The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Pietro Mattioli and the Everlasting Woodblocks

Yes, last week’s Crocodile Mystery was a close-up image of a woodblock. This woodblock, in particular: Folger 245- 324f woodblock 1 And in fact, it is the woodblock that was used to print this image: “Lactuca florescens,” a variety of lettuce. (245- 324f, leaf CXXXVI) You can compare this section of the woodblock with the (hand-colored) print that it created: Don’t forget, the woodblock and print will be mirror images of each other.… Continue Reading

Sign Here Please: ______ Blank forms from the Folger Collection

A guest post by Derek Dunne For anyone who has worked in the Reading Room of the Folger Shakespeare Library, you’ll know that a certain amount of paperwork is part of the daily routine: sign-in sheets, call slips, and of course the exit pass. Each of these is designed to be filled in over time—sometimes written by readers (‘PLEASE PRINT’ as shown below), sometimes stamped by library staff—meaning that the document is always in progress, never quite complete; making these documents both collaborative and hybrid.… Continue Reading

“What manner o’thing is your crocodile?”: April 2017

As March draws to a close, spring has finally (mostly) sprung in Washington DC (we’ll not talk about our poor cherry blossoms). If the days are warming up where you are as well, contemplate this Crocodile Mystery while you enjoy the weather, and tell us what this image is: As always, leave your thoughts and guesses in the comments and we’ll be back next week with the answer.… Continue Reading

Histories and Communities of Books

A guest post by Megan Heffernan Working in the Folger Shakespeare Library this year has opened my eyes to the important role that research centers play in shaping knowledge. If this sounds like a truism, bear with me for a moment because I want to use this post to think through some of the ways that scholarship is sustained by access to archives.… Continue Reading

The Guild of Women-Binders and the “bindings of tomorrow”

It’s not uncommon for me to encounter small presses, publishers, and binderies with which I’m unfamiliar in the course of my regular work at the Folger. However, few of them have as intriguing a story as the Guild of Women-Binders, which I discovered in our catalog earlier this month. The Guild of Women-Binders was started by Frank Karslake, a London bookseller with ambitious ideas, but little actual experience in bookbinding.… Continue Reading

From the Archives: Shakespeare in the USSR

Since (and even before) our founding in 1932, Folger Shakespeare Library staff has come together with a wide variety of arts and humanities organizations to celebrate the powerful nature of Shakespeare’s plays and poems. Shakespeare’s works represent a literary place to which many of us turn in times of turmoil, both personal and on a broader stage. His works have been used to support many different viewpoints, and many different types of causes—regardless of what use Shakespeare’s words have been made to serve, we can agree that they are powerful and compelling in the hands of orators and writers.… Continue Reading

The Folger as a Collection of Collections

The next time a scholar of early modern Europe tells you that they don’t look to the Folger as their research home because they don’t work on Shakespeare, you might gently suggest that there are other parts of the Folger’s collection that may be relevant to their work. Chances are, if they work on any topic involving literature, religion, history, or culture from between 1450 to 1750 in Western Europe, the Folger has material for them.… Continue Reading

A Yellow Book

Thank you to those who have tried to solve this month’s Crocodile mystery regarding the yellow color of a book, which can be found in the Stickelberger collection of Reformation at the Folger Shakespeare Library (more on this collection in a future Collation post!). While we had many interesting guesses, we still cannot fully explain what caused the coloring of the paper in this book.… Continue Reading

“What manner o’thing is your crocodile?”: March 2017

The mystery this month isn’t about what the text is (these pages are excerpts from a Calvinist Bible in French printed in Geneva in 1588) but rather it’s about the paper. What is going on here? Leave your thoughts and guesses in the comments and we’ll be back next week with more information.… Continue Reading

A New ASECS-Folger Short Term Fellowship

The Folger Institute is delighted to announce a fellowship in partnership with the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. This $2,500 award will allow its recipient a one-month residency at the Folger Library in Washington, DC. The fellowship is interdisciplinary, and will work to support all areas of scholarly inquiry pertinent to eighteenth-century studies. Established in 1969, the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies is an interdisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of scholarship in all aspects of the period from the later seventeenth through the early nineteenth century in Europe, its colonies, and across the globe.… Continue Reading

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