The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Marginalizing heralds and antiquaries

Title page of Augustine Vincent's A discouerie of errours The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were a period of major transition for English heralds, as the number of arms being granted increased exponentially, requiring improved methods of record-keeping. Their job was both ceremonial (ordering and keeping score at tournaments, ordering funerals) and archival (granting and confirming coats of arms, carrying out visitation to determine the accuracy of the pedigrees and coats of arms that people claimed, and compiling dictionaries of arms to prevent duplication).… Continue Reading

The books on our shelf

Headers on blogs are sometimes just pretty pictures, just as sometimes books sitting on a shelf are just books sitting there. In this case, however, the books sitting on the shelf in our header image are not only pretty, but revealing! Books in the vault, Deck C, Folger Shakespeare Library, 9/11/09 The picture that is the basis for The Collation‘s header was taken by Erica Abbey, one of the Folger’s photographers, in our Deck C rare materials vault on September 11, 2009.… Continue Reading

Watermarks & hidden collections

Hidden collections—that is, collections that are undescribed or underdescribed—are exceedingly common in libraries and archives. Until recently, the manuscript and printed paper that make up the E. Williams watermark collection, including papers of the Hale family of King’s Walden and other papers was an example of a hidden collection. In contrast with completely undescribed collections, however, a minimal description of one element of the materials did exist: in this case, a handlist provided by the bookseller describing watermark features of the paper.… 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

Folger Tooltips: Announcing Impos[i]tor

With today’s Tooltip, the Folger Shakespeare Library is proud to offer Impositor, an online tool to automatically arrange digital images from the collection into simulated impositions (the laying out of pages into the formes of printed sheets). Folio, quarto, octavo, duodecimo, and sextodecimo formats are available. Try it out and let us know what you think! But first, a bit of background.… Continue Reading

A ghost for Halloween

I’d like to say that I cleverly scheduled the installation of Benjamin Wilson’s William Powell as Hamlet encountering the Ghost for last Friday so that the Founders’ Room would have a ghost in time for Halloween. Unfortunately, there were witnesses around when I finally noticed the coincidence, and this blog is open to comments, so I’ll just have to let that one go.… Continue Reading

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