love chocolate recipes from the archives as well. We knew hot chocolate or drinking chocolate existed in early modern England, but it took us a while to find a recipe.… Continue Reading

Purchases from the Robert S. Pirie Collection, Part 3: the manuscripts

In addition to the printed books and embroidered bindings described in last week’s post, the Folger also acquired 26 early modern manuscripts at the Robert S. Pirie sale at Sotheby’s (New York) in early December 2015. They should be arriving at the Folger soon, and we are eager to accession them, catalog them, and get them into the hands of our readers.… Continue Reading

Shakespeare Documented, coming soon

It is almost 2016! For the Folger Shakespeare Library, that means we are about to kick off The Wonder of Will, 400 Years of Shakespeare, and one of the first initiatives we have planned as part of our year-long commemoration is Shakespeare Documented. When it launches in mid-January, it will be the largest and most authoritative resource for learning about primary sources that document the life and career of William Shakespeare.… Continue Reading

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