The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts By: Guest Author

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

Condicions agreed vppon: a 17th century Polish-Turkish treaty

a guest post by Carrol Benner Kindel Introduction The subject manuscript, page 237 of Folger MS V.b.303, is contained within a “collection of political and parliamentary documents” compiled between the middle of the 16th and middle of the 17th centuries. It is a one-page list of conditions (condicions in this manuscript) proposed for an agreement between the Turkish Emperor, Osman II (1618-1622), and the Polish King, Sigismund III (1587-1632) following a war between their empires.… Continue Reading

Postcards Folger Directors Sent Me

a guest post by Stephen Grant Printed on picture side: Nothing Printed on address side: Exhibition Hall, Folger Shakespeare Library Washington, DC www.folger.edu       Barcode 0010060380        Photo by J. Ainsworth Written message: March 3, 2022 Steve: This card shows the Great Hall as we rethought it in the late eighties – illuminated strapwork ceiling and architectural features, state-of-the-art casework, solar veil window shades, and curtains fabricated by King Fahd’s draper!Continue Reading

The Fairy King’s Grimoire

A guest post by Alexander D’Agostino I am an artist working with queer histories and images, through performance and visual art. During my Artist Research Fellowship with the Folger, I am creating The Fairy King’s Grimoire: a reimagining of the magic and rituals outlined in Manuscript V.b.26, The Book of Magic with instructions for invoking spirits, etc. while considering needs and beliefs of queer people today.… Continue Reading


The art of dying

a guest post by Eileen Sperry For early modern English Christians, dying was an art form. The bestseller list of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, had there been one, would have been topped by some of the period’s many ars moriendi texts. These treatises, which took hold in England in the late 15th century and remained present through the country’s many doctrinal shifts, were wildly popular.… Continue Reading

Postcards in the (home) archive 1942-43

a guest post by Stephen Grant Printed on picture side: FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D. C. Printed on address side: PUB. BY GARRISON TOY & NOVELTY CO. WASHINGTON, D. C. THIS SPACE FOR WRITING MESSAGES 14436 “COLOURPICTURE” PUBLICATION CAMBRIDGE, MASS. U. S. A. POST CARD Written message: Dear Adah—Now are you surprised to learn I’m away up here? Bernie said for VB to come at once to his job and I hopped on the train and came along on 2 hr.Continue Reading

When the Body is Ill, The Mind Suffers: Shakespeare’s Unravelling of Women’s Hysteria and Madness in the Elizabethan Era

a guest post by Alexandria Zlatar During my research fellowship with the Folger Institute, my investigation has undertaken an exploration into a highly under-represented aspect of mental health and has focused on lived-in experiences of mental illness in Shakespearian England. What did it mean not only to treat mental illness but also create art and write about these experiences? There have been dominant answers to this question throughout literary studies, which have traditionally emphasized the focus of “illness” and reinforced the notion that people were too un-fit to function.… Continue Reading