The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: December 2022

According to the fine print, The Collation‘s monthly Crocodile Mystery is a “series on identifying objects in our collection” so this mystery object sneaks in on a technicality. It is not part of the Folger collection, but it is in the collection’s physical space. What is it called, and what is it for? Let us know what you think in the Comments.… Continue Reading

Interpreting Systems that Make Place

a guest post by Lehua Yim It’s not often that one has the opportunity to study a fully digitized, 420-ish year old, almost 750 page manuscript that never went where it was supposed to go. This manuscript, Folger MS V.b.182, is barely mentioned in scholarship, with only a handful of scholars interested in its contents. Instead, it mostly appears as a kind of footnote in the biography of an Elizabethan administrator whose influential relationship to Shakespeare’s plays, sixteenth-century English pageantry and theater history, and government censorship drives most interest in his life and work.… Continue Reading

The habitability of our planet—is it only a contemporary issue?

a guest post by Mauricio Onetto Over the past decade various states and scientific agencies that promote science at a global level and study climate change have invested in research programs to study the habitability of our planet and also of other planets. They have sought to understand some forms of adaptation and resistance that certain organisms have in extreme ecosystems (poles, deserts, etc.),… Continue Reading

When Past is Prologue: Munro, Malley, and the #IranRevolution

a guest post by Nedda Mehdizadeh I’m currently revising an essay for publication that centers on a Persian-language manuscript I found at the Folger Shakespeare Library while on fellowship in 2017. The catalog entry for the manuscript, S.b. 122, includes information about its ownership and acquisition in the metadata, which is also summarized in its assigned title: “Copy in the hand of Sir Thomas Munro of The Mussulman and the Jew, a Persian MS [manuscript], 1786.”… Continue Reading

An Italian Naturalist in England

Thank you for your guesses. “Aldrovandus” is indeed the first word of the sentence, “Gesner” is the last one. The whole sentence reads: “Aldrovandus does not take things vp pon trust alltogether so much as Gesner:” This transcription was produced by the amazing “Folger Ward Team,” made up of Folger staff and other volunteers, who are transcribing the complete set of Ward’s diaries.… Continue Reading

“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: November 2022

This month crocodile mystery comes from John Ward’s diary, V.a. 291, volume 8, leaf 18v.   Can you decipher the highlighted text especially the first and last words of the sentence? Leave your attempts in the comments below and we’ll be back next week with the answer, and why we were thrilled to see it. (And if you’re among the group of people who have been transcribing John Ward for a while, maybe hold off on your guesses for a few days?)… Continue Reading