The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Q & A: Julie Ainsworth, Head of Photography and Digital Imaging

Julie Ainsworth, Head of Photography and Digital Imaging Although many readers at and visitors to the Folger Shakespeare Library might not know her name, most know her work. Julie Ainsworth, Head of Photography and Digital Imaging, is responsible for the wonderful images of Folger items that are found in print, that make up the Folger’s Digital Image Collection, and that grace the Library’s website. … Continue Reading

Battling over 18th-century rights to Shakespeare

In working on the Shakespeare Collection NEH grant-funded project for the past year, I have learned more than I ever imagined possible regarding the history of eighteenth-century publishing, particularly the “Shakespeare copyrights” and ownership disputes between booksellers. The feud between booksellers Jacob Tonson and Robert Walker is just such an example. In the early eighteenth century, the Tonson firm held the copyright for Shakespeare works, publishing fine editions by popular editors such as Alexander Pope and Nicholas Rowe.… Continue Reading

The KJV, Ben Franklin, and Noah Webster

As part of the library’s celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible, the Folger Institute hosted a conference bringing together scholars from across the United States and the United Kingdom to discuss the effect of this Bible on social, cultural and political societies of early Stuart England and colonial America. The breadth of discussion in “An Anglo-American History of the KJV” took us far beyond the King’s castle and our New England roots, however, demonstrating how the language of the KJV was disseminated throughout the various regions and cultures of the United States, including its translation for the native Cherokee nation as well as its role in the lives of slaves and later emancipated African Americans.… Continue Reading

Copperplate illustrations and the question of quality

While looking at early modern book illustration in the undergraduate seminar on Friday, we got to talking about the false assumption that copperplate illustrations always indicate better-quality publications, while woodcuts are inherently lowly. True, the raw material is more expensive: copper plates cost more than wood blocks. True, it’s possible to produce finer lines in copperplate illustrations than in woodcuts, allowing for more detail.… Continue Reading

Folger Tooltips: Cover-to-Cover

19th c. wood engraving showing open books Greetings, dear Readers This episode of Folger Tooltips covers a variety of methods for accessing cover-to-cover page images of early printed books and bound manuscripts from the Folger collection. At the moment there are three basic ways in: via Insight’s tried-and-true “Multi-page documents” (accessible once you have installed our free java client); via Luna’s web-based “BookReader views” (compound digital objects represented by a single thumbnail in search results); and, via what we’re calling “BookReader thumbnails” (sets of Luna search results represented by screens of thumbnails in page-by-page sort order).… Continue Reading

Cataloging and preserving the Shakespeare collection

Cataloging and Preserving the Shakespeare Collection is a three-year project at the Folger Shakespeare Library funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Catalogers are working to create and upgrade definitive records for the Folger’s more than 5,000 Shakespeare works in print from the 18th through 20th centuries. In addition to cataloging the books and making the records available online, the project brings together a team of curators, conservators, and reference members in order to conserve the materials for future generations of scholars, with procedures such as sending high spot volumes for off-site deacidification, as well as housing vulnerable materials in phase boxes, to preserve structural integrity.… Continue Reading

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