The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts Tagged: bindings

Back-to-back reading

As commenters bruxer and Lydia Fletcher worked out,  January’s crocodile mystery showed a detail of the head of a dos-à-dos binding, with a covered board running down the middle separating two gauffred text blocks. The full picture makes it a bit clearer: A dos-à-dos binding is one in which two books are bound together back-to-back (giving… Continue Reading »

A practical look at the Practical Science of Printing

In 1723, a Frenchman named Martin-Dominque Fertel published a book on printing, La science pratique de l’imprimerie. It’s good to look at early printing manuals, especially when one is trying to understand how early printing works, so I was delighted to learn that the Folger acquired a copy of the book from the Veatchs in September… Continue Reading »

Bridging past and present

As I hope Collation readers know by now, the Folger is committed to openly accessible resources. Last week provided one example of the exciting results from such a scholarly pooling of knowledge. The story begins with a conference held at the Library on bindings, the culmination of a two-year project creating an online database of images… Continue Reading »

Such a lucky pretty little library…

We thought we’d kick off your weekend with an amusing and fascinating hybrid book that is ripe for research. The as-yet unidentified compiler of this late seventeenth-century, ca. 800-leaf volume, a recent acquisition at the Folger, describes it in many flowery ways. He introduces it as a “Vade-Mecum Memorial Manual of Muses, or Compleate Compendious… Continue Reading »

Itty-bitty tab dividers

The main trick with November’s “crocodile” was having to figure out the scale. It looks at first glance like a woolly button on a pin-striped shirt: But when a ruler is included in the shot, you can see that the colorful bobble is only 3 mm in diameter: 

A new copy of Foxe’s Actes and Monuments

The Folger Shakespeare Library already has two copies of John Foxe’s Actes and Monuments, published in 1570, so why would we want another, especially as it is only volume 1, of a two-volume set? The answer provides a good example of how we decide what rare items to add to the collection. We purchased this… Continue Reading »

embroidered bindings

So last week’s crocodile mystery was nailed by Aaron Pratt within a half-hour of my posting: what you see below is, as he notes, an embroidered binding depicting David and Goliath and covering a Book of Psalms, in this instance, one from 1639. 

Armorial bindings

The reveal to this month’s crocodile mystery isn’t much of a reveal; both John Overholt and Philip Allfrey posted the answer in last week’s comments. It’s the stamp that George Granville Leveson-Gower, the 1st Duke of Sutherland (1758-1833) used in his armorial bindings. 

Folger Tooltips: Researching Bindings

Last month Folger Librarian Stephen Enniss announced our public launch of the Folger Bindings Image Collection. Today we introduce Collation readers to the database and describe in a bit more detail some of the available search strategies for those interested in investigating early modern European binding structure and decoration. About the Bindings Image Collection This… Continue Reading »

Binding clasps

Some close observation and deductive reasoning led commenters in the right direction in solving the June crocodile mystery. Here’s image that I posted last week, with a bit more context: With that bit of the surrounding context, it’s much clearer that it’s a picture of the catch to a clasp on a fifteenth-century calf binding…. Continue Reading »

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