The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

“What manner o’thing is your crocodile?”: April 2020

For April’s Crocodile mystery, take a look at this image and let us know what you think is going on!

As always, leave your comments and we’ll be back next week with more information!


  • … with traces of the title page of an edition of Ephraim Chambers’ ‘Cyclopaedia’, by the look of it – not the first, because the typeface is different, but it’s an exact match for images of the 1786 edition.
    (Yes, I know that wasn’t really the question.)

  • Offset ink! If it was paper that was used during the printing process and then recycled, the type would not be mirror-image.

  • Perhaps this cardboard was made from sheets of waste paper pasted together, and with wear the print was exposed.

    Alternately, it could be a sheet of waste paper that was dyed, and used as covering material. Through wear and fading, the print was exposed.

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