The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts Tagged: letters

‘I Grapple him to my Soul with hooks of Steel’

I’m sure all of our readers know that moment when you’re looking for one thing but find something else entirely (some call it serendipity—I just call it research). Such as doing a Name Browse in Hamnet for “Adams” (I believe at the time I was looking for something edited by our former director, Joseph Quincy Adams), and discovering the heading “Adams, Abigail, 1744-1818, correspondent.” I remember being bemused by this discovery, a little perplexed as to why we would have that in our collection, and filing its existence away for another time.… Continue Reading

Let’s make a model!

Co-written by Heather Wolfe and Jana Dambrogio In 2010, Jana Dambrogio and I were thinking independently about slits and stabs in early modern letters. Jana, after having had made many models of the letters of Tomaso di Livieri from the 1580s and 1590s (housed in the Fondo Veneto, Sezione II, in the Vatican Secret Archives), had just seen a letter in London from Elizabeth I that was similar in structure to a format used by her humble Venetian.… 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

Another (sort of) happy reunion…

A few months ago I wrote about the joys of bringing together parts of an archive or collection that had gone astray, and provided three recent examples (Manuscript reunions).  Well, it has happened again, but this time, the story is about a single piece of paper that was split into three parts. The first part is an autograph letter from Sir Walter Raleigh to the London goldsmith Peter Vanlore, purchased by the Folger in 1995 (X.c.54). … Continue Reading