The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Capital News from the Low Countries

What from a distance may look like a pasture, perhaps with oddly shaped poppies or some other flowers on the foreground and two buildings in the background, is actually much less pleasant. (Click any image in this post to enlarge it; once it opens in a new window/tab, click again to zoom in for details.) title page woodcut (fol. A1r)… Continue Reading

Myth-busting early modern book illustration, part one

There’s a common core of misconceptions that many readers of this blog will be accustomed to dispelling thanks to their interest in Shakespeare and Early Modern Europe. “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” doesn’t mean “Where’d you go, Romeo?!” Historic window glass didn’t “flow” to become thicker at the bottom over time. The printing press didn’t destroy manuscript culture. But what about myths we propagate without knowing it?… Continue Reading

A letter from Queen Anne to Buckingham locked with silk embroidery floss

No, it’s not Lady Gaga’s hairline or the frizz on one of those creepy troll dolls. 1 Last week’s crocodile mystery is in fact a close up of silk embroidery floss that had been tightly wrapped around a folded letter, with seals placed over the floss on the front and back of the packet to secure it. When the floss was cut to open the letter, the floss frayed, and the seals remained intact. … Continue Reading


Teaching and collaborating

Last weekend, the Folger Institute and the Folger Undergraduate Program held a 3-day workshop on Teaching Book History. 50 librarians and faculty gathered from a wide range of institutions—small liberal arts colleges to regional schools to highly selective research universities—bringing a wide range of perspectives with them on how we might engage undergraduates in book history. Much of the work that we did collectively in the workshop is ongoing, so it’s perhaps premature to issue a report on what we learned and what will come of this experience.… Continue Reading

Folger Tooltips: Changes to the Digital Image Collection

Dear Readers: Our Digital Image Collection has had a bit of a make-over. The purpose of today’s post is to introduce you to new fields and field names and to explain a bit of background that lead to these changes. Background: As long-time visitors to luna.folger.edu will remember, for years we have relied for the most part on two sources for the descriptions that accompany digital images: the in-house digital image database used by the Photography and Digital Image office (PDI), 1 and Hamnet, when relevant catalog records are available. … Continue Reading

A Geek-Peek at Folger “ART File” and “ART Box” Classification

One of the most fascinating books I read while working on my dissertation had nothing to do with the topic as such: It’s the 189-page “user’s guide” to the British Museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings, published in 1987. In it, Antony Griffiths and Reginald Williams matter-of-factly explain the dozens of schemes their department had used over the years in attempts to store, organize, and index prints and drawings.… Continue Reading

Volvelles

As three of you immediately identified in your comments, last week’s crocodile mystery was the fastening in the center of a volvelle, holding the various layers in place and allowing them to turn: volvelle from Cortes’s Breve compendio, leaf 37r (click to enlarge) Volvelles are paper wheels that are fastened to a leaf so that the discs spin independently. Some of the earliest volvelles were used for prognostication; Ramon Llull is credited with bringing the volvelle to the West in the late thirteenth century for use in his Ars Magna.  … Continue Reading

A third manuscript by Thomas Trevelyon/Trevilian

The author’s name in the Trevelyon Miscellany of 1608 (Folger MS V.b.232, fol. 264v); click image to enlarge in Luna. Many Collation readers are already familiar with the Folger’s Trevelyon Miscellany of 1608 (Folger MS V.b.232), and the fabulous Trevilian Great Book of 1616 at the Wormsley Library. Both manuscripts, created by Thomas Trevelyon/Trevilian 1 (b. ca. 1548), have been published in facsimile, and the Folger version is also fully digitized. … Continue Reading


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