The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

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 team reviews the items to be displayed to do any necessary work to repair or stabilize them.… Continue Reading

Continuing the celebration: Preserving birthday-related digital ephemera

Taking a break from birthday festivities in the Folger Cataloging Office. It’s official: the Bard doesn’t look a day over 425. 450 years have now passed since William Shakespeare’s birth and it’s clear he is just as relevant and as loved as ever before. April 23, 2014 was marked with celebrations, events, and jovial birthday wishes from modern-day readers, scholars, and enthusiasts worldwide.… Continue Reading

Cataloging questions: How should we display variant titles?

Do you use Hamnet, the Folger’s online catalog? Do you want to help make it better? Of course you do! This is the first in what I hope will be an ongoing series of conversations designed to keep me from playing around with the display settings in whatever way strikes my fancy just because I happen to know the master password.… Continue Reading

Buzz or honey? Shakespeare’s Beehive raises questions

Shakespeare’s birthday week begins with a bang: two New York booksellers, George Koppelman and Daniel Wechsler, announced that they have found Shakespeare’s dictionary. In their new book, Shakespeare’s Beehive, Koppelman and Wechsler present their reasons for believing that William Shakespeare is the annotator of their copy of John Baret’s Alvearie, a 1580 dictionary that scholars have linked to Shakespeare’s plays and poems.… Continue Reading

Waste not, want not

As all three commenters worked out, this month’s crocodile image is of printer’s waste used as endleaves. You can see the end of the book on the left side of the opening below (note the “finis” marking the end of the text) and the quarto imposition of the scrap paper used as part of the binding on the right side (note the brown-stained holes near the right edge, left by the clasps that were once there): The last page of Asser’s Aelfredi regis res gestae (on the left) and the recto of the back endleaves of printer’s waste from the 1580 Accession Day liturgy.… Continue Reading

A catchy Italian design

In 1629 Agostino Mascardi’s Italian story about the conspiracy of Count Giovanni Luigi de Fieschi was published—according to a statement on the engraved title page only suggesting an imprint—in an unspecified Antwerp printing shop. Because of that, the edition is entered into the Short Title Catalogue Flanders, but in reality it is probably not a Flemish imprint at all. In this blog post, I will not go into detail about the printing history of this text, which appeared in the same year as well in Milan and Venice, but I will limit myself to a discussion of the layout elements suggesting a non-Flemish origin.… Continue Reading

Digital Stewardship: The one with all the definitions

My residency project at the Folger focuses on digital stewardship and preservation practices at the Library. This has, to my delight, involved getting my hands dirty with the Folger web collections and also allowed me to interact with a variety of digital assets being created by the Folger. Now that we’ve reviewed the basics of web archiving, I’d like to talk a little bit more about digital stewardship and digital assets.… Continue Reading

“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: April 2014

We’re a few days before the beginning of April still, but who doesn’t want to push this season ahead and get on with spring already? So here is our new crocodile mystery. Some of you will recognize immediately what category of object this is, and if that’s true for you, feel free to push on to try to work out the specifics.… Continue Reading

V, u/v, and library transcription rules

You know the saying, “the great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from?” You know Sarah’s post about the transcription practices used in The Collation, and Goran’s posts about V and U in titles and imprints of 17th-century Flemish books in the STCV? Welcome to the Anglo-American cataloging rules for transcription in early modern texts, which differ from both.… Continue Reading

Aphorism therapy, or, How to cope with dishonest relatives

Poor Walter Bagot (1557-1622). A busy county official in Staffordshire and head of a large extended family with typically complicated financial arrangements, he was on the receiving end of a constant flow of requests, complaints, and excuses. Occasionally, these letters inspired him to reach for his commonplace book and inscribe an appropriate aphorism on them, or else to compose his own proverbs in order to express his growing frustration.… Continue Reading

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