The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts Tagged: provenance

How an 18th-century clergyman read his Folio

The Folger Shakespeare Library has never acquired another copy of a Shakespeare Folio since the Folgers’ time—until now. We recently added number 38 to our collection of Fourth Folios (S2915 Fo.4 no.38). Published in 1685, this was the last of the four great printings of Shakespeare’s collected plays during the 17th century. It was followed in 1709 by the first “modern” edition, by Nicholas Rowe, who followed the Fourth Folio text but added scene divisions, stage directions, and a character list (dramatis personae) for each play.… Continue Reading

19th-century faces in a 16th-century manuscript

A mother and her two daughters unexpectedly greet you when you open the binding of Folger MS V.a.174. albumen print of a mother and two daughters affixed to the front pastedown of Folger MS V.a.174, a 1576 manuscript of the Book of Common Prayer Turn to the back of the volume and there they are again. this time with the youngest daughter in the middle Who are these late-nineteenth-century women, and why is their image affixed in perpetuity to the Elizabethan binding of a 1576 manuscript version of the Book of Common Prayer? … Continue Reading

When is an inscription not an inscription?

Two folks identified the key elements of this month’s crocodile mystery in their comments: Misha Teramura correctly noted that the inscription in the middle of the page—“pp. 184-190 refer to the progress of religion westward toward America”—refers to George Herbert’s final poem from The Temple, “The Church Militant.” And David Shaw noted that the other inscriptions—“8652” on the top left and “A176” on the bottom right—look to be an accession number and a shelf mark.… Continue Reading

Identifying a leather bookplate

As became clear in the robust conversation around this month’s crocodile mystery, what we’re looking at is a leather bookplate—a circular, good-tooled leather bookplate stamped with the initials “E. H.” and a rose. While the object itself might have been easy to recognize, working out what the specifics of it were revealing was a bit harder. As Erin noted, the bookplate looked as if it had been cut down from a larger piece, leaving jagged edges rather than the smooth circle one might expect from a die-cut bookplate.… Continue Reading

An alter’d case: An annotated copy of The Roaring Girl

A guest post by Victoria Myers [Editor’s note: Victoria Myers was a student in the Fall 2012 Folger Undergraduate Seminar taught by Sarah Werner. As part of that course, Victoria researched the history of a copy of the first printing of The Roaring Girl (STC 17908). She continued her research for her capstone project for her Renaissance Studies major at the University of Maryland.Continue Reading

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 volume in June from Bonham’s auction house in London.… Continue Reading

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. … Continue Reading